The success of Measure R, passed by voters in 2008, the “30-10” plan to accelerate implementation of our transit revolution, and the 66 percent “yes” vote on Measure J each demonstrates that Los Angeles voters are ready to invest in a transportation transformation. There is an opportunity now and a coalition partnership available that’s too good to waste. Together with Mayor Eric Garcetti we must continue cultivating this voter trust and this partnership of labor, business, environmental, community groups and elected officials who share a common vision — of a Los Angeles with a clean public transportation system that is both robust and financially sound, and that has a vigorous economy with prosperity that is widely shared.
As Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has demonstrated so clearly, we can think big about solutions to our challenges as a region — and we can expect to succeed.
Even as transit agencies around the U.S. are cutting back on bus and rail service and raising fares, L.A. has embarked on this country’s most ambitious transit expansion — from 118 miles and 103 stations to 236 miles and 200 stations, a work program likely to generate an estimated 400,000 construction jobs.
For the first time ever in Southern California there are three lines under construction at the same time: Expo to Santa Monica, the Gold Line to Azusa and the Orange Line to Chatsworth. Add the Crenshaw Line and the downtown L.A. Regional Connector — utilities are being relocated now so construction can begin — and that’s five lines under construction.
Suddenly the world is looking at Los Angeles in a very different light. As Brookings Institution spokesman Adie Tomer told the Los Angeles Times:
“You have this archetype of L.A. as the highway city of America.