Crenshaw to LAX Light Rail Line moves toward construction phase
Leimert Park stop unclear
The Federal Transit Administration gave the approval for construction to begin on Metro’s $1.76 billion light rail line along Crenshaw Boulevard that will run from the Green Line near Los Angeles International Airport to the Expo Line.
The FTA approved the final environmental impact report for the 8.5-mile line. The report still needs approval by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which is expected to vote on the report at its Sept. 22 board meeting.
If the board approves the report, a request for proposals from construction companies will be issued.
It is still unclear whether the line will include an underground stop at Leimert Park, an economic and cultural hub of the Black community in South Los Angeles.
At a highly contentious meeting in May, the board declined to require the station, citing a lack of funding. However, the board voted to favor contractors who offer to include the station at the approved total project price tag of $1.76 billion.
Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chairman Antonio Villaraigosa hailed the approval, saying it will put thousands of people to work.
“For more than 50 years, Los Angeles has waited for a rail line connecting the Crenshaw Corridor to LAX,” Villaraigosa said. “That sound you hear is the train finally moving out of the station.”
However, the line will not connect to the airport. It will connect with the Expo Line on the north end and the Green Line, which drops travelers about one-eighth of a mile from the airport, on the south end.
The line will serve passengers near Leimert Park, in Inglewood, Hawthorne and El Segundo.
Los Angeles County Supervisor and Metro board member Mark Ridley-Thomas called the approval a big step forward and represents one of the largest public works projects in South Los Angeles.
The project “will bring much needed jobs, economic development, congestion relief and improve air quality along the corridor,” Ridley-Thomas said.
The Crenshaw/LAX line is being funded by Measure R, a half-cent sales tax increase Los Angeles County voters approved in 2008.
A community open house is scheduled for Sept. 13.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—A $546 million federal loan will enable the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to begin building an 8.5-mile light rail line from the Crenshaw District to near LAX next spring, creating about 5,000 jobs.
Before a standing-room-only audience of an estimated 600 community residents, business, civic and religious leaders, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board voted to locate a train station in Leimert Park Village, but only if it can be built within the existing $1.7 billion budget allocated for the Crenshaw/LAX line.
On May 26, the MTA board of directors will consider Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas’ motion to keep the entirety of the Crenshaw-LAX Light Rail Line underground on Crenshaw Blvd. and add a station at Leimert Park Village. The implications of the motion are significant.
The Crenshaw Subway Coalition is gearing up for a possible showdown over additional funding for the Crenshaw-to-LAX light rail line, including a Leimert Park Village Station, but may have to await a May 23 decision by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board on just how bruising—or necessary—a showdown will be.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—The county’s transportation authority today suspended changes to a handful of Metro bus lines that were scheduled to go into effect on Sunday.
The agency made the unusual last minute decision because it needed more time to analyze the affects the changes would have on riders in light of recent changes to federal and state regulations, a Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesman said.