This Week’s Measure R Workshop; Accelerated Rail Projects; and Villaraigosa Wants Foothill Extension in 2013

This is the latest email from Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority CEO Habib Balian. Here he talks about this Thursday’s upcoming Measure R workshop, a few light-rail projects that are being pushed onto an accelerated timetable, and support for Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa’s transportation goals.

Here is a reminder that Metro’s Measure R workshop will take place this Thursday, July 16, at 9 a.m. at Metro headquarters. Please note that last week’s update had an error – the workshop is this Thursday, not Wednesday.

At the workshop, the Metro board is expected to review the Measure R schedule, funding cashflow, project implementation and regional participation and prioritization issues. From the handout that Metro is distributing for the meeting (click here to see plan), the primary discussion regarding rail projects will be about finding ways to accelerate funding and scheduling. This should be good news for the Foothill Extension, as the Construction Authority has already shown Metro a business plan that can expedite opening of the line to Azusa by four years.

However, the attached document only mentions accelerating the regional connector, Gold Line Eastside Extension 2 and the Green Line to LAX. The proposal would move the opening dates of the regional connector from 2025 to 2018, the Eastside Extension from 2035 to 2018 and the Green Line to LAX from 2028 to 2017. Other projects would remain on the schedule set out by Measure R, which includes the Foothill Extension opening in 2017.

We will be at the workshop to ask that the schedule be amended to accelerate the Foothill Extension by four years.

Speaking of the opening date for Measure R projects, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has set a goal to “build eight Measure R rail projects on time or ahead of schedule” in his second term in office. We are very supportive of his efforts, especially his plan for the Foothill Extension, which he declares will be open in 2013. You can see on his website (click here or see the image below).

We look forward to his support as we work on our public-private partnership to construct the line and have it operating in 2013. We can put thousands of people back to work, stimulate the San Gabriel Valley and Los Angeles County economies, relieve congestion and increase Metro ridership. When the Eastside and Foothill Extensions are open, Gold Line boardings are estimated to exceed 55,000 a day.

The next step after Thursday’s Measure R workshop is the Metro board’s consideration of the Long Range Transportation Plan, which will formalize the funding plan and construction schedule for the Foothill Extension. The meeting is scheduled for July 23 at 9:30 a.m. at Metro. Please save the date.

The Journey Continues…

Habib F. Balian

(click to view larger image)


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