Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Cheese for my egg: What Metro needs for 28 x 28

This Thursday January 24, Metro Board will consider a motion to identify over $26 billion to fund the “Twenty Eight by ‘28 Initiative.” Have you heard of “Twenty Eight by ‘28” but not really known what it is? Check out how it may impact you more than you think in our quick primer below.


  • What is Twenty Eight by ‘28?

The Twenty Eight by ‘28 Initiative (“28×28”) is a list of Measure M major capital transportation projects selected to be completed by the 2028 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Los Angeles. The list is comprised of 20 major projects already scheduled for completion by 2028–and eight projects originally scheduled for completion after 2028 but have now been identified for project acceleration to be finished before the Olympics.


The Metro Board approved 28×28 as policy in a September 2018 motion authored by Supervisors Hilda Solis and Janice Hahn, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and Inglewood Mayor James Butts.


  • Why is this important?

Support on the Metro Board for 28×28 comes during a time that Metro is developing various policies and plans that have wide-reaching impact on the agency’s projects and investments. The agency is slated to release its 2020 Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP); finalizing application of its first-ever Equity Platform; and undertaking the NextGen Bus Study, Metro’s first bus route redesign in 25 years.


The eight projects identified for acceleration to meet the 2028 deadline require new funding to be completed in time: approximately $26.2 billion. Metro staff has analyzed a series of potential funding solutions and are proposing recommendations that could implement significant new or altered transportation policies across Greater Los Angeles.


  • Where would the $26.2 billion come from?

There is currently no dedicated funding for the $26.2 billion gap needed to complete the 28×28 project list. This Thursday Metro Board and staff will make decisions for ways close the funding gap and accelerate the eight major capital projects. Metro staff has produced a matrix of 20 potential funding solutions and suggested re-branding the Twenty Eight by ‘28 Initiative to “The Re-Imagining of LA County: Mobility, Equity, and the Environment.”


A partial list of Metro staff-recommended funding solutions include:

  • Reallocating Multi-Year Subregional Program (MSP) funding
  • Allocating Measure M Local Return
  • Pursuing Public-Private Partnership (P3) financing methods**
  • Implementing one or more congestion pricing models
  • Imposing fees on shared mobility devices (i.e. scooters) and/or Transportation Networking Company (TNC) trips, such as Lyft or Uber.
  • Withdrawing or lending funds from existing and/or future ExpressLanes


This Thursday Metro Board is expected to weigh in on staff recommendations. On February 5, there will be a special Metro Policy Advisory Council (PAC) meeting to also weigh in on 28×28 and Metro staff recommendations.


  • What does 28×28  have to do with other Metro policies/plans?

Metro staff has recommended a list of initiatives (called “sacred items”) that would not be impacted by 28×28:

  • NextGen Bus Study: bus network redesign
  • State of Good Repair: $475 million annually for transit maintenance and operations
  • Props A and C: primarily fund transit operations
  • Metro debt covenants: protecting Metro from large sums of debt
  • Other projects, including a rail/bus operations center, a new train radio system, and a barrier wall along the I-210 freeway


Further, Metro staff has recommended that Metro commit to converting an all-electric bus fleet by 2030 to meet environmental goals and that this commitment not be altered by 28×28 investments.


In the latest board report, Metro staff identify an alignment with potential 28×28 funding solutions and Metro’s Strategy Plan, Vision 2028. Staff also considers the list of “sacred items,” which include NextGen Bus Study and the protection of transit maintenance and operations funds, in alignment with the agency’s budding Equity Framework due to socioeconomic characteristics of a majority of Los Angeles bus riders.


Thus far, the 28×28 motion does not specify impact to the 2020 Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), Metro’s 40-year guide for transportation investments. However, if 28×28 is finalized, it is not wholly clear what dedicating the $26.2 billion for acceleration will mean for the LRTP’s baseline assumptions, including debt payments and agency metrics for equity and impact.


  • What does it have to do with congestion pricing?

While the idea of congestion pricing, or applying direct fees or prices to vehicular travel, is independent of 28×28, the model has been recommended by Metro staff as one of many ways to close the $26.2 billion funding gap needed to accelerate eight capital projects in time for the Olympics.


There are several ways to apply pricing to the behavior of driving. Investing in Place is developing a blog/primer to help explain the costs and benefits of the most common models, so please stay tuned!


Twenty-Eight by ‘28 Projects – currently scheduled for 2028 completion Project cost

(in millions)

Crenshaw/LAX Line $2,058.0
Microtransit $0.0 *
Regional connector $1,755.8
New Bus Rapid Transit Corridors (Phase 1) $53.1
Orange and Red Lines to Gold Line Transit Connector (NoHo to Pasadena) $317.9
Airport Metro Connector Station $625.6
I-5 North Capacity Enhancements $539.2
North San Fernando Valley $205.6
Purple Line Extension Section 1 $2,778.9
Gold Line Foothill Extension to Claremont $1,406.9
LA River Waterway & System Bike Path $433.2
LA River Bike Path and Mobility Hub – San Fernando Valley $69.9
Orange Line Travel Time and Safety Improvements $320.6
Purple Line Extension Section 2 $2,441.0
Purple Line Extension – Section 3 $3,213.0
Sepulveda Pass ExpressLanes $310.5
East San Fernando Valley $1,563.0
Blue Line Signal and Washington/Flower Junction Improvements $112.5
I-10 ExpressLanes I-605 to San Bernardino Line $500.0
Vermont Transit Corridor $522.7

Total (non-accelerated projects)

Twenty-Eight by ‘28 Projects – requiring acceleration 2028 completion Project cost

(in millions)

I-105 ExpressLanes $348.9
I-710 South Corridor Early Action Phase 1 $897.0
South Bay Light Rail Extension $1,167.3
SR-57/60 Interchange Improvements $1,087.5
Sepulveda Transit Corridor $8,591.1
Gold Line Eastside Extension to Whittier or South El Monte $4,438.5
West Santa Ana Branch $6,311.9
I-405 South Bay Curve Improvements $883.1

Total (accelerated projects)


Non-construction costs associated with acceleration of eight projects

Total Twenty-Eight by ‘28 acceleration funding gap $26,200.0

* Note: Project costs for Microtransit are currently pending.

**A public-private partnership (P3) describes a financial loan (to be paid back with interest) that a public agency takes from a private sector team. The private sector team invests its own money either through borrowing or earning profit for floating upfront costs and assumes the risk associated with not fulfilling project contract terms. This kind of partnership allows the public agency to accelerate or deliver projects on time and within budget.

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