U.S. DOT announces intention to fund first phase of San Fernando light-rail line

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
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The U.S. DOT has issued a Letter of Intent to fund first phase of San Fernando light-rail line.

The U.S. DOT’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) issued a Letter of Intent (LOI) to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) announcing DOT’s intention to obligate funds for the first phase of the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor light-rail line.

This is the second project to be considered as part of U.S. DOT’s Expedited Project Delivery (EPD) Pilot Program

“The eastern San Fernando Valley Corridor is one of the busiest transit corridors in the nation,” said U.S. Transportation Deputy Secretary Polly Trottenberg. “This announcement is a big step toward creating more transit options, a better commute, and cleaner air for residents in the San Fernando Valley and all of Los Angeles.”

This project will help connect residents to local and regional destinations and activity centers. The 6.7-mile line would add a north-south connection between Pacoima and Van Nuys and improve mobility. The project will include 11 stations and link to Metro’s G (Orange) BRT line and the Metrolink Ventura County line.

As the latest light-rail line in LACMTA’s growing transit network, the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, and lessen congestion.

The U.S. DOT’s letter lays out several conditions that LACMTA must meet in the next two years to allow the project to be considered for a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) as part of the EPD Pilot Program. The maximum federal share of the project would be limited to $908.75 million, which is 25% of the current capital project cost of $3.635 billion. FTA intends to obligate the lesser of $908.75 million, or 25% of the final net capital project cost.

“This project will give residents all over the Los Angeles metro area a convenient and reliable option to get to work, school, shopping, recreation, and healthcare,” said Ray Tellis, FTA Region 9 Administrator. “Adding this line will help reduce traffic jams and alleviate the climate impact that comes with them.”  

FTA is required by law to evaluate proposed EPD Pilot Program projects against a number of criteria and ensure grant recipients demonstrate the technical, legal, and financial capability to carry out their projects. FTA will continue to work closely with LACMTA to further advance the project toward an FFGA under the EPD Pilot Program. 

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