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Metro to Study Extending Green Line as far as Torrance

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In addition to approving light rail for the Crenshaw corridor to LAX, the Metro Board today approved moving forward with another step for the Harbor Subdivsion right-of-way between LAX and Long Beach.

The move puts a 4.6-mile portion of the transit corridor into an environmental impact report process, which means staff will study a variety of options such as light rail, bus rapid transit, beefing up current bus service in the area and doing nothing. Expect public meeting to be scheduled in 2010 for input on this.

Metro will be considering a couple different route options into Redondo Beach or Torrance where each city is building a transportation center.

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One will be using the right-of-way from the LAX/Aviation Station. If chosen, you likely won't be seeing light rail, but rather different train technology that can use old freight train tracks with upgrades under federal guidelines. It would cost an estimated $428 million and see approximately 3,300 daily riders.

The other route option is to continue the Green Line from the Marine Station further into Redondo Beach or Torrance. It would cost an estimated $495 million and see approximately 5,800 daily riders.

Although the Metro-owned Harbor Subdivision right-of-way goes all the way to the Carson-Long Beach border via the Los Angeles community of Harbor Gateway, the current study will not include going beyond Torrance. "We're looking at phased implementation," explained Renee Berlin, an Executive Officer in Metro's planning department, over the phone. "Measure R only included funds for the South Bay Extension."

To continue the route further, Metro would need to secure other funding in addition to updating the recently approved 30-year long range plan, which doesn't include a phase two.

The board also renamed the project to the South Bay Green Line Extension from the Harbor Subdivision.