Gateway Cities COG meeting: 1/5/05 Presentation of Green Line east extension to the LOSSAN Corridor
by Daniel Walker

I attended this Gateway Cities Council of Governments (GCCOG) Transportation Committee meeting in Cerritos this afternoon (Wed) and made a brief public statement in support of extending the Green Line east to the Norwalk / Santa Fe Springs Metrolink / Amtrak station. 4 other citizen rail / transit advocates also attended (Stephen Levty, Rudyard Clark, James and Marilyn Gusky).

The meeting lasted 1 hour exactly, the first 15 minutes were on the Green Line east extension. The meeting was chaired by MTA Boardmember Beatrice Proo, from Pico Rivera. About 20 or so other officials attended this meeting representing other GCCOG local cities, MTA, Caltrans, and the GCCOG.

Ray Maekawa, from MTA, presented a history of the effort to extend the Green Line about ~2.5 miles east, including the environmental reviews conducted during the early 90s and the MTA board EIR certifications of both aerial and tunnel options in 1993. Ray provided an updated cost estimate of about $360M for the tunnel and about $321M for the aerial option, based on cpi (inflation) increases from the lower original EIR cost estimates from the 90s. A direct route for the Green Line east extension along Imperial Highway was chosen as the Locally Preferred Alternative 12 years ago, rejecting numerous other less direct routes along Studebaker, Rosecrans, San Antonio, UP Railroad tracks, Pioneer, etc.

Because the EIR is now 11 years old, Ray said a supplemental EIR would now be needed to update SCAG forecasts, ridership, engineering assumptions, and cost estimates. Ray indicated that the local community leaders would need to express strong support for this project to move back into the list of MTA / SCAG transportation projects in order to get funding in the future. MTA plans to update their Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) this year, listing funding priorities to build thru year 2030. Currently, the Green Line east extension is not a funded project in the MTA LRTP. Unless a transportation project is listed by SCAG, it cannot receive federal funding. The state fiscal crisis induced transportation funding cuts made over the last few years is making it difficult for MTA to just fund existing very high priority transportation projects.

In the past the local leaders supported the tunnel option for this east extension. According to the EIR, the tunnel option would have the least environmental impacts on local homes, apartment buildings, etc. during and after construction. However, the locally preferred tunnel option may cost more than the aerial alternative.

The I-5 HOV freeway project is also going through its final environmental clearances / reviews in the same general area as this proposed Green Line extension. The I-5 freeway crosses north/south over Imperial Highway about half between current Norwalk Green Line terminus station @ 605 freeway and the current Norwalk / Santa Fe Springs Metrolink Station. Perhaps this 2 mile Green Line extension could become "mitigation" for the I-5 project?

The GCCOG Transportation Committee also discussed:

  • Upcoming MTA plans to update the LRTP. MTA asked for GCCOG input to update priority transportation project list. MTA handed out draft GCCOG priority list.
  • Gateway Cities MTA Service Sector made many December '04 changes to local bus routes. A few smaller bus route tweaks are also expected this June.
  • Major MTA budget overrun expected for 2005 due to lower fare box revenue, higher Consent Decree costs, and higher fuel costs.
  • I-710 freeway major corridor study - truck only lane to relieve congestion / improve safety. Need to reduce air pollution impact on local communities, minimize property takes, need community input & support.
  • Local cities may transfer a small amount of local Prop C money to GCCOG SR-91 / I-605 Needs Assessment Study

- Daniel

Green Line Extension to Metrolink Norwalk GCCOG January 5, 2005 presentation:
     1.2M PPS PowerPoint file format (Click here)
     1.6M htm Internet file format (Click here)