live / 2014

GRID Project to Get Freight Containers Off Freeways

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by GRID Logistics

Combine an advanced ship/train transloading facility with current rail lines & an underground shuttle train to move containers through LA


Please describe yourself.

Collaboration (partners are signed up and ready to hit the ground running!)

In one sentence, please describe your idea or project.

We aim to boost throughput at the Ports of LA & Long Beach while actually reducing truck traffic & pollution along the 710 freight corridor

Does your project impact Los Angeles County?

Yes (benefits a region of LA County)

Which area(s) of LA does your project benefit?

  • East LA
  • South LA
  • San Gabriel Valley

What is your idea/project in more detail?

Our project comprises the Superdock, an integrated transloading and storage facility for shipping containers that would transfer cargo directly between ships and trains faster than current systems can, and would also service our Freight Pipeline, a dedicated electric underground freight shuttle to move cargo between the ports and local distribution centers.

What will you do to implement this idea/project?

We currently have a feasibility study pending at CSUN, which, once completed, would enable us to win private financing that would fund engineering, acquisition of rights-of-way, and actual construction. Our team comprises designers, engineers, outreach specialists, logistics experts, and former terminal managers. We have also engaged in extensive outreach to local and national labor unions, environmental organizations, and local citizens groups, as well as municipal, state, and federal agencies and organizations. We will continue to integrate all possible stakeholders in the region to ensure that GRID truly improves life for ordinary citizens as well as government and business entities.

How will your idea/project help make LA the healthiest place to LIVE today? In 2050?

Between now and 2050, GRID will inexorably reduce freight truck traffic on local and regional roads and freeways, reducing the pollution and congestion that afflict communities rich and poor along the 710 corridor in eastern Los Angeles County. At the same time, GRID will support increase export/import traffic, which will bring more solid middle-class jobs to economically-challenged communities.

Whom will your project benefit?

*All cities along the 710 corridor, from Long Beach to Santa Fe Springs to Pasadena *Inland Empire cities where distribution centers and major railyards are sited (eg, Colton, San Bernardino) *Residents of 710 corridor cities, who now suffer grave health effects from diesel pollution and intense traffic congestion *Working people in a broad area, who will have more access to middle-skill jobs that pay well in warehousing and distribution, as well as the docks and railyards. *The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, who will suffer less truck traffic and will find new developable land in areas no longer needed for container storage *Anyone who commutes by car, bus, or bicycle through the 710 corridor, since GRID will take large numbers of heavy trucks off the roads and freeways *City, county, and state agencies who will enjoy extended road maintenance intervals as truck traffic is thinned out

Please identify any partners or collaborators who will work with you on this project.

Sierra Club (letters of support; confirmed) CSUN (feasibility study awaiting funding; confirmed & enthusiastic) USC (analysis; unconfirmed)

How will your project impact the LA2050 “Live” metrics?

  • Exposure to air toxins
  • Walk/bike/transit score
  • Prevalence of adverse childhood experience (Dream Metric)
  • Percentage of LA communities that are resilient (Dream Metric)

Please elaborate on how your project will impact the above metrics.

Reducing truck traffic along the 710 corridor reduces the most dangerous kinds of airborne pollution. This is the primary contributor to childhood asthma rates, which are high in the region. Pollution and traffic also serve to keep kids indoors and inactive more, leading to obesity and reduced opportunities for socialization.

These pollutants also affect adults, causing heart and lung problems and increasing rates of some cancers.

Traffic congestion hems in communities, keeps kids form exploring outside their neighborhoods, and causes twice-daily stress to commuters.

Communities isolated by barrier freeways have less access to jobs, food diversity, and healthcare, and are thus less resilient.

Please explain how you will evaluate your project.

*If GRID draws more ship traffic to the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles

*If GRID moves at least 70% of port container traffic onto commercial rail or our dedicated Freight Pipeline

*If GRID reduces traffic congestion to levels significantly below current projections on streets and freeways in the 710 corridor

What two lessons have informed your solution or project?

*That we cannot solve the problems caused by our historical dependence on road traffic by simply making more and bigger roads–that simply makes the problems bigger.

*That coordinated systems such as we have designed GRID to be work better than piecemeal efforts slapped together without a vision over time. (Please remember that GRID integrates with existing rail networks as well.)

Explain how implementing your project within the next twelve months is an achievable goal.

We can’t implement the entire project within twelve months, but the LA2050 grant, if we win it, would allow us to work full-time on funding the CSUN study which will make the GRID project itself a viable target for investors. That is achievable within twelve months.

Please list at least two major barriers/challenges you anticipate. What is your strategy for ensuring a successful implementation?

*We anticipate some resistance from municipal agencies, who tend to suffer from institutional inertia; that is why we are so strongly focused on building grassroots support from neighborhood, community, public health, environmental, and labor organizations.

*We anticipate difficulty in obtaining financing for a large visionary project such as GRID, which we will address through the CSUN feasibility study.

What resources does your project need?

  • Network/relationship support
  • Money (financial capital)
  • Publicity/awareness (social capital)
  • Community outreach