The San Fernando Valley Council of Governments voted Thursday to back three public transit projects for the Valley.
The Council will now submit the projects to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, or Metro, as ones that should be given priority in future funding plans.
The projects are a replacement of the Orange Line busway with rail; putting a light rail system on Van Nuys Boulevard to connect the Sylmar Metrolink station with Ventura Boulevard; and connecting the Valley with West Los Angeles by burrowing a train tunnel through the Santa Monica Mountains and down the Sepulveda Pass.
The transit projects have become a rallying point for Valley on Track, a coalition of community and business groups and public officials formed last year by the Valley Industry & Trade Association, the business advocacy group in Sherman Oaks.
VICA President Stuart Waldman called the council’s support for the projects a pivotal day for commuters and businesses in the Valley.
“If these projects eventually do get the funding they need, it will go a long way toward alleviating the nightmare commutes residents face trying to go in, out of and around the San Fernando Valley,” Waldman said in a prepared statement.
The Metro board is compiling a list of transit projects in advance of preparing a potential sales tax ballot measure in 2016 to fund them.
In 2008, voters approved Measure R to raise $40 billion in new transit funding over 30 years. An initiative to extend it in November 2012 failed to win voter support by a slim margin.
“The only way the 1.8 million residents of the Valley can support a third ballot measure is for Metro to give the Valley its fair share,” said VICA Chairman Coby King said in a statement.
The Valley Council of Governments was formed in 2010 and is led by city council members and county supervisors from the jurisdictions of Burbank, Glendale, San Fernando, Santa Clarita, Los Angeles County and the seven Los Angeles city council districts serving the San Fernando Valley.