Nick Andert’s Latest Video Predicts Funding and Scheduling For Metro Transit Build-Out
Transit watcher Nick Andert has a new video out today. Its the third and final in the current series, following on earlier features about Metro’s transit build-out and Metro proposals for the Sepulveda Transit Corridor. The new video focuses on what Metro transit projects appear most likely to receive federal and/or state monies, and how the funding picture is likely to impact the schedule for building-out the system. The video mostly focused on more expensive rail projects, but also notes schedule for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) projects.
In his usual wonky yet fast-moving and entertaining style, Andert breaks down possible state and federal monies. California has a $75+ million surplus, with some funding expected to be programmed to L.A. transit. The just-Senate-approved, but still being reconciled, federal infrastructure bill also has significant transit and intercity rail funding. Various Metro transit projects are eligible for various pots of money.
Note that, as Andert points out, to be eligible for federal monies, projects need federal environmental clearance (under ‘NEPA’ – the National Environmental Protection Act.) Some transit projects, intended to be paid for using just local and state dollars, have saved time and money by omitting NEPA reviews, but now have essentially no chance for federal funding. These projects – which include the Foothill Gold Line extension to Montclair, the C (Green) Line extension to Torrance, and Eastside Gold Line extension – would likely need to be focus on state funding to make up for shortfalls beyond voter-approved Measure M and R budget amounts.
Yes, even summarizing Andert’s points gets wonky.
The bottom line is that Andert anticipates that the projects most likely to receive funding in the near term include: West Santa Ana Branch rail (phase 1), Sepulveda Transit (phase 1), Inglewood People Mover, Amtrak Surfliner electrification (from San Luis Obispo to L.A. to San Diego) and straightening/tunneling (in/near San Diego), and California high-speed rail in the Central Valley. Also fairly likely would be: the Centinela Grade Separation on the Crenshaw Line, the Gold Line extension to Montclair, and LINK Union Station run-through tracks (phase B).