The Federal Transit Administration signed a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) in the amount of $670 million to fund the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (LACMTA) $1.37-billion Regional Connector Project.
“This agreement from the federal government to provided critical funding for this important gap in the regional system paves the way for major construction to begin later this year on the Regional Connector Project,” said LACMTA Board Chair and Lakewood Councilmember Diane DuBois. “This is an extremely important project that will benefit the entire region by connecting the Blue and Gold Lines through downtown Los Angeles offering passengers a one-seat ride from Pasadena to Long Beach and from East Los Angeles to Santa Monica.”
The Regional Connector Project completes a 1.9-mile gap between the Blue Line and the Gold Line by providing a direct connection with three new stations planned for 1st Street/Central Avenue, 2nd Street/Broadway and 2nd Place/Hope Street in downtown Los Angeles.
The Regional Connector Project, expected to be completed in 2020, will attract nearly 17,000 new daily riders and provide access to more than 88,000 passengers saving passengers up to 20 minutes off their daily commutes. It will provide a one-set, one fare ride for commuters from Azusa to Long Beach and from East Los Angeles to Santa Monica without the need to transfer between rail lines for major east/west and north/south trips.
In addition to the FFGA, the U.S. Department of Transportation granted LACMTA a loan of $160 million for the Regional Connector Project from a Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act Loan (TIFIA) to complete the funding package for the project.