Purpose

To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at pdrouet@earthlink.net

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Comment of the Day: Doing the Math on Metro’s Turnstile Program 

http://la.streetsblog.org/2012/12/13/comment-of-the-day-doing-the-math-on-metros-turnstile-program/

by Streetsblog

 Streetsblog doesn’t usually do a “comment of the day” post, but Erik Griswold decided to put his excellent cost/benefit analysis of Metro’s turnstile program in a comment thread for a story published before Thanksgiving. We wanted to make sure everyone saw it.

Long time readers may remember that when Metro suggested adding turnstiles to stations in 2008, they originally said it would help prevent terrorist attacks. After that argument didn’t survive the laugh test, they changed tracks and argued that the agency was losing out on millions of dollars every year because of fare evaders. Thanks to an op/ed in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times, we have a good idea of what that cost actually is. Take it away Erik:

According to this story LA Metro really only expects to go from 5% fare evasion to 2% fare evasion.

From: http://www.metro.net/news/ride…

October 2012 Ridership on the Subway (Red/Purple Lines) was 4,353,213

Multiply by 12 gives us an estimated annual ridership of 52,238,556

Five percent of that ridership is 2,611,927

Two percent of that ridership is 1,044,770

So, with the turnstiles, 1,567,157 more fares will be collected each year.
(Because of course, none of the current fare-dodgers will  try to sneak onto a bus or just stop riding instead…)

Since we know that everyone who travels on LA Metro is required to pay the full fare…

The Grand TOTAL that will be collected each year after “latching” the turnstiles for (1,567,157 passengers at $1.50 each) is:

$2,350,735

Now, that is a lot of money, except if you take notice of how much this turnstile fetish has cost to implement.

Wasn’t it $46 million for the turnstiles alone?  More?  How long does it take for this to pay itself off? 25 years?  That’s about when these turnstiles will be ending their service life.  How much is it going to cost to upgrade them to NFC (which is already being installed in many cities right now)?  Plus the cameras, plus the speaker-boxes, and the new TVMs for Metrolink, and on, and on, and on.  And for what?

Can’t be security because pretty much anyone, nefarious or not, has 12-bits in their wallet.

Wait they don’t even need that:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…

There will still be over 1 million fare-dodgers on the Subway as admitted above.

 The Los Angeles Times Op/Ed Referred to Above:

Watch out MTA scofflaws, free rides are coming to an end

 http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-metro-rail-enforcement-20121210%2C0%2C5246325.story

 

Every time I see someone walk through the subway turnstiles to board a train without using a Transit Access Pass card, I shake my head.

“Not fair,” I think.

Why am I paying $1.50 every time I want to ride the subway or light-rail lines when clearly, I could be doing this for free and probably get away with it? A $250 ticket is a scary proposition, but on my weekend trips on the Purple and Blue lines, I have yet to see someone get caught for evading the fare. The threat of being caught seems less and less likely with every trip.

But change is on the way. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is going to start locking the turnstiles so you can’t walk through without paying.

The MTA has been operating on the honor system for passengers. Call me a cynic, but that’s like assuming that every car comes to a complete at a stop sign when no one’s looking. They don’t call it a “California roll” for nothing.

The Times reported in May that locked turnstiles were coming to the Purple and Red lines by December. That’s not the case just yet, but it will happen this month or next, said David Sutton, interim deputy executive officer for the TAP program.

Locked turnstiles come with numerous benefits. Sutton said the subways and trains will be safer; though there are fewer passengers, there is increased revenue for the county, which theoretically means better service; and it gives the MTA a better picture of how many people use the system, when they use it and where they’re going.

It’s all part of the service’s evolution. The Los Angeles public transportation system is growing up. It’s moved away from paper tickets and into the electronic age. A greater understanding of how Angelenos use the system can lead to better service.

Some changes are already being considered, Sutton said. The MTA is exploring charging passengers on a distance-based system, similar to Bay Area Rapid Transit in Northern California, where you are charged based on where you get on and where you get off. Another way is to charge based on the window of time a rider might use the system in a given day.

After the MTA gets more data from the Purple and Red lines, it could consider locking gates on the rest of the system, Sutton said.

There will always be some holes, though. At the transfer station at 7th Street and Metro Center, passengers are supposed to pay when they switch lines. But the TAP card validators are so discreetly placed that not many people use them. Transfers there could eventually be free, Sutton said.

Authorities estimate that more than 5% of riders are evading fairs. Transit service bureau Cmdr. Patrick Jordan said deputies have issued more than 28,000 tickets for skipping fares on the Blue Line through October. With fines up to $250, that’s up $7 million off one line alone.

The fines weren’t an incentive to allow people to break the rules and catch them afterward, officials said. The honor system was simply a product of relying on paper tickets. Sheriff’s deputies are just doing their jobs.

“We’re socializing 1.5 million people to use rail,” Jordan said. “In New York and Boston, they grew up using rail. We’re retraining a whole population that’s still relatively new to them.”

Studies in Europe and New York showed that subways with tightly regulated entrances brought fare evasion down to 1% or 2%, Jordan said.

If the trade-off for better accountability is fewer scofflaws, increased revenue and hopefully, expanded service, count me in. It’s time to take the training wheels off for Angelenos.

 

 

NACTO 2012: Leading City DOT Commissioners Talk Transportation Politics

The panel, captured in its entirety by Streetfilms, featured NYC DOT’s Janette Sadik-Khan, Chicago DOT chief Gabe Klein, San Francisco MTA director Ed Reiskin, Boston transportation commissioner Tom Tinlin, and Philadelphia deputy mayor of transportation Rina Cutler.

To get things rolling, here’s Hayes, a lifelong New Yorker and self-described bike-riding partisan:
At the most micro level, transportation is incredibly political … But at a broader level it’s completely absent from our national political conversation. And this is bizarre.
Select highlights from the 53-minute panel after the jump.

  • 09:00 – Reiskin: We need to make public transit accessible, reliable and enjoyable
  • 11:30 – Klein talks about young people and transportation’s vitality to a city
  • 15:14 – Cutler: “Money matters.”
  • 17:23 – Tinlin: “Mayor Menino has said, ‘The car is no longer king in Boston.’”
  • 23:50 – Klein talks gas prices in Netherlands vs. U.S. and transportation infrastructure
  • 31:03 – Sadik-Khan: We need to find partners in creating public spaces in NYC
  • 33:30 – Hayes refers to cars as “speeding machines of death”
  • 36:56 – Sadik-Khan: “Two-thirds of New Yorkers get around without a car, less than half own a car.”
  • 48:21 – Hayes asks the panel about public criticism from the media and advice for future commissioners

REALTORS® Join Fight Against 710 Tunnel

 http://srnapasadena.org/stop-710/realtors-join-fight-against-710-tunnel/

 

The Pasadena-Foothills Association of REALTORS® has joined the fight against the proposed 710 tunnel now under environmental review. Citing major concerns with impacts on residential neighborhoods from increased air and noise pollution as well as untenable cost estimates, the Board of Directors voted to add its voice to the hundreds of residents and community leaders who oppose the tunnel.
“Our members represent homeowners in Pasadena, Altadena, South Pasadena and La Canada Flintridge who will see a huge detrimental impact on their property values should the tunnel be approved,” said Association President Ruth McNevin. “We join with so many others to ask METRO to drop the F7 tunnel from further consideration and concentrate on more worthy transportation alternatives with less adverse environmental impacts and more cost effectiveness”.


State Senator Carol Lui's Letter to Art Leahy, LACMTA CEO, and Malcolm Dougherty, Caltrans Director

December 10, 2012

Arthur T. Leahy, LACMTA CEO
One Gateway Plaza
Mail Stop: 99-25-1
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Malcolm Dougherty, Caltrans Director
1120 N Street MS 49
Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear Sirs:

As you know, we have diligently been following, participating in, and seeking to understand the SR-
710 DEIR/EIS study process. Our common positions are opposition to the proposed F7 tunnel
alternative, which we believe is too costly, infeasible, and will exacerbate - not relieve - regional
traffic congestion; and accelerating the sale of properties SR-710 Study Area long held by Caltrans.

Over the course of several meetings with various State and MTA officials and MTA Board Members,
some questions we have about the SR-710 study process have been answered but new ones have
arisen. We ask you to bring clarity to the issues so that the cloud of uncertainty can be raised from
what is intended to be a transparent process.

In general, we are confused by the division of authority and responsibility between Caltrans and
MTA and would appreciate receiving a copy of the MOU that sets forth this agreement. Our specific
questions are:

1. What are the process and the point in DEIR/EIS by which Caltrans will determine whether
MTA has appropriately selected viable alternatives to be examined in the DEIR/EIS? When
will the MTA Board approve the decision to reduce the alternatives from 12 to five? Who in
Caltrans will make, and what criteria will be applied to, that decision?

2. Caltrans and MTA appear to disagree, by virtue of MTA’s sponsorship of SB 204 (Liu)
expediting their 12-10-12 Leahy Dougherty letter

3. The process by which the state can declare properties surplus must be well documented as set
forth in CHAPTER 26 – Disposal of Rights of Way for Public or Private Road Connections
and involves compliance with terms and conditions established by the California
Transportation Commission. What is the process by which such a determination can be
reversed as we are told has been done with respect to properties in South Pasadena that were
declared excess in 1997.

We sincerely appreciate all the information you can provide to clarify these issues and processes. If
you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact Suzanne Reed, Chief of Staff
to Senator Carol Liu at 916-651-4025.

Sincerely,

 CAROL LIU                                                                                              BILL BOGARD
California State Senator                                                                              Mayor
25th District                                                                                                City of Pasadena

MICHAEL CACCIOTTI                                                                           STEVEN DEL GUERCIO
Mayor                                                                                                         Mayor
South Pasadena                                                                                          City of La Cañada Flintridge

ARA NAJARIAN                                                                                      FRANK QUINTERO
Council Member, City of Glendale                                                            Mayor
Board Member                                                                                           City of Glendale
LACMTA



cc: Brian Kelly, Acting Secretary, Department of Business, Transportation and Housing



Light rail plan for Los Angeles International Airport advances

Airport agency and Metro, formerly with competing visions, get together on four possible light rail station sites at LAX. 

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-light-rail-20121218,0,7377861.story

 

Plans to build a light rail connection to Los Angeles International Airport advanced Monday with the unveiling of four potential station sites that would link to a people mover serving passenger terminals.

After years of pursuing separate transportation plans for LAX, Los Angeles World Airports and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority now are working together to develop options for a rail stop that could tie the Green Line and the planned Crenshaw Line to the nation's third-busiest airport.

"Our work over the past six months has brought us light-years from where we were before," said Paul Taylor, Metro's deputy chief executive, who noted that environmental clearances must be completed and funding secured before construction of an LAX station could begin.

The most expensive options are two underground station designs inside the central terminal area, west of Sepulveda Boulevard.

Another proposal calls for a station to be incorporated into a planned transportation center adjacent to Parking Lot C, near the northeast edge of the airport. The facility would serve light rail trains, buses, taxis, ride-share vans and charter vehicles.

The fourth possibility is to put a station about a mile east of LAX at Aviation and Century boulevards at Manchester Square, where a consolidated car rental facility and additional airport parking are planned.

Wherever the station is located, it is expected to connect to an automated people mover that would ferry passengers to and from airline terminals.

Travelers using rail transit can get near the airport area on the Green Line. But they must get off some distance away at Aviation and Imperial Highway and board a shuttle bus to LAX.

Metro's share of the project cost ranges from $1 billion to $1.5 billion, depending on the option chosen, Taylor said. Airport officials do not yet have estimates of their share of the costs. If funding is secured, an LAX light rail station could be completed by 2020.

Los Angeles County Supervisor and Metro board member Mark Ridley-Thomas, who has pushed for the Crenshaw Line, praised the effort and warned against repeating the mistake of stopping rail service short of the airport.

"It's vital we move swiftly," Ridley-Thomas said. "The Crenshaw Line is scheduled to open in 2019, and we need to be well on our way to ensure the airport connection is not further delayed."

(I was at LAX yesterday morning and saw the changes to both the International Terminal and the Domestic Terminals, though I saw the changes from the window of the Super Shuttle as it made its way around the airport two times to look for more passengers [I flew Southwest and it is still at its old place]. The changes at LAX are dramatic. I think the old International Terminal, the Tom Bradley Terminal, is now a domestic terminal.  There is also a new overhang that appears to connect many of the old terminals. I flew from the International Terminal this last September [only 3 months ago] with Lufthansa. If I were flying again with them, I would be going to a different place to check in from where I did then.)

Build Now, Pay Later: Gold Line Construction Needs Private Companies

 la.curbed.com/tags/publicprivate-partnerships

 2010_08_foothill.jpg

 The contract to build the Gold Line Foothill Extension's $18 million basket bridge over the 210 has already been awarded, and now the light-rail's construction authority has opening bidding for the entire 11.5 mile first phase of the extension--from Sierra Madre to Azusa. The Pasadena Star-News reports that the Construction Authority wants the winning contractor to design, build and finance the project, which comes in at about $450 million.

Metro, which will operate the line, will repay the contractor, plus interest, when the money from the Measure R taxes roll in. With the current Measure R funding stream, the line wouldn't be able to open until 2017--the transit agency says they can build the line in four years, and thus want it opened in 2013 or '14. Even with the interest, getting a company to pay for the line upfront will save Metro tens of millions: "This may cost $30 million or $50 million to finance, (but) it may cost $80 million or $100 million if we built it more slowly, Habib Balian, CEO of the Gold Line Foothill Construction Authority told PSN. Having 4 million less car rides each year (between 2014 and 2017) is "probably more valuable than the money," he added.

Another reason for building as quickly as possible is that contractors are starving for jobs--the bid for constructing the basket bridge, awarded to a company called Skanska, came in well below the projected $24 million price tag. Yikes. Skanska executive Mike Aparicio said "there are many potential public-private projects throughout California being talked about - but the Foothill Extension is one of the first that has matured to procurement" and could serve as a model for more.



 
 

Toll Lanes Could Help Fund the 405 Transit Corridor Project

 http://la.curbed.com/archives/2012/12/toll_lanes_could_help_fund_the_405_transit_corridor_project.php#more

 

 Screen%20shot%202012-12-17%20at%203.19.53%20PM.png As far as Metro's big transit projects (e.g., the Westside subway extension, the rail connection to LAX), the most far-off is the Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor project, which would connect the Valley to the Westside, roughly along the 405. Measure R, the 2008 tax initiative that provides billions for transit and freeway projects, only has $1 billion allocated for the still-mysterious project, which could take the form of anything from a bus lane to a light rail connecting to the Expo Line. That latter iteration would be very expensive--about $5 billion--and take years to complete, especially if only county, state, and federal funds are used (there's also talk of building a mega-billion dollar super tunnel for trains and cars). Metro is pushing for the 405 project to be a public/private partnership and the agency's board approved a motion on Thursday to study how to make that happen. "One option for the project is to use toll lanes to fund a rail tunnel under the pass," The Source reports.

The other project that could work as a PPP:
County Supervisor Don Knabe also passed an amendment to study the Airport Connector, which will connect the Crenshaw Line to LAX terminals, as a possible PPP. For the uninitiated, a public/private partnership usually involves a private company helping to build a public amenity (like a rail line), in exchange for a cut of the profit (toll lanes or transit fare).
 

Caution: Slow Down

Some Pasadena council members say freeway tunnel opposition vote should go back to the (rest of head not printed)

 http://www.pasadenaweekly.com/cms/story/detail/caution_slow_down/11725/

By André Coleman 12/13/2012 


Though many political observers believed most members would be against the idea, the Pasadena City Council Monday slammed the brakes on formally opposing plans to build a tunnel to connect the Long Beach (710) and Foothill (210) freeways.
 
The council did vote 4-3 against plans to construct a 4.5-mile-long tunnel from where the 710 ends at Valley Boulevard in Alhambra to the northern end of the Huntington Hospital property line at Pasadena Avenue in West Pasadena. But a total of five votes were needed for approval of the resolution. In 2001 voters approved Measure A, which supports the idea of connecting the two freeways, approval came before a tunnel was being considered and officials were looking at building an overland route.
 
After the vote, the council then voted 7-0, with former Councilman Chris Holden no longer on the council and serving in the state Assembly, to send a strongly worded letter to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Board of Directors promising strong opposition to the tunnel proposal if it were to be used by big-rig trucks, or if the tunnel itself was deemed a safety or environmental hazard.
 
Bill Urban, president of the West Pasadena Residents’ Association, which opposes the tunnel, took the vote in stride, saying he understood the measured response.
 
“We do feel we need to do more educating and finding out about it ourselves before it comes up again next year,” Urban said. “Then, when it does come up again, they will see why it is a bad idea. We respect and understand the handcuffs our city has on it because of Measure A.” 
 
Supporting the resolution Monday were Mayor Bill Bogaard and Council members Victor Gordo, Gene Masuda and Steve Madison, whose district includes West Pasadena. Madison introduced the resolution. 
 
Opposed were Council members Margaret McAustin, Terry Tornek and Jacque Robinson, who said they believed the city legally could not oppose the extension due to provisions of Measure A.
 
“Personally, I believe there is no way to mitigate the many harmful impacts a tunnel would bring, trucks or no trucks,” Robinson told the Weekly. “However, I do believe we are legally constrained against taking a firm position as a city council unless we go back to a vote of the people. In the meantime, I hope Metro hears loud and clear that Pasadena will not stand in support of anything that will harm the health of our residents or the quality of our neighborhoods.” 
 
Plans to extend the freeway date back to the 1950s, when Caltrans used eminent domain to seize and purchase more than 500 homes in Pasadena, South Pasadena and El Sereno in order to build a surface route connecting the two freeways.
 
The overland route has long been shelved due to a lack of federal funding. Four years ago, county transit planners came up with the idea of building two giant tunnels to connect the two freeways.

City Officially Unveils “Continental Crosswalk,” Promises 50 More in Next Three Months

 http://la.streetsblog.org/

 

by Damien Newton

 

 

 

 Birds eye view of the Continental Crosswalk at 5th and Spring in Downtown Los Angeles

 

 The world's most famous continental crosswalk.

 No pedestrian left behind?

At a just concluded press conference at the newly installed continental crosswalk, commonly known as a zebra crosswalk, at 5th and Spring in Downtown Los Angeles, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced a new program to replace traditional pedestrian crossings with the more visible crosswalk pictured above.

 Continental crosswalks feature two-foot wide yellow or white painted stripes paired with a limit (stop) line setback from the crosswalk to reduce vehicular encroachment into the crosswalk. The crosswalks alert motorists that they are approaching a pedestrian zone and are widely considered more safe than pedestrian crossings marked by two thin lines connecting two corners of an intersection.

“Los Angeles is in the midst of a transportation renaissance,” said Villaraigosa. “We are doubling the size of our rail network, making improvements to traffic flow and adding new bikeways. But we need to ensure that no one gets left behind. This focus on pedestrian safety is part of our efforts to create a 21st century transportation network that works for everyone.”

The new design is not just for new crosswalks or high-traffic intersections. Villaraigosa wants to see every crosswalk in the city replaced, but for now announced a plan to replace 53 crosswalks by the end of March. The replacement areas were selected based on traffic safety, with the fifty most dangerous intersections getting priority. The other three high-danger crossings are in Council

Districts that are fortunate enough to have no crossings on the “top fifty” list.
You can see a list of the crosswalks scheduled for improvement, at this document provided by LADOT.

Najarian Metro Board Seat in Danger Over Opposition to 710 Big Dig 

 http://la.streetsblog.org/2012/12/10/najarian-metro-board-seat-in-danger-over-opposition-to-710-big-dig/

(The original version of the story stated that the League of Cities selects the Metro Board Members. Dana Gabbard points out it is actually The City Selection Committee. The CSC is not a subsidiary of the League of California Cities, Los Angeles Division. Its authority is Sections 50270 through 50281 of the Government Code, and it is administered by Los Angeles County.)
Metro Board Member Ara Najarian’s seat at the table of the Metro Board of Directors is in danger because of his staunch opposition to the I-710 Big Dig project that would tunnel under San Gabriel Valley cities to connect the I-710 and I-210.




 


Najarian, a Glendale City Council Member, serves on the Board as a representative of 12 “North County” cities including Glendale, Burbank, La Canada, San Fernando, Malibu, Calabasas, Agoura Hills, Hidden Hills, Santa Clarita, Lancaster, and Palmdale. While these cities still support Najarian’s re-nomination as a Board Member, the Board Members are officially selected by The City Selection Committee (CSC). A CSC committee rejected his nomination, last week, with members specifically citing his opposition to a project that is nationally ridiculed by environmentalists and abhorred by the communities it would negatively impact.

“As a resident of one of the North County Cities, La Canada, that unanimously supported Ara as its representative on the Metro Board, I and many others are outraged that our cities’ selection for this position is being undermined,” writes Jan SooHoo, a leading member of the No 710 Coalition.

Spearheading the effort to oust Najarian is Alhambra Mayor Barbara Messina and Duarte City Council Member, and Metro Board Member John Fasana. Alhambra is not one of the cities that Najarian represents. Neither is Duarte.  For their parts, Fasana and Messina make no bones that it is Najarian’s spirited opposition to the tunnel that brings out their opposition. From the Pasadena Star-News:
“His continuing opposition to the 710 freeway process, to allowing it to move forward even in terms of the environmental review is really a problem in terms of San Gabriel Valley cities,” Fasana said. “The 710 has long been and remains to be a strong priority of the San Gabriel Valley cities and I think it was just felt that the continued opposition was putting the project at risk.”
Alhambra Mayor Barbara Messina agreed that Najarian’s stance and tactics on the long fought-over freeway are “not right,” and that he should no longer be on the Metro board.
In essence, both Fasana and Messina are complaining that Najarian is representing the wishes of his constituency too well and are doing their best to blunt that advocacy. Being on the Metro Board of Directors is not for the faint of heart.

For Najarian’s part, he is not done fighting. His appointment officially ends in January, but he would not formally be replaced until after a replacement is found and approved. In a statement released by the City of Glendale, he vowed to fight to overturn the committee’s political decision by being re-nominated by his caucus and taking the fight back to the next meeting of the CSC.
At the last meeting, Najarian netted a vote of the majority of members, but he need a vote of members representing a majority of the member cities.



5 thoughts on “Other actions taken Thursday by the Metro Board” 

 http://thesource.metro.net/2012/12/14/other-actions-taken-today-by-the-metro-board/

 AD on said:

The Sepulveda Pass PPP rail option says “P3 sets tolls at proportionate cost to highway tolls.” If that means that Sepulveda Pass transit riders will be paying more then what every other line charges, then lets hope that that option is not used; it would be an expanded exploitation of the people who live north of the basin.
My opinion is that LACMTA should impalement toll roads on the 405 to help cover the cost of the initial segment of the HRT tunnel. That initial rail segment will miss its chance to be a real ‘game changer’ just as the red line stopping in North Hollywood failed to be a driving alternative to most people commuting into Downtown. But just like the red line, it is a start and we can expand it as funds become available. It could one day be the invaluable transportation backbone of West Los Angeles.
The last thing we need is to build another a bus lane that will eliminate all hope of having a driving alternative. The Orange Bus has taught us that buses cannot meet the demand of a 2 million person community, with hundreds of thousands of those people commuting through bottlenecks each day/

 Steven White (@StevenMWhite) on said:
I was going to comment and say “$6.8 million is way too much for pedestrian swing gates…” but then I skimmed the report and saw that it’s actually including: “Items under consideration as part of this scope of work include painting, refinishing platform surfaces, installing enhanced lighting, improved signage, closed circuit television cameras, platform canopies, and a variable messaging system.”

 in the valley on said:
Appears that the Katz motion supports a proposal to begin a Big Dig style highway Toll Road Tunnel from Roscoe Blvd and the 405 freeway into West LA.
If there was a rail component it would start at the Van Nuys Metrolink station. Also, if there is rail, it would not connect to either the Orange line or the potential East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor.
Another option in Metro’s November report is that the 405 freeway be expanded at Victory Blvd, a tunnel built to connect the freeway to the Big Dig Tunnel and then it could be connected to the Orange line so that the buses could run with traffic through the tunnel.
Here is the report:
http://www.metro.net/board/Items/2012/11_November/20121114P&PItem21.pdf
Concept 4 Tolled Highway Tunnel with BRT is projected to cost 10 Billion Dollars for Sepulveda Pass only (10 miles) and up to 13 Billion Dollars for a full corridor (28 miles). Concept 6 Combined Highway and Rail Tunnels with Demand Pricing is estimated between 20 Billion Dollars (10 miles) or between 30-38 Billion Dollars (21 miles).
A SIMPLE subway tunnel linking LA through the mountain would be faster, cheaper and more environmentally friendly.
Page ES-18 of the report states that LRT would have over 90,000 boardings a day.
Page ES-26 (concept 5) has the cost of the LRT Sepulveda Pass rail tunnel at 5 Billion dollars and running 10 miles or 7-8 Billion for a 28 mile corridor. If this was combined with the ESFTC this number should be reduced because the amount of tunneling would decline.
This is a mess. We have seen the fiasco that is the 710 Freeway extension. The LA Times reports this week that the State of California has doubts about the financial survivability of the Orange County toll roads (no mention of that on the Source).
And now a proposal to do a huge tunnel through the San Fernando Valley. We don’t need more freeways. How does a project cost 20 Billion Dollars for 10 miles of work but cost 30-38 Billion Dollars for 21 miles of work??
Taxpayers are ultimately going to be responsible for any toll roads and the fares on this will not be cheap. Traffic is going to continue to stay on the “Old 405″.
A simple subway tunnel is all that is needed. Engineers are told to remember the KISS principle but it seems the Metro planners didn’t get the message. Metro and Mr. Katz should read this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KISS_principle

(From Wikipedia:
KISS is an acronym for the design principle articulated by Kelly Johnson, Keep it simple, stupid!.The KISS principle states that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complex, therefore simplicity should be a key goal in design and unnecessary complexity should be avoided. Variations on the phrase include "keep it stupid simple", "keep it short and simple", "keep it simple sir", "keep it super simple", "keep it simple or be stupid", "keep it simple and stupid", "keep it simple and straightforward" and "keep it simple and sincere.")

AD on said:
@in the Valley
A big cost for construction is “mobilization” or setting-up. That is why construction cost are front loaded. It’s like pharmaceuticals, each pill cost pennies to make, but the first pill cost millions to develop.
The one thing to consider is that car tunnels can come with heavy tolls. Imagine having 8 toll lanes: 4 each way with half them in the tunnel. With the 405 being the 3rd worst commute in America, there will be a lot of people willing to pay a lot of money to use those extra lanes. That is also why they can consider charging more for a train ride on this line then every other line.
Hopefully people don’t allow the exploitation to happen. But if the Lankershim bridge idea and the bus picture on the Metro website are any indication of the future, the Valley will continue to receive pennies in services for every dollar they give to Metro.

 Warren on said:
I think we would get more bang for our bucks with a light rail going north and south on the West side and into the valley. I believe the light rail terminus in the valley would be in Sylmar and at LAX in the city.