The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) recently announced that its East San Fernando Valley Light Rail Transit Project is now eligible for federal funding opportunities.
The transit line will help to reduce congestion along one of the Valley’s most heavily traveled corridors. It will be the first light rail line in the Valley since the demise of the Red Cars in 1952, according to Metro.
“This critical backbone project will be the first light rail line in the Valley, connecting communities, revitalizing neighborhoods, reducing congestion, and improving air quality,” Metro Board Member Paul Krekorian said in a statement.
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) granted the project a Record of Decision, which officially certifies the project as satisfying all federal guidelines for environmental analysis. Metro received environmental clearance from the State of California last December.
Approximately $1.3 billion has been identified for the project, most coming from local Measure M and Measure R, as well as State funds. With this FTA action, Metro now has the green light to seek funding in the federal pipeline for the final design and construction of the 9.2-mile project, which will service busy commercial corridors and densely populated residential areas in the Valley.
Major construction will begin in 2022. The line, connecting the Van Nuys Metro Station with the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink Station, will be built in “interim operating segments” giving Metro the flexibility to determine the most efficient and cost-effective way to complete the project. Metro has also developed a complementary First/Last Mile Plan for the project that identifies improvements to make it safer and more comfortable to walk, bike, and roll to and from the 14 planned transit stations.
The light rail line is scheduled to open by 2028. With an end-to-end travel time of 31 minutes, daily boardings are anticipated to exceed 30,000 by the year 2040.
SOURCE: L.A. Metro via Rebuild SoCal