The Eastside Access Improvements at 1 st /Central is a part of two other Metro projects: the Metro Gold Line Eastside Access Project and the Connect US Action Plan.
The Metro Gold Line Eastside Access Project (or Eastside Access Project) is a Measure R-funded project intended to improve multi-modal connections from the Metro Gold Line Eastside stations to the surrounding communities. A portion of the Eastside Access Improvements Project funding will be used toward the Eastside Access 1 st /Central project because the 1 st /Central will now be the new Little Tokyo/Arts District station when the Regional Connector is in operation.
In 2012, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) collaborated with the City of Los Angeles to prepare the “LA Union Station and 1 st /Central Station Linkages Study” with the intention of developing a plan to improve regional transit through improved bicycle and pedestrian linkages to services at Union Station. As the study progressed, it became clear that there may be overlapping planning efforts with the Eastside Access Improvements, which was undergoing design efforts for similar improvements around the Metro Gold Line stations. The “Linkages Study” was thus expanded to include the Regional Connector 1 st /Central station within its scope, and was renamed the Connect US Action Plan . Finalized in Fall 2015, the Connect US Action Plan identifies active transportation improvement projects that improve access around Downtown Los Angeles and lays a foundation for immediate project implementation upon funding availability.
The Eastside Access Improvements at 1 st /Central selects a number of identified corridors from the Connect US Action Plan as a base for further design development and implementation. In 2014, the project successfully applied for and received a Transportation Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. With funding support from the TIGER grant, the project was able to move forward to advance the design concepts and proceed further to implementation.