Metro is evaluating a new light rail transit line that would connect downtown Los Angeles to southeast LA County, serving the cities and communities of downtown Los Angeles, unincorporated Florence-Graham community of LA County, Vernon, Huntington Park, Bell, Cudahy, South Gate, Downey, Paramount, Bellflower, Cerritos and Artesia. The West Santa Ana Branch (WSAB) Transit Corridor Project is a 20-mile corridor that is undergoing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)/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 follows the old Pacific Electric streetcar 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 the resident population increasing to 1.5 million and jobs increasing to 670,000 by 2040. Population and employment densities are five times higher than the LA 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, Metro Blue Line and the LA County regional transit network. Per the Measure M Expenditure Plan, the project is anticipated to break ground in 2022.
The main goals of the WSAB project are to:
- Provide Mobility Improvements
- Support Local and Regional Land Use Plans and Policies
- Minimize Environmental Impacts
- Ensure Cost Effectiveness and Financial Feasibility
- Promote Equity
In March 2018, the Metro Board authorized further study of an additional four Northern Alignment options in response to comments received during the scoping period and ongoing technical analysis. These new options were presented to the community for input during the Winter/Spring 2018 Community Update Meetings. On May 24, 2018, the Metro Board selected two Northern Alignment options -- Option E (Alameda Underground) and Option G (Downtown Transit Core) -- to be carried into the Draft EIS/EIR for further study. As a result of the new Northern Alignment options, Updated Scoping Meetings were held in July 2018. All comments submitted during that time will become part of the official record and will be analyzed and addressed as part of the environmental review process.
Public involvement is of vital importance for all communities involved. Therefore, community outreach will continue throughout the environmental process to educate, inform and gather input from stakeholders. To submit your feedback on the project, please use our comment form .
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 Washington Station in the City of Los Angeles.
In addition, the project will evaluate an optional station at Bloomfield Ave (just north of the LA County-Orange County boundary) in the event that the WSAB Line is to be extended to Orange County in the future.
Northern Alignment Options
The Northern Alignment Alternatives identified to proceed into the Draft EIS/EIR are:
- Option E: (Alameda Underground)
- Option G: (Downtown Transit Core)
Please use the following contact tools to access more project information, ask questions or provide comments.
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
One Gateway Plaza, M/S 99-22-4
Los Angeles, CA 90012
The WSAB Transit Corridor Project’s development process is well defined by federal requirements stipulated in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and state environmental requirements stipulated in the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The flow chart below highlights the major milestones in the process from beginning to end. The project is currently in the Draft EIS/EIR study phase.
The issues identified through the environmental process will be further analyzed, mitigation measures identified, and community input gathered, incorporated and used to select a Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA). During the environmental process, public scoping meetings and hearings will take place along the corridor to engage the community, solicit input and address questions.
In February 2013, Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) approved the Alternatives Analysis (AA) Study of the corridor that analyzed opportunities to connect Los Angeles and Orange Counties along a 34-mile long corridor from Union Station in LA County to the City of Santa Ana in Orange County. The AA study recommended Light Rail Transit (LRT) as the preferred transit mode and two northern alignment alternatives (West Bank 3 and East Bank) for further consideration.
In 2015, Metro conducted a Technical Refinement Study (TRS) building upon the analysis and recommendations from the SCAG AA with a focus on the LA County segment of the Pacific Electric Right-of-Way (ROW)/WSAB corridor. In September 2015, based upon the West Bank 3 alternative, four new northern alignment options were identified as part of the TRS:
- Option A: Pacific/Alameda
- Option B: Pacific/Vignes
- Option C: Alameda
- Option D: Alameda/Vignes
The TRS provided updated capital cost and ridership forecasts, as well analyzed specific challenges identified in the SCAG AA for the LA County segment. In April 2017, Metro released the Northern Alignment Options Screening Report, which analyzed the six alignment options for the northern portion of the project. Upoon review, the Metro Board of Directors approved carrying forward the four Northern Alignment Options identified in the TRS for environmental study and initiating the scoping process for this project.
Metro formally initiated the Draft EIS/EIR phase in summer 2017 with public scoping meetings held along the corridor. In March 2018, the Metro Board authorized further study of an additional four Northern Alignment options in response to comments received during the scoping period and ongoing technical analysis. These new options were presented to the community for input during the March and April Community Update Meetings. On May 24, 2018, the Metro Board selected two Northern Alignment options to be carried into the Draft EIS/EIR for further study:
- Option E: Alameda Underground
- Option G: Downtown Transit Core
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.
Transit Oriented Development – Strategic Implementation Plan
Metro is preparing a Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Strategic Implementation Plan (Plan) for the 14 communities along the West Santa Ana Branch (WSAB) Transit Corridor Project (Project). The Plan will provide a unified land-use and economic development strategy for these communities that is based on a shared vision for the WSAB Corridor, and also serve as a planning toolkit with implementation strategies for the community areas located within one-half mile of each station.
Most of the corridor jurisdictions have completed or are in the process of developing their own individual station area plans. However, more work is needed to unify the cities with a corridor-wide TOD strategy to further leverage the investment of a future transit corridor as a catalyst for corridor-wide economic development.
These efforts are being funded by the Federal Transit Administration’s Pilot Program for TOD Planning . The TOD Plan is an effort that is distinct from the environmental process currently underway for the WSAB Project to define the transit corridor alignment and station locations.
In addition to preparing this TOD plan, Metro’s vision goes beyond TOD to focus on the creation of “ transit oriented communities ” (TOC). TOCs represent an approach to development focused on compact, walkable and bikeable places in a community context (rather than focusing on a single development parcel), integrated with transit.
TOD Plan Area
The cities and communities within the TOD Plan area, located within one-half mile of each station, include: the Arts District, Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, unincorporated Florence-Graham community of LA County, Vernon, Huntington Park, Bell, Cudahy, South Gate, Downey, Paramount, Bellflower, Cerritos and Artesia.
Of the 14 communities in the TOD Plan area, the following nine (9) are directly served by stations proposed as part of the alternatives currently being evaluated in the environmental process: Los Angeles, Vernon, Huntington Park, South Gate, Downey, Paramount, Bellflower, Cerritos and Artesia. The four adjacent cities of Bell, Bell Gardens, Cudahy and Maywood are expected to benefit from the future WSAB transit corridor investment.
Goals and Objectives
The goal of the Plan is to prepare a land-use and economic development strategy that builds on a shared vision of the corridor by:
- Supporting community-led TOD planning efforts
- Providing resources and support to cities for TOD implementation
- Facilitating a shared vision for the corridor that recognizes the character of distinct communities
- Building on community assets in the corridor
- Maximizing potential benefits from investment in transit infrastructure
- Developing implementation strategies that reflect the unique strengths and needs of each community
TOD Fact Sheet
- TOD Strategic Implementation Plan English Overview Fact Sheet
- TOD Strategic Implementation Plan Spanish Overview Fact Sheet
TOD Vision Document
- TOD Strategic Implementation Plan – Vision Document
- TOD Strategic Implementation Plan – Spanish Vision Document
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