Last year, Metrolink released a report titled Integrated Service and Capital Plan which detailed plans for wide-reaching upgrades to the 500-mile commuter rail system, including partial electrification and increased train frequency.  The paper offered up solutions to many of Metrolink's shortcomings but offered no mechanism for payment.  It seems that the agency may find the answer to that problem at the ballot box.

According to a blog post on the website, local transportation advocates hope to place a ballot measure before voters in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and Orange Counties in 2020 that could fund the so-called "Electrolink" plan through tax revenue.

As detailed by Alon Levy, the upgrades proposed by the Southern California Regional Rail Authority include electrification of the Antelope Valley Line up to Santa Clarita, the Ventura County Line up to Moorpark, and the Orange County Line to Laguna Nigel.  This would allow for higher-frequency service, as detailed in the diagram below.

This service pattern would notably feature eight trains per hour between Union Station and Burbank along a shared stretch of track between the Antelope Valley and Ventura County Lines, and up to four trains per hour between Irvine and Union Station along the Orange County Line.

The proposal also calls for better coordination between Metrolink trains and other local transit services.

While Los Angeles voters have already voted twice in the past decade to tax themselves for transit, similar ballot measures face less certain odds in more conservative reaches of Southern California.  However, a recent ruling by the California Supreme Court could potentially improve the proposed measure's chances by lowering the threshold for citizen-sponsored referendums to 55 percent for passage.


From the Web

L.A. is ready for micro-units

Micro-units are apartments as small as 140 square feet and as large as 350, and they take a variety of forms.

In a county facing a shortage of a million housing units, how can we provide more affordable housing, be more welcoming to families, and boost transit ridership in our urban centers? For all three, the answer comes in a small package: micro-units.

Micro-units are apartments as small as 140 square feet and as large as 350, and they take a variety of forms. They can include shared-living arrangements or be entirely self-contained with bathrooms, full kitchens, and even in-unit washers and dryers. They can be amenity-rich or relatively barebones.