The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) has approved the construction of a $1.3bn light rail line in East San Fernando Valley.
The 9.2mile rail line, stretching between the Orange Line’s Van Nuys Station and the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink Station, has been approved by Metro’s board of directors.
Metro editor Steve Hymon said in a blog post that the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor project will have 14 stations and will run along the Van Nuys Boulevard.
It is expected to offer a faster transportation alternative than the existing bus rapid transit, providing more capacity to the region.
It will also offer transfers to/from the Orange Line, multiple Metro bus lines, Metrolink, Amtrak, as well as to the future Sepulveda Transit Corridor rail line.
The plan also includes creating a light rail maintenance and storage yard between Raymer and Keswick Streets in Van Nuys.
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The construction of the line is slated to begin in the fiscal year 2021-22, with passenger service expected to start from 2027.
The project is part of Metro’s Twenty Eight by ’28 Plan, which aims to complete 28 major projects before 2028 when the Olympic Games are scheduled to take place in Los Angeles.
It will receive more than $800m in funds from Measures R and M, while another $200m will be provided from the Senate Bill 1 (SB 1) gas tax and vehicle fee increases that came into force last year.
Around $200m is also expected to be provided from the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).
The project’s Final Environmental Impact Statement/Report (FEIS/R) is currently being undertaken and will be completed next year, followed by the selection of the project contractor and other associated works.