BEVERLY HILLS—The Los Angeles subway network has received $1.6 billion in federal funds to extend its Purple Line west into Beverly Hills and Westwood neighborhoods.
The Purple Line Extension, formerly known as the Westside Subway Extension, will be constructed in phases. The first phase, which began construction in November 2014, will be a 3.9-mile long extension from Wilshire/Western to La Cienega Boulevard and is expected to be completed in 2023.
The second phase will continue westward from La Cienega Boulevard, adding stations in Beverly Hills and Century CIty. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority estimates the two new stations will cost $2.5 billion and are expected to be completed by 2026. The third phase of construction will continue the tracks west toward Westwood.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced on January 4 that the total of the $1.6 billion fund was ensured through federal funds and grants. The fund is a combination of contribution from the Federal Transit Administration Capital Investment Grant, the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loan, and a grant from the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality program. The rest of the funding comes from Measure R, a 2008 voter-approved sales tax that is used to pay for transportation projects and improvements.
According to the Los Angeles County Economic Development, construction of the Purple Line Extension will support more than 25,000 jobs in the Southern California area. Officials said the Purple Line would be able to carry 50,000 passengers each day and provide a 25-minute ride between Westwood and Downtown Los Angeles.
Not everyone supports the Purple Line Extension. The city of Beverly Hills and the Beverly Hills Unified School District sued against the Federal Transit Administration and lost in L.A. County Superior Court, then filed a federal lawsuit but a federal judge upheld the FTA’s approval in a ruling in August 2016. The city was concerned about a train line going underneath Beverly Hills High School.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is a supporter of the Purple Line Extension.
“Angelenos and people across LA County have shown their commitment to creating a better-connected transportation system, and this investment echoes that commitment to giving people faster, more convenient connections to their jobs, to healthy recreation fun attractions, and to the people they love,” said Garcetti.
Garcetti added that the city is working to create a world-class transit system and the federal funds for the Purple Line Extension will accelerate progress.