Statement on Metro’s Release of “Measure R2 Tax” Project List

Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe issued the following statement, after Metro’s release of a project list for a proposed tax measure to go before voters on the November ballot to fund transit projects:

“The R2 project list must first and foremost ensure geographic equity across our region; there are 88 cities in Los Angeles County, not just one.  Taxpayers across the County will be asked to pay an additional half-cent sales tax and in return, they should all see benefits.   Promises were made to taxpayers eight years ago when voters approved Measure R.  Now, some of those commitments are being pushed down the road.  We must not allow high-profile projects to leapfrog rail and highway improvements that can be made in all areas of the County.

Fixing congested areas across the County is not just about rail, we must have multi-modal solutions including better bus service, road improvements and more bike lanes.  Metro’s highway program, for example, can have a huge effect on the quality-of-life in communities, often for less budget and less time.  With over 40 percent of the nation’s imports coming through our two ports, we must make infrastructure improvements to better move goods, which provide a big economic boost to our region.  As the Metro Board analyzes this proposal, we must consider geographic equity and balance as top priorities.  I look forward to delving into the details of this proposed program and for us to receive community input from across Los Angeles County.”

Supervisor Knabe Statement on Art Leahy Stepping Down as Metro’s CEO


LOS ANGELES, January 7, 2015 – Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe issued the following statement on the announcement from Metro’s CEO Art Leahy that he would be leaving the agency when his contract expires:


“Art Leahy has dedicated his life to the transportation industry – from bus driver to chief executive officer!  During his tenure as CEO at Metro, he ensured the agency remained stable through very challenging economic times.  Over the last few years, he has led the development of some of the largest public infrastructure projects in the nation, which will transform transit in Southern California for generations to come.  Art is an inspiration to others who have risen through the ranks, and he has been committed to mentoring and supporting the next generation of transportation leaders.  I wish him the very best in his future endeavors and hope he will continue to lend his expertise within the transportation industry.”


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Knabe Calls for Support of Local Control of Ontario Airport

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors today approved a motion to support the transfer of Ontario International Airport (ONT) to local control.  Currently the Ontario Airport is managed by Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) and the City of Los Angeles; the City of Ontario has requested control

Supervisor Knabe issued the following statement: “I am not at all surprised at the City of Ontario’s desire to get back control of its airport.  We have seen significant reductions in passenger traffic at Ontario, which cannot all be explained away by the economy.  LAWA has not shown a good faith effort to regionalization, which would benefit all of Southern California.

In 2006, LAWA made a commitment to mitigate the impacts on LAX operations on traffic, noise, health risks and quality-of-life in communities surrounding LAX by relieving the pressures for future growth at LAX through a regional effort to meet air transportation demand at other airports in the region.  It’s time they did that by negotiating a solution that would allow for local control of ONT.”

With today’s approval, a letter confirming support for this key action to regionalize air travel will be sent to the Mayors of the Cities of Los Angeles and Ontario, Los Angeles World Airports, and other affected agencies.

A report on airport regionalization from the County’s Chief Executive Office will be discussed at the May 14, 2013 Board of Supervisors meeting.  Knabe, along with fellow Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, requested the CEO report in a motion passed unanimously by the Board of Supervisors on February 26, 2013.

Knabe Responds to ALUC Decision on LAX Plan

The Los Angeles County Airport Land Use Commission (ALUC) today, on a split vote, deemed “consistent” a very limited package of City Plan Amendments submitted by Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA). The amendments relate to LAWA’s future efforts to modernize Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).  The Commission was comparing the plan amendments with the adopted Airport Land Use Plan.  Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe issued the following statement:

“The vote before the Commission was not an endorsement of the LAX Modernization Plan, but a limited, piecemeal review of an incomplete application.  Our residents and businesses are not being given a clear picture from LAWA on its priorities for LAX and the region.  In 2006, we were promised regionalization of air service and traffic relief through a direct transit connection.  However, instead of seeing concrete results, we are getting more piecemealed, bureaucratic plans.”

“The Commission should have been given a complete plan to review, including the report on airport regionalization that Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and I requested on February 26, 2013.  My concern is that LAWA is being intentionally misleading because they have been ignoring regionalization and the City of Ontario’s request to assume control of its airport.  Enough of the limited and confusing information; I want to see the air cleared and promises kept.”

Metrolink to Buy Newest, Cleanest Locomotives

The Metrolink Board of Directors authorized the agency to enter into a contract to secure Tier 4 locomotives at its Dec. 14, 2012, meeting.

The revolutionary locomotives are expected to reduce emissions by 86 percent.

“This is a significant milestone in Metrolink’s efforts to operate the most efficient and environmentally friendly commuter rail system in the nation,” said Board Chair Richard Katz. “It demonstrates our commitment to our neighbors and to doing our part to clean up the air in Southern California.”

At this point, Metrolink is on pace to become the first in the country to achieve Tier 4 status in revenue service.

The procurement of the locomotives and the contract with Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) is contingent upon the securing of project funds, while Friday’s Board decision is the latest step of a lengthy process. The first three demonstration locomotives are scheduled to be complete in the fall of 2015.

The locomotive upgrades will have system wide benefits and help reduce emissions in the surrounding communities. In addition, these locomotives will have greater horsepower that can increase capacity by adding more train cars to a set.

The phased-approach contract includes a base order of 10 locomotives, plus an option to purchase up to 10 additional locomotives. Metrolink has allocated $129.4 million for the purchase of the locomotives.

The overall program will allow Metrolink to eventually secure 20 new Tier 4 locomotives. The Board’s decision also committed Metrolink to the testing of alternative fuel sources in future operations. Metrolink will make the first locomotives replaced by the new Tier 4s available to the South Coast Air Quality Management District for the purposes of experimentation with various alternative fuel technologies expected to be commercially available in the next decade.

These technologies include, but are not limited to, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and battery technology. Metrolink will continue to work collaboratively with its funding partners in this pursuit.

For additional details on Metrolink, please visit

Knabe Calls For Accelerated Metro Connection to LAX

At today’s Metro board meeting, Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe called for a detailed strategy and plan to complete a transit connection to LAX by 2020.

“Frankly, it’s embarrassing that the second largest city in America with the third busiest airport still does not have a direct transit connection,” said Knabe.  “While Metro talks about accelerating projects, there could not be a higher priority than connecting our airport to all regions of Los Angeles County.  A direct connection will not only benefit  our residents, but also the millions of tourists who visit Los Angeles each year.”

The Green Line extension to LAX/Airport Metro Connector is currently projected for completion in 2028.  Knabe’s motion, approved 7-5, asked for the Metro CEO to report back with a plan, including exploring funding alternatives with Los Angeles World Airport (LAWA); local, state and federal partners, and public-private partnerships.  Knabe also requested a timeline and required actions, including an advocacy approach for coordination with federal agencies like the FAA and FTA.  Metro is scheduled to report back at the January 24, 2013 board meeting.

Go Metro to the Space Shuttle Endeavour’s Final Journey

The Space Shuttle Endeavour heads to its new home at the California Science Center this Saturday, Oct. 13. The quickest and easiest way to view the shuttle on its final journey is to hop on the Metro Expo Line to Expo Park, the only mass viewing area where the shuttle will linger for an extended transition period. Those who wish to see Endeavour should gather at about 8 p.m. on Saturday along Bill Robertson Lane. Expo Park is conveniently served by two Metro Rail stations: Expo/Vermont and Expo Park/USC.

Bus service in the areas along the shuttle route will experience disruptions during the Endeavour trip. Service detours are planned along Manchester Boulevard on Friday night and Crenshaw Boulevard and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard on Saturday. For the most up –to-date service alerts visit and look under Service Advisories, follow @metroLAalerts on Twitter or check Metro’s official blog, The Source.

The Los Angeles Police Department is asking the public not to gather along the shuttle route, due to traffic and safety concerns. No cars will be allowed into Expo Park and road closures surrounding the shuttle route are expected to cause traffic issues. Metro will be running enahanced service on Metro Rail on Saturday, Oct. 13 to accommodate shuttle visitors.

  • Expo Line will run at 6 minute headways from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Red, Purple and Gold Line trains will run with extra train cars at 10 minute headways from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Metro staff will be stationed along the Expo Line, at Union Station and 7th/Metro Station to assist with transfers and fare purchases, provide directions and inform patrons of bus detours
  • To bypass ticket lines, load TAP cards with fares or day passes in advance

‘Carmageddon’ Returning to I-405 Freeway Tonight

The demolition of the north side of Mulholland Dr Bridge has been scheduled for Saturday, September 29 and Sunday, September 30, 2012. As with the demolition of the south side of the 608-foot-long bridge, the I-405 through the Sepulveda Pass will be closed in both directions that weekend to allow for demolition.

As with the south side demolition, Metro and Caltrans are concerned that closing the freeway will result in severe congestion on the I-405 and adjoining freeways, perhaps effecting freeways throughout the region. Motorists throughout the State of California are asked to “Plan Ahead, Avoid the Area, or Eat, Shop and Play Locally.”

To reduce the impacts on local traffic flow, the Mulholland Dr Bridge will be demolished and reconstructed in two separate phases. During July 16 and 17, 2011, the south side of Mulholland Dr Bridge was demolished.

The north side of the bridge is expected to be completed 12 months after demolition. During reconstruction, the Mulholland Dr Bridge will accommodate one lane of traffic in each direction.

The Mulholland Dr Bridge will be the third bridge demolished and reconstructed to accommodate the widening of the I-405 freeway and to add a northbound high-occupancy vehicle lane through the Sepulveda Pass. When completed, the expanded Mulholland Center Dr Bridge will be widened by approximately 10 feet and will be designed to the latest seismic standards.

The I-405 project website will have the latest construction updates.

Knabe Statement on Measure R Extension

At today’s Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) meeting, the Board of Directors approved requesting that Los Angeles County put an ordinance on the November 6, 2012 ballot which would extend the Measure R sales tax.  Originally passed by the voters in 2008, this ordinance would extend the one-half cent sales tax for an additional 30-years.  Supervisor Knabe, who voted against extending the sales tax, issued the following statement:

“While the vision that is driving the current effort to make the Measure R sales tax permanent is well-intentioned, it is disingenuous to the voters to give a blank check to the MTA.  The sales tax currently does not expire until 2039, so there is no reason to extend it unless we want to spend the next generation’s money today.

Measure R was the MTA’s promise to the voters, in all 88 cities and the County of Los Angeles, that transit and highway projects would be delivered on time and within budget over 30 years.  Now, only four years later, the MTA is looking to revise that promise because their financial assumptions underlying Measure R are not being realized as originally planned, and additional sources of funding are needed to deliver these same projects.

While the people of Los Angeles County are desperate for congestion relief, I cannot support asking for yet another commitment from future generations, especially when there are no guarantees that the additional funding will go toward implementing a fair and balanced transportation program in Los Angeles County.  Let’s show the voters that we can live up to their expectations before we make promises we cannot keep.”