At a joint meeting of Metro and the Southern California Transit Advocates, both groups pleaded for greater involvement by the community in the "Subway to the Sea" (officially called Westside Extension Transit Corridor Study) transit extension. The meeting took place at El Rey theatre on Wilshire Blvd, and attracted roughly two dozen activists and residents.
For Metro, the plea was for people to comment on what kind of new transit people would want to see, and whether or not it should run along Wilshire Boulevard. The two proposed lines both begin in Santa Monica but head in different directions at Wilshire Blvd. One route heads east down Wilshire until Koreatown. The other continues North into West Hollywood before heading east. Metro also sought comments on where to place subway stops and what mode of transit (heavy rail, light rail, Bus Rapid Transit) the project should take.
The first round of hearings for the project were completed in October, and comments are due by the close of business on November 1. For more on how to officially comment, click here.
Meanwhile, So.CA.TA called for the public to go beyond just contacting Metro. Noting that the project had $0 dedicated to its construction and that public funds would be needed from federal and state government. Easels bearing maps of legislative and congressional districts adorned the back of the theatre.
Following a presentation by Anthony Loui, the project manager for Subway to the Sea, the floor was opened to questions and comments. Most comments were supportive of the project. Discussion of whether or not the Westside Extension should connect to Phase II of the Expo project, whether the Westside Study should be merged with a North-South Crenshaw Study, and whether or not there should be a stop at Crenshaw Blvd were all discussed.
There was one objecting comment. Douglas, owner of the East Gallery on Wilshire asked why monorail wasn't being studied as an alternative. He argued that asking commuters to go into tunnels in today's society was ridiculous. Transit advocates argued that monorail was a non-starter with the local business community and was limited in how many passengers it would carry. Douglas, a twenty year business owner along Wishire, was unimpressed with these claims.