PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: FTA approves environmental analysis for L.A. subway extension

Metro officials can begin search for federal money for 9-mile addition

August 17, 2012

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) received a Record of Decision (ROD) last week from the Federal Transit Administration for its Westside Subway Extension project. The ROD certifies the project has met all federal guidelines for environmental analysis and Metro can begin searching for federal funding sources.

The project design calls for seven new subway stations to be added to the Metro Purple Line, extending the line by 9 miles. Metro authorities expect the new stations would generate a ridership increase of around 49,300 people; passengers will be able to travel between downtown Los Angeles and the new Westwood/UCLA station in approximately 25 minutes.

Three-quarters of the funding for the extension will come from local sources, specifically the voter-approved Measure R sales tax. Possible federal sources could include the America Fast Forward Program.

Preliminary construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in 2014; Metro authorities say the full line could be open as early as 2022.