Thursday, August 6, 2015

Updating the Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) for Los Angeles County – How it will work

In September 2014 the Metro Board approved the exploration of a potential ballot measure for the 2016 ballot to fund new projects, programs, and strategies that would then be included in an update of Metro’s Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), last updated in 2009.

The Mobility Matrix was the first step to obtain participation from the sub-regions that will feed into the LRTP update.  The last ballot measure approved by the voters was Measure R in 2008 which led to the update of Metro’s LRTP in 2009. The new LRTP, which is anticipated to be adopted by the Metro board in 2017, will incorporate significant changes that have occurred since the 2009 LRTP was adopted, including changes in economic conditions, growth patterns, and the transportation cost and funding forecast, including the outcome of a potential 2016 ballot measure.  It is anticipated that this plan would incorporate existing 2009 LRTP projects as well as new project initiatives such as those that may be identified by the sub-regions, business community, community based organizations, local jurisdictions and public agencies, public health leaders, trade unions, chambers of commerce, and more.

The LRTP update process is expected to occur over the next couple years and include various planning activities.  Metro will review the performance measures of the 2009 LRTP and consider performance measure updates that reflect current planning practice and Board priorities.

Metro’s travel demand model will need to be updated to incorporate the current adopted regional demographic forecast of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG).  Metro’s financial model also has to be updated for current project costs of existing 2009 LRTP projects, and updated assumptions on future revenues expected to be available from federal, state, local and new funding sources over the life of the LRTP.  This analysis will identify any uncommitted funds that could be dedicated to new projects and programs.  Projects identified through the Plan update process will be modeled using the travel demand model to evaluate performance.  It is anticipated that this Plan update will extend the Plan horizon year by approximately a decade to 2050, or if the new proposed ballot measure should pass in November 2016 the horizon year would be extended to 2057.

Two significant planning processes will contribute to and coordinate with the LRTP.  The first is the Mobility Matrices process and the second is an effort to explore a potential transportation ballot measure.  As with past LRTPs, this update will include recommendations for constrained (funded) projects as well as strategic (unfunded) projects that could be built if additional funding becomes available, consistent with adopted Board priorities and actions.  Approval of a 2016 transportation ballot measure could significantly augment the availability of new funding included in the LRTP update and increase the size of the constrained plan.  The LRTP update will also revise funding recommendations for various bus, active transportation, rail, highway improvements, Regional Rail/Metrolink, access services and other programs.   The plan will also address state of good repair needs, new requirements for sustainability, and other initiatives and policies not anticipated in the 2009 LRTP.

With successful completion of comprehensive and complex technical, strategic and outreach efforts are done, Metro staff anticipate a release of a Draft Plan in Spring of 2017 and adoption in Summer/Fall 2017.  Metro’s communications department is planning stakeholder outreach starting Oct/Nov thru May 2016 as well as Metro hosted Community Workshops beginning Feb 2016 thru May 2016.

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