A bill to create a Green Line Construction Authority, with the sole purpose of connecting the MTA Green Line to Los Angeles International Airport, was introduced Friday, February 23, as AB 889 by Assemblymember Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) and state Senator Jenny Oropeza (D-Carson).
Currently, the Green Line stops one mile short of the airport, turns south and stops in Redondo Beach, causing some South Bay residents to call it the “Train to Nowhere.” “It’s time to fix this embarrassment,” Lieu said. “With the passage of the infrastructure bonds, there’s plenty of money available, if MTA will step up to the plate. We’re going to make sure they do that.”
AB 889 would create in state law a single-purpose Green Line Construction Authority, similar to an entity that was created for the Expo Line. The Authority would have its own executive board and would endeavor to bring together federal, state and local dollars to construct the Green Line. “Extending a key Los Angeles mass transit corridor to one of the nation’s busiest airports is a no-brainer,” said Oropeza, who chaired the Assembly Transportation Committee for two years and spent five years as a board member for the county’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Lieu and Oropeza are partnering on this bill with LA City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, who represents the airport and the surrounding areas. The three, along with Congresswoman Jane Harman and LA County Supervisor Don Knabe, have formed the “Green Line Coalition,” an organization of elected officials to promote what they call “the completion of the Line.”
At the local government level, Rosendahl introduced a motion February 21 in the Los Angeles City Council to begin study of how to create a coordinated Westside rail network by linking east-west mass transit lines. “When it comes to mass transit and fighting gridlock, we cannot think piecemeal,” Rosendahl said. “We need a coordinated, comprehensive long-range strategy.”
Rosendahl’s motion, which carries into effect an anti-gridlock plan he announced in December, allocates $200,000 in traffic fees paid on Westside development projects for a study of where and how to connect the eventual Purple Line subway to the sea (née Red Line), the Exposition Light Rail line, and the eventual Green Line extension into LAX. The connection could come in various forms, such as a north-south rail line, or in the form of merging the routes of two of the east-west lines.
Rosendahl’s motion was referred to the City’s Transportation Committee.