Supervisor Barger Champions Strategic Passenger Rail Improvements

Policy actions seize window of opportunity, positioning L.A. County to possibly receive billions of dollars in transit funding

The Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Board unanimously approved a motion authored by Supervisor Kathryn Barger, and co-authored by Chair Hilda Solis and Director Ara Najarian, that will position the region to receive critical state and federal funding to transform Metrolink and Amtrak service.

These funds can be used to significantly upgrade rail lines and potentially cut in half the time it takes to commute from long distances, which would especially affect the Antelope Valley. 

“Between record-setting federal spending bills and state revenue surpluses, we could be looking at a once-in-a-lifetime moment,” said Supervisor Barger. “And, if that money is available, our County needs to be prepared to capitalize on it. Today’s motion is about readiness – being positioned to deliver strategic projects that will transform our public transportation system, which serves approximately 3.3 million residents and 11.24 million jobs within the Antelope Valley Line corridor, and beyond.”

There are portions of the proposed California High Speed Rail (CHSR) in Los Angeles County that will share infrastructure and rights of way with Metrolink and Amtrak service. Today’s motion directs Metro to identify and prioritize a strategic list of these CHSR  projects and advocate for new state funding. 

The motion acknowledges the importance of ensuring that the resulting strategic list of projects meets the goals of the State Rail Plan and Metrolink’s Southern California Optimized Rail Expansion (SCORE) Program. It also calls for a progress update to the Metro Board in February 2022. 

A copy of the motion with more details can be found here.

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