Tom LaBonge Motion

Tom LaBonge has introduced motions that would not limit our options to build rail transit in the Los Angeles region. Two MTA committees are hearing this motion:

  • · Planning and Programming Committee (November 17, 2004)
         Beatrice Proo, Chair - YES
         Michael Antonovich, Vice Chair - No
         James Hahn - YES
         Frank Roberts - No
         Zev Yaroslavsky YES
              Transit Coalition representatives that testified in favor of the motion were:
              Bart Reed, Jerard Wright and Robert Meinert.
  • · Construction Committee (November 18, 2004)
         Don Knabe, Chair
         Tom LaBonge
         Gloria Molina
         Pam O'Connor
              No Quorum

Agenda Item:

LABONGE MOTION that the MTA Board support federal legislation that lifts the prohibition on the use of federal funds (see Motion below) for the planning, designing, constructing or operating a subway within the boundaries of Robertson Boulevard to Beverly Boulevard, Oakwood Avenue to La Brea Avenue; La Brea to Melrose Avenue; Melrose Avenue to Rossmore Avenue; Rossmore Avenue to Eighth Street; La Brea Avenue to Olympic Boulevard; Olympic Boulevard to San Vicente Boulevard; San Vicente Boulevard to Third Avenue.

Further move that the MTA Planning Department staff identify for the Board those elements of the 1998 County Proposition A that pertain to the use of local sales tax revenues for subway projects. Based on that analysis, the staff should make recommendations to remove any restrictions regarding the use of transportation sales tax revenues for planning, designing, constructing, or operating any new subway.


MOTION

By Director LaBonge

On November 3, 1998, Los Angeles County voters passed Proposition A, "The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) Reform and Accountability Act of 1998," which banned the MTA from spending sales tax revenues on subway projects. This measure was placed before the voters as a reaction to the large cost of subway construction, reduced federal funding, perceived mismanagement on the part of the MTA, and the availability of other less costly mass transit options.

Since that time, MTA has undertaken the construction of busways and light rail lines, such as the Gold Line to Pasadena and the Gold Line Eastside Extension, the San Fernando Valley Metro Rapidway and rapid bus services across the Valley and Mid-City to address continued congestion in the region. The expansion of the Red Line from Hollywood to North Hollywood was completed within budget, as construction became more efficient. Currently, there are over 100,000 weekday boardings on the Red Line, and it is projected that the metropolitan Los Angeles region will have to accommodate the populations of an additional two Chicago populations over the next twenty-five years. Since we are currently struggling to service our existing population, we must have alternative transportation sources.

It is time to reconsider the ban on subways because it prohibits a thorough discussion of all transportation options when considering mass transit expansion. The problems leading to the 1998 and 1985 laws have been dealt with through numerous management changes at MTA. Furthermore, new technologies have been developed to vent gas, prevent fires, and improve the general safety associated with subway construction. All transportation options must be available to the region in order to address Los Angeles' continued population growth that has overwhelmed the region's already crowded highways and streets, increasing travel times and lowering air quality. Recognizing technological advancements and increased public support, the Los Angeles City Council on September 28, 2004 unanimously approved a similar resolution with which the Mayor concurred on October 12, 2004.

I MOVE that the MTA Board support federal legislation that lifts the prohibition on the use of federal funds for the planning, designing, constructing or operating a subway within the boundaries of Robertson Boulevard to Beverly Boulevard, Oakwood Avenue to La Brea Avenue; La Brea to Meirose Avenue; Melrose Avenue to Rossmore Avenue; Rossmore Avenue to Eighth Street; La Brea Avenue to Olympic Boulevard; Olympic Boulevard to San Vicente Boulevard; San Vicente Boulevard to Third Avenue (as per the map attached).

I FURTHER MOVE that the MTA Planning Department staff identify for the Board those elements of the 1998 County Proposition A that pertain to the use of local sales tax revenues for subway projects. Based on that analysis, the staff should make recommendations to remove any restrictions regarding the use of transportation sales tax revenues for planning, designing, constructing or operating any new subway.