Photo courtesy Buchanan-Hermit
The 3.9-mile Westside Purple Line Extension from downtown Los Angeles to the City of Beverly Hills received a $2.1 billion infusion in federal grants and loan agreements on Wednesday.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) will receive $1.25 billion in construction grant funds from the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Capital Investment Grant (CIG) Program and up to $856 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (U.S. DOT) Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan program.
The Westside Section 1 project — the first of three planned extensions of the Metro Purple Line subway — is expected to improve travel times and transit capacity from Beverly Hills to downtown Los Angeles, North Hollywood, Union Station and other Los Angeles county communities. The project includes three new underground stations and 34 heavy rail vehicles to augment the existing fleet.
Metro estimates project construction will create more than 22,000 jobs. The extension is expected to open in 2024 and provide more than 20,000 trips daily.
In addition to the $2.1 billion in funds announced for the Westside project, the $2.8 billion project is also receiving approximately $12.2 million in other U.S. DOT and FTA funds, with the remainder funded by state and local sources.
Including the Westside Purple Line Extension, the FTA has executed 41 construction grant agreements for transformational transit projects since 2009 through its CIG Program.
An additional 39 proposed projects are in the CIG pipeline that will need funding in the future, should they meet eligibility requirements. President Obama is seeking a job-creating $10.77 billion investment for the CIG Program over four years in the GROW AMERICA Act. Without this level of funding, the FTA will be unable to fund many of the worthwhile projects currently in the pipeline.
FTA is advancing two other major transit expansion projects in the Los Angeles metropolitan area: the $1.4 billion Regional Connector linking the Blue, Gold and Exposition light rail lines in the heart of Los Angeles, which was approved for a $670 million FTA construction grant agreement, $64 million in other U.S. DOT funds and a $160 million TIFIA loan in February; and the $2.1 billion Crenshaw/LAX light rail transit corridor project, which broke ground in January and is funded in part with a $545.9 million TIFIA loan and approximately $130 million in other FTA and U.S. DOT funds.
Eight additional rail and bus rapid transit projects in California that could receive federal construction funding in the future are also currently in FTA’s capital investment grant pipeline.