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Building less for our money

Costs go up, construction goes down.


Construction costs of Light rail in Los Angeles has drastically increased in the almost 30 years since the opening of the Blue Line.  Many factors contribute to this; among them, the citizen demand for more grade separation and faster service, along with increased materials, labor, safety costs.

Over time we have built less and less rail in a single phase as the amount we can afford has decreased.  The Blue line opened with over 20 miles in its first phase, most recent light rail openings are around 8 miles. 


Data compiled by Metro.

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Measure M Expenditure Plan

The Sepulveda Pass, Gold Line East, and West Santa Ana Branch have a lot of money.  HyRail can do tons with that

The Sepulveda Pass, Gold Line East, and West Santa Ana Branch have a lot of money.  HyRail can do tons with that

With our HyRail proposal, we are looking at how Metro can save on our most expensive rail corridors and allocate the money to building more rail within each Measure M Expenditure planning zone.  As HyRail construction costs are on par with monorail and operating costs far below the competition, we sure can do a lot with our money!

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By our estimation, it will cost about $10 Billion* to construct the Sepulveda pass, West Santa Ana Branch AND the Harbor Subdivision.  Add $4 Billion to Quad Track Sepulveda Pass & Harbor Subdivision.

By our estimation, it will cost about $10 Billion* to construct the Sepulveda pass, West Santa Ana Branch AND the Harbor Subdivision.  Add $4 Billion to Quad Track Sepulveda Pass & Harbor Subdivision.

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For various reasons, Metro LA has the 2nd highest operating costs in THE WORLD.  Yeah, that part!












Affordable Housing & Gentrification 


With the overwhelming support of Measures M and R by over 2/3 of Los Angeles County voters, we can conclude that people want rail and they want to live next to it.  Whenever a new rail line gets built prices go up in the immediate vicinity, we see this in Lincoln Heights and in the Crenshaw District.  It's the simple laws of Supply & Demand.  When there isn't enough of something that people want, the demand and prices go up.  

The answer to this is to decrease the pressure by increasing the supply... OF RAIL! 

The more rail lines we can build at a time, the less burden specific neighborhoods will experience the effects of gentrification.  We are spreading the wealth.  HyRail's low cost Spreads the $$!!

We see Gentrification...

LA Times gentrification article on Lincoln Heights


One of the reasons it costs a lot to build housing and why most new developments debut as "luxury" housing is because of Parking minimums across the region.  Under current zoning codes a certain amount of parking is required per unit; this increases the size and scale of the building and greatly increases its costs, costs which are passed on to the renter.  There are also the instances where a development may be in an area without parking minimums, but the developer builds parking anyway because of the inherent demand for it.  The only way the population will allow parking minimums be decreased is by having a fast, effective transportation system delivering people to the maximum amount of destinations.


Housing costs in the Los Angeles Basin are high and will remain so for the foreseeable future.  Areas like Hollywood and the West Side are experiencing over-development because they are a rarity in SoCal with quick and easy access to jobs and rapid transportation like the Metro Red line.  This happens because people can no longer live as far away from their jobs as they used to.  The way we are building our current transit system, we look at travel times for individual lines and not the regional system as a whole.  For example, let's look at the Expo line's end to end time of 50+ minutes.  It looks good on paper that end to end is under an hour, but what it doesn't consider is someone coming in from Burbank on a Metrolink train and that 50 min adding on to their already long commute time.  In the end, this thinking only benefits the basin where people aren't traveling very far.  Another example would be someone commuting from the less expensive suburb of Whittier along the future Gold/Expo line to their job in the Silicon Beach area of Venice, this person will have a 2+ hour transit commute each way door to door... NOT workable.  Their option is to either commute by car or find a cramped living space closer to their job in an expensive development that is over 60% of their income.

Travel times to the jobs in Hollywood, Silicon Beach and the West Side from the far out suburbs of the San Gabriel/Pomona Valley/Inland Empire; where housing costs are lower, currently remain out of reach for the average public transit commuter (over 1 1/4 hour door to door).  Because of HyRail's high operating speeds and low costs, we are able to reach more destinations at quicker speeds.  HyRail coupled with Metrolink creates access to housing that is affordable. 

Imagine, someone coming into Union Station after a 35 min Metrolink commute from Ontario, then getting to Venice in another 25 min... in rush hour traffic!!! That's the HyRail advantage to affordable housing

ALSO, with our $6 Billion saved, Metro can certainly afford to reserve land for affordable housing next to new transit lines as a community benefit.

LA Weekly article on Crenshaw district

Do we even need a graph to explain housing costs in LA???

We cannot be building a slower system.  Our newest rail line is among our slowest, while also serving the most dense parts of our city.  

We cannot be building a slower system.  Our newest rail line is among our slowest, while also serving the most dense parts of our city.  


Big Money & Transit HISTORY 

Auto Dealership vs...

Auto Dealership vs...

Tesla Showroom

Tesla Showroom



What's the big difference between the old way of the car dealership experience vs. the new way of the Tesla showroom?  Ordering exactly what you want vs. buying whatever they have on the lot with ALMOST (but not quite) everything you want.

The rail public transportation world is very much like the car dealer experience, where we are buying the Light Rail/Heavy Rail/Commuter Rail that is on the lot.  "It's like it's almost what we want..., it has the color, the rims, the navigation,... but they don't have the hybrid in stock with the spoiler on the back."  Where is the transportation showroom experience where we order exactly what we want and need to the detail? 

 Car Dealers associations have fought to keep their old way of doing things, even by using the law to keep Tesla from doing business in certain states... Tesla eventually prevails, but not without a fight.... and the average American is growing more and more open to the experience of ordering a car exactly how they want it.  HyRail is akin to this experience where we have the specifications on what we want and we can put in our order.  


Big Money has been in our transportation system since the beginning.  In fact, Los Angeles once had the largest electrified rail transit system in THE WORLD built by Henry Huntington and others as a way to sell homes across Socal.  Then the next wave of big money came in and ripped up the system to build freeways and busses across the southland.  Big money has been good to Southern California and America... until it wasn't!

There are many examples of places in America where the people vote for rail and then special interests come in and kill the projects; even when rail was the most cost effective option.  This war goes all the way to the top as written about in this New York Times article as well as other articles



In the late 1990's a Public Private Partnership was created to build a rail transportation option along the I-70 Corridor from Denver to the Mountainous ski town of Vail, CO.  High Speed Monorail (previous name for HyRail) was chosen as the mode of choice.  The people were behind it and all was set to go.  Much like LA in the '90's where a select few people in Beverly Hills and the west side temporarily (20 years) stopped the subway from going west, a select few in Colorado stopped the train in its tracks.  They disbanded the project and widened the freeway instead at a much higher $$ cost.  The silver lining though is that we now have the PPP template and financing package available for HyRail in Southern California.

Previous PPP...


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