At 9 a.m. tomorrow, the Metro board is holding the "Measure R Project Delivery Committee Workshop." For the layman, it's where the schedules and funding will be hammered out on the rail and freeway projects to be funded with the new half-percent tax increase LA County residents began paying this month. What's notable is that Mayor Villaraigosa and the rest of the Metro Board wants to light a fire under three of these projects and speed up their delivery to their public. How exactly? According to Streetsblog, the plan is to borrow against future Measure R income, with the debt being offset by projects that are cheaper, since they're built sooner and without inflation. The downside, according to Streetsblog, is "the accelerated project list means a $3.5 billion funding gap and a larger than anticipated operating defecit which would result in either fare increases or service cuts." It's one thing to build all these projects, but it costs big bucks to operate them. Meanwhile, the folks behind the I Will Ride blog are saying the Gold Line Foothill extension should be on the list (it currently is not) since it's shovel-ready. Tomorrow's meeting at Metro HQ Downtown is open to all, so there will be much public commenting and screaming.
Downtown Regional Connector that will connect various light-rail lines: Originally set to open in 2025, now maybe 2018
Green Line to LAX: Originally set to open in 2028, now maybe 2017
Eastside Extension II of Gold Line to Whittier: Originally set to open in 2035, now maybe 2018
So, how big would the Gold Line be with the extension to East LA, the further eastern extension into Whittier, and if the Foothill extension stretched to the Ontario Airport (which is what locals are advocating for)? Over 60 miles long by our calculations. (13.7 from Downtown LA to Pasadena, about 32.5 miles to Ontario Airport from there, 6 miles from Downtown LA to East LA, and 8.7 miles from East LA to Whittier)