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Luminaries from across the state, including Governor Jerry Brown, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and County Supervisor Janice Hahn, gathered Wednesday to celebrate breaking ground on the Torrance Regional Transit Center, the future terminus for the LA Metro Green Line extension.
The light rail project, which currently ends at Marine Avenue in Redondo Beach, would run through Lawndale and Redondo to service South Bay commuters and eventually connect to Metro’s forthcoming Crenshaw/LAX line.
“This is a win-win-win,” said Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, who was credited by Brown with fighting to secure additional funding to complete the project as part of Garcetti’s “Twenty-Eight by ’28” plan. Using funding from Measure M and Senate Bill 1’s gas tax increase, the Green Line extension is projected to be completed by the 2028 Los Angeles Summer Olympics, well ahead of its originally-scheduled 2033 completion.
In fact, the gathered officials took the opportunity to stump against the SB 1 repeal effort, which has been used as a rallying point for conservative politicians throughout the campaign season.
“This is improving transportation, improving quality of life, and providing jobs for people. Some people will say, why not just borrow the money? Italy tried that, and Greece did too,” Brown said, referring to the financial insolvency crises faced by the two countries in recent years. “Nobody likes the tax, but we’re doing stuff… that’s the price of a decent society and civilization. You have to pay it.”
Garcetti likened the tax to keeping up repairs on a house.
“We know if we don’t fix the leak, we’re going to pay a lot more in the future. The long-term cost of living cheaply in the short-term is unacceptable,” Garcetti said.
Metro is currently exploring four possible project alternatives for the Green Line’s path between the existing Redondo Beach-Marine Avenue station, and the Torrance Transit Center, on Crenshaw Boulevard, just south of Del Amo Fashion Center. Two plans would direct the train along an existing right-of-way, while two others would take the train along Hawthorne Boulevard.
One possible hitch is the City of Lawndale, which is crossed by each plan and has opposed the extension for the better part of a decade, due to concerns about the plan’s potentially negative effects.
Redondo Beach Councilman Christian Horvath, who was also in attendance, expressed hope that Lawndale would come to terms with the plan.
“I hope that they’ll partner with us and figure out a way to work on a solution, to ensure the South Bay is connected,” Horvath said.