The Inglewood Transit Connector (ITC) Project has received a positive rating from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), making the project eligible for funding from the FTA’s Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program and moves it a step closer to receiving full funding and a groundbreaking.
“We thank the FTA for advancing the ITC Project, as it will not only enhance access to our housing, commercial and world-class sports and entertainment centers, it will provide access to good job opportunities and will lift up Inglewood, the South Bay and the entire region,” said Mayor of Inglewood, Calif., James T. Butts, Jr. “I thank President Biden, Secretary Buttigieg, Administrator Fernandez, the FTA team, as well as Sen. Padilla (D-CA), the late Sen. Feinstein (D-CA) and Congresswoman Waters (D-CA-43) for their continued commitment to facilitating investments in much-needed high-quality transit.”
To achieve the rating, the city of Inglewood undertook a rigorous effort to demonstrate the ITC’s ridership potential, synergy with FTA’s land use and economic development goals and its financial ability to deliver the project. Projects such as the ITC must earn and maintain a ranking of “medium” or higher to be eligible for the federal funding provided through the FTA’s CIG program, which has already helped finance more than 150 projects around the country, ranging from subway systems to rapid transit bus lines.
The ITC, a proposed 1.6-mile automated people mover, will address a “first/last” mile transportation gap between the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (L.A. Metro) K Line and Inglewood’s new major employment and destination centers, including the Kia Forum, Sofi Stadium, YouTube Theater, the Intuit Dome, as well as the housing and commercial destinations in Hollywood Park. The ITC will both connect Inglewood residents to the L.A. Metro transit system and link riders from across L.A. Metro’s existing 100-plus miles of rail to Inglewood. The ITC would reduce greenhouse gases by averting millions of vehicle miles to and from Inglewood, create thousands of temporary construction and permanent jobs and bolster broader economic investment in the city and throughout the region.
“We have many more hurdles to cross on this project but today is a day to be grateful,” said Eloy Morales, councilmember for District 3 in Inglewood. “What we are doing is nothing less than taking a big, bold idea from vision to reality. It’s a complex process but its purpose is simple – the ITC will benefit our residents, business owners and everyone who comes to Inglewood.”
Disadvantaged businesses enterprises (DBEs) are anticipated to benefit from the project, with a requirement that 16 percent of all contract values go to DBEs and a broader goal that 30 percent of all contract values go to small, minority, women and veteran businesses. In addition, a Community Workforce Agreement, which has already been executed by the city and the LA/OC Building Trades, will require that 35 percent of construction hours be worked by local hires, 10 percent by transitional workers and up to 30 percent by apprenticeships.
“The ITC Project is more than a transit solution," said Gloria Gray, councilwoman for District 1 in Inglewood. “It is literally a vehicle for job opportunities. It would also reduce our carbon footprint and support the economic development of our entire region. The city appreciates our state, local and federal partners whose tremendous support has brought us to this point.”
The city of Inglewood has partnered with LA Metro to establish the Inglewood Transit Connector Joint Powers Authority (JPA), which will ultimately oversee and manage the project.
The ITC Project has made significant progress over the past year, having received compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act and the National Environmental Protection Act and securing more than $873 million in local, state and federal funds. The city and JPA anticipates leveraging those committed funds and other grants currently being pursued to secure a CIG grant to cover 60 percent of the anticipated project costs.
Three teams have been prequalified by the city and are expected to bid on a solicitation to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the ITC this fall, with an award anticipated in the second quarter of 2024.