Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

With at least $40 billion in transportation projects being built or planned in the Los Angeles area over the coming years, a transit-focused coalition urged city leaders Tuesday to keep housing near transit corridors affordable for those most dependent on public transportation.

Three-quarters of people in the Los Angeles area who use public transportation to get to work earn less than $25,000 a year — compared with the $60,000 median annual income for greater Los Angeles residents in 2014, according to the Alliance for Community Transit.

Those lower-wage earners could be priced out of neighborhoods near transportation hubs if city leaders fail to enact policies to protect them, according to an ACT white paper, which says research has shown that transportation projects tend to drive up nearby housing costs.

Boyle Heights resident and Alliance member Fanny Ortiz said city leaders should “act aggressively to ensure that affordable housing for very low- income families near transit is created, so that gentrification doesn’t decimate entire communities.”

The $40 billion in transportation investment mostly comes out of the voter-approved Measure R half-cent sales tax increase, according the Alliance.

Alliance members urged Los Angeles city leaders to take proactive measures to keep housing affordable near public transit corridors, which they said will also lower greenhouse gas and air pollution and create more jobs for Angelenos.

“Los Angeles is making an unprecedented investment in public transportation. For the system to work, we need to plan now to ensure it is accessible to those most likely to use it,” said Laura Raymond, campaign director for the Alliance. “This is going to depend on ensuring housing affordability and community economic development along transit lines.”

The 2013 Cornfield Arroyo Seco Specific Plan and the 2011 Mayor’s Transit Corridors Cabinet could serve as models for future transportation and urban planning, according to the ACT.

The Alliance’s white paper, “Transit For All: Achieving Equity in Transit-Oriented Development” can be read at .

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