The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is moving forward with a $309 million plan to build a light-rail line connecting downtown Los Angeles west to Culver City, a span of about nine miles.
The unanimous vote by the board followed a spirited four-hour public hearing that featured more than 60 speakers.
Residents of Culver City, West Los Angeles and Santa Monica who favor the project argued that the proposed light-rail line will reduce freeway gridlock and curtail pollution.
However, many people who live near the proposed rail corridor expressed fears that the trains would be noisy and dangerous, especially where they cross busy intersections. One board member said it would be easier to finance a busway than a rail line along the corridor.
Even if the rail proposal wins the necessary federal funding, the project is not expected to be complete until 2014.