The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is considering a P3 proposal to convert one of its bus rapid transit lines to a light rail.
The plan, which would accelerate the conversion of the Orange Line, was received by the agency as an unsolicited proposal from Texas-based Fluor Enterprises. The Metro’s Office of Extraordinary Innovation will now evaluate the proposal, details of which have not been released.
Converting the Orange Line, which runs 29km in the city’s San Fernando Valley, to light rail has long been considered. In April 2015, a feasibility study concluded that such a project would cost upwards of $1.2 billion and disrupt service.
The Orange Line improvement was one of more than 40 included in a traffic improvement plan, called Measure M, approved by Los Angeles voters in November. The plan added a half-cent sales tax to fund various infrastructure projects throughout the city.
Last February, the Metro established its unsolicited proposal policy, allowing any firm with an idea to improve on any of the agency’s services to develop and submit a conceptual proposal. It has since received 67 such suggestions, which are then subject to review by a team of internal experts. If accepted, a project goes through to a competitive bidding process.
“We are seeing innovation at its best in the proposals and we look forward to delivering projects and programs – supported by P3s – to improve the quality of life of our region,” said Metro chief innovation officer Joshua Schank.
Under Measure M, the Orange Line project is not scheduled to break ground until 2051, but proposals received under the unsolicited proposal policy can accelerate this timeline. The Metro’s review team will now decide within 60 days whether to advance or reject Fluor’s pitch.