Draft Details Announced for “28 by 28” Metro Projects for L.A. Olympics
Though L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a “28 by 28” initiative at the September Metro board meeting, no details of the initiative were revealed until yesterday’s board meeting.
28 by 28, or “Twenty-eight by ’28” as Metro is punctuates it in their staff report, is a push to complete 28 major Metro projects in time for the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Metro has been been careful to portray 28 by 28 as “aspirational” and not adversely impacting the existing project schedule approved by the electorate via Measure M. Approving the 28 by 28 list would be “highlighting – but not committing” projects for early completion.
Of the 28 projects listed, fully 17 are already scheduled to be completed by 2028. Several of these are under construction already.
Nine of the projects on the list (four transit, five highway) are funded under Measure M, but not scheduled for completion until after 2028. While the initiative has been portrayed as accelerating transit, as currently drafted, it actually accelerates more highway projects than transit ones.
Below is the full 28 by 28 list, sorted by mode (some of the mode choices are still being studied) then completion date, with accelerated projects in italics. See also Metro’s version of this list, which is sorted by anticipated completion date.
1. Crenshaw/LAX Line – South L.A. light rail line already under construction, due to open in 2019.
2. Regional Connector – Downtown L.A. light rail subway already under construction, due to open in 2021.
3. Airport Metro Connector Station – This “landmark” 96th Street light rail station will connect the Crenshaw light rail line with the airport peoplemover, as well as bus, bike, and drop-off facilities. It is funded and planned to be completed by 2023.
4. Purple Line Extension phase 1 – Heavy rail subway to Beverly Hills already under construction, due to open in 2023.
5. Foothill Gold Line Extension to Claremont/Montclair – San Gabriel Valley light rail, groundbreaking tomorrow, due to open in 2025.
6. Purple Line Extension phase 2 – Heavy rail subway to Century City, already under construction, due to open in 2025.
7. Purple Line Extension phase 3 – Heavy rail subway to Westwood, some early construction underway, scheduled to open 2026.
8. East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor – Expected to be surface light rail mainly on Van Nuys Blvd, anticipated to open in 2027.
9. South Bay Light Rail Extension – Light rail extending Green Line to Torrance, currently anticipated to open in 2030.
10. Blue Line Signal and Washington/Flower Junction Improvements – This project is neither funded nor scheduled.
11. Gold Line Eastside Extension to Whittier or South El Monte – Light rail extending the Eastside Gold Line, currently anticipated to open in 2035.
12. West Santa Ana Branch – Light rail from downtown L.A. to Artesia, currently slated for two phases, with the first opening in 2029 and the second in 2041
13. New Bus Rapid Transit Corridors phase 1 – BRT anticipated for 2022.
14. Orange and Red Lines to Gold Line Transit Connector – BRT planned to connect North Hollywood to Pasadena, due to open 2022.
15. North San Fernando Valley – Bus improvements scheduled for 2023.
16. Orange Line Travel Time and Safety Improvements – Elevated busway bridge and gated crossings, scheduled for 2025.
17. Vermont Transit Corridor – BRT planned for Vermont Avenue, expected to open in 2028.
18. Sepulveda Transit Corridor – Details unclear, but could be Freeway BRT as early phases of transit project connecting Valley to Westwood, scheduled for 2033.
19. I-5 North County Capacity Enhancements – Freeway widening currently under construction, due to be completed in 2023.
20. Sepulveda Pass ExpressLanes – Toll lanes on 405 Freeway, due in 2026.
21. I-105 ExpressLanes – Toll lanes on 105 Freeway, currently scheduled for 2029.
22. I-710 South Corridor Early Action – The overall project would widen the 710 Freeway, in a series of phases, with initial phase scheduled to be completed in 2032
23. I-10 ExpressLanes I-605 to San Bernardino Line – Toll lanes on the 605 Freeway, currently scheduled for 2030.
24. SR-57/60 Interchange Improvements – Freeway expansion currently scheduled for 2031 completion.
25. I-405 South Bay Curve Improvements – Freeway expansion currently scheduled for 2047 completion.
26. LA River Waterway & System Bike Path – Bike path gap closure through downtown L.A., scheduled for 2025.
27. LA River Bike Path and Mobility Hub – San Fernando Valley – Bike path extension, primarily through East Valley, scheduled for 2025.
28. MicroTransit – Implementation of Metro Office of Extraordinary Innovation microtransit pilot, expected in 2019.
This month, the board merely received an overview presentation on the 28 by 28 initiative. Much of the board and public discussion of the initiative focused on projects that did not appear on the list: Rail2River, Crenshaw rail north of Expo, Arts District station, and upgrades to shared Blue/Expo Pico Station and wye.
Discussion also alluded to the need for state and federal funds just to keep on current, much less accelerated, schedules. The near-term federal outlook does not look too promising, as the Trump administration has proposed diminished federal transit funding, and a Republican-majority congress is not likely to steer large amounts of funding to a Democrat-majority state. If anything can unlock this situation, the international spotlight of the Olympics just might.
The Metro board is expected to further discuss and vote on the 28 by 28 initiative in January 2018.