Friday, August 10, 2012

FTA green lights LACMTA's Westside Subway Extension Project

FTA green lights LACMTA's Westside Subway Extension Project LACMTA

The Federal Transit Administration granted the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority a Record of Decision (ROD) for the $5.6 billion Westside Subway Extension,

officially certifying that the project has satisfied all federal guidelines for environmental analysis.

The action is a prerequisite for LACMTA to seek federal funding for the final design and construction of the nearly nine-mile extension of the Purple Line subway from Wilshire/Western to the Westwood/VA Hospital. The Westside Subway Extension will extend high-capacity, fast, frequent and reliable subway service to one of the most dense and jobs-rich areas of Los Angeles County.

The line will include seven new subway stations at Wilshire/La Brea, Wilshire/Fairfax, Wilshire/La Cienega, Wilshire/Rodeo, Century City, Westwood/UCLA and Westwood/VA Hospital. About 49,300 people are forecasted to board the line at these seven stations. There would be about 78,000 new daily trips on the full system as a result of the opening of this line. Passengers will be able to travel between downtown Los Angeles and the Westwood/UCLA Station in about 25 minutes.

About three-quarters of the project cost will be locally funded from the voter-approved Measure R sales tax. With the ROD, LACMTA can request initiation of final design and commence discussions with the FTA to secure a Full Funding Grant Agreement providing the federal matching contribution for the project.

Preparation for pre-construction activities is already underway for the first phase, which will bring the line to Wilshire/La Cienega. Initial utility relocation work in this segment may begin later this summer or in the fall. Construction of Phase 1 to La Cienega could begin in 2014.

The full nine-mile project could open as early as 2022 if efforts to accelerate project funding are successful.