LACMTA, along with federal, state and local officials, signed a $1.25-billion Federal Transit Administration Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA), which will help pay for the first nearly four-mile, $2.821-billion segment of the LACMTA Purple Line Extension Project toward West Los Angeles.
Additionally, the U.S. Department of Transportation simultaneously granted LACMTA a $856-million Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) Loan to complete the funding package for the first phase of the project. Combined, the nearly $2-billion in project commitments represent the single biggest federal transportation investment in the history of Los Angeles County. The remaining $821 million in project funding includes Measure R, city of Los Angeles and other existing local and federal funds.
"The federal commitment not only makes the subway extension to the Westside possible, it underscores the confidence of Washington in what we're doing here in Los Angeles on many fronts to deal with the nation's worst traffic congestion," said LACMTA Board Chair and Lakewood Councilmember Diane DuBois. "L.A. County is on the move. By the end of the year, we'll have a record five rail lines concurrently under construction in Los Angeles County, funded in part with about $3.5 billion in federal grants and low-interest loans. That is an unprecedented federal commitment to expanding transportation infrastructure in the county and we are overjoyed and grateful."
With federal funding commitments now in place, LACMTA will soon recommend the selection of a design-build contractor. Preliminary construction activities for the first segment of the project could begin later this year, with completion of the first subway segment anticipated in 2023. The new segment will add three new subway stations, which will be Wilshire/La Brea, Wilshire/Fairfax and Wilshire/La Cienega.
The Purple Line Extension project will extend L.A.'s subway further west from its terminus at Wilshire/Western in the Mid-Wilshire District. The project was approved by two-thirds of L.A. County voters in 2008 as part of the Measure R transportation sales tax initiative.
Current funding streams require the project to be built in three separate phases. When all phases are complete, the Purple Line will extend westward for nearly nine miles with a total of seven new stations. Future planned stations beyond the initial three include Wilshire/Rodeo, Century City, Westwood/UCLA and the Westwood/VA Hospital.
Under this three-phase scenario, the total project is forecast to cost $6.3 billion. Measure R funds will pay for approximately three-fourths of the overall project cost, however, LACMTA is pursuing alternate funding scenarios that could accelerate subway construction.
The Purple Line Extension to the Westwood/VA Hospital station will generate about 49,300 daily weekday boardings at the seven new stations. During peak periods, trains are expected to run every four minutes. During off-peak periods, they are expected to run every 10 minutes.