Recently, several articles have appeared in the Los Angeles Times and other media reporting out on various activities such as the opening of the Gold Line Extension into east Los Angeles, the planning for the extension of the Purple Line/Red Line subway to the sea and meetings about other future projects such as the Harbor Sub Division which would connect downtown LA with the west side, airport and harbor area. This is all very positive.
Los Angeles' efforts to restore its once extensive and busy rail network is a huge effort but well worth the wait and the expense. LA has reached the point where population density dictates that it is not feasible economically or sustainability-wise to increase pavement and that adding more rail access along with good planning will ensure quick and clean transportation along with economic growth near the stations. The LA area has a ways to go before a critical mass is reached however.
LA has made some good progress but its still just a skeleton of a system. The west side needs parallel lines going east and west. More north south lines are needed such as the Green Line extension and the Harbor Sub-division.
Totally without any representation however, in future rail planning is the southeastern section of the LA basin. One of the most heavily traveled corridors in southern California is the I- 405 stretching from the El Toro Y, connecting LAX and up to the I-10 interchange. This area seems to be left out of transit planning and would benefit from a high capacity express line as well as more local light rail. The new Flyaway bus from Irvine to LAX is a drop in a very large bucket to provide transportation along this corridor. Planning a transit line to connect the two areas would bring a critical mass to the LA area that is sorely needed.
Recently, Orange County Transit has requested funds for a freeway expansion near Westminster. Orange County, as pointed out in LA Times articles is still 20-40 years behind LA County in planning for rail. Orange County needs to make these plans now, coordinated with LA County and other southland counties to get the most out of its transportation dollars. Orange County can avoid higher transportation costs and provide a good system that would benefit all of the southland including San Diego if it starts looking forward now. Our entire rail transit system needs to be southland oriented and regionally planned.