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Metro is currently evaluating the Westside Subway Extension through the preparation of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (Draft EIS/EIR). Work on the environmental document began in early 2009 and should continue until fall 2010 when the Metro Board of Directors is expected to consider the results of this evaluation. Prior to the Draft EIS/EIR, Metro conducted an 18-month Alternatives Analysis (AA) Study for the Westside Extension. In January 2009, the Metro Board of Directors approved the AA Study and authorized proceeding with the Draft EIS/EIR.

The Metro Board of Directors will make the decisions about the project that will be designated for final environmental review. However, as the evaluation has proceeded, various options have been eliminated from further consideration and are no longer being evaluated.

This set of “Frequently Asked Questions” is intended to provide information on the work that has already occurred and is continuing. It will be updated throughout the ongoing study.

Public documents that have been developed during the Draft EIS/EIR and the earlier AA Study are also available at Reports and Info .

Subjects discussed here include:

  1. The Study
  2. Cost & Funding
  3. Alternatives Being Studied
  4. Ridership & Travel Time
  5. Modes, Alignments & Stations
  6. Subway Construction, Construction Impacts & Mitigation Measures
  7. Construction & Operations Under & On Private Property
  8. Safety
  9. System Connectivity
  10. Station Area Parking
  11. Schedule & Phasing
  12. Public Involvement

1. The Study

a. What is being studied?

The Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (Draft EIS/EIR) is evaluating five different alternatives. All of the alternatives have a common subway segment on Wilshire Boulevard extending to Westwood. One alternative also extends to Santa Monica, one alternative adds a possible branch through West Hollywood, and one alternative includes both the extension into Santa Monica and the possible branch through West Hollywood.

Maps of these alignments are available here .

As required, the Draft EIS/EIR is also evaluating a No-Build Alternative and a Transportation Systems Management (TSM) Alternative.

b. What is the purpose of the Draft EIS/EIR and what will it study?

The purpose of the Draft EIS/EIR is to study the potential impacts of construction and operation of the Westside Subway Extension, and to evaluate measures to avoid, minimize and mitigate adverse impacts of the project. Examples of impacts to be studied:

  • Operation and construction
  • Traffic and parking
  • Land use and development
  • Displacement and relocations
  • Community and neighborhood impacts
  • Visual and aesthetics
  • Air quality
  • Noise and vibration
  • Ecosystems and biological resources
  • Geotechnical, seismic and hazardous materials
  • Hydrology and water quality
  • Energy
  • Climate change
  • Historic, archaeological and paleontological impacts
  • Parklands
  • Economic and fiscal impacts
  • Safety and security
  • Growth inducing impacts
  • Environmental justice
  • Cost and financial analysis

The Draft EIS/EIR will evaluate the alternatives against required environmental criteria, as well as criteria used by the federal government for providing matching funds.

c. What is the difference between the earlier Alternatives Analysis (AA) and the Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (Draft EIS/EIR) currently underway?

The AA Study assessed the need for a transit improvement on the Westside and evaluated a wide range of options to meet this need. Metro evaluated 17 different alignment options, various transit modes including heavy rail, light rail, bus rapid transit and monorail, as well as looked at alternatives that ran at ground level, above ground and below ground.

The AA Study provides a great deal of important information to the Draft EIS/EIR, but does not result in sufficiently identifying a project that is ready for final environmental clearance, to begin engineering, or that can compete for federal “New Starts” funds. The Draft EIS/EIR will identify a project that meets these goals. It incorporates and references the work of the AA, but evaluates the alternatives in much greater detail including exact locations for proposed stations, station entrances and tunnels, as well as potential impacts from the project and its construction.

d. When will Metro recommend the final mode, alignments, and station locations?

At the conclusion of the Draft EIS/EIR phase, Metro staff will recommend a Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA), which will reconfirm the mode, and recommend the alignment, length, and station locations that will move forward into the Final EIS/EIR. The LPA will incorporate the project that can be built and operated within expected funding and best competes for federal “New Starts” matching funds. It will likely include defining the initial Wilshire Boulevard segment(s) as well as the timing for subsequent segments of the LPA. It will specify station location and entrance details, examine the cost effectiveness of various segments, and the timing and funding for an implementation plan. The Metro Board of Directors is expected to consider the Draft EIS/EIR and the staff recommendations in the fall of 2010.

2. Cost & Funding

a. How much will the project cost?

Metro released preliminary cost estimates for construction of the subway in June 2010 . These estimates indicate that building the Wilshire Subway to Westwood would cost about $4 billion (in 2008 dollars). Building all the way “to the sea” would cost $5.7 billion (in 2008 dollars). The combined Wilshire/West Hollywood Subway would cost $8.4 billion (in 2008 dollars).

b. How will the Subway be funded and where will money come from? Has the passage of Measure R, in November 2008, changed the prospects of the implementation of the subway?

The Subway will be funded by a combination of local and federal dollars. Prior to the passage of Measure R in November 2008, there was no funding available for the Westside Subway Extension. Measure R provides the local funds for the Wilshire alignment of the Subway to Westwood. The Measure R dollars will be used as local match to seek federal “New Starts” funds.

c. How much money is available for the Subway?

Metro’s Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) adopted in October 2009 commits $4.2 billion in 2008 dollars, from both local and federal sources for the Subway. Measure R, which provides the local money, allocates money to the Subway and various other projects over 30 years.

d. How much of the proposed subway would this amount of funding build?

The $4.2 billion provided by the adopted LRTP and Measure R plan, including the anticipated federal “New Starts” matching funds we are pursuing, will provide enough funding to extend the subway from Wilshire/Western to Westwood.

3. Alternatives Being Studied

a. What are the alternatives being studied in the Draft EIS/EIR?

We have identified two alternatives that could be built within the funding provided by the adopted LRTP and Measure R plan and three alternatives that go beyond those adopted funding plans. The alternatives retained for further analysis during the Draft EIS/EIR are:

  • Alternatives that could be built & operated within adopted LRTP/Measure R funding:
  • Alternatives beyond adopted LRTP/Measure R funding:
    • Alternative 3: Santa Monica Extension – Extension of the Metro Purple Line from Wilshire/Western into Santa Monica with an end station at Wilshire/4th.
    • Alternative 4: Westwood/VA Hospital + West Hollywood Extension – Extension of the Metro Purple Line from Wilshire/Western to the Westwood/VA Hospital campus; and a connecting extension from the Metro Red Line Hollywood/Highland station with potential stations in or near West Hollywood rejoining the Wilshire alignment near Wilshire/La Cienega.
    • Alternative 5: Santa Monica + West Hollywood Extension – Extension of the Metro Purple Line from Wilshire/Western into Santa Monica with an end station at Wilshire/4th; and a connecting extension from the Metro Red Line Hollywood/Highland station with potential stations in or near West Hollywood rejoining the Wilshire alignment near Wilshire/La Cienega.

The Draft EIS/EIR is also evaluating a required “No Build” alternative as well as a Transportation Systems Management (TSM) alternative.

b. If anticipated funding is sufficient to build only along Wilshire to the Westwood area, why are you studying a subway all the way “to the sea” and a West Hollywood alignment?

As a part of the Draft EIS/EIR, we are required to evaluate all possible alternatives against required criteria regardless of funding constraints. At the conclusion of the Draft EIS/EIR, we will recommend a Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) to the Metro Board of Directors ( see Question 4 ). The LPA must be a project that can be built within anticipated financial resources. Once adopted by the Metro Board of Directors, the LPA is the project that will compete for federal “New Starts” funds and proceed through final environmental clearance and engineering. The LPA must be eligible and highly competitive for federal "New Starts" funding including being able to be built and operated within projected available funding. Segments beyond what can currently be funded could be recommended to be studied in the future.

4. Ridership & Travel Time

a. How many people will ride the Westside Subway Extension?

Depending on which alternative is chosen, projections are that 46-90,000 people will board the subway at the new stations on an average weekday. More information is available in the Community Update Presentation - June 2010

b. How long will it take to travel to the Westside on the Subway from various destinations around LA County?

The following table, taken from Metro’s June 2010 Community Update Presentation , illustrates the projected travel times to Westwood/UCLA using the Westside Subway Extension. Travel times to Westwood/UCLA will improve by about 30 - 60% from various parts of the region compared with existing transit schedules. It should also be noted that travel times on the Subway will remain constant over time, whereas bus and auto travel times on surface streets vary depending on traffic conditions and are expected to degrade over time as congestion increases.


5. Modes, Alignments & Stations

a. What Other Travel Modes and Alignments Have Been Considered?

The AA Study evaluated various transit modes including:

  • Bus rapid transit operating in the street;
  • Light rail operating below ground, above ground & in the street;
  • Monorail operating above ground; and
  • Heavy rail operating below and above ground.

The AA Study concluded that a heavy rail, below ground subway (similar to the Metro Red and Purple Lines already operating) was the most appropriate mode to provide the transit capacity required to meet the forecast travel demands in this corridor.

The AA Study also evaluated a total of 17 different alignments over the 18-month study. This included evaluating options where the alignment through West Hollywood would precede the Wilshire alignment, and options that deviated off Wilshire Boulevard. The AA Study recommended two Build alternatives that became the basis of the analysis in the Draft EIS/EIR. These have now evolved into five alternatives that are currently under evaluation ( see Question 9 ).

Information on the AA Study is available here .

14. Wouldn’t an above ground option be cheaper to build, as it would avoid the costs of tunneling?

In many corridors, building above ground can be cheaper. This is not always true, especially in already dense, heavily traveled corridors like the Westside. Costs escalate when you account for the real estate costs to obtain space for station entrances or to build other systems at street level that are needed for the project. There would also be additional costs incurred to mitigate the traffic impacts of the travel lanes that would be lost along the alignment to accommodate the support structure for an elevated system. During the AA study, we also determined that any above ground option would overwhelm the current streetscape in this corridor.

More information about above-ground options in the Westside Corridor can be found in the May 2008 community presentation .

15. Where are stations being considered for the Subway?

  • For the Wilshire Subway, extending from the current terminus of the Metro Purple Line at Wilshire/Western, the Draft EIS/EIR is evaluating stations at Crenshaw (optional), La Brea, Fairfax, La Cienega, Rodeo, Century City, Westwood/UCLA, Westwood/VA Hospital, Bundy, 26th Street, 16th Street & 4th Street.
  • For the combined Wilshire/West Hollywood Subway, the Draft EIS/EIR is evaluating all of the stations identified for the Wilshire Subway. For the West Hollywood component, we are evaluating connecting to the current Metro Red Line station at Hollywood/Highland with stations under Santa Monica Boulevard at La Brea, Fairfax, San Vicente, as well as a station in the Beverly Center area.

16. When and how will the decision be made on the optional Crenshaw Station?

As a part of the Draft EIS/EIR, we are compiling data about the optional Crenshaw Station. Some of this will include estimating boardings at the station, boardings on the Subway with and without the station, costs of building the station, and community impacts. Community input will also be an important factor. The decision about whether or not to include the Crenshaw Station may be made at the conclusion of the Draft EIS/EIR. If it is determined at that stage that further analysis about this station is necessary, we could continue to evaluate it during the Final EIS/EIR and make the decision at the end of that phase. The Metro Board of Directors will make the decisions about what will proceed into final environmental review and what will ultimately be built.

17. Several station areas are currently showing more than one station. Are you envisioning more than one station in those areas? If not, how will you determine the station location?

Only one station is anticipated for each station area. However, we have currently identified and are evaluating alternative station locations at each of the following locations:

  • Wilshire/Fairfax: Under Wilshire on the west side of Fairfax and another one under Wilshire spanning the Fairfax intersection.
  • Wilshire/La Cienega: Under Wilshire on both the east and west sides of La Cienega
  • Century City: Under Santa Monica Boulevard spanning Avenue of the Stars and another located under Constellation spanning Avenue of the Stars
  • Westwood/UCLA: Under the UCLA parking lot (Lot 36) located on the north side of Wilshire Boulevard between Gayley & Veteran and another located under Wilshire Boulevard on the west side of Westwood Boulevard.
  • Westwood/VA Hospital: South of Wilshire Boulevard under the parking lot in front of the VA Hospital and another located on the north side of Wilshire Boulevard just to the east of the Wadsworth Theater.

More information is available in the presentation from our Station Information Meetings in October/November 2009 .

Decisions about station locations depend on a variety of factors including environmental impacts, engineering and technical issues, costs, constructability, ability to locate convenient areas for construction staging, interest from adjacent property owners, public input, etc.

6. Subway Construction, Construction Impacts and Mitigation Measures

a. How will the Subway tunnels and stations be built?

The subway tunnels will be built through the use of “Earth Pressure Balance” tunnel boring machines. Subway stations are built by excavating the site for the “station box” and then building the station below ground. If the station is built under a street, the street is covered over with concrete decking during construction to allow traffic to continue to flow overhead. Traffic would be disrupted at the beginning of station construction to allow for initial excavation and installation of the concrete decking, and again at the end to remove the decking and reconstruct the street.

Please view the presentation from our meetings in August 2009 for more information about subway construction available at You may also wish to view " A Subway Story: Metro’s Westside Subway Extension ”.

b. How will you avoid construction problems such as those that occurred in the 1990s during construction of the Metro Red Line?

In recent years, Metro has employed improved tunneling techniques to minimize impacts on adjacent properties. The primary method for avoiding subsidence is the use of “Earth Pressure Balance” tunnel boring machines. With this new technology, pressure is maintained in the surrounding earth while the tunnel is being excavated, thereby significantly reducing the risk of subsidence. Using this technology, Metro recently completed a 1.8-mile tunnel for the Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension Light Rail Transit project with no measurable surface subsidence and no substantiated damage claims from settlement. If necessary, secondary ground stabilization methods will be used.

c. Metro has conducted soils and seismic tests throughout the study area. What was this for and what was discovered?

The tests serve two primary purposes: (1) to better understand the soil conditions and (2) to gain additional information on the location and characteristics of faults throughout the study area. This data is being used to help develop recommendations for alignments, station locations, construction techniques, and for conceptual engineering analysis. Additional testing will be needed during the Final EIS/EIR and Preliminary Engineering phases. We will keep communities informed of any work taking place in their area.

d. Has Metro considered building the subway with a larger single-bore tunnel rather than the twin-bore tunnels used on the Metro Red, Purple and Gold Lines to date?

Metro has enjoyed great success with the twin-bore tunnels used on the existing Metro system, particularly the recent tunnels on the Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension. These tunnels used the newest form of tunnel boring machine technology known as “earth pressure balance.” This technology maintains the pressure in the earth surrounding the tunnel. As a result, the tunnels for the Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension were constructed with no measurable surface subsidence and no substantiated property damage claims. They were also constructed on-time and on-budget.

Metro is evaluating the best techniques for constructing the subway as well as other projects that may require tunneling. This includes looking at improvements to the twin-bore technology used on the Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension as well as the potential use of a large single-bore tunnel. Previous tunnels built by Metro have used twin tunnels that are approximately 20 feet in diameter. Each tunnel accommodates a single train track with two side by side tunnels required to accommodate both directions of travel. Other projects in other countries have sometimes used a single, larger diameter tunnel that can accommodate two or more tracks in a single tunnel. The choice of a tunnel size for the project will be made following additional design and operations studies.

e. What are the construction impacts of a subway? How might construction impact businesses, residents & property owners?

Impacts of construction and potential mitigation measures will be evaluated during the Draft EIS/EIR. Typical impacts that might occur during construction include temporary lane or roadway closures (to install decking over station areas or for temporary placement of construction equipment or materials), removal and hauling of earth from tunneling, construction traffic and parking, potential detours to reach businesses or residences, and noise and air quality impacts. Most of these impacts have associated mitigation measures, seeking to minimize the inconvenience of these activities.

As we have with other construction projects, Metro will work to minimize those impacts on businesses, residents and property owners. Representative measures might encompass ensuring that decking is flush with the street, locating earth removal location(s) near major streets and freeway(s), specifying haul routes, etc. Improved communications, including signage and advertising, are typically employed to help maintain access to businesses. In addition, Metro has established procedures to document existing conditions at properties along the subway construction alignment in advance of construction so that we can accurately assess and address any damage claims that may arise.

While construction impacts and possible mitigation measures are evaluated in the Draft EIS/EIR, a construction mitigation plan will be adopted during the Final EIS/EIR.

7. Construction & Operations Under & On Private Property

a. Will the trains operate under residential or other private property? What could the impacts be?

Most of the Westside Subway Extension is being planned to operate under city streets and public rights-of-way. Most of the current Metro Red/Purple Line Subway operates this way. However, there are several areas today where the system operates under various private properties, including business, commercial, single-family and multi-family residential properties.

It is likely that a future Westside Subway Extension would also have to pass under some private property, particularly in areas where turns must be navigated. The normal curve radius for subway tunnels is 1,000 feet, much wider than a turn at a typical surface street intersection.

Subway tunnels are typically at least 50-70 feet below the surface and are designed to minimize noise and vibration. In some instances, the tunnels are more than 100 feet deep.

Since the first segment of the subway opened in 1993, Metro has received no complaints about noise or vibration due to subway operations. Additionally, in the North Hollywood area, there are sound recording studios adjacent to current subway tunnels. These studios utilize sensitive equipment capable of detecting noise and vibration that would otherwise be imperceptible. Special track work in these areas ensures that the studios are able to continue operation without being impacted by subway operations.

For more information, see the Beverly Hills-Century City- Westwood/UCLA Alignments Combined Presentation .

24. Will Metro take or condemn private property needed for construction, station entrances or other purposes?

Metro only owns property at two of the potential station locations – Wilshire/Crenshaw (optional) and Wilshire/La Brea. We would be able to use the Metro-owned property at these locations for construction activities and to locate station entrances.

At other station locations, we would work in partnership with adjacent property owners to secure property needed during construction or for station entrances. Many property owners find it beneficial to have easy access to the Subway and some have already contacted us about allowing for future Subway entrances to their buildings.

Where the subway operates under private property, we will work with the property owner to secure an easement.

8. Safety

a. I’ve heard that there is subsurface gas and tar in the study area. How can I be sure that the system can be constructed and operate safely?

Subsurface gas is present throughout much of the greater Los Angeles area and is often a factor in construction projects. While tunneling for transportation has special considerations, other projects have been constructed in subsurface gas zones within the Los Angeles region including buildings with deep parking garages and basements, storm drains, sewer projects and other utility projects. Similar protocols for safety and testing apply to these projects as they would for a transportation project.

Safety, both during construction and eventual operations, is one of Metro’s highest priorities. It is also one of the key evaluation criteria during the Draft EIS/EIR. We have safely operated the current Metro Red/Purple Line subway for over 15 years and have successfully constructed subway tunnels where subsurface gas has been present. In 2005, an American Public Transit Association Peer Review Panel determined that “It is possible to tunnel and operate a subway along the Wilshire Corridor safely.”

During construction, the pressure face Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) isolate gas from workers and the public, while gassy soil and tar sands are separated and treated appropriately. Enhanced ventilation systems will be used where necessary to ensure tunnel and station safety and, if necessary, double gaskets for the tunnel lining or other measures may also be installed.

If constructed, tunnels will be designed to provide a redundant protection system against gas intrusion. This might include:

  • Physical barriers to keep gas out of the tunnels
  • High volume ventilation systems
  • Gas detection systems with alarms
  • Emergency ventilation triggered by the gas detection systems.

During operations, safety codes require rigorous and continuous gas monitoring, alarms, automatic equipment shut-off and additional personnel training.

b. How can subways be built and operate safely in an area with earthquake faults?

Many underground facilities – subway tunnels, sewers, storm drains and buildings – have been built in Los Angeles and throughout California near active fault lines. California has some of the strictest building standards when it comes to designing infrastructure to withstand earthquakes. One of the initial steps in planning a transportation project like a subway is to identify where faults are located and understand their characteristics. The goal in planning the subway is to avoid faults if possible. If that is not possible, then every effort is made to minimize exposure to the fault(s), often by crossing a fault in a perpendicular orientation. Running parallel increases the risk as more of the project is exposed to the fault. This can increase project costs as special engineering and construction techniques utilized in a fault zone must be employed along a greater portion of the project. Various special engineering techniques have been employed in fault zones to reduce the risk of damage, limit any damage that may occur, and allow for a swift return to regular operations should a seismic event take place. This can include constructing larger diameter tunnels or the use of enhanced tunnel linings and other measures to accommodate ground movement in fault zones.

Subways throughout the world have excellent records of withstanding major earthquakes over the last 25 years. The Metro Red Line tunnels cross the Hollywood fault north of the Highland Station. They have performed well during earthquakes with no damage or service interruptions, including after the Northridge earthquake in 1994. The Santa Monica fault runs through the Westside Subway Extension subway area. We are particularly focused on that fault in the area around Century City where its location may influence decisions regarding station and tunnel alignments. More testing and analysis will be conducted during the Final EIS/EIR and engineering phase to determine the best way to design and build the subway in this area.

c. How can tunneling be done safely through an area where there are oil fields and wells, many of which have been abandoned and some of which are still active?

Greater Los Angeles is an oil producing area and there is significant local experience building here. During the Draft EIS/EIR, known oil fields and documented active or abandoned oil wells have been identified from oil well maps. This initial analysis indicated that the oil fields are much deeper than the potential subway tunnels. Shafts for active and abandoned oil wells are also located in the vicinity of project alignments along with other utilities such as sewer, water, gas and electric lines. These will be further mapped during Final EIS/EIR and Preliminary Engineering phases and relocated, if necessary, during the construction phase of the project. If any unmapped or unknown wells are encountered during construction, there are established procedures, regulated by government agencies, for dealing with them safely. Metro recently tunneled successfully through the former Boyle Heights oil field while constructing the Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension.

9. System Connectivity

a. What other transit lines will the Westside Subway Extension Transit Corridor connect with? Will the Metro Rapid and local bus service on Wilshire continue?

Several transit corridors will connect to the Westside Subway either directly or through bus connections. The Westside Subway would connect with the full Metro Rail system at the Wilshire/Western Station (Purple Line) and, should additional funding become available in the future, possibly the Hollywood/Highland Station (Red Line). This would provide direct connections to the Metro Blue Line at the 7thStreet/Metro Center Station, and to the Metro Gold Line at Union Station. Union Station also offers direct connections to Amtrak and Metrolink service. The 7th Street/Metro Center Station will offer a direct connection to the Exposition Line currently under construction between Downtown Los Angeles and Culver City.

A bus-rail interface plan will be developed as part of the refinement of the alternatives and for use in the ridership forecasting model that will describe how the existing and planned bus transit services will be modified to provide access to the subway stations.

b. Can Metro consider extending a Crenshaw Corridor Light Rail Line farther north to create the connection to Hollywood and Highland via West Hollywood at less cost and in less time than it would take to implement the Wilshire/West Hollywood subway alternative, thereby creating an east-west route along Wilshire and a separate north-south route from Hollywood and Highland through West Hollywood?

This is not currently a part of either the Westside Subway Extension Draft EIS/EIR or the Crenshaw Corridor Northern Segment Feasibility Study , but it is a potential light rail alternative that could be considered by Metro in future corridor studies should funding become available.

10. Station Area Parking

a. Will there be parking at the stations? Will it be free?

The current Metro Red/Purple Line Subway only has dedicated parking at the stations at North Hollywood, Universal City, and Union Station. Union Station offers paid parking. North Hollywood and Universal City Stations offer a mix of free parking and paid/reserved parking.

The stations on the Westside Subway Extension are in built-up urban areas where it would be difficult to provide dedicated subway parking. Many of these stations are also destination stations, with many riders commuting to the Westside for employment. The Draft EIS/EIR is evaluating the station locations without the provision of dedicated parking. We are also evaluating parking demand at the stations, available public and private parking that may already exist in the station areas that could possibly be shared for subway purposes and the potential for spillover parking into neighborhoods near stations.

11. Schedule & Phasing

a. When will the studies be done and how soon could construction start?

Here is an anticipated schedule for the Westside Subway Extension:

  • Late Summer 2010: Release Draft EIS/EIR for public review and comment. Hold public hearings.
  • Fall 2010: Metro Board of Directors considers Draft EIS/EIR and recommendations including recommended Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA).
  • Late 2010/Early 2011: Seek permission from Federal Transit Administration to enter into Preliminary Engineering for the Westside Subway Extension.
  • 2011-12: Conduct Final EIS/EIR, complete engineering design, prepare bid documents, award construction contracts, and secure federal funding.
  • 2012/2013: Begin Final Design and construction.

b. Will the Subway be built in segments or all at one time? If it will be built in segments, what’s the earliest segment that could be built and to where?

If funding for the entire recommended project were available at the start of construction, it could be completed in as few as six years. However, based on the currently anticipated funding, and when it is anticipated to be available, the project will likely be built in phases or segments. These phases are known as Minimum Operable Segments (MOS). This is how the existing Metro Red/Purple Line subway was built.

In addition to the five alternatives currently under evaluation (see Question 9), the Draft EIS/EIR is also evaluating three phases for construction of the Subway. Following are the MOS segments under evaluation and their timing based on anticipated funding:

  • MOS 1 to Wilshire/Fairfax, open in 2019
  • MOS 2 to Century City, open in 2026
  • Alternative 1 to Westwood/UCLA or Alternative 2 to Westwood/VA Hospital, in 2035

Subway extensions west of Westwood or through West Hollywood are not included in the MOS evaluation, as no funding has currently been identified for them in the adopted LRTP or Measure R plan.

c. How does the 30/10 Initiative affect the subway project?

The adopted Metro Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) for Los Angeles County includes commitments and timing for funding of projects over 30 years. It includes the Measure R Expenditure plan that would provide a total of $4.2 billion (in 2008 dollars) for construction of the Westside Subway Extension in local sales tax revenue combined with federal New Starts funding over 30 years. The 30/10 Initiative is an effort to build the subway and all the Measure R projects in 10 years. We are working closely with the federal government to find ways for them to “advance” the funding for these projects. Any federal money not already presumed to be part of the funding for a project would be paid back by the local Measure R revenues over the 30 years. US Senator Barbara Boxer (CA) & US Secretary of Transportation Ray Lahood recently endorsed the concept. If 30/10 becomes a reality, the Westside Subway Extension could be built to Westwood/UCLA or Westwood/VA all in one phase, rather than three phases. That also means that the subway to Westwood could be completed by the end of the decade rather than the current schedule where it would reach Westwood in 2036.

12. Public Involvement

a. How can I be involved in the decision-making process? How can I stay informed about this study?

You can register here to receive future updates on the project and meeting notices or by calling the project information line at 213-922-6934. You can also find us on Facebook .

In addition to the Public Scoping Meetings and the Public Hearings that are required as part of the Draft EIS/EIR phase of the project, Metro has planned three rounds of community update meetings held approximately quarterly during the project. Formal public hearings on the Draft EIS/EIR are anticipated for Summer or Fall 2010. Please go to “Meetings” on the project website ( for more information.

b. Can Metro make a presentation to my neighborhood or business organization?

Please leave a message on the project phone line at (213) 922-6934, or leave the request by going to Contact Us . A Metro representative will contact you to arrange a meeting for your group or to invite you to one planned in your area.

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