In Case You Missed It: Metro Approves Outdated and Inaccurate Measure R Expenditure Plan Amendment

Jul 01, 2013, 18:22 ET from Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority

Ignoring Requests of Federal and State Representatives and San Gabriel Valley Organizations

MONROVIA, Calif., July 1, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --

Articles in the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Claremont Courier and a press release from Supervisor Michael Antonovich all highlighted last week's Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Board decision to ignore the urging of the San Gabriel Valley federal and state delegations, the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments, San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership, 12 San Gabriel Valley cities, the League of Women Voters, and others, to update the Measure R Expenditure Plan Amendment to correct five year old outdated and inaccurate information. The Metro Board approved the proposed Amendment without correction, impacting the possible completion of the Foothill Extension to Claremont and other county transit projects.

In a piece by David Allen in the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, he explains that the failure to update the Amendment to include the correct information for the Gold Line will no doubt delay the completion of the project:

The board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority did the deed at its Thursday meeting. They came up with a 30-year list of projects for Measure R sales-tax funding. The Gold Line didn't make the cut. So much for hopes the line would be built by 2023.

The article in the Claremont Courier included a quote from Claremont Councilman Sam Pedroza that explains the Metro Board's failure to include the updated information for the Gold Line Foothill Extension project is going against the wishes of the voters who passed Measure R with the promise that the project would be completed to Claremont:

"It is unfair to the people who voted for [Measure R]. There is a lot of frustration and confusion as to what the voters think they are voting for and what they are actually getting."

"We are just asking to be properly identified on the expenditure plan so we can say, 'We have an $800 million funding gap, we need to go out and help find funds and Metro, you need to help us,'" the council member said in a recent interview.

In his press release, Supervisor Antonovich expressed his disappointment in the Board's decision to not pass his amending motion to update the Expenditure Plan with accurate and updated information before approving the Plan Amendment to accelerate project completion:

"It is hypocritical for MTA directors, at the same meeting, to attack the Gold Line, which has come in under budget and on time, while rewarding L.A. City's Westside by funding $75 million in overruns on the 405 freeway."

The Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority board of directors requested that Metro update the plan to reflect the cost and timing of completing the entire project to Claremont, as defined by Measure R.  As it was passed, the project information only reflects completing the first half of the project to Azusa; not meeting the full voter mandate.

The Gold Line project advocates were not requesting additional funding be committed for the project; rather they were simply requesting that the Expenditure Plan be updated to be consistent with all other Measure R projects. They urged inclusion of the true cost to complete the project to Claremont (as defined by statute), along with the clearly identified funding gap that currently exists for the project.

The vote was summed up in Supervisor Antonovich's release:

"In a punitive action, the majority of the MTA Board undermined the effort to complete the Gold Line to Claremont – thumbing their nose at the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments and state and federal lawmakers…."

SOURCE Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority