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Feds Approve Subway to the Sea, Funding to Follow

Map via Metro
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There's waiting for the train, and then there's waiting for the train line to be built. The wait for the "Subway to the Sea" line connecting Downtown to the Westside may have been shortened yesterday after the Federal Transit Administration granted Los Angeles "approval for preliminary engineering work," on the light rail line, according to an AP report published by Bloomberg.

The FTA's approval means that federal funds are forthcoming; Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said yesterday bucks "for the project and a $1.37 billion regional connector could be included in next year's federal budget." Metro's The Source elaborates:

The notification by the FTA means that both the Subway Extension and the Regional Connector are likely to be accepted into the federal New Starts program, which helps local areas pay for large transit projects. Both the Subway Extension and the Connector are also to be funded in part by Measure R, the sales tax increase approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2008.

More good news is that the FTA believes the project could get finished faster; early estimates from Metro put completion at 2036, with a desire to push it to be done by 2022. The FTA does more than split the difference, and "estimates that the subway could reach Westwood by 2024 under some funding scenarios."