Despite being home to the United States' busiest container port, the waterfront community of San Pedro has long been isolated from Los Angeles County's Metro Rail network. Two members of the LA City Council are trying to change that. Yesterday, Councilmemembers Tom LaBonge (4th District) and Jose Buscaino (15th District) introduced a motion which requests that Metro report on the feasibility of a new light rail line connecting the Wilmington/San Pedro area to the Blue Line. Known as the Harbor Line, the expansion concept has existed for well over two decades, appearing in several past visions of the Metro Rail system. Although there are no immediate plans or funding available to construct the Harbor Line, the project could be incorporated into a future transportation ballot measure. Notably, the light rail line was included in transit advocacy group MoveLA's "strawman," proposal for Measure R2. In MoveLA's tentative plan, the Harbor Line would function as an extension of the Green and Crenshaw Lines, running south towards Wilmington before turning east to meet the Blue Line in Long Beach.
Over the past several years, LaBonge has become a champion for long forgotten passenger rail projects in different regions of Los Angeles County. Last summer, the 4th District Councilmember authored a motion which pushes for the conversion of the San Fernando Valley's Orange Line busway to light rail. While serving as an alternate on the Metro Board in 2010, he proposed an extension of the Red and Purple Lines east from Union Station, using existing tracks near the LA River. That particular initiative is inching closer to realty, as Metro is now evaluating the possibility of adding one or two Arts District stations.
- Motion 14-0561 (LA City Council)