Friday, January 11, 2008

Financing and Funding a Future Transportation System for Los Angeles

Last summer I did a blog posting from Paris on their new 5 mile streetcar that runs East-West across the south of Paris using the latest Tram and Light Rail technology. While attending the Los Angeles County Transportation Funding Collaborative on Thursday, which was organized by Denny Zane and the Subway to the Sea supporters, it was interesting to see various interest groups coming together to talk about how Los Angeles might fund and finance a future transportation system. There were over 300 people in attendance, including key political leaders, labor and business organizations, environmental groups, academics, consultants, and transportation/transit stakeholders. The event was covered by Steve Hymon with the LA Times, Kevin Roderick with KCRW and LA Observed, a TV news crew, and others from the blogging world....
Metro has already identified $60 billion in needed transportation projects, but projects only $5 billion in future available revenue. Tim Papendreou, Metro's Transportation Planning Manager for Programming and Policy Analysis, called this the Perfect Storm: More People, More Travel, and Shrinking Revenues. Former State Legislator, Richard Katz, stated that Los Angeles needed to raise the dollars locally, so they can be locally controlled, while Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky stated that we needed to build our transportation system incrementally. Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke remarked that there is: "Nothing easy about transit." Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa who is already a strong advocate for the Subway to the Sea, told the audience that the citizens of Los Angeles would be seeing alot more of him on public transit, as he resumes: Go Metro with the Mayor. The Mayor also acknowledged that the people of Los Angeles needed to get out of their cars once in awhile.

Meanwhile at ExperienceLA, as among the first in Los Angeles to recognize the power of the Internet to promote transit and destinations: Who says you need a car to get around LA. Ride Metro and ExperienceLA.

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