eMail: Thursday, December 23, 2004

LA Residents Support Red Line Expansion
by Supervisor MICHAEL D. ANTONOVICH

From : Michael D. Antonovich <fifthdistrict@bos.co.la.ca.us>
Sent : Thursday, December 23, 2004 9:21 AM
To : <brighamyen>
Subject : LA Residents Support Red Line Expansion

Dear Mr. Yen:

Thank you for taking the time to address your concerns regarding mass transit, specifically your support for the Red Line extension. I appreciate it and understand your concerns over the Wilshire corridor. If the City of Los Angeles wants to extend the Red Line westward, it has the opportunity to go above ground cost-effectively.

My opposition to Director La Bonge's request for the Red Line subway expansion is over cost. Even if the federal restrictions on subway construction down the Wilshire corridor were lifted, and the voters of Los Angeles County overturned the use of local tax dollars to support subway construction, subway construction still presents a tremendous price tag of over $3.5 billion for the 12-mile stretch to complete the red line to Santa Monica.

The MTA, which funds these projects with local dollars, must deal with the transportation needs of the entire county—88 cities and 134 unincorporated communities--not just the City of Los Angeles. Subway construction currently costs over $300 million per mile, while light rail costs roughly $60 million per mile and bus rapid transit costs roughly $30 million per mile. For every mile of subway we can build five miles of light rail and ten miles of bus rapid transit. With so many needs throughout the county and so few dollars, it is important that we invest in the mass transit systems that can cover the entire county, not just the City of Los Angeles. This motion to re-approve subway construction will take money away from the other 87 cities of the County and spend it in the City of Los Angeles.

We already have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the Red Line over the span of decades. For a fraction of the time and money required, Los Angeles County could have light rail and bus rapid transit connecting the entire region. Therefore, subway construction based on County funding is unacceptable.

If the City of Los Angeles wishes to build a subway in its city limits, then it should propose a way for the City of Los Angeles to pay for it, without raiding County dollars that should go to County projects and the other 87 cities and unincorporated communities.

Again thank you and best regards.

Sincerely,

MICHAEL D. ANTONOVICH

Supervisor


Webmaster's comment: Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich does support building a tunnel for I -710 under the City of South Pasadena.

This was Mr. Yen's e-mail to Supervisor Antonovich of December 4, 2004:

Dear Mr. Antonovich,

The Red Line must be extended along Wilshire Blvd. "westward to the beach" as Mr. Antonio Villaraigosa stated in his mayoral debate. Your logic that we cannot build subway in 4000-square miles of Los Angeles county-limits does not take into account the necessity to build a sophisticated and effective mass transit route down Wilshire Blvd., which cannot sustain mobility with BRT, or the possibility of constructing a LRT route through this congested corridor. The only option is to build subway underneath Wilshire Blvd.

If that is the only subway line we build in LA, it'll be the most important. As a citizen of LA, representing my family and friends, we want you to reconsider your disapproval of LaBonge's wise judgement in support of Red Line expansion.

Sincerely,

Brigham Yen

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