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Legislators Pushing for Green Line Extension to LAX

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Tired of waiting for Metro to get serious about building an extension of the Green Line to LAX, a group of Westside politicians is looking to take the decision making authority on the extension out of Metro’s hands.

Their efforts took a big step forward late Tuesday night when the California State Senate heard and moved S. 1722 out of committee.  The legislation still has to be approved by committee in the Assembly in addition to passage by the full Senate.  S. 1772 is legislation that would create an independent authority, similar to the Expo Authority, charged with connecting the Green Line to the region’s largest airport.

Similar legislation died in the Assembly last year when Metro lobbied against the legislation, arguing that there isn’t enough money to build all of the projects people want and that Metro has its own system to rank projects. A Metro spokesperson tells the Torrance Daily Breeze that the Metro staff is recommending that the Metro Board oppose the legislation.

While State Senator Jenny Oropeza is the one sponsoring and promoting the bill in Sacramento, Westside Councilman Bill Rosendahl was in Washington, D.C. asking for a change to the law that would allow LAX to spend some of its own money on building the extension. Rosendahl hinted that the agency might be considering adding an additional parking fee to pay for the construction and doesn’t see the Green Line extension as an obstacle to Metro receiving the funds it needs. He tells the Daily Breeze:

"I don't want to, in any way, slow down anybody else's project," Rosendahl said. "The MTA has a very small pie, and people fight over the crumbs of the MTA. What we really need to do is grow the pie."

This is the second time this month that Rosendahl has suggested that the region isn’t getting maximum value out of its publicly owned parking. Even if you’re not interested in adding more transit options to LAX, if LAX does use parking proceeds to help fund an extension, it could make it easier for the city to move forward with much needed parking reforms.

Photo: Photo Avatar/Flickr

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