The following article appeared in The Source on October 8, 2014.
L.A. area ranks third on jobs near transit, says new study – The Source
October 8, 2014
The study finds that Los Angeles ranks third behind New York and San Francisco when it comes to the number of jobs near transit. That puts the L.A. area ahead of some older and more established transit cities such as Chicago, Washington, Boston and Philly.
I don’t think the map is exactly shocking news to those who live here and know our area — but the map still makes a pretty visual argument for better connecting transit to downtown Los Angeles and the Westside. The map also suggests that the Measure R-funded transit projects that Metro is building or plans to build are serving a real purpose. The short list:
•The Purple Line Extension will directly connect downtown Los Angeles to Westwood via the Wilshire Corridor with a short detour to Century City.
•The Expo Line’s second phase connects Santa Monica, West L.A. and downtown L.A. via Culver City, the northern part of South L.A. and Exposition Park.
•The Regional Connector will link the Gold Line, Blue Line and Expo Line in downtown L.A. and allow easier and faster access to and through downtown L.A. for riders on all three lines.
•The Gold Line Foothill Extension extends the Gold Line to the Azusa/Glendora border, making for easier and faster access to jobs in the Pasadena area, downtown L.A. and beyond (i.e. the Westside). Meanwhile, the second phase of the Eastside Gold Line is being studied and would connect either South El Monte or Whittier to downtown L.A. via this project and the Regional Connector.
•The Crenshaw/LAX Line will serve a north-south corridor starting at the Green Line’s Redondo Beach Station and extending north to the Expo Line, including the job-rich area around the airport. The Expo Line, in turn, offers east-west access to jobs. The map also suggests that extending the Crenshaw/LAX Line north — a project in Metro’s long-range plan but unfunded — would connect people to more jobs to the east and west via the Purple Line. A South Bay Green Line Extension, also on the Measure R list, could extend the Crenshaw/LAX Line and Green Line deeper into the South Bay.
•The map also suggests that connecting the San Fernando Valley to the Westside via the Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor makes sense and that the area along Van Nuys Boulevard — to be served by the East San Fernando Transit Corridor — is also a wise proposition in the short-term. The Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor is a long-term project not scheduled for completion until the 2030s unless funding is found to build and accelerate it, but the project could eventually connect to the bus rapid transit or light rail built as part of the East San Fernando Valley Transit project along Van Nuys Boulevard.
•The map also shows that the Warner Center area is one of the more job rich areas in the Valley, thereby suggesting that it makes sense for Metro to pursue improvements to the Orange Line. See this recent Source post for more about that.