Opinion: Los Angeles Business Journal said the Inglewood Transit Connector isn't worth the $750M gamble

March 16, 2023

By: Marvin McCoy

Thank God for 2UrbanGirls coverage because if it weren’t for your dogged coverage of the deficiencies and the inadequate communication and public participation in the discussion of the planning of the still grossly underfunded Inglewood Transit Connector project the public would have no idea what was in store for them despite City consultants saying otherwise  

I had to find out about the readjusted costs of this project in the Los Angeles Business Journal article titled Inglewood Rail Project Gets $407M in State Funding, exemplifies the standard practice of disrespect that has long existed between Inglewood officials since the controversial return of the NFL via Sofi stadium.  The same project elected officials blatantly led a false and I believe, criminally deceptive and organized scheme, in which the allusion of the public support of these projects, along with the arrival of the Intuit Dome and now ITC has yet to attract private investors. 

Los Angeles Clippers Owner Steve Ballmer funds a political action committee that spent $10,000 towards the passage of two tax measures during a 2021 special election.  The residents rejected Measure I which was estimated to bring in $4 million in annual revenue from an increase in Real Estate Transfer Taxes that was promoted by the City’s consultant, Lisa Trifiletti.  Based on 2UrbanGirls reporting on the contents of the staff report on the matter, the tax wasn’t just to support emergency services but to upgrade the City’s infrastructure which only included the people mover.  The only problem is the City is working to address the costs of construction and they are radio silent on where the funds will come from for operating and maintenance costs.  Shouldn’t residents know this BEFORE the shovel hits the dirt?  Especially if the idea is to further tax Inglewood residents.

The spill is “this is for the future and the 2028 Olympics” but are we to believe that two weeks of the Olympics will fund this project in perpetuity with NO support from taxpayers?

I earnestly believe that the Mayor and City Council would have rammed the circus known as a public hearing down our throats in attempts to comply because that’s what the City does.  Gives off the appearance to comply while meeting the minimum threshold while routinely acquiescing to the will of their multi-billionaire donors because that’s what they paid for. And why shouldn’t they?  They should expect nothing less when they pumped hundreds of thousands into Inglewood elections and spent $400 million to squash a lawsuit led by Madison Square Garden.  

Inglewood elected officials have lost their way and if we should believe the reports based on the Los Angeles Business Journal then we would be better off as a community to take a vocal stand to be included in the “Inglewood Renaissance” because for far too long we’ve been ignored and it appears that this project is nowhere near breaking ground but has instead enriched the likes of consultants, attorneys, and developers who deem to be more than friendly to the city council.  The payments are well documented on the City’s warrant registers and are eating handsomely off the idea of the people mover although it may never be built. The reality is there is a looming recession, banks are failing, and we have a Republican-led Senate who may not believe giving the city of Inglewood hundreds of millions of dollars for a two-week ceremony is cost-effective.

Other things to consider are rising interest rates, rising labor costs, and a disruptive supply chain that will result in delays as we saw with the Crenshaw/LAX (K-Line) that will make meeting the deadline for the 2028 Olympics utterly impossible.

Marvin McCoy is a lifelong Inglewood resident and can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @MarvinM83905936 | Instagram: @therealmccoymarketinggroup

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