MTA Gets OK To Start Work On Westside Light Rail System

Project to create estimated 40k jobs

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The Metropolitan Transportation Authority got federal approval Wednesday to start doing engineering work for a Westside light-rail system and a $1.37 billion “regional connector.”

The Federal Transit Administration’s approval means federal funding could be available in the
city’s next fiscal year, which begins July, according to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s staff.

“These two projects represent tremendous job creation, mobility and environmental benefits for the Los Angeles region,” Villaraigosa said.

“Today, the federal government has given a strong signal that the Westside Subway and Regional Connector are likely to be supported with New Starts (federal) funding and that our aggressive timeline for 30/10 is not out of reach.”

Both projects were among a dozen originally expected to completed over 30 years using money from Measure R, a half-cent sales tax approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2008.

Under Villaraigosa’s 30/10 plan, the federal government will accelerate funding for some projects. If the Westside light-rail project is included, the $4.2 billion line would reach Westwood in 2022, instead of 2036.

If accelerated funding for the 1.9-mile regional connector is included, the underground line, which would be built downtown, would be completed by 2019.

In considering a route for the Westside line in October, Metro’s board voted for a roughly 9-mile extension from the Wilshire-Western station to the Veterans Administration campus in West Los Angeles.

Metro officials, citing a study by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp., said the Westside project should provide about 40,300 jobs, while the regional connector might create about 11,400.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

  • LAofAnaheim

    Hmmm…the “westside light rail system” is actually the “westside heavy rail system”. The plan is a full subway into the Westside, not light rail. That’s a different project, the Exposition Line, which is utilizing local money for construction.

  • Mikey

    Idiots, you know the $4.2 billion is going to turn into $8 billion.

  • dana

    Great News… I wil be paying all the taxes on this project and be dead by the time its built.

    • mister s

      Haha funny but true.

    • Beth

      a lot of people, who aren’t around any more, paid the price for things you enjoy every day. now it’s your turn to pay it forward.

  • Census Taker

    want some cheese with that whine? If you don’t like it why don’t you move and take somebody with you!

  • Kevin

    I agree with Mikey. MTA will take low bid by law and all the contractors know this and then while building it will come across 5 -6 billion dollars worth the change orders and then the MTA will pay it because the contractor has them by the shorts and then pass the buck off to the public with fare increases or bus sevice cuts.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Sandwich Generation

Listen Live