Over the past 25 years, Los Angeles has experienced a transit revolution. In 1990 we had no subway or light rail tracks. Now, we have 87 miles with 80 stations throughout LA County, including a bustling regional bus and rail hub in North Hollywood. We have more than 2,000 buses on our streets, including the Valley's own Orange Line, a dedicated bus rapid transit that takes tens of thousands of working people from the east to the west Valley (and vice versa) each day. This is all attributable to Metro's good work, along with the courage and will of County residents who demanded more public transit options at the ballot box. But it's clear that traffic still plagues our neighborhoods and our communities need to be more connected.
Metro staff recently unveiled a bold and exciting plan for a potential ballot measure that would raise additional funds to give the progress we've made a much-needed shot in the arm. It will bring new rail, rapid transit, bike and pedestrian projects, freeway upgrades and local improvements to ease traffic and help people get around. By enhancing mobility, the plan will also ease congestion, keep our local economy strong, and lead to a better quality of life for us, our children and our grandchildren.
As a member and immediate past chair of the San Fernando Valley Council of Governments and a current Metro Board Director, I've helped lead these discussions from the get-go. Many, many other residents and stakeholders have participated too. Valley business, education and community leaders, along with transit advocates, have held collaborative, bottom-up discussions about the Valley's transit priorities. My main goal throughout has been to ensure that the Valley gets its fair share of transportation investment in the decades ahead. With the current Metro plan, which would bring $4 billion in transit improvements to the Valley, we can accomplish that goal. The plan will connect the Valley to the basin via the Sepulveda Pass, bring light rail to the Van Nuys corridor, dramatically improve the Orange Line, move us toward new bus rapid transit lines, expand bike paths and pedestrian walkways, and ease traffic congestion in our neighborhoods.
If you want to know more about Metro's plan and add your voice to the discussion, there is still time. Over the past month, Metro has held a series of community meetings about their proposal. If you couldn't make it, you can still view a virtual meeting online at metro.net/theplan. Metro is also hosting telephone town hall meetings about the plan. Join me this Thursday to talk about the great benefits it will bring to our Valley.
for the San Fernando Valley with Paul Krekorian
This one-hour meeting will give you an opportunity to hear from me, along with Metro staff, about the plan, ask questions and participate in the ongoing public discussion.
If you can't make the call and would like to give Metro your input, please send your thoughts or comments through any of the avenues listed below before May 20.