LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Federal transit officials Thursday announced a $670 million construction grant to build a light rail transit line that will connect three other rail lines in the heart of downtown Los Angeles.

The grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) marks about half of the money needed to complete a $1.4 billion project to build the two-mile Regional Connector light rail transit line, which will connect three existing transit lines with a new tunnel and three new stations.

KNX 1070’s Megan Goldsby reports the project will utilize the existing Metro Gold line in Little Tokyo and the Exposition and Blue light rail lines, which currently terminate at Flower and 7th Streets.

FTA Deputy Administrator Terese McMillian said the grant – which also includes four new light rail vehicles – will help attract nearly 17,000 new daily riders and eliminate the need for cumbersome transfers from light rail to the Metro Red or Purple Line subway system and then back onto light rail.

“This project is going to give them back hours of their life,” McMillian said.

The Regional Connector is scheduled to open in 2020 and is projected to handle roughly 60,000 trips or more every weekday.