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Here's Metro's Latest Plan For Speeding Up LA Rail Projects

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Following the near-win of last year's Measure J, a proposed extension of the Measure R tax increase that funds transit and freeway projects, Metro is going to Plan D in their effort to build projects like the Purple Line Extension and 405 transit line before we all croak. This iteration (different from the 30/10 plan/America Fast Forward federal plan) would have Metro borrow $9.4 billion via a variety of federal loans, bonds, and public-private partnerships to build five transit projects more quickly: the Purple Line Extension's second and third phases (from La Cienega to Westwood), the South Bay Green Line Extension, the Eastside Gold Line Extension, the West Santa Ana Branch Corridor, and the Sepulveda Pass (405) Transit Corridor. The plan would also help other projects, like the Crenshaw Line, to avoid delays on its current timetable. The one project left off of Metro's plan is the proposed Gold Line light rail extension from Azusa to Claremont.

Construction is moving quickly on the Gold Line extension from Pasadena to Azusa, with an opening set for about three years from now. But many San Gabriel Valley politicians, voters, and the construction authority building the Azusa extension are riled that the Claremont extension is not part of the latest plan to speed up projects, or of any funding proposal for that matter.

An editorial runing in several San Gabriel Valley newspapers says that voters were promised a Claremont extension as part of Measure R, which upped the sales tax in LA County to pay for all this stuff, and that dropping the line now is tantamount to a big fat lie. "Metro executives are heading to Washington, D.C., to seek federal funding for its projects ... Its members should know what their ethical mandate is: Approve seeking the estimated $900 million to get the Gold Line to Claremont. That's what voters have instructed them to do."
· Here is the Metro staff report on new project acceleration plan to be considered by agency's Board of Directors this month [The Source]
· Editorial: Metro board should seek Gold Line extension funds [Daily Bulletin]