MTA Board approves Exposition light rail!

After 56 pro-Expo light rail speakers, Thursday the MTA Board approved unanimously (10-0) the first section of Exposition light rail from downtown to Venice/Robertson, including the next steps of completion of its Final EIS/EIR, additional neighborhood mitigation planning, and Preliminary Engineering. This vote represented a huge milestone! MTA press release

Congratulations and thanks to everyone: your support made this come-from-behind success!

There is no question that your petition signatures and the many e-mailed and faxed messages received by the MTA brought about this victory. Not only did MTA staff mention in its presentation the number of signatures presented by Friends4Expo, but yesterday several Board members attributed their support for Expo light rail to the project's "citizen advocates."

So to all of you out there who spoke at MTA meetings, e-mailed, faxed, phoned, obtained endorsement from your organization, wrote letters to newspapers, talked the project up with your neighbors, and otherwise helped build the tremendous momentum that led to victory, a heartfelt thanks. We couldn't have won without you, and you should be very proud of what you've done for L.A.!

Now there is much ahead to do. Our next job is to find the money to build Expo sooner and all the way to Santa Monica.

You may have seen yesterday's L.A. Times article, which made it look as if it was low-income residents near downtown vs. "transit-hungry Westsiders," and showed a map indicating the second phase would go down Venice Boulevard to the beach. The map is obviously wrong; the second phase will -- of course -- follow the Expo right-of-way through West L.A. to Santa Monica.

The reality of the meeting was that many people from all along the corridor spoke articulately for Expo light rail. Just a few long-time opponents opposed it. The Times-featured group near downtown is east of the Harbor Freeway, along the proposed non-revenue connector to a new maintenance facility. They don't mind light rail on Expo, only the connector. And some other speakers wanted to make sure the line is a good neighbor, something we all share.

We'll let you know soon about the next Friends4Expo meeting or other activity!

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