The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors yesterday unanimously approved a motion introduced by Supervisor Kathryn Barger that authorizes the County to enter into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with L.A. Metro and the City of Palmdale to bring a massive bus and passenger rail car manufacturing and testing facility to North County.
“We are continuing our momentum to make this once-in-a-lifetime economic investment in our Antelope Valley region,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “A lot of hard work by many partners has gotten us to this point, and I appreciate the vast support this project has received so far. We are poised to bring billions of dollars in economic return and over 100,000 jobs by anchoring this hub for bus and rail car manufacturing and testing in the Antelope Valley. This is a win on many fronts.”
The Center for Transportation Excellence has the potential to generate $11.5 billion in economic returns and over 114,300 direct and indirect jobs, according to the American Public Transportation Association. A Consortium of local stakeholders and supporters has been formed to contribute to the vision and future plans of the Center.
Elissa Diaz, Senior Public Policy Manger with the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, was on hand to voice support for the Center during the Board meeting. “The Chamber supports advancing the Center for Transportation Excellence,” said Diaz. “The project will meet a critical industry gap by improving the availability of transit vehicle development and will train the next generation of operators and maintenance experts on new transit technologies. The L.A. Area Chamber supports transportation policies and programs that increase mobility and expand alternative commute options.”
Arthur Sohikian, Executive Director of the North Los Angeles County Transportation Coalition Joint Point Powers Authority, expressed support for the motion. “On behalf of our Coalition, we are pleased to strongly support this motion,” Sohikian said. “We appreciate Supervisor Barger’s leadership and vision for building a strong economy for future generations. By having multiple stakeholders at the planning table, we will create plans that are inclusive and thoughtful. The future is bright.”
A preliminary site plan for this massive 2 million-square-foot bus and passenger rail car hub of manufacturing and innovation was unveiled during a prior Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board meeting. Located in the eastern section of Los Angeles World Airports’ Palmdale Airport land holdings, the nominated site is approximately 8.6 square miles and spans both unincorporated Los Angeles County and the City of Palmdale.
The MOU identifies several tasks that will be completed once it is fully executed, including developing a governance strategy among the partners involved in developing the Center and the appointment of a Regional Innovation Officer to oversee the effort. A copy of the MOU is available here.