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LA Metro picks 28 transportation projects to finish for 2028 Olympics

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LA MTA

Los Angeles' transit agency will be busy moving millions of visitors during the 2028 Olympics and it has a list of the top 28 new transportation projects it needs to finish to do that.

The "28 by 28" plan calls for essential road and transit projects to be completed before the games.

More than half of the projects are already scheduled for completion using revenues from the Measure M sales tax increase approved by L.A. county voters last year.

Already lined up are the Crenshaw light rail to LAX, the Purple Line Wilshire subway to Westwood and the Regional Connector in downtown L.A.

Metro's plan also calls for accelerating eight other Measure M projects that otherwise wouldn't be finished until decades later. That includes a subway under the Sepulveda Pass, a light rail between Artesia and downtown L.A. and an expansion of freeway toll lanes.

The proposal even adds some new projects to Metro’s list, projects that don’t have established funding, like an on-demand vanpool system called Microtransit, and grade separation of the Blue Line at a busy downtown intersection to reduce time delays.

Accelerating the projects and adding new ones will cost money. Metro hopes to work with private companies to fill in the funding gaps, and has already reviewed proposals to do just that.

But the tax proposals under consideration by Congress could pose challenges to that approach. The plan approved by the U.S. House would do away with an important incentive for public-private projects.

There is also uncertainty over federal matching funds for the final section of the Purple Line subway. The current construction schedule depends on receiving those funds, which were promised during the Obama administration. But a spending bill passed by the House proposes to cut a grant program that funds the project. The Senate version keeps the funding in place.

Congress must pass a new spending bill before the current one expires Dec. 8 to keep the federal government running. Lawmakers could also adopt a short-term stop-gap spending measure.

The Metro board will vote on its final, prioritized list of 28 projects at its next meeting in January.

According to Metro's blog The Source, the projects include:

  • Seventeen road and transit projects already due to be completed by Metro by 2028. This includes three projects under construction — the Crenshaw/LAX Line, Regional Connector and Purple Line Extension of the subway to Westwood. Also on the list are three bus rapid transit (BRT) projects (Vermont Ave., NoHo to Pasadena, North San Fernando Valley), the Gold Line to Claremont, ExpressLanes on the 405 between the Westside and San Fernando Valley and BRT or light rail between Van Nuys and the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink station.
  • Eight projects that would be accelerated: ExpressLanes on the 105 freeway between the 405 and 605, the Sepulveda Transit Corridor between the Orange Line and Westside, the Green Line extension to Torrance, the entire light rail line between Artesia and Union Station and an Eastside Gold Line extension to South El Monte or Whittier.
  • A trio of other projects not funded by Measures R or M. This includes Blue Line improvements, ExpressLanes on the 10 between the 605 and the San Bernardino County line and Microtransit, which is due to be piloted soon.