Friday, December 11, 2009

Metro light rail for Crenshaw Corridor, advanced Green Line extension

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The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors approved light rail transit as the Locally Preferred Alternative for the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor transportation project. Also, the Board, in approving the Harbor Subdivision Transit Corridor Alternative Analysis Study, ordered further study in a Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Report of an extension of Metro Green Line rail service to the proposed Torrance Regional Transit Center in the South Bay area of the region. The light rail alternative will be 8.5 miles from the Metro Green Line Aviation Station to the Expo Line, now under construction, at Crenshaw and Exposition boulevards, with a travel time estimated at 20 minutes. There will be seven new stations plus an option for one more. The final Environment Impact Study/Environment Impact Report could be ready by the end of 2010, with the line scheduled to open in 2018.

The project is estimated to cost $1.3 billion in today's dollars. An estimated 7,800 construction jobs will be created annually by the project. Funding will come from Measure R, the half-cent sales tax initiative approved by Los Angeles County voters last November to improve the region's mobility and create the transportation infrastructure needed to help resolve local traffic congestion, air pollution and enhance economic development.

The Board also approved a motion by Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas to study the costs and impacts of constructing a one-mile segment on Crenshaw Boulevard between 48th and 59th Streets, currently proposed to run at street level, as an underground alignment. Some sections north of 48th Street and south of 59th Street are already being studied as underground segments. The Ridley-Thomas motion also included the new official name of the project: "Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor."

In another adopted motion proposed maintenance and operations facilities in El Segundo and Westchester were removed from the project. The motion was presented by Los Angeles County Supervisor Dan Knabe.

The Crenshaw Transit Corridor project is a major north-south investment in the Crenshaw District area, potentially providing relief for the I-405 and I-110 freeways. It also will provide a major connection to LAX connecting the Metro Green Line to the south with the proposed LAX Automated Peoples Mover System and the Expo Line to the north. The project would provide connections to the entire Metro Rail system and Metro's more than 2,100 peak-hour buses.

The study area for the Crenshaw Corridor Project includes the cities of Los Angeles, Inglewood, Hawthorne, El Segundo and portions of unincorporated Los Angeles County and covers approximately a 33-square mile area from Wilshire Boulevard to the north, El Segundo Boulevard to the South, Arlington Avenue on the east and Sepulveda Boulevard and La Tijera Boulevard/La Brea Avenue on the west.

Regarding the Green Line Extension, included in further environmental study will be an extension of rail service from either the Metro Green Line Marine Station or Imperial Station to the proposed Torrance Regional Transit Center operating on either new light rail tracks or on the existing freight tracks via the Harbor Subdivision Right-of-Way. In addition, the study will examine a No Build option and a Transportation Systems Management alternative that would include enhancing bus service in the area.


The Harbor Subdivision is a freight rail corridor, approximately 26 miles long that traverses southwest Los Angeles County from Vernon to Wilmington. It encompasses the jurisdictions of Huntington Park, Vernon, City of Los Angeles, Hawthorne, Inglewood, El Segundo, Lawndale, Torrance, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Carson, portions of unincorporated Los Angeles County, Long Beach and the Port areas of Los Angeles and Long Beach. In the early 1990s, Metro purchased the portion of the corridor between Redondo Junction and Watson Yard, along with several other rail rights-of-way, to further the development of the region's rapid transit system. Although owned by Metro, BNSFoperates freight service along the corridor. Together with the planned Crenshaw Transit Corridor, the Harbor Subdivision would establish a north-south transit link to LAX and potential South Bay destinations.


In taking the action the Board approved a $5-million contract option with STV, Inc., to prepare the DEIS/R and to conduct community outreach for the project.  Staff made the recommendation to advance into environmental review the Metro Green Line Extension to the RTC given its performance in terms of system connectivity, cost-effectiveness and partial funding through Measure R, the half-cent sales tax approved by the voters in November 2008.
Under Measure R, the project is provided $272 million in funding for the Metro Green Line Extension to the South Bay Corridor. This project is contained in the constrained element of the adopted 2009 Long Range Transportation Plan. In May 2009, the Board directed the CEO to set aside $5 million to continue the multi-year environmental clearance process begun in the AA.


Construction costs for a Metro Green Line light rail transit extension to Torrance (4.6 miles) are estimated at $495 million (2009 dollars) and would generate approximately 5,800 daily riders. The cost for an extension using the freight tracks (8.7 miles) and alternate rail technologies such as Self Propelled Rail or Commuter Rail Transit vehicles is estimated at $428 million (2009 dollars) and would generate approximately 3,300 daily riders.


Along with approving the AA study and moving the project into the Draft EIS/R, the Board renamed the project the South Bay Green Line Extension.The project is estimated to cost $1.3 billion in today's dollars. An estimated 7,800 construction jobs will be created annually by the project. Funding will come from Measure R, the half-cent sales tax initiative approved by Los Angeles County voters last November to improve the region's mobility and create the transportation infrastructure needed to help resolve local traffic congestion, air pollution and enhance economic development.

The Board also approved a motion by Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas to study the costs and impacts of constructing a one-mile segment on Crenshaw Boulevard between 48th and 59th Streets, currently proposed to run at street level, as an underground alignment. Some sections north of 48th Street and south of 59th Street are already being studied as underground segments. The Ridley-Thomas motion also included the new official name of the project: "Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor."

In another adopted motion proposed maintenance and operations facilities in El Segundo and Westchester were removed from the project. The motion was presented by Los Angeles County Supervisor Dan Knabe.

The Crenshaw Transit Corridor project is a major north-south investment in the Crenshaw District area, potentially providing relief for the I-405 and I-110 freeways. It also will provide a major connection to LAX connecting the Metro Green Line to the south with the proposed LAX Automated Peoples Mover System and the Expo Line to the north. The project would provide connections to the entire Metro Rail system and Metro's more than 2,100 peak-hour buses.

The study area for the Crenshaw Corridor Project includes the cities of Los Angeles, Inglewood, Hawthorne, El Segundo and portions of unincorporated Los Angeles County and covers approximately a 33-square mile area from Wilshire Boulevard to the north, El Segundo Boulevard to the South, Arlington Avenue on the east and Sepulveda Boulevard and La Tijera Boulevard/La Brea Avenue on the west.

Regarding the Green Line Extension, included in further environmental study will be an extension of rail service from either the Metro Green Line Marine Station or Imperial Station to the proposed Torrance Regional Transit Center operating on either new light rail tracks or on the existing freight tracks via the Harbor Subdivision Right-of-Way. In addition, the study will examine a No Build option and a Transportation Systems Management alternative that would include enhancing bus service in the area.


The Harbor Subdivision is a freight rail corridor, approximately 26 miles long that traverses southwest Los Angeles County from Vernon to Wilmington. It encompasses the jurisdictions of Huntington Park, Vernon, City of Los Angeles, Hawthorne, Inglewood, El Segundo, Lawndale, Torrance, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Carson, portions of unincorporated Los Angeles County, Long Beach and the Port areas of Los Angeles and Long Beach. In the early 1990s, Metro purchased the portion of the corridor between Redondo Junction and Watson Yard, along with several other rail rights-of-way, to further the development of the region's rapid transit system. Although owned by Metro, BNSFoperates freight service along the corridor. Together with the planned Crenshaw Transit Corridor, the Harbor Subdivision would establish a north-south transit link to LAX and potential South Bay destinations.


In taking the action the Board approved a $5-million contract option with STV, Inc., to prepare the DEIS/R and to conduct community outreach for the project.  Staff made the recommendation to advance into environmental review the Metro Green Line Extension to the RTC given its performance in terms of system connectivity, cost-effectiveness and partial funding through Measure R, the half-cent sales tax approved by the voters in November 2008.
Under Measure R, the project is provided $272 million in funding for the Metro Green Line Extension to the South Bay Corridor. This project is contained in the constrained element of the adopted 2009 Long Range Transportation Plan. In May 2009, the Board directed the CEO to set aside $5 million to continue the multi-year environmental clearance process begun in the AA.


Construction costs for a Metro Green Line light rail transit extension to Torrance (4.6 miles) are estimated at $495 million (2009 dollars) and would generate approximately 5,800 daily riders. The cost for an extension using the freight tracks (8.7 miles) and alternate rail technologies such as Self Propelled Rail or Commuter Rail Transit vehicles is estimated at $428 million (2009 dollars) and would generate approximately 3,300 daily riders.
Along with approving the AA study and moving the project into the Draft EIS/R, the Board renamed the project the South Bay Green Line Extension.

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