CIG funds for L.A. Metro’s Westside Purple Line Extension enter 30-day review

Feb. 13, 2020
A $1.3-billion grant for the Westside Purple Line Extension Section 3 project has entered a mandatory congressional review period; a final step prior to the execution of a Full Funding Grant Agreement.

A $1.3-billion grant for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (Metro) Westside Purple Line Extension, Section 3 project has been sent to Congress for a mandatory 30-day review period. The review of the grant, which is provided through the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program, is the final step before a Full Funding Grant Agreement can be executed between L.A. Metro and FTA. 

The $3.6-billion project is the third and final phase of L.A. Metro’s heavy-rail extension of its Westside Purple Line that will connect downtown Los Angeles to Westwood. Section 3 will begin at the future Century City Station, which is part of the second phase of the extension project and will run entirely underground to the Westwood/Veterans Hospital area. The 2.56-mile third section of the extension includes the purchase of 16 vehicles, train controls and signals.

“This new transit line, when fully constructed, will revolutionize the ability to connect the Westside with the rest of Los Angeles County’s growing rail and bus networks,” said L.A. Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington.

L.A. Metro currently serves the corridor between downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica along Wilshire Boulevard with bus rapid transit that carries 60,000 daily riders. This corridor has the highest population and employment density in Los Angeles County and L.A. Metro believes delivering the heavy-rail extension is the most effective option to improve transportation capacity.

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), a longtime advocate in Washington, D.C., for the project, expressed gratitude to the U.S. Department of Transportation for the funds that will alleviate congestion in the area.

“Once finished, the Purple Line extension will mean 80,000 more trips on [L.A.] Metro and shorten the trip from Westwood to downtown to just 25 minutes. Connecting downtown L.A. with the Westside is crucial to modernizing the city’s transit system,” said Sen. Feinstein.

The first two sections of the Westside Purple Line Extension are currently under construction and are also funded in part through the CIG Program. The Westside Purple Line Extension’s first section will be completed in 2023 and connect Wilshire/Western and Wilshire/La Cienega, while the second section will be completed in 2025 and connect downtown Beverly Hills to Century City.

“Los Angeles is in the midst of a once-in-a-generation moment for public transportation — when the idea of linking the westside to downtown is no longer a distant dream, but a reality that’s within our grasp,” said L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti. “[The] funding agreement will help us finish the Purple Line Extension more quickly and build the world-class transit system Angelenos deserve.”

“In addition to Sen. Feinstein championing this transit project, I want to express my sincere thanks to members of the Los Angeles County Congressional Delegation, Secretary Elaine Chao and Acting FTA Administrator K. Jane Williams. The partnership between [L.A.] Metro, our federal elected officials in Los Angeles County and the U.S. Department of Transportation has been seamless on this project - and today’s news of a $1.3-billion federal grant for the Westside Purple Line Extension (Segment 3) is emblematic of this fact,” said Washington.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.