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.
1 Common infrastructure corresponds to structures and embankments to support run through service for Metrolink, Amtrak, and future HSR trains.
2 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 Federal Railroad Administration and the State of California.
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 demands
- 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
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.
Based on comments received in opposition to the above-grade passenger concourse and the outcome of considerable coordination with project funding partners and rail operators, the CEQA proposed project certified as part of the Final EIR included the following modifications:
- Removal of the above-grade passenger concourse and modification to the expanded passageway below the rail yard.
- Removal of a construction access road located on LAUS property and staging/assembly areas north and south of LAUS.
- Removal of the loop track and associated closure of Vignes Street, south of US-101.
No updates to the CEQA Build Alternative were considered in the Final EIR. The Metro Board of Directors certified the Link US Project Final EIR on June 27, 2019.
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) was, released for the Link US Project, initiating a 30-day scoping and public comment period in compliance with NEPA.
Revised NOI Public Review and Comment Period
In support of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) environmental review process, the Link Union Station (Link US) Project 30-day public comment period ended on October 19, 2019.
Virtual Open House
A virtual Open House was available throughout the 30-day scoping and public comment period from September 18, 2020 through October 19, 2020 via LinkUnionStation.com . This granted the public the opportunity to view exhibits on various topics including:
- Proposed Malabar Yard Improvements
- Anticipated Project Benefits
- Major Project Components
- Alternatives Being Considered in the NEPA Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
- Funding and Phasing
Exhibits boards were organized by stations where the public could easily navigate from one station to another to get the full Open House experience, while at the same time having access to the information they needed to comment. The virtual Open House also featured an electronic form station where digitally written comments could be submitted. If you missed the virtual Open House, project boards are available here:
Virtual Public Scoping Meeting
If you missed the Virtual Public Scoping Meeting, the PDF presentation and recording of the Virtual Public Scoping Meeting held on October 8 is available here: