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Metro Green Line Consults Public Opinion On Project LAX

Letticia Lee |
March 7, 2012 | 10:34 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

 Letticia Lee)
Letticia Lee)
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority held a community workshop concerning the Metro Green Line to LAX-- the first potential direct transit connection to the airport-- Wednesday night at Union Station.

The transportation project is one of the many set in motion after Los Angeles county voters approved Measure R in November 2008, which called for budgets reserved for traffic relief and transportation upgrades.  The main focus of the project is to provide riders of the regional transit system with a connection to LAX. According to Metro, the new program would be reliable, fast and convenient for any traveler looking to dodge L.A. traffic.

Though the potential options for the Metro Green Line to LAX are important to consider, Project Director Roderick Diaz reminded members of the audience that the project would not be able to advance into other stages until funding is secured.

"We have $200 million of seed money," he said. "But most of the alternatives we look at today are more expensive than $200 million. So we need to find additional funding for that."

Currently, the project is in the initial phase of the project development process. During this alternative analysis stage, Metro representatives plan to conduct several community outreach programs that aim to gather what the general public envisions for transit to LAX. The community workshop held on Wednesday night was an example of one of these.

The meeting also gave members of the community the opportunity to share their opinions on a variety of alternatives. One idea attendees were asked to ponder was the type of connection between LAX and the Metro system. For example, should Metro go through the LAX terminal area or transfer its passengers to the airport circulator at an intermediate point. The mode of the connector was also considered. Should the passengers connect to the airport via Automated People Movers, Bus Rapid Transit or Light Rail Transit? Another idea discussed was the number of stations to be constructed along the Metro route.

After project overviews presented by the project director and manager, attendees rotated through breakout sessions to discuss the alternatives in question.

Local residents expressed their concerns about passenger convenience. Some of their comments related to the types of vehicles available for people with luggage, the walking distances between stations and terminal destinations, the impact of normal traffic and the reliability of travel time offered by the different options.

However, Metro representatives were hopeful that a preliminary alternative plan could be finalized and presented early next year.

Project Manager Cory Zelmer closed the meeting by sharing the next steps in the project development process.

"We intend to go to the Metro board in April to present results of the alternative analysis process as well as recommend two or three alternatives that we'll carry into the environmental process," he said. "The environmental process itself will start later this Spring and carry through early 2013... Then in early 2013, we'll develop what's called a locally preferred alternative for this project."



Reach staff reporter Letticia Lee here.



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