November 4, 2004
The Transit Coalition

SBCCOG Presentation

Regional Rail – The Missing Link – Presentation by members of the Transit Coalition on use of the Harbor Subdivision to connect the South Bay to the Southern California rail network- Andrew Shaddock of the Transit Coalition gave a PowerPoint Presentation on their vision of regional transportation in the South Bay. He stated that the Green Line currently has no useful connections except as a feeder to the Blue Line. In addition, there are no real regional transit options in the South Bay. He stated that a regional rail program using unutilized infrastructure (specifically the Harbor Subdivision) is the “missing link”. He envisions regional rail having direct connections to Downtown LA and the San Fernando Valley. He discussed potential stations as including the LAX Intermodal Transportation Center, Inglewood’s downtown, and possibly the Long Beach Blue Line. He gave an overview of the future if this idea is not implemented, stating that the South Bay will continue to see additional congestion along with increased energy prices. He stated that the overall goal of the vision is to get this idea into the MTA Strategic Planning Process, and that they are meeting with a Board member tomorrow.

Comments from the Working Group

Margaret Hudson clarified that the Harbor Subdivision is the same as the BNSF track that is currently being unused in the Slauson corridor.

Don Szerlip stated that without including connections to local transit and obvious South Bay destinations, such as the Galleria, in their plan, it would be hard for him to get political buy in the South Bay. Ken Alpern stated that they have previously indicated that they want South Bay connections.

John McTaggart stated that the biggest obstacle to getting things done in the South Bay is the parochialism that destroys the process. Bart stated that he has to meet with a County Supervisor if he wants to get the plan onto MTA’s strategic plan.

Howard Sachar stated that politically, their approach is difficult. It would be difficult to get this through the MTA due to the lack of a political “champion” for such a project. In addition, he thinks tying in with Metrolink is a mistake.

Martin stated that he thought the presentation and the focus of using un-utilized infrastructure was a good idea. He suggested that such a proposal needs to include more detail, such as cost, funding sources, and ridership, if they are going to take it to either the MTA or SCAG.

Don Szerlip stated that he would be glad to champion such a project to the TCC if it was an acceptable proposal, and had the proper amount of information in it. He reiterated his concern that the presentation lacked the necessary details in its current form.

Terisa Price stated that the majority of SB residents go either to the Westside or Harbor Gateway, and if they want buy in, they need to focus on destinations the residents are interested in. In addition to the other concerns, the political climate has changed, to bring people and jobs together, vs. trying to figure out how to get people to their jobs. At this time, most politicians are abandoning the rail idea, and focusing on Livable Communities. She suggested they focus on that, and due to cutbacks, include details re: funding and cost.

Bart thanked them for their comments and explained the rationale behind the presentation, and that it is in the beginning stages. He stated his concern with MagLev, and he wants to continue to work with local cities and policymakers to address problems, and then get it to the MTA.

Terisa stated that Beach Cities Transit will be connecting to the Green Line.