State Legislators Urge Metro to Postpone Expenditure Plan Amendment Hearing

Letter Sent to Metro Supports Correcting Information for the Foothill Extension to Claremont

Jun 24, 2013, 14:58 ET from Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority

SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 24, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Senators and Assembly members of the San Gabriel Valley State Legislative Caucus sent a letter to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) calling on the agency to postpone the proposed Measure R Expenditure Plan Amendment hearing, set for this Thursday, until the plan can be updated to include the latest information known for each project.

The letter to Metro expresses support for the concept of accelerating critical transportation projects, but not until the Expenditure Plan can be fully updated:

"The amendment as currently presented by staff however, is based on a nearly five-year-old expenditure plan and contains information that is outdated and inaccurate for a number of the Measure R projects. We respectfully request that the status and costs be updated for every Measure R transit capital project to reflect the most current information available before any plan to accelerate funding is considered."

The bi-partisan letter was signed by Senators Ed Hernandez (District 24), Bob Huff (District 29), Carol Liu (District 25) and Norma Torres (District 32); along with Assembly members Ed Chau (District 49), Curt Hagman (District 55), Roger Hernandez (District 48), Ron Calderon (District 30), Chris Holden (District 41) and Cristina Garcia (District 58).

The Caucus members identify the Gold Line Foothill Extension project from Pasadena to Claremont as an important example of the lack of updated information in the proposed expenditure plan amendment. The current information for the project includes an inaccurate cost estimate and completion year for the Measure R project, only reflecting the initial segment from Pasadena to Azusa. The letter provides the corrected total estimated cost of $1.714 billion to complete the project to the statutorily-defined destination of Claremont.

In the letter, the Caucus members also request that Metro include in the updated expenditure plan information on the additional cost associated with accelerating each project, as well as how the agency intends to pay that additional cost, in order to fully meet legislative requirements:

"We also ask that any project acceleration plan provide cost estimates for the acceleration of each project and clear details on how Metro intends to fund said acceleration. Without updated project status and costs for all Measure R projects, as well as a detailed funding strategy for the acceleration of projects, we believe the proposed amendment lacks transparency and does not meet the intent of AB2321." 

With this letter, the San Gabriel Valley State Legislative Caucus joins the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments; the Cities of Pasadena, Monrovia, Claremont, Irwindale, La Verne and Glendora; the League of Women Voters; Citrus College Board of Trustees; the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority board of directors; and the Gold Line Phase II Joint Powers Authority board of directors in challenging the adequacy of the proposed Measure R Expenditure Plan Amendment.

The Metro board is scheduled to consider the proposed amendment this Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 9 AM at their monthly board meeting.

SOURCE Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority