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State Cuts Orange Line Extension Funds, Measure R Saves the Day

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Although the state said they would give $14.7 million in funding for the Orange Line extension in the West Valley, they've balked, forcing Metro to either delay the project or use their own money in the meantime. Last Thursday, the latter was chosen, in hope the state will honor the money in the future.

In a 7 to 0 vote, the Metro Board approved using funds from Measure R, the voter-approved sales tax hike for public transit projects," reported the Daily News on Friday. The extension, scheduled to open in 2012, gives the Orange Line a north-south corridor between the Canoga Station and the Chatsworth Metrolink Station with three stops in between: Sherman Way, Roscoe Boulevard, Nordhoff Street.

"I'm not completely sure whether or not it's going to be as high of potential ridership as people think because our existing local lines between the Chatsworth Metrolink station and Warner Center don't have that high of a ridership," Kymberleigh Richards, the public and legislative affairs director for Southern California Transit Advocates, told the Daily News. "But at the same time ... it does create some connectivity between three of our highest ridership east-west streets - Sherman Way, Roscoe and Nordhoff. That's not a bad thing."

Metro is currently facing a $279 million deficit and will be considering cuts to bus and rail service in addition to increasing fares from $1.25 to $1.50.