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Money Limited for Public Transit; Bad Traffic Costs $12 Billion

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Los Angeles is not short of ideas for the how-to-do and where-to-do public transportation. The problem is always money. Ironically enough, the very thing that needs funding is one that causes the region to lose out on $12 billion a year, says one study. LA City Councilwoman Wendy Greuel writes in CityWatch:

The average Angeleno spends 93 hours per year stuck in traffic. The most recent study showed that our region loses approximately $12 billion each year due to traffic and congestion. We cannot afford to lose so much money from our economy each year. One obstacle we discussed is finding funds to improve transit in Los Angeles. Declining tax revenues, bureaucracy, and decades of shortchanging our infrastructure investment have left us without sufficient funds to upgrade surface transportation. It is clear that elected officials do not have all the answers, and involving businesses and community members in the search for solutions is crucial in getting out of this mess.

At the conference we also discussed the Los Angeles Strategic Transportation Plan, through which we hope to harness the private sector’s penchant for innovation to reform the way we tackle transportation. With this plan, we can prioritize our projects so that we can fund them more effectively. Along with the LAEDC we have formed a coalition to fund a $750,000 study that will include modeling and sector-specific implementation plans.

Public transportation in Los Angeles is
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growing in ridership as oil and gas prices increase. But the infrastructure for new roads is also rising in price as asphalt is a byproduct of oil production.