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West Santa Ana Branch Transit Corridor

Metro is evaluating a new light rail transit (LRT) line that will connect southeast LA County to downtown Los Angeles, serving the cities and communities of Artesia, Cerritos, Bellflower, Paramount, Downey, South Gate, Cudahy, Bell, Huntington Park, Vernon and unincorporated Florence-Firestone and LA (downtown). The West Santa Ana Branch Transit Corridor (WSAB) is a 19-mile corridor project undergoing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)/Environmental Impact Report (EIR) process to prepare the corridor for LRT.

This rail corridor is anticipated to serve commuters in a high travel demand corridor by providing relief to the limited transportation systems currently available to these communities. In addition, the project is expected to provide a direct connection to the Metro C Line (Green), Metro A Line (Blue) and the LA County regional transit network.

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. Promote equity

Environmental Process
The WSAB Project is following an environmental process that 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 environmental study phase.

Since the Board approved the updated project definition in December 2018, Metro has advanced the conceptual design of the Project, as well as continued to engage key stakeholders, third parties and the public. Some key examples of progress made since December 2018 include the following:
· WSAB City Managers Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) meetings
· Stakeholder Working Group (SWG) meetings
· Continued engagement with third parties, including:

  • US Army Corps of Engineering (USACE)
  • Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR)
  • Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach
  • California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)
  • California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)
  • State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO)

· Continued outreach with corridor cities
· Public corridor update meetings (March 2018, January 2019, April 2019 and October 2019)
· 2019 Rail Tours for the public and elected officials

Project Coordination
The WSAB Project involves a shared corridor of approximately 10 miles of freight-owned right-of-way (ROW) that runs along the Wilmington and La Habra Branches (owned by Union Pacific Railroad, UPRR) and the San Pedro Subdivision (owned by the Ports of LA and Long Beach). Staff is actively coordinating with UPRR and the ports to reach an agreement on design and ROW, which is needed to advance the project.

The project is on schedule for environmental clearance and the Draft EIS/EIR is now available to the public for review and comment through September 13, 2021. Next, the Metro Board is anticipated to select a Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) in Fall 2021.

Funding
Per Measure M and Metro’s Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) financial forecast, as amended, the project has a $4 billion (B) (2015$) allocation of funding (comprised of Measure M and other local, state, and federal sources). Measure M funding becomes available in two cycles:
• FY 2028 - $1B
• FY 2041 - $3B

The projected cost will vary, depending on the alternative, and is included in the Draft EIS/EIR. Metro is currently evaluating alternative funding strategies and an accelerated schedule for the project.

  • Alternative 1: $8.5 - $8.8 billion (without design options)​
  • Alternative 2: $9.2 - $9.5 billion​
  • Alternative 3: $4.9 - $5.1 billion​
  • Alternative 4: $2.3 - $2.6 billion​

Metro is evaluating the feasibility and potential benefits of delivering WSAB through a Public-Private Partnership (P3) program. P3s do not provide additional funding but may enhance financial capacity to advance construction in certain cases, along with other potential benefits to the project.


Current Status
Metro is studying four project alternatives as part of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement/ Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR), including the 2019 Board-approved Initial Operating Segment (IOS) options in the Draft EIS/EIR. The Draft EIS/EIR is now available for public review and comment through Monday, September 13, 2021. The Draft EIS/EIR will evaluate the WSAB project alternatives, including any environmental consequences, and avoidance, minimization, and/or mitigation measures. Hard copies of the document are also available at public locations along the corridor, please see below to access materials.

Draft EIS/EIR
• Locations to view the printed Draft EIS/EIR
• Executive Summary (English)
• Executive Summary (Spanish) - available on 8/3
• Executive Summary (Japanese) - available on 8/3
• Executive Summary (Korean) - available on 8/3

Submit your comments on the DEIR
Comments are being accepted during the 45-day comment period for the Draft EIS/EIR. Visit the Tips for Effective Comments to provide guidance on how to write effective comments that will be documented and addressed during the Final EIS/EIR. You may submit an oral comment to a court reporter at one of the virtual public hearings being held in August, or you can send your written comments to:

Meghna Khanna, Project Manager
Metro
One Gateway Plaza, MS 99-22-7
Los Angeles, CA 90012

After a 45-day public comment period, the Metro Board will select a Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA). The LPA decision will be based on effectiveness in meeting the purpose and need, environmental impacts and benefits, public comments received during the public review period, and above all the financial capacity to construct, operate, and maintain the project.

First/Last Mile
First/Last Mile (FLM) planning efforts will be initiated after the Metro Board selects an LPA. The FLM plan will build off of the WSAB Transit Oriented Development Strategic Implementation Plan (TOD SIP) and will identify a network of walking and biking improvements around the stations (within a half-mile radius for walking improvements and up to a three-mile radius for biking improvements).

Project Alternatives
There are four project alternatives evaluated in the Draft EIS/EIR:

Alternatives

Alignment

Range and Number of Stations

Alternative 1

Los Angeles Union Station to Pioneer Station

  • Design Option 1: Northern terminus behind Metropolitan Water District building on easside of Los Angeles Union Station
  • Design Option 2: Adds a Little Tokyo Station

  • 19.3 miles
  • 12 stations

Alternative 2

7 th St/Metro Center to Pioneer Station

  • 19.3 miles
  • 12 stations

Alternative 3

Slauson/A Line (Blue) to Pioneer Station

  • 14.8 miles
  • 9 stations

Alternative 4

I-105/C Line (Green) to Pioneer Station

  • 6.6 miles
  • 4 stations

Maintenance Facilities
Two Maintenance and Storage Facility (MSF) locations to support the project are also being evaluated as part of the Draft EIS/EIR in the cities of Bellflower and Paramount. One location will be chosen as part of the selection of a Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA).

Related Projects
Other supporting studies are also being conducted in an effort to address other matters that are not part of the environmental clearance process. Click on the “Related Projects” tab to learn more about the TOD SIP and Rio Hondo Confluence Station Feasibility Study.


Explore the corridor
In addition to the upcoming public hearings, we've also developed a virtual Open House that you can explore at MetroWSAB.com . This interactive site reviews the key findings and other project details of interest (e.g. stations, grade separations, corridor alignment/elevations, property impacts/acquisitions, maintenance and storage facility options, park-and-ride locations, etc.).

Attend a virtual public hearing in August
Metro is hosting three virtual public hearings to provide project updates and solicit public comments on the Draft EIS/EIR, which will be included in the final EIS/EIR. Virtual public hearings will offer a brief presentation followed by opportunities for the public to submit formal oral comments. The same information will be provided at each virtual public hearing.

Virtual Hearing #1: Thursday, August 19, 2021, 6-8pm
• Link: tinyurl.com/3f88s7hf
• Phone Number: 213.338.8477
• Meeting ID: 980 0887 2988
• Por teléfono en español solamente: 646.749.3335
• Contraseña: 159-029-069
• 日本語通訳: 646.749.3335, アクセスコード: 962-461-941
• 한국어 통역사: 646.749.3335, 액세스 코드: 904-746-773

Virtual Hearing #2: Tuesday, August 24th, 2021 12-2pm
• Link: tinyurl.com/4asvr4pz
• Phone Number: 213.338.8477
• Meeting ID: 986 2612 6175
• Por teléfono en español solamente: 646.749.3335
• Contraseña: 159-029-069

Virtual Hearing #3: Saturday, August 28, 2021, 10am-12pm
• Link: tinyurl.com/4df3b3rk
• Phone Number: 213.338.8477
• Meeting ID: 986 4545 5706
• Por teléfono en español solamente: 646.749.3335
• Contraseña: 159-029-069

Video recordings will be available on the project website after the first hearing has concluded.

Stakeholder Engagement
Project stakeholders have been involved in each phase of the project through a variety of forums and platforms, including public meetings, community workshops, Stakeholder Working Group (SWG) meetings, City Manager Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) meetings, rail tours, information booths at community events, social media (Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube), and individual meetings with stakeholders. Metro has continued to keep elected officials, agency staff, community stakeholders and the general public informed of the environmental review process and schedule for completion of the Draft EIS/EIR.

Contact Us
Sign up for project updates and receive future public engagement opportunities. To be added to the project mailing list, please provide your contact information via any of the following ways:

Meghna Khanna, Project Manager
Metro
One Gateway Plaza, M/S 99-22-7
Los Angeles, CA 90012
213.922.6262

wsab@metro

Online Contact Form


Rio Hondo Confluence Station Feasibility Study
In December 2018, the Metro Board of Directors directed staff to conduct a feasibility study of a potential West Santa Ana Branch Transit Corridor (WSAB) station at the confluence of the Los Angeles River and the Rio Hondo Channel.

This study will evaluate the possibility of adding a station to the proposed WSAB Project at Los Angeles River/Rio Hondo Confluence (Confluence) in the City of South Gate. The Confluence site offers a unique opportunity to connect light rail transit (LRT) with planned community uses in the area, including multi-use trails, regional park space, and a future cultural arts center. Currently, the WSAB Project does not include a potential Rio Hondo Confluence Station, as it was not previously envisioned through the prior planning phases of the Project.

This study is being conducted separately, but in parallel with the WSAB EIS/EIR. It will build upon and utilize the environmental analysis from the WSAB Draft EIS/EIR. Findings from the study shall be presented to the Metro Board at the conclusion of the WSAB environmental process. At that time, the Metro Board shall determine if the potential station is to advance into a separate environmental phase.

WSAB Transit Oriented Development Strategic Implementation Plan (TOD SIP)

In order to maximize the transit investment that will be made in the West Santa Ana Branch Transit Corridor (WSAB) and to ensure that communities along the corridor equitably benefit from the investment, Metro facilitated the development of a Transit Oriented Development Strategic Implementation Plan (TOD SIP) . The Plan was funded by the FTA Pilot TOD Project program, and completed in partnership with the City of South Gate, and Eco-Rapid Transit.

The Plan provides an overarching vision and strategic guidance for local WSAB jurisdictions to use as a reference as they develop and implement their own plans, policies and economic development and mobility strategies in the 12 station areas along the alignment. Links to the TOD SIP and related Implementation Programs can be found here .