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6/5/2014



Rail News: Passenger Rail

LACMTA seeks feedback on Union Station master plan


The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) is soliciting public input on a master plan for Union Station in downtown Los Angeles.

A public hearing will be held today on the plan to modernize the station. Earlier this week, LACMTA officials proposed 3.25 million square feet of new development including hotels, and office and retail space, as well as a new passenger concourse that would greatly expand the existing passageway, LACMTA officials said in a post on the agency's website.

Two pedestrian and bicycle bridges would span the rail yard to better connect the station property's eastern and western sides. The bridges would offer views of the property, as well as the downtown skyline.

With nearly 70,000 people currently using the station each weekday on average — a number expected to grow to 100,000 by 2020 and to 140,000 by 2040 — LACMTA has been developing a master plan to improve how the station functions as a transit facility. The plan would also expand green space at the station, accommodate potential development that would work alongside a bus and train station, preserve its historic architectural character and make Union Station more of a destination, agency officials said.

Last fall, the board approved a basic concept for the station that included a greatly expanded concourse to run under the existing train platforms, and called for relocating and consolidating the bus plaza to the west side of the current tunnel under the tracks. The board has continued to tweak the plan in recent months.

The agency also is exploring the possibility of locating an eventual high-speed rail terminal either below or above Vignes Street on the east side of the Union Station property, which would allow construction of such a terminal without interfering with the station's operations.



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