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Is the Metro Train to LAX Really 'moving out of the station' Like Villaraigosa Says?

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Metro says they have cleared another hurdle in their current endeavor to (finally) put in place an efficient transit link to serve Los Angeles International Airport. Wednesday, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) gave approval to release the Final Environmental Impact Statement/Report (FEIS/R) for the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor, says the transit agency, and local politicians are already cheering the train's arrival.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is perhaps the loudest cheerleader of all. "For more than 50 years Los Angeles has waited for a rail line connecting the Crenshaw Corridor to LAX. That sound you hear is this train finally moving out of the station," he remarked via a news release.

For Villaraigosa, the emphasis is on getting jobs for Angelenos. He claims that construction on the Crenshaw Line would put 7,800 people to work. Villaraigosa explains that Los Angeles officials have "asked the federal government to change their rules and regulations so that we can award contracts to construct this and other lines to local companies who hire local workers."

What the FTA's approval amounts to is an OK to construct the project. ("Metro Green Line Gets Green Light For LAX Expansion Project," says CBS2.) However, Metro's Board must approve the project as well, and the FEIS/R will be presented to them at their September 22nd meeting.

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Here is how Metro describes the project:

The Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor is an 8.5-mile light rail line that will extend from the intersection of Exposition and Crenshaw Boulevards to the Metro Green Line. The project will serve the cities of Los Angeles, Inglewood, Hawthorne, and El Segundo and portions of the unincorporated Los Angeles County and is funded by Measure R.