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The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (Metro) board yesterday chose a 9.2-mile light-rail line as its preferred alternative for the East San Fernando Valley transit corridor project.The line would connect the Orange Line bus-rapid transit station on Van Nuys Boulevard to a Metrolink station in LA's Sylmar neighborhood. Metro's staff determined that light rail would be faster, provide more capacity and better serve the community than a bus rapid transit line, agency officials wrote in a blog post.Earlier this month, Metro staff formally recommended that the board choose light rail for the project."Demographics also played a significant role in the staff’s recommendation," wrote Steve Hymon, editor of Metro's blog. "Transit dependency, population density and poverty are all higher in the project's study area than in the urbanized part of LA County as a whole. The area's population and number of jobs are both expected to rise in the coming years."The East San Fernando light-rail line would include 14 stations and a maintenance and storage yard between Raymer and Keswick streets in LA's Van Nuys neighborhood.Metro aims to break ground on the project in fiscal-year 2022 and open the line in 2027. The project is part of Metro's Twenty-Eight by '28 plan, which calls for finishing 28 major transit projects in time for the 2028 Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Los Angeles.Work may now begin on the project's final environmental impact statement/report. That's slated to wrap up in 2019, to be followed by design and engineering, utility relocation and the selection of a contractor to build the line.
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