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Westside Subway and Regional Connector Take Big Steps Towards Reality

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One of the Westside Subway Extensions under consideration | Image via Metro

One of the Westside Subway Extensions under consideration | Image via Metro
There's still a long way to go on these projects, but they took a big step this week. The Federal Transit Administration last week signed off on Metro's draft environmental documents for the Westside Subway Extension and downtown's Regional Connector.

The news means the documents will soon be available for a 45-day public review period, including a series of public meetings, before the Metro Board approves a locally preferred alternative for each project.

Alternative because both projects currently have various options to consider. The Westside Subway Extension, for example, has five alternatives. Three would run down Wilshire Boulevard from the Purple Line's current end-of-the-line station in Koreatown, but only one would complete the "Subway to the Sea" vision. The two others would stop short -- one at UCLA; the another past the 405 Freeway at the Veterans Administration. Another two alternatives add a subway tunnel between Wilshire Boulevard and Hollywood via West Hollywood.

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Conceptual regional connector map | Image via Metro
Alternatives for the Regional Connector, which would create a two-mile light rail link for the Gold, Blue and future Expo line, include above and underground alternatives. Once in place, passengers could travel seamlessly between Pasadena and Long Beach or East L.A. and the Westside without transferring to the Subway for the connection.Once the public comment period ends and Metro staff does an analysis, the Metro Board in their October meeting are scheduled to choose the locally preferred alternative for the two projects. That sets them into another year-long process that includes final environmental documents and, if approved by the FTA, preliminary engineering, which is a step towards possible federal funding.

Upcoming Public Meetings

Westside Subway Extension (all meetings will start at 6:00 p.m.)
- September 20th at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
- September 21st at the Westwood United Methodist Church
- September 22nd at Plummer Park in West Hollywood
- September 27th at Roxbury Park in Beverly Hills
- September 29th at the Santa Monica Library.

Regional Connector
- September 28th, 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. at the Japanese American National Museum
- October 4th, 11:30 -1:00 at the new Los Angeles Police Department Deaton Auditorium