The West Santa Ana Branch (WSAB) Transit Corridor Project is a new 20-mile light rail transit line that would connect downtown Los Angeles to southeast LA County, serving the cities and communities of 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. The Project’s name originates from the southern portion of the route south of the Metro Green Line that followed an old 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 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.
Metro initiated environmental studies for the WSAB Transit Corridor Project and conducted Public Scoping in summer 2017. The purpose of Public Scoping was to receive input on the proposed alternatives, which is an important step in the preparation of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR) in accordance with federal and state requirements. Public Scoping meetings were held in June 2017 in the communities of Bellflower, South Gate, Downtown LA/Little Tokyo and Huntington Park. A webcast of the meeting in South Gate was streamed live and a recording of that is available here. Meeting materials were provided in English, Spanish, and Japanese and are available here.
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 receive project updates and future opportunities to participate, please share your contact information using any of the project communication tools under the “Contact Us” section.
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.
Northern Alignment Options
The remaining northern portion currently has four alignment options. In April 2017, Metro released the Northern Alignment Options Screening Report , which analyzed the six alignment options for the northern portion of the project (Union Station to the City of Huntington Park) identified in the SCAG AA and Metro TRS, to determine how well each option met the goals and objectives of the project. Upon 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, including:
- Option A: Pacific/Alameda (7.4 miles)
- Option B: Pacific/Vignes (7.2 miles)
- Option C: Alameda (8.0 miles)
- Option D: Alameda/Vignes (8.1 miles)
In addition, the project will evaluate an optional station at Bloomfield Av (just north of the LA County-Orange County boundary) in the event that the WSAB line was to be extended to Orange County in the future.
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 99-22-3
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 in the Technical Refinement Study (TRS) and refined in the Northern Alignment Options Screening Report 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) 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:
- Feasibility of Union Station as a northern terminus - feasible
- Refinement of northern alignment options – four new alignments identified
- Station relocation and realignment in the City of Huntington Park – station relocation feasible and realignment not recommended
- Construction of a new station on the Metro Green Line - feasible
- 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.
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 Factsheet (Coming Soon)
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