What’s Been Done & Can Be Done:
LA County Transit & Affordable Housing
Working for an expanded, efficient and clean transit system
Move LA initiated Measure R in 2008 at the crest of the Great Recession, and Measure M in 2016. Voters approved both with more than 67% of the vote to endow LA County transportation with over $120 billion for system enhancements and improvements over the next 40 years. When projects are complete LA County will have the world’s most modern transit system.
Clearly, the exceptional leadership of both Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Mayor Eric Garcetti was pivotal to the success of these measures. But it was in large part Move LA’s effort to build the coalition to support these measures that would give these exceptional leaders the confidence they needed to make these campaigns their priority. Mission accomplished.
Measures R and M have enabled LA Metro to expand a robust list of rail transit projects and accelerate their implementation as well as bus, bike and pedestrian projects.
Without these two measures, a lot of these projects would not have moved this far forward this fast. For example:
• Exposition Light Rail would have been built to Culver City, but would not have reached Santa Monica.
• The Wilshire Subway would have made some progress. But, thanks to Measures R and M, the “Subway To the Sea” will make it to La Cienega (2023), Century City (2025), UCLA and the Brentwood VA (2027) in time for the 2028 Olympics, with the
coast just 4 miles away.
• The Foothill Gold Line probably would not have reached Azusa yet. Now it may reach Pomona by 2025.
• The Crenshaw LRT would be just another great idea, but now it is heading toward completion in 2022.
• The Regional Connector would still be on the drawing board, but now completion is also expected in 2022.
Measures R and M will also ensure, though the dates are uncertain, the eventual completion of the following:
• The Green Line South and rail transit to LAX;
• The Metro Gold Line to Whittier and/or South El Monte;
• The West Santa Ana/Eco-Rapid Transit line, and the Sepulveda Pass project—whether monorail or subway;
• The Crenshaw North Extension to West Hollywood and Hollywood;
• Upgrades to bus service and the Blue Line and state of good repair improvements and other significant investments in bicycle and pedestrian projects all over LA County.
In fact, the system is growing so rapidly that Metro has begun renaming the lines with letters of the alphabet out of concern that they may run out of primary colors to name new lines.
• Much more is happening, including major initiatives to provide significantly improved transit services at reduced cost to students, seniors and community members who are disabled.
• Metro’s NextGen Bus Study promises to generate much more efficient and effective bus service throughout LA County, while planning for new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lines is also underway around the county.
Creating More Healthy, Equitable and Sustainable Communities
Working for Expanded Affordable Housing
• Measure H in 2017: Few know the pivotal role Move LA played in teeing up Measure H in 2017 with our marvelous Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. In the first year of Measure H more than 16,000 people who were homeless had been helped off the streets of LA County, and many more have been helped since.
• Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC): We played a significant role, working with ClimatePlan and Sustainable Communities for All, to convince the State of California to prioritize the investment of cap-and-trade dollars in affordable housing near transit and active transportation as a greenhouse gas reduction strategy. The AHSC program is now providing $400 million a year for affordable housing from California’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.
The important question for Move LA is what can we do now, together with allies and coalition partners, to help make progress on important issues related to clean transportation, affordable housing and smart land use over the next couple of years? Here are our priorities for the first decade.
Boulevards of Equity and Opportunity (BEO)
This program is essentially an affordable housing advocacy plan joined with the development of new Bus Rapid Transit or other more robust bus service strategies on commercial boulevards or in downtowns in LA County.
It brings together a plan for siting new housing near high-quality transit as well as proposals for new funding to make our affordable housing efforts real. Under the banner of this program
Move LA will champion:
• State legislation and local strategies to ensure that as a state, as a county and as a community we have created the funding programs and planning tools needed to implement a robust affordable housing program;
• Multiple Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems on boulevards around LA County;
• State and local legislation to enable a vigorous community development program of mixed-use, mixed-income, multifamily housing projects on commercially zoned property along LA County boulevards done without sacrificing existing neighborhoods or displacing current renters or longtime local businesses;
• Creation of bikeways parallel to transit along the length of such boulevards; and
• Ensuring robust investments in urban greening and first-last-mile bike and pedestrian access to transit.
By shifting the discussion to promoting mixed-use development on commercial boulevards or in downtowns, where development potential is greater and nearer to transit services, Move LA with our BEO program hopes to reshape the discussion about how to do housing development near transit in California without threatening R-1 neighborhoods and making the homeowner community hostile to transit.
NextGen Bus Program
Engagement with LA Metro to make sure the NextGen Bus Program—especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis—rebuilds our bus ridership and is smart, efficient, effective and equitable for low-income communities, seniors, people with disabilities, and students.
Vision 2022: Conquering Climate Change & Air Pollution
& Accelerating High Efficiency Transit
Move LA will use our coalition building experience, our understanding of the legislative process and ballot measure strategies to develop a statewide ballot measure to place before California voters in November of 2022. Our proposed measure will:
• Make dramatic reductions in both greenhouse gases and air pollution in California by accelerating the deployment of zero and near-zero emission light, medium and heavy-duty vehicles and equipment as well as the charging and fueling infrastructure to support these advanced technologies. Proposed first decade priorities:
° Moving heavy-duty trucks and equipment away from reliance upon diesel fuel—designated a toxic air contaminant by the State of California—to instead use battery electric, hydrogen fuel cell, or RNG near-zero emission technologies, and expand available infrastructure to support this goal.
° Implementation of programs to reduce and capture short-lived climate pollutants aka “super pollutants,” believed by scientists to be responsible for 40% of global warming. Because existing SLCPs will decay within 12-15 years or less, doing so presents our best and maybe only oppourtunity to actually roll back climate change.
• Make significant investments in zero-emission, high-velocity, express regional rail systems and county-based transit infrastructure and operations in urban and rural communities around California.