Link Union Station (Link US)
Los Angeles Union Station (LAUS) is Southern California’s primary transportation hub, connecting multiple counties with a combined population exceeding 20 million people. By 2040, over 200,000 passenger trips through LAUS each weekday are expected to occur. The Link Union Station Project (Link US or project) is proposed to meet the multi-modal transportation demands at LAUS by:
- increasing the regional and intercity rail service capacity of LAUS;
- improving schedule reliability at LAUS through the implementation of a run-through tracks configuration and elimination of the current stub-end tracks configuration;
- preserving current levels of freight rail operations;
- accommodating the planned HSR system in Southern California;
- increasing the passenger/pedestrian capacity; and
- enhancing the safety of LAUS through the implementation of a new passenger concourse.
The Link US Project comprises several key components:
- New lead tracks, elevated rail yard, and platforms
- New concourse-related improvements, including new escalators, elevators, and canopies
- New run-through tracks (including the possibility of a loop track) south of LAUS over US-101
- Accommodation of CHSRA’s planned HSR system on common infrastructure¹ to support future HSR trains
- New rail communications, signals, and safety improvements
- Off-site improvements to BNSF Malabar Yard
The Link US team comprises a number of agency partners working collaboratively to make this project a success. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is the local project sponsor, lead agency under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and a joint-lead agency under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). CHSRA serves as the lead federal agency under NEPA, as well as other federal environmental laws for the project, pursuant to 23 United States Code² (U.S.C.) 327 and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the State of California, executed on July 23, 2019. Other federal, state, regional, and local agencies with responsibility to advise and provide feedback throughout the project include the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA), the Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA), Amtrak, Los Angeles – San Diego – San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) Rail Corridor Agency, Caltrans, and the Cities of Los Angeles and Vernon.
Anticipated Project benefits include:
- Improved intrastate, intercity, and local transit connectivity with HSR; Metrolink, Amtrak, and Metro rail; Metro and municipal bus systems; and ridesharing platforms
- Improved regional connectivity with one seat rides to key destinations in Southern California
- Increased rail service capacity to accommodate future demand
- Reduced train idling times resulting in shorter wait times and fuel savings and emissions reductions per train
- Creation of future retail and transit-serving amenities and other transit-oriented development
- Generation of an estimated 4,500 temporary jobs per year over a 5-year construction period and 200+ permanent jobs
- Enhanced passenger experience with proposed concourse improvements including retail and other amenities and new expanded platforms
- Improved pedestrian access with enhanced mobility options and safety features
- Improved US-101 and local roadways
Concourse Design Options
Link US will provide potential opportunities for a wide array of retail and transit-serving amenities, transforming LAUS into a world-class transit and mobility hub for visitors, tourists, and our communities. The proposed concourse improvements would connect the Patsaouras Bus Plaza to the east with the historic Union Station to the west.
Two passenger concourse options were evaluated in the Draft EIR that would allow passengers to access the train platforms from either an above-grade or at-grade concourse. The proposed project included an above-grade passenger concourse with expanded passageway below the rail yard, and the build alternative included the at-grade passenger concourse, also located below the rail yard.
As a result of coordination with funding partners and public feedback during the public review of the Draft EIR, the loop track and above-grade passenger concourse were removed from the project. The expanded passageway located below the rail yard considered in the Draft EIR would be modified to provide transit-related retail, food and other amenities to create a world-class transit station and improve the passenger experience.
Metro released the Link US Project Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for public review and comment in January 2019. The Draft EIR included a full and equal level of evaluation of the two track alignment alternatives and two passenger concourse design options that were consolidated under two alternatives (CEQA proposed project and CEQA build alternative). Each of the alternatives considered the following elements:
- Both track alignment alternatives included up to 10 run-through tracks with a loop track south of LAUS, with the major difference being the shared or dedicated lead track alignment north of LAUS.
- Both concourse design options included concourse-related improvements below the rail yard. An above-grade component to the passenger concourse was also considered in the Draft EIR.
During the Draft EIR 45-day public comment period, over 600 comments were received from various agencies, organizations, tribes, and members of the public. Primary areas of concern included the above-grade passenger concourse; construction impacts related to air quality, rail operations, and traffic; hazardous materials and contaminated soils; public art and amenities; and the permanent closure of Vignes Street, south of US-101.
Metro is coordinating with CHSRA to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Metro is the local project sponsor and joint lead agency under NEPA. The environmental review, consultation, and other actions required by applicable federal environmental laws for this project are being or have been carried out by the State of California pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 327 and a Memorandum of Understanding dated July 23, 2019 and executed by the FRA and the State of California. Prior to the MOU, FRA was the lead agency.
In fall 2020, a Revised Notice of Intent (NOI) will be released for the Link US Project in compliance with NEPA. Please check back for more status updates on the NEPA process.
Revised NOI Public Review and Comment Period
The 30-day Revised NOI public comment period will begin on September 18, 2020 and end on October 19, 2020. A virtual Open House will be made available throughout the 30-day public comment period. Written comments on the scope of the Link US Project EIS should be provided to the Authority or Metro by 5pm on October 19, 2020.
A virtual Public Scoping Meeting will be held for the Link Union Station (Link US) Project during the 30-day public comment period in support of the NEPA environmental review process and will consist of a live presentation followed by an open forum to provide live public oral comments.
Date: Thursday, October 8, 2020
- Live Presentation: 6-6:30pm
- Public Oral Comments: 6:30-8pm
- Call-in Number: 669.900.9128
- Web Link: https://bit.ly/33aUWj6
- Webinar ID: 824 7060 0907
- Passcode: 454631
Click here to access the virtual meeting room Open House and the October 8 th Public Scoping Meeting.
Translations will be provided in Spanish, Chinese and Japanese during the meeting. ADA accommodations and translations are available by calling 213.922.2524 or California Relay Service at 711 at least 72 hours in advance.
How can you comment on the Revised Notice of Intent?
Questions or written comments on the scope of the Link US Project EIS should be sent to:
Mail:Mark A. McLoughlin, Director, Environmental Services Branch
California High-Speed Rail Authority
770 L Street, Suite 620
Sacramento, CA 95814
Email with the subject line "Link US Project" to:
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