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Westside Subway Exploratory Drilling Completed, Villaraigosa Drops the Phrase 'Subway to the Sea'

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Over the past few months, Metro has been drilling for soil samples throughout the Westside so below ground conditions could be analyzed as plans for the subway route and construction can be made. The Metro Board still has not voted on whether or not to move forward with a subway, but this information is part of the environmental research that must be done before such a decision can be made. Over 70 locations were drilled.

Mayor Villaraigosa, who will speak at an event tomorrow about the drilling, has dropped his slogan, "subway to the sea," speaking in a couple press advisories today. “Every day, 40,000 to 80,000 cars travel along Wilshire Boulevard, coming from all corners of the county," he said in a statement. "From Long Beach, the San Gabriel Valley, the San Fernando Valley, people drive Wilshire to get to work. Bringing the subway to Westwood will help the entire county get here faster, with less pollution every day.”

Villaraigosa used the "Subway to the Sea" phrase in his state of the city address in April of this year. In fact, he's used it a lot in the past, even when Metro cautiously was using "Westside Extension" and was warning over a year ago that it may end at the 405. Even if current plans and funding expectations only allow for the subway to go so far, in this case U-Sea-L-A, it seems the dream to someday subway it over the sea has vanished, at least for now (or in today's press advisories). We hope he continues to fight the good fight to pave the way for that reality, although a bleak one when talking money.

Speaking in terms of the current economy, the cost of extending the Purple Line from Wilshire and Western to 405 Freeway in Westwood is estimated to be $4.1 billion. Add on a West Hollywood hook between Hollywood and Century City and the price tag goes up another $2 billion. Funding will come from Measure R and potentially federal sources and public-private partnerships.

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A trip from Koreatown to UCLA is estimated to take 13 minutes. From North Hollywood, 42 minutes.