On Thursday, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) board of directors approved the agency’s support for the development of the California High Speed Rail initiative, as well as a first segment that would connect Los Angeles to Anaheim in less than 20 minutes.
The decision officially brings Metro on board as a strategic partner in a broad-based coalition of transportation and other agencies statewide that are committed to building an 800-mile network of trains whose maximum speeds can reach up to 220 mph. The high-speed train network would connect Southern, Central and Northern California as proposed by the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA).
Under a Memorandum of Understanding, both Metro and CHSRA would work together to establish high-speed train service in the Los Angeles Corridor utilizing, among others, Metro-owned facilities and rights-of-way. Metro will ensure full integration of all of its public transit services serving Union Station, which include the Metro Red Line, Metro Gold Line and ubiquitous Metro Local and Metro Rapid bus lines.
Metro has put its weight behind the very first proposed segment that would begin at L.A. Union Station and end at the proposed Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC) Station in Anaheim. End to end, the trip would take less than 20 minutes, its stations resembling airports without airplanes.
The proposed segment has already undergone preliminary environmental reviews and is now considered one of the most “construction ready” projects of its type in the country. CHSRA has completed an Alternatives Analysis and is expected to issue a draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Study for the L.A. to Anaheim segment at the end of 2009.
Construction could begin as early as 2012 and open in 2018.