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The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (L.A. Metro) board has approved certification of the final environmental impact report (EIR) for the Antelope Valley Line (AVL) Capacity and Service Improvements Program.
The project involves three proposed capital improvements along the rail corridor, aiming to increase service frequency and reliability along the existing 76.6-mile corridor between Lancaster and downtown Los Angeles, L.A. Metro officials said in a press release.
The project's goal is to enable the regular interval scheduling of 30 minutes of bi-directional commuter-rail service from the Los Angeles Union Station to the city of Santa Clarita and hourly service to the end of the AVL corridor in Lancaster. Current rail service patterns vary from 30 minutes during peak service to up to two hours during off-peak service times.
Those capital improvements being studied include the Balboa double-track extension in Los Angeles, the Canyon siding extension in Santa Clarita and the Lancaster terminal improvements in Lancaster. The AVL project is part of Metrolink’s Southern California Optimized Rail Extension (SCORE) program, a capital project to reduce greenhouse gases, improve access to affordable housing and create economic opportunity. The AVL runs through several equity focus communities (EFCs), which factor in household income, race, ethnicity and low-vehicle ownership.
"The proposed AVL improvements help the region to meet its transit needs in light of anticipated substantial population and employment growth in the north Los Angeles County region over the next 20 years," said L.A. Metro Chair Hilda Solis. "This rail corridor plays a critical role in connecting communities in the north L.A. County with downtown Los Angeles and all the cities in between."
Construction is not expected to begin before 2028.