SoCal Officials Talk Regional Traffic Solutions At Transportation Summit

ANAHEIM (CBSLA.com) — Local and state officials – including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti – met in Anaheim Friday to focus on ways to reduce traffic congestion and improve commuting options for Southland residents.

KNX 1070’s Mike Landa reports Garcetti is among more than 1,000 transportation, business and elected leaders who convened at the Disneyland Hotel for the 13th annual Mobility 21 Southern California Transportation Summit.

The annual conference, which is the largest one-day transportation event in the state, focuses on bringing together leaders from a broad spectrum of backgrounds to address the challenges and opportunities facing Southern California’s transportation infrastructure.

Conference attendees will discuss concepts being proposed to overcome Southern California’s transportation challenges, including harnessing the power of new technology, alternative project delivery mileage-based user fees and tolling and enhanced transit systems.

Among the solutions being proposed: an interconnected, regional transportation system that could, in theory, take commuters from the San Fernando Valley to Irvine on a series of trains and buses.

During his welcome remarks at the Summit, Garcetti – who also serves as the Metro Board Chair – highlighted major transportation improvements underway, but stressed the need to continue investing in transportation.

“Traffic doesn’t care about borders, so we need to work together as a region to expand our transportation options and help people get around more easily,” said Garcetti. “That’s why we’re undergoing one of the biggest transportation projects in the country and leveraging those investments to access new funding opportunities and continue building for the future.”

Jeff Lalloway, Vice Chair OCTA Board of Directors, estimated that the region will need $44 billion for street pavement work and another $26 billion for repairs and renovations to state highways.

But the growing popularity of hybrid vehicles could make funding such projects even more of a challenge, according to Lalloway.

“As you know, people are driving more fuel-efficient cars these days, which, good or bad, means less money for the fuel tax,” said Lalloway.

Lalloway added he’s convinced the lost revenue can be made up without raising taxes.

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