February editorial: LA Metro money request not a shoe-in

Written by RT&S Staff
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I keep telling my 11-year-old that the reason why is because Kobe Bryant is dead.

I do not think it’s getting through to him. Both he and my 16-year-old male copy are active in basketball … and shoe purchasing. Now there are websites out there that sell old models of the feet enhancements, which means you can get a 2015 Kobe Bryant model at the right price. Since they are no longer in production due to his untimely passing, that right figure is rightfully high. One day I’m being told a pair is going for $300, and two days later it has spiked to $600. Larger sizes tend to be more expensive than smaller sizes. You know, supply and demand, capitalism, wallet buster, college fund extractor. It just so happens my two boys have golden feet in terms of size. Unfortunately they are not worth anything. 

I keep telling my son he needs to pick among the live models, those that are still in production. I then proceed to tell him again about how the market works, and why I refuse to pay for shoes that are more than $200. Either he is not ready to understand the difference between a bull or a bear, or he simple does not care. They are both just animals to him. 

The state of California recently announced it is sitting on a mountain of cash … so high I’m surprised it doesn’t have a snow cap. The total is $46 billion, and LA Metro has some expensive items on its wish list. Like rare sneakers, some of these projects have been buried alive for years due to a lack of funding. They are more expensive now … and the price is fluid. Waiting longer could create a 50% markup. LA Metro is wishing for $16.5 billion.

However, it is not clear how much the state of California is willing to give to the transit agency. The hands looking for a handout are many. 

The one project that was creating a buzz in late January was the Foothill Extension of the Metro Gold Line, or L Line. It is expected to cost $670 million to connect Pomona to Claremont. The project was first given life as a possibility back in 2009, but rising material and labor costs have kept it on the back burner. 

Other projects in the $16.5 billion request by LA Metro are:

The L Line Eastside Extension, Phase 2, from eastern terminus in East L.A. to Lambert Road in Whittier;

The East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor that would run along Van Nuys Boulevard and East San Fernando Road;

The C Line extension from Redondo Beach to Torrance;

The Inglewood Transit Connector Project;

The Sepulveda Transit Corridor; and

The West Santa Ana Branch Transit Corridor.

With President Biden recently signing at $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, I am wondering just how much unicorn money LA Metro will receive. It’s already in line to receive a good chunk of federal cash. Heck, I would be the first to agree the agency should get every penny it’s requesting, but politically that is just not realistic. Adding to the sensation is the agency’s prep work for the 2028 Summer Olympic Games. Could we see the full $16.5 B, or something around $7B or $8B? I think it will be even lower than that, putting the odds-on favorite at about $4 billion. I am not an expert by any means, just an observer the last 20+ years. Right now I just hope Michael Jordan stays alive for a little while.

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