A federal grant and loan totaling nearly $1.5 billion to build the second phase of the Metro Purple Line subway extension from Beverly Hills to Century City was announced Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Metro received a construction grant agreement for $1.18 billion through the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investment Grant program and a $307 million loan through the U.S. DOT’s Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act program to total $1.49 billion. The project will also receive $169 million from a federal congestion mitigation and air quality program.
“Metro greatly appreciates the funding provided by our transportation partners in Washington D.C.,” said John Fasana, Metro board chair and a Duarte councilmember. “By smartly matching federal dollars with Metro’s local sales tax proceeds, we will be able to deliver fast, frequent and high-capacity subway service as promised to L.A. County residents on an accelerated timeline.”
Coupled with Metro’s $747 million local match made possible by 2008’s Measure R sales tax, $2.4 billion is now secured to continue construction of a subway primarily under Wilshire Boulevard that will finally connect downtown Los Angeles and Westwood. The extension to Wilshire and La Cienega boulevards in Beverly Hills is already under construction and is slated for completion in 2023.
The funds announced Wednesday only apply to the portion of the planned subway line between Wilshire/LA Cienega and Century City, including two new stations: Wilshire/Rodeo Drive and Constellation/Avenue of the Stars in Century City. Money to complete the line between Century City and Westwood has yet to be obtained.
Metro is now in the process of selecting a contractor to build this subway extension and the agency plans to recommend a contractor to its board later this month.
Public policy and energy reporter Howard Fine can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @howardafine.