More than 50 organizations have signed on to Move LA’s letter (on the right) urging Senator Dianne Feinstein to help win New Starts funding for the Westside Subway Extension and the downtown LA Regional Connector in 2012. Both projects are critical pieces of LA’s transit infrastructure: The Regional Connector is an 2-mile-long underground light rail line downtown that will link up the Gold, Blue and Expo lines (Expo to Culver City opens in November with 10 stations) to provide a “one-seat ride” across the region. The 9-mile Westside Subway Extension extends the Purple Line from Vermont and Wilshire, providing a high-speed transit alternative to the Miracle Mile, Beverly Hills, Century City, Westwood, and UCLA.
Metro’s subway system transports 8,846 passengers per route mile — more riders than travel on either BART in the Bay Area or Chicago’s “L.” Both projects could receive funding through America Fast Forward, the national rebranding of the “30-10” plan to build all 12 Measure R fixed-guideway transit lines in 10 years. Key elements of America Fast Forward have been incorporated into both the Senate and House federal transportation reauthorization bills. America Fast Forward and New Starts funding would together ensure that both projects are built within 10 years.
Move LA’s sign-on letter notes these projects would provide green jobs to the building construction trades, noting that while unemployment in LA County stands at 12 percent, unemployment for construction workers is more than 40 percent. The letter is signed by business, labor, environmental and community groups.