Issuu on Google+

January 17, 2013 Local News & Culture. Marina del Rey Westchester Free S a n ta M o n i c a P l aya d e l R e y P l aya V i s t a M a r V i s ta Del Rey VenicE Funding for airport Metro station is next hurdle for light rail supporters By Gary Walker Advocates of masstransit were enthusiastic to learn that the top official of Los Angeles World Airports is in favor of creating a network where a light rail train can enter Los Angeles International Airport. Now comes that difficult part of the equation: paying for the proposal. LAWA Executive Director Gina Marie Lindsey signaled her support for a light rail station in December during an interview with The Argonaut and airport authorities have also identified property within LAX that they think would be a good location for a Metro station. But funding for an airport stop will be perhaps the single biggest challenge for supporters of having a station on LAWA grounds. Mar Vista resident Ken Alpern thinks a missed opportunity for helping to defray the cost of a light rail connection to LAX occurred Nov. 6 when a ballot measure that could have created revenue for the project lost by 1 percent. Measure J was a ballot measure designed to extend an earlier transportation tax, Measure R, passed in 2008. The ballot initiative would have extended Measure R another 30 years through a halfcent sales tax and paid for existing transportation projects, including light rail initiatives like the Expo Line, the Crenshaw/LAX Line and the Green Line, all of which reach or are slated to reach the Westside. “It’s very unfortunate that the recently proposed Measure J did not pass by such a small margin, because it would have been a perfect source of funding for this worthy project,” Alpern, who is a member of the Mar Vista Community Council, lamented. The sales tax measure garnered 65 percent of the vote and a two-thirds threshold was required for passage. There is $200 million for Metro’s Rendering courtesy of Los Angeles World Airports Metro’s Next Stop…LAX? Discussions on how to bring mass transportation to Los Angeles International Airport are heating up a week before the Metro Board of Directors meeting on Jan. 24. Long Range Transportation Plan from Measure R. The current plan is to have the light rail system built by 2028, but ac- Another question is the Federal Aviation Administration’s position on a Crenshaw/LAX Corridor extension into the “This is probably one of the most important things that we can do as far as having a mass transit system that is truly a regional connector. There are a lot of people who have an interest in seeing that happen.” — Don Knabe, Los Angeles County Fourth District Supervisor cording to Metro authorities, that is contingent on a financial contribution by LAWA. airport. Representatives of the federal agency say they will carefully examine any plan that LAX officials present them. To date, they say they have not been apprised on any plans to bring light rail into LAX. “LAWA is considering how best to accommodate rail service into LAX. LAWA has not made a decision and has not presented the FAA with any plan,” said Ian Gregor, an FAA spokesman. “If and when they do, the FAA will thoroughly review that plan to ensure it is compatible with safe aircraft operations.” David Ewing, a co-chair of the Los Angeles Council District 11 Transportation Committee, thinks LAWA should also offer to offset the cost of a new station at LAX. “It certainly would be to their benefit,” he said. Los Angeles County Fourth District Supervisor Don Knabe suggested that one way to get additional funding for an airport connection is by leveraging relationships in the public and private sectors. (Continued on page 8)

The Argonaut Newspaper

Related publications