The L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) has announced the receipt of a $1.25 billion Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) from the Federal Transit Administration to help pay for the first nearly four-mile, $2.821-billion segment of the long-awaited Metro Purple Line Extension Project toward West Los Angeles.
The U.S. Department of Transportation also granted Metro a low-interest loan of $856 million from a 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 largest 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.
“Our lives in West Los Angeles revolve around traffic. Where and when we travel is largely determined by traffic congestion patterns,” said Zev Yaroslavsky, L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board Member. “Extending the subway will offer commuters an alternative to driving through one of the most congested metropolitan street and highway systems in the nation. We can now see light at the end of the tunnel as the new subway will begin to serve the Wilshire corridor ‚Äî one of the densest and most important commercial and residential sectors of our region.”
According to the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, construction of the first phase of the Purple Line Extension will support over 25,000 jobs during its construction.
With federal funding commitments now in place, Metro 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: Wilshire/La Brea, Wilshire/Fairfax and Wilshire/La Cienega.
“I am pleased to learn that the Department of Transportation has announced a Full Funding Grant Agreement for the Purple Line extension,” said Congressman Henry Waxman. “This federal money will turn years of planning into a reality, linking Downtown to the Westside and LACMA, the La Brea Tar Pits, Restaurant Row, UCLA, and countless other sites. The Purple Line will be a critical transportation alternative, reducing traffic and congestion and when finished, will connect Westwood to Union Station in 25 minutes. This is an important step toward making this project a reality.”
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. Metro is pursuing alternate funding scenarios that could accelerate subway construction.
“Today we are moving forward with the next generation of transit for our next generation and together are transforming Los Angeles County,” said Pam O’Connor, Santa Monica Mayor and Metro Board Member.
Over 300,000 people travel into the Westside every day for work from throughout the region. More than 100,000 trips leave the area for outside destinations. These numbers are expected to increase over time.
Metro will hold an advisory group meeting for the first section of the Metro Purple Line Extension Project on May 27. Metro will provide an overview of anticipated construction-related noise and vibration, and background on upcoming pre-construction surveys for properties along the alignment of the first nearly four-mile subway segment between Wilshire/Western and La Cienega. The meeting will be held from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the Petersen Automotive Museum, 6060 Wilshire Blvd., fourth Floor. This location is served by Metro bus lines 20, 720, 217, 780.
Validated parking is available in the structure behind the museum. Motorists should enter the parking structure from Fairfax and bring their parking ticket with them.
The advisory group consists of individuals representing the residents, businesses, property owners and key institutions around each of the three stations in the first section of the project. Residents, businesses and property owners in the vicinity are especially encouraged to attend.
Construction on the first section of the project is expected to begin later this year.