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On June 28, 2018, Metro’s Board of Directors chose Light Rail Transit (LRT) as the preferred alternative for the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor Project (Project). Once opened, this LRT Project will extend north from the Van Nuys Metro Orange Line station, to the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink Station, a total of 9.2 miles. $1.3 billion has been identified for the project, most coming from local Measure M, Measure R and State gas tax funds. Once in place, light rail trains similar to the Metro Gold and Expo lines, will operate in the median of Van Nuys Blvd for 6.7 miles to San Fernando Road. From San Fernando Road, the trains will transition onto the existing rail road right-of-way that’s adjacent to San Fernando Road, which it will share with Metrolink for 2.5 miles to the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink Station.

The alignment will include 14 at-grade stations with an end-to-end travel time of 31 minutes, and daily boardings that are anticipated to exceed 30,000 by the year 2040. Currently, buses operating on Van Nuys Blvd are the second-busiest in the Valley (second only to the Metro Orange Line) and the seventh-highest in the Metro system. Stations will be strategically located in close proximity to Metro Local and Rapid east/west bus service to enable convenient connections.

Currently, Metro staff is reviewing the more than 900 written and oral comments received during the Project’s Public Hearings and 60-day public review period. During this period, the community expressed strong support for the LRT alternative and support for a new maintenance and storage facility to support the trains in an industrialized area to the west of Van Nuys Blvd and just south of the Ventura Metrolink tracks (Option B).

During the Project’s technical review, Metro staff determined that LRT better matched the Project’s goals and objectives over what could be achieved with bus rapid transit (BRT). Since a three-car train set can carry up to 400 riders, the capacity of LRT far exceeds that of BRT.

The Project’s Final environmental document is scheduled to be completed in 2019. This document will respond to all public comments received during the Project’s 60-day public review period. Once completed, the Metro Board will be asked to certify the document and once it is certified, preliminary engineering can commence. Groundbreaking is scheduled to begin in 2022 and conclude in 2027, which will enable the alignment to be open for revenue operations just in time for the 2028 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.