Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transport Authority (Metro) released the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the East San Fernando Valley light rail project. The authority organises online public consultation in English and Spanish until November 2, 2020.
The project involves the construction of a 14.8-km light rail line connecting the G Line (Orange) with the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink station. The new line will run along Van Nuys Boulevard and the San Fernando rail right-of-way. Under the project, 14 light rail stations will be constructed between the Van Nuys G Line station and Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink station using Van Nuys Boulevard and the San Fernando Rail alignment, providing numerous easy transfers between Metro, Metrolink and Amtrak lines in the San Fernando Valley. The stations will be strategically located in close proximity to Metro local and rapid east/west bus service to enable convenient connections.
The light rail line will provide end-to-end trips which will take 30 minutes compared to bus trips that take at least 48 minutes currently.
The construction works are expected to start in 2022 could be built in phases depending on available funding. The project is partially funded by the Measure R and Measure M transport sales taxes approved by county voters in 2008 and 2016, respectively. USD 1.3 billion would be covered from these two measures.
The new line will become operational in 2028. According to the estimation, the new rail connection will exceed 30,000 daily trips by 2040.
Following the FEIS/R public review period, the Metro Board will consider the report as soon as the November/December timeframe. Once the board certifies the FEIS/R and if it approves the project, the Federal Transit Administration would then issue a Record of Decision for the project. Next year, the LA transport authority will launch a tender to select the construction contractor and will start the property acquisition process.
In 2018, the Metro Board has selected the preferred alternative for the transit corridor.
The East San Fernando Valley project is part of Metro’s 30-year transport strategy which has an estimated investment of USD 400 billion.