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L.A. Metro advances West Santa Ana Branch light-rail project

The new light-rail line will span 19.3 miles.
Photo – L.A. Metro


The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (L.A. Metro) board last week approved two advancements in the West Santa Ana Branch light-rail project.

The board approved the Los Angeles Union Station as the northern terminus of the corridor; and a 14.8-mile route between Artesia and downtown L.A. as the locally preferred alternative (LPA) for the project’s initial segment.

The new light-rail project will span 19.3 miles with 12 stations serving 1.4 million L.A. residents in the “Gateway Cities.” These communities have population and employment densities five times higher than the L.A. County average, demonstrating a need for more mobility and transit options, L.A. Metro officials said in a press release.

The new line will also provide transfers to other lines within the L.A. County regional transit network.

The current project schedule calls for a 2023 groundbreaking, with completion of the 14.8-mile segment between 2033 and 2035. The agency plans to identify simultaneously a cost-effective route for the 4.5-mile Slauson/A Line to Union Station segment.

Overall, the project is expected to reduce travel times to an estimated 40 minutes in the corridor with funding sourced from Measure R and Measure M voter-approved transportation sales taxes as well as $300 million from the state. The agency will continue pursuing federal funding for the project, L.A. Metro officials said.

"The West Santa Ana Branch is not just a crucial project to deliver light rail to historically underserved areas of L.A. County — it’s an opportunity to stitch our region together and connect people to opportunity," said L.A. Metro Board Director and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. "Through Measure M and collaboration across the county, we are improving congestion and air quality and bringing high-quality public transportation to every corner of our region."

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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