Instant Public Transit – Just Add Money!

Denny Zane, former mayor of Santa Monica and executive director of the Subway to the Sea Coalition, has called a meeting. A meeting of experts from across the spectrum of expertdom. A meeting about the greatest challenge our world has ever faced.

Los Angeles Traffic.

Denny Zane and some of the city’s greatest minds will converge at an inconvenient time for the employed: Thursday, January 10, 8:30 a.m – 4:00 p.m. They’re not just talking traffic either. They’re talking funding. Like, how to get it.

I say, make it more expensive to drive a car in L.A. Raise the gas tax. Raise developer transportation fees. Halt all freeway expansion. Replace each Metro bus line with rail until there is a complete rail network. Use streetcar lines in underserved areas where subways are cost-prohibitive.

Some interesting funding solutions on the meeting’s agenda, like a Driver’s License fee increase, listed after the jump.

Photo from Bucky H’s photostream

From the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor website:

LACTFC invites you to attend It’s Time to Move LA!, a community conference to address Los Angeles County’s transportation funding challenge by bringing together key constituencies to explore alternative transportation funding and implementation strategies. It ought to be clear to all – an effective transportation funding program is needed to ensure a robust and efficient transportation system in 21st century Los Angeles.
It’s Time to Move LA! will set the stage for business, labor, health, environmental and community leaders to perhaps find a common agenda that can ultimately be presented to Los Angeles County leaders, agencies and, possibly, voters.
Join us in this vital dialogue.
Denny Zane
LA County Transportation Funding Collaborative


* State constitutional amendment permitting voter approval of transportation funding with 55% vote
* Ensuring state sales taxes on gasoline go to transportation purposes
* State or county gas tax increase
* County voter-approved taxes, such as sales or parcel taxes
* City voter-approved taxes, such as sales or parcel taxes
* Public-private partnerships
* Congestion pricing, county or city based
* Assessment districts
* Transit oriented tax-increment districts
* Driver’s License fee increase
* Motor vehicle registration fees in LA County, e.g., based on vehicle weight, vehicles miles traveled, estimated mileage and emissions, or a simple flat rate
* Climate Impact Fees or carbon taxes
* Monetized carbon credits
* County transportation bonds
* Parking fees or surcharges
* Traffic or parking fine surcharges
* Developer mitigation fees for transit, perhaps in lieu of parking

Who knows what will come out of this meeting, or why it took this long to realize we needed to have one in the first place.

Thank you, Denny Zane, for getting the ball rolling. Love your work on Boston Legal.

3 thoughts on “Instant Public Transit – Just Add Money!”

  1. What one wonders is why such an important meeting is being called on the same day (10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.) that the MTA is having a public hearing on a specific transportation issue – that of the locked doors between cars. It may not seem a big deal until someone decides to do in L.A. what happened some years ago in

    Tokyo, and not so many years ago in London.

    In any case, I have been aware of both meetings and have made plans to attend both. For the longer one (mentioned above), I hope to seek an answer about the MTA’s annual $27 million dollars given gratis to motorists for towing their broken vehicles, as that money should be used for maintaining buses. Instead, Roger Snoble, Pam O’Connor, Wendy Greuel, et al, are intent on being penny wise and pound foolish with all their kvetching about a relative few hundred thousand dollars that the MTA is no longer “giving” to DASH. I imagine that were straphangers’ funds not given away to motorists unable to maintain their private vehicles, some money might also be released to help fund the subways – or better yet, the buses that are a far better fit for the transient environment that is Los Angeles.

  2. Raise the gas prices, make licenses more expensive (for the few people that bother to get them in LA, another topic all together), because it will not effect my lifestyle, nor the lifestyles of other educated white upper middle class folk like me. We will continue to drive to our hearts’ content, be it in our hybrids, Mercedes, or SUVs.

    I have an idea – let’s tax groceries to pay for the subway. People eat too much anyway. That will make them eat less!

    That’s the equivalent of making driving more expensive.

    Who that would effect is people living on the edge of their means. It’s not like driving less is really a choice.

    There’s plenty of money to be found for increasing public transportation in the LA area, but we would not want to take any money away from those people already getting rich off their city jobs or city contracts. We don’t want to do anything that would change the lifestyles of rich people.

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