The board of Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) has approved the route of the first section of West Santa Ana LRT project as well as the LA Union Station as the northern terminus of the West Santa Ana LRT.
The Slauson/A Line – Pioneer selected route covers the construction of a 23.8 km light rail line between Artesia and Downtown Los Angeles.
The new light rail project covers the construction of a 31 km line with 12 stations in southeast LA County, connecting the area with the Downtown Los Angeles. The new line will cross 11 areas with 1.4 million residents living near the route. A maintenance and storage facility was proposed to be constructed in Bellflower.
LA Metro will proceed with completing a Final EIS/R by spring 2023 for the initial segment, allowing for a groundbreaking in 2023 and the delivery of the first 23.8 km section between 2033-35. At the same time, Metro will identify a cost-effective route in lieu of the aerial and underground route previously evaluated for the 7.2 km Slauson/A Line (Blue) to Union Station segment.
“The West Santa Ana Branch is not just a crucial project to deliver light rail to historically underserved areas of L.A. County. It’s an opportunity to stitch our region together and connect people to opportunity,” Metro Board Director and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said.
The West Santa Ana LRT will offer connectivity in Southeast Los Angeles region and will provide relief to the limited mobility and transit options to the communities which together, the Gateway Cities have populations and employment densities that are five times higher than the L.A. County average.
In addition, the new light rail line will provide transfers to the Metro C Line (Green), Metro A Line (Blue) and the L.A. County regional transit network.
The entire line which is expected to become operational in 2041, is estimated to reduce end-to-end transit travel time to 40 minutes in the corridor. The project is funded by Measure R and M as well as by a USD 300 million state funding. This will allow Metro to pursue more federal funding for the project. In February 2022, the FTA has approved Metro’s request for entry into the project development phase of the Capital Investment Grants Programme.