Marking another significant step in the path toward attaining a Full Funding Grant Agreement later this year, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) has received a new allocation of $100 million from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for the third and final section of the Metro Purple Line Extension Project to Westwood/VA Hospital, Metro announced July 10.
The funding represents the second $100 million allocation from the FTA for Section Three since November 2018 and comes from the FTA’s Fiscal Year 2019 Capital Investment Grants Program that invests in critical public transportation projects nationwide.
“We are encouraged that the FTA has chosen to direct $100 million toward building the Westside Purple Line Extension Project,” said James Butts, City of Inglewood Mayor and Metro Board Chair. “This money will go specifically to our third project section that will help us reach Westwood, UCLA and the West LA Medical Center. The FTA has been and continues to be a critical federal funding partner as we work to provide greater mobility options for L.A. County residents. We at Metro are deeply appreciative to Acting FTA Administrator K. Jane Williams and her outstanding staff today for making these funds available. We look forward to concluding our long-term funding agreement with the FTA for this section of the Purple Line later this year.”
The funding will go toward Metro’s existing Section Three tunneling contract, its stations, track and systems contract as well as advanced utility relocation work.
Metro has worked closely with the FTA to process ongoing federal requirements to fund this final portion of the project. Metro has requested $1.3 billion in funding through the FTA’s New Starts Program. The total cost for this section of the project is $3.6 billion. Metro anticipates a grant agreement will be forthcoming in the months ahead.
Metro’s two earlier subway extension sections have already received federal funding awards and are now under active construction.
“The Purple Line Extension will be a game changer for L.A. County, bringing fast, frequent subway service to connect our region’s two biggest population centers,” said Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington. “ Our progress to date would not be possible without the unflagging commitment of our federal partners. With the full support of U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Acting Administrator Jane Williams has smartly guided this project through the FTA’s approval process. We look forward to crossing the proverbial finish line to completely fund this project soon as we cement our Full Funding Grant Agreement.”
Section Three of the Purple Line Extension will span 2.56 miles between Century City and Westwood/VA Hospital and will include two new subway stations. Section Three has already begun some construction activities, which includes utility relocation work and preconstruction activities. Both the second and third project sections are being built by Tutor Perini O&G, a Joint Venture. The entire nine-mile line is on track to open by 2027, in time for the 2028 L.A. Olympic and Paralympic Games in Los Angeles.
In a press release, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein said, “I’m pleased the federal government continues to be committed to moving the Purple Line Extension forward. This is critical funding for a long-awaited section that will help reduce traffic times, alleviate congestion and connect commuters from downtown Los Angeles to the Westside. I know LA Metro is eager to complete this extension before the 2028 Olympic Games to showcase our world-class public transportation options.”
FTA has advanced funding for 25 new projects under the Capital Investments Grants Program since January 2017 totaling about $7.63 billion. Metro was one of only three city transit projects named by the FTA for this funding round.
“FTA continues to evaluate and advance eligible projects in the CIG program consistent with Federal law,” said FTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams. “We are pleased to allocate funding to these projects that will improve communities in Arizona, California, and Washington.”