September 15, 2017
More than 35 years ago, Los Angeles City and County voters agreed to speed up their focus on rapid transit, and now, according to Urban Land Magazine, both the city and county are proudly showing off a growing list of transit-oriented development (TOD) projects.
Supported by a new half-cent tax that could fund an estimated $120 billion worth of public transit improvements over the next 40 years, L.A. is ramping up the creation of TODs not only in Downtown, but also along transit lines further out. Private developers are reportedly planning and building dozens of TOD projects around transit stations, some of them joint developments with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), to create more comprehensive “transit-oriented communities” (TOCs).
Why is this so important to Angelenos? Sources say local residents spend an average of 81 hours a year stuck in traffic, and only five percent take public transit. With 10.2 million people in 88 cities, L.A. County is projected to expand by 2.4 million people in the next 40 years. To mitigate worsening traffic congestion and air pollution in this car-culture region, Metro will double the size of its rail system to better connect downtown L.A. to the county’s edges.
Last November, 71% of L.A. County voters passed Measure M to fund $120 billion worth of rail expansions, highway improvements, walking and biking infrastructure, and local street repairs. More than half of all revenues over the next 40 years will be spent on new construction, according to Metro, including five new transit lines and at least six extensions of lines that are already built or under construction, plus bus rapid transit line expansion. Measure M will also fund $200 million for a future downtown streetcar.
Pictured: Ivy Station transit-oriented project in Culver City, adjacent to the Metro Expo Line