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Examining the L.A. Metro Rail: A Needs-based Transportation Analysis L.A. County Public Transportation Need Index

Introduction The planned expansion of the Los Angeles Metro Rail promises to provide Angelinos with access to an alternate form of public transportation. However, some critics of the L.A. Metro Rail believe that the expanding network will primarily serve tourist destinations and powerful economic hubs rather than supporting the residents most in need of access to public transportation. The goal of this research is to determine if the residents most in need of public transportation will benefit from the expansion of the L.A. Metro Rail.

Methodology

Public Transportation Need Index Score Descriptions

a c i n o ta M

San

Maximum Need No Access to a Personal Vehicle Use of Public Transportation to Work High Population Density

Household Income Below County Average

Moderate Need

L.A.X.

Low Need

Four variables from the 2010 American Community Survey were used to create a transportation needs index. Each varviable was weighed based upon its relevance for determining a community’s need for public transportation. The resulting scores helped identify the census tracts in L.A. County most in need of access to public transportation.

Minimal Need Sufficient Access to a Personal Vehicle No Use of Public Transportation to Work Low Population Density Household Income Above County Average

Existing Metro Lines Existing Metro Lines Proposed Metro Lines Maximum Need

Tracts with Maximum Need Crenshaw Corridor Buffers 10 Miles

0

Minimal Need

1. South L.A Study Area

Take Public Transportation to Work

No Access to a Personal Vehicle Less than 5%

Public Transportation Need Index Weighted Variables

South L.A. Study Area

Expo Line Extension Buffers

Low Need

Study Areas Comparative Analysis

The primary study area for this project consists of thirty census tracts in South L.A. The site was evaluated along with two neighborhoods near future rail line extensions (Expo Line & Crenshaw Corridor) in order to compare demographic information and selected variables.

Less than 3%

5% - 10%

4% - 6%

10% - 16%

7% - 9%

16% - 31%

10% - 14%

Residents Without Access to a Personal Vehicle 40%

Existing Stations Buffers

0

Transportation Analysis Quarter mile buffers were placed around existing and future rail stations to identify the primary areas serviced by the Los Angeles Metro Rail. This analysis reveals that the South L.A. study area will continue to be undeserved by the growing metro network even though it will soon be surrounded by rail lines on all sides.

Public Transportation Need Index Minimal Need Low Need

Conclusion

Moderate Need Maximum Need

nica

o M a t n Sa

3

2. Crenshaw Study Area

1

Extension to L.A.X. Population: 83,612 Median Income: $44,885

Residents Who Take Public Transportation to Work 30%

0

South L.A. 0

2 Miles

Median Household Income Compared to County Average

Population Density per square mile 3,000 - 13,500 people

Population Density 20% L.A.X.

0

2 Miles

2

3. Expo LineStudy Area Extension to Santa Monica Population: 57,336 Median Income: $67,601

Proposed Metro Lines

Moderate Need

Site Selection

No Planned Development Population: 125,436 Median Income: $28,581

Los Angeles Metro Service Areas Detail

Above County Average

13,501 - 20,000 people

75% - 100% of County Avg.

20,001 - 24,000 people

41% - 75% of County Avg.

24,001 - 38,300 people

31% - 41% of County Avg.

Median Household Income 10%

2 Miles

The South L.A. study area indicated the highest need for public transportation.

Center for the Study of Los Angeles Loyola Marymount University

0

2 Miles

0

This research concludes that the Los Angeles Metro Rail does not effectively connect the residents most in need of public transportation to the greater transit network. Although residents in South L.A. indicated a maximum need for public transportation they remain outside of a reasonable walking distance from any single station. This reveals that the Los Angeles Metro Rail will remain inaccessible to the entire South L.A. neighborhood except via multi-modal transit.

2 Miles

Frank Romo

2 Miles


Examining the L.A. Metro Rail: A Needs-Based Transportation Analysis