Calling the local Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Green Line light rail system a “monument of poor planning,” a group of elected officials and community activists led by State Assemblyman Ted Lieu, Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl and Congresswoman Jane Harman sent a letter to the MTA asking its board to connect the line to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
The group cited State Infrastructure Bonds as a funding source for the project.
Currently, the Green Line follows the Century Freeway (Interstate 105), and then abruptly turns south through El Segundo to Redondo Beach. Some residents in the area have long referred to the line as the “train to nowhere.”
“The entire point of building the Green Line was to connect the MTA system to the airport,” Lieu said. “The Legislature and the voters have done their job by passing these bonds. It’s time for MTA to fix this debacle.”
The letter, addressed to MTA chairwoman Gloria Molina and copied to the other board members, points out that the more than 61 million annual passengers that use LAX every year create more than 100 million vehicle trips.
If even some of these passengers could be moved into rail, it would relieve traffic congestion and improve air quality throughout the region, the letter states.
Kenneth Alpern, the co-chair of Friends of the Green Line, a community group that advocates for connecting rail to LAX, said he was excited to see the broad-based support from Westside politicians.
“Those of us who have been working on this issue for a long time are sensing a historic moment when political support is matching up with available funds,” Alpern said. “This could dramatically change this whole area.”
Alpern also signed the letter to the MTA. Besides Alpern, Harman, Lieu and Rosendahl, the other signers of the letter are:
Assemblywoman Karen Bass, Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, Assemblywoman Betty Karnette, Assemblyman Curren Price, State Senator Jenny Oropeza, State Senator Mark Ridley-Thomas, Inglewood Mayor Roosevelt Dorn and El Segundo Mayor Kelly McDowell.