Skip to Content


We’re having another set of twins!

The Purple Line Extension Transit Project is welcoming the last two tunnel boring machines (TBMs) to its TBM family! The new additions will join the Section 1 TBMs Elsie and Soyeon and the Section 2 TBMs Harriet and Ruth in LA.

The Section 3 TBMs will be responsible for the last leg of the journey, digging tunnels from the VA Hospital Campus in West LA to Westwood/UCLA.

Their work will be critical to completing the Purple Line Extension subway for the LA 2028 Olympics so let’s give them the best of luck!

The Purple Line Extension, Section 3 Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) will be digging two parallel tunnels between Westwood and the VA Hospital.

Traditionally, TBMs can't start work until they are given names. TBMs are generally named after women as a sign of good luck for the project ahead. Historically, tunnellers looked to Saint Barbara for protection; she is the patron saint for military engineers, miners and others who work underground. And we're looking for your help to name our two TBMs building the tunnels between Westwood and the VA Hospital.

But, before sending our TBMs along their journey into the earth, we would also like to adorn them with special artwork that is representative of the local community they will be tunneling under.

Metro is inviting Los Angeles County residents to participate in the art and naming contest for the TBMs.

The contest is divided into two categories:

  • The naming contest will be open to U.S. Veterans and UCLA affiliates, each affiliation will name 1 of 2 TBMs.
  • The art contest will be open to all Los Angeles county residents who will compete to illustrate their ideal community with the Purple Line Extension.

Enter today and make history!
Naming Contest Submission Form
Art Contest Submission Form

Follow the Purple Line Extension TBMs journey into the Earth on Twitter @PurpleLineTBMs .