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West Santa Ana Branch Transit Corridor

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is evaluating a new light rail transit line that would connect Downtown Los Angeles to southeast Los Angeles County, serving the cities/communities of Arts District, Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, Vernon, Huntington Park, Bell, Cudahy, South Gate, Downey, Paramount, Bellflower, Artesia and Cerritos. Currently, the project team is conducting project awareness briefings with corridor cities, elected officials and community groups to introduce the project, discuss the environmental process/timeline, share previous studies conducted, and gather input. These meetings are in advance of the scoping period that will include public scoping meetings and a comment period anticipated in spring 2017.

The West Santa Ana Branch (WSAB) Transit Corridor Project is a 20-mile corridor that is undergoing an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) process to prepare the corridor for light rail use. The Project’s name originates from the southern portion of the route south of the Metro Green Line that followed an old street car alignment known as the West Santa Ana Branch Corridor.

The project area is home to 1.2 million residents and a job center to approximately 584,000 employees.  Projections show an increase in the resident population to 1.5 million and jobs to 670,000 by 2040.  Population and employment densities are five times higher than the Los Angeles County average.  This rail corridor is anticipated to serve commuters in a high travel demand corridor by providing relief to the constrained transportation systems currently available to these communities.  In addition, the project is expected to provide a direct connection to the Metro Green Line and the Los Angeles County regional transit network. Per the Measure M Expenditure Plan, the Project is anticipated to break ground in 2022.

Project Goals

The main goals of the WSAB project are to:

  1. Provide Mobility Improvements
  2. Support Local and Regional Land Use Plans and Policies
  3. Minimize Environmental Impacts
  4. Ensure Cost Effectiveness and Financial Feasibility
  5. Ensure Equity

In February 2013, Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) completed an Alternatives Analysis (AA) Study that analyzed opportunities for a 34-mile long study area from Los Angeles Union Station to the City of Santa Ana in Orange County. In addition to a No Build and Transportation Systems Management (TSM) alternative, the AA evaluated six build alternatives along various alignments: Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), Street Car, Light Rail Transit (LRT), Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU), High Speed Rail, and low-speed Magnetic Levitation Train. SCAG recommended that further study be conducted on No Build, TSM and LRT along two alternatives (West Bank Option 3 and East Bank).

In July 2015, the Technical Refinement Study (TRS) conducted by Metro built upon the analysis from the SCAG AA, focusing on the Los Angeles County segment of the Pacific Electric Right-of-Way/WSAB corridor. The TRS provided updated capital cost and ridership forecasts, as well as additional analysis on specific challenges identified in the SCAG AA, including:

  1. Feasibility of Union Station as a northern terminus - feasible
  2. Refinement of northern alignment options – four new alignments identified
  3. Station relocation and realignment in the City of Huntington Park – station relocation feasible and realignment not recommended
  4. Construction of a new station on the Metro Green Line - feasible
  5. Feasibility of southern terminus station in the City of Artesia - feasible

The Gateway Cities Council of Governments (COG) , which represents 27 cities in Southeast Los Angeles County, developed a Strategic Transportation Plan (STP) that unified the vision for all elements of the transportation system, including the WSAB transit component.  The STP developed local resources and builds on previous transportation studies to create an integrated transportation system for the 27 cities in the Gateway Cities Subregion. The STP enables individual cities to understand how their transportation plans and decisions impact neighboring cities and vice versa — how individual cities fit within the larger region.

The WSAB Project’s development process is well defined by state environmental requirements stipulated in the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The following flow chart highlights the major milestones in the process from beginning to end.   The project is currently in the project awareness phase and after Board approval, will begin the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) study phase.

The alternatives identified in the Technical Refinement Study (TRS) conducted by Metro will be analyzed, mitigation measures identified and community input gathered, incorporated and used to select a Locally Preferred Alternative. During the environmental process, public scoping meetings and hearings will take place along the corridor to engage the community, solicit input and address questions.

Environmental Process

Environmental Process Timeline

Note: Preliminary timeline; subject to change.

There is only one project alternative being considered between the Southern Terminus at the proposed Pioneer Station in the City of Artesia and the proposed Florence/Salt Lake Station in the City of Huntington Park.  However, the remaining northern portion currently has six alignment options: two were recommended by the SCAG AA Study (West Bank Option 3 and East Bank), and four were developed and recommended during the TRS (Pacific/Alameda, Pacific/Vignes, Alameda and Alameda/Vignes).

The six alternatives currently under consideration are the following that include the length of the alignment options from Florence/Salt Lake Station to their respective Northern Terminus:

  • West Bank Option 3 (7.7 miles)
  • East Bank (6.9 miles)
  • Pacific/Alameda (7.4 miles)
  • Pacific/Vignes (7.2 miles)
  • Alameda (8.0 miles)
  • Alameda/Vignes (8.1 miles)

Project Map

Environmental Process Timeline

Contact Us

Please use the following contact tools to access more project information, ask questions or provide comments.

Fanny Pan
Project Manager
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
One Gateway Plaza, M/S 99-22-3
Los Angeles, CA  90012

(213) 922-6262

There are no West Santa Ana Branch Transit Corridor meetings scheduled at this time. Please check back for updates.

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