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|Meeting to Address Subway Extension Proposal|
By Lookout Staff
September 29, 2010 --The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) will host a meeting on Wednesday regarding the draft environmental impact report (DEIR) for the proposed Westside Subway Extension.
The Metro Purple Line subway currently extends from Downtown Los Angeles to the Wilshire/Western stop in the Mid-Wilshire district. There are five options proposed for extending the line, including two that would stretch it into Santa Monica. However, full funding is not currently available for either Santa Monica option.
The extension project could begin as early as 2012 and is targeted to be completed in 2035. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has proposed and the Metro Board has endorsed a plan called the 30/10 Initiative that would accelerate this and 11 other local public transportation projects to complete them within 10 years. Federal government support, including funding, would be needed to accomplish this.
The project’s DEIR was released earlier this month. It can be accessed here: http://www.metro.net/projects/westside/draft-eis-eir-sept-2010/. Public comments must be submitted to Metro by Oct. 18.
The Metro Board, of which Santa Monica Mayor Pro Tem Pam O’Connor is a member, will select one of the five route options on Oct. 28. A final EIR will be completed after that. Since full funding does not exist for either of the two options extending the rail into Santa Monica, it is highly unlikely the board will choose either of those options.
Metro last year committed $4.2 billion in local and federal funding for the project. The local money comes from the fund created by Measure R, the half-cent County sales tax approved by voters two years ago. That money only covers the two options to extend the subway to Westwood.
The two options to extend the line into Santa Monica along Wilshire Boulevard would require significantly more money. One option calls for the line to stretch through West Hollywood and the other does not. The non-West Hollywood version has an estimated price tag of $6.1 billion and the West Hollywood version would cost at least $9 billion.
The Santa Monica meeting is the fifth in the past week Metro has hosted regarding the project. The other meetings took place in cities and neighborhoods that also could be affected by the project.
The meeting will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The Main Library is located at 601 Santa Monica Boulevard. For more information on the project, including fact sheets and maps, go to http://www.metro.net/projects/westside/.
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