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Friday, October 23, 2009

LA Metro Board Approves 2009 Long Range Transportation Plan

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The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors has approved the 2009 Long Range Transportation Plan that will guide transportation development in the county through the year 2040, a period in which the county is expected to experience unprecedented growth.

The population of Los Angeles County is projected to grow by almost 3 million people over the next 30 years. The Long Range Transportation Plan examines the impacts this growth will have on the mobility of the county, which includes increasing demand on streets, highways, buses and trains, and it recommends what can be done to address those impacts within anticipated revenues.

The LRTP also includes new funding resources that include monies generated by the passage of Measure R, a new half-cent sales tax for LA County as well as federal stimulus dollars that will flow to the region under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The LRTP anticipates the collection and distribution of $298 billion countywide through FY2040 from all local, state, and federal transportation funding sources. The funds will be used for transit services, highway maintenance, and for the development of numerous transit and highway transportation improvement projects all over Los Angeles County.

Countywide bus and rail operations account for $106.5 billion (36%) of the uses forecasted by the plan and bus and rail capital uses account for $57.6 billion (19%) of the plan. Highway maintenance and improvements make up $94.4 billion (32%). Debt service accounts for $26.9 billion (9%) of the plan and other uses $12.6 billion (4%).

Some components of the recommended plan's transportation program include:

•Completion of the Eastside light rail project

• Completion of the Exposition Light Rail project to Culver City

• Phase II Exposition light rail to Santa Monica

• Wilshire Boulevard Bus Rapid transit

• Downtown Regional Connector (Blue & Gold Line connection)

• The Crenshaw Corridor Transit project

• Eastside Light Rail Access (Pedestrian & Bicycle link)

• Gold Line Foothill Light Rail Extension (Segment including vehicles & yard)

• Green Line Extension to LAX

• Westside Subway extension to Fairfax/Century City/Westwood

• Gold Line Eastside Extension

• Green Line Extension Redondo Beach Station to South Bay Corridor

• California High Speed Rail (Los Angeles County).

The LRTP also encourages more ridesharing, walking and bike riding, telecommuting and improved management of truck traffic and goods movement.

The LRTP is built on strategic financial projections of revenues from federal, state and local taxes and subsidies, as well as revenues from passenger fares, advertising, real estate rentals and other sources.

The approval of the 2009 LRTP does not constitute final Board action on individual projects. Projects will return to the Board for further action at key milestones in the planning, environmental and project development process. The LRTP document itself will be made available for public distribution in Fall 2009.

Metro Board approval of the Long Range Transportation Plan means the plan will now be submitted to the Southern California Association of Governments, the designated planning organization for a six-county region, for inclusion in SCAG's Regional Transportation Plan.

The RTP demonstrates how Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, Riverside, San Bernardino and Imperial counties will meet federal mandates, particularly air quality requirements. Only projects and programs included in the RTP are eligible for federal funding.

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