A federal grant totaling nearly $1.3 billion to help build the third and final phase of L.A. Metro’s Purple Line Extension to Westwood/VA Hospital in Westwood was sent by the U.S. Department of Transportation to Capitol Hill, the last step before the agreement is signed between the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the agency.
The $1.3 billion federal grant will be delivered through a multi-year agreement known as a Full Funding Grant Agreement that is governed by the FTA’s Capital Investment Grant program, popularly referred to as New Starts. The $1.3 billion is a stand-alone grant agreement, with no required loans for L.A. Metro to pay back as in previous funding agreements for Sections 1 and 2 of the extension. The overall cost for this section of the project is $3.6 billion, with remaining funds coming from L.A. Metro’s voter-approved transportation sales tax measures.
Once this Full Funding Grant Agreement is finalized — following a 30-day review period on Capitol Hill mandated by the surface transportation authorization legislation known as the FAST Act — it will deliver $1.3 billion for one of L.A. County’s most critically needed public transit projects — a subway primarily under Wilshire Boulevard that will finally connect downtown Los Angeles and Westwood with service to the Miracle Mile, Beverly Hills, and Century City.
L.A. Metro is now actively building the first two sections of the subway and has begun some initial preparatory construction activities for Section 3 between Century City and Westwood. Major construction is expected to start later this year. The three sections of the seven-mile Purple Line Extension are expected to open, respectively, in 2023, 2025, and 2027.
The Purple Line Extension to the Westwood/VA Hospital station will garner about 49,300 daily weekday boardings at the seven new stations. There will be about 78,000 new daily trips on the full Metro Rail System as a result of opening this line.