Is there a Pink Line in the way off future?

The Pink Line blog took a Metro map and added a suggested route for a future transit line. Source: The Pink Line blog.

Attentive readers know that Metro staff this week issued their recommended route for the Westside Subway Extension: basically a route that follows Wilshire Boulevard west, swings south to Century City and then back to Wilshire and ending at a station near the VA Hospital in Westwood.

Staff also said that the subway spur from Hollywood to Beverly Hills and through West Hollywood was not suitable for a heavy rail subway such as the current Metro Red and Purple Line. Why? It’s too pricey for the projected ridership. But they did write:

“While the DEIS/DEIR identifies that the West Hollywood line has very high potential as a transit corridor, further study is needed to determine if a more cost-effective transit alternative such as light rail subway may provide a project that would be more competitive under federal funding criteria.”

Enter Dan Wentzel, a transit activist who speculates what a light rail line may look like one day in that area (see the map) on his Pink Line blog. He even goes a step further and speculates on a line that goes south of Wilshire on San Vicente Boulevard, connecting to a future Crenshaw Line that would run north of Exposition Boulevard.

I think it’s a very interesting idea — there’s no certainly no shortage of people, businesses or traffic in the area. The Westside Subway Extension’s draft environmental study concludes that such a line could attract riders on par with Metro’s existing light rail lines. By the way, the phrase “light rail subway” used above is intended to mean light rail that could operate at street level or above or below ground.

As Dan notes, all this is very “far off” in the future. At this point, there is no funding to study, let alone build or operate either project. An expansion of both the Westside Subway Extension and the Crenshaw Line are in the “strategic unfunded” part of Metro’s long-range plan and both would need lot more definition before they could get funding (not to mention the fact that finding funding is no easy task).

As for the Westside Subway Extension, the ultimate deciders on what gets built this time around is the Metro Board of Directors, who are scheduled to consider the issue at their Oct. 28 meeting. West Hollywood officials have lobbied hard in the past couple of years for the subway to come through their city and the Board of Directors could choose to launch more studies of that corridor.

22 replies

  1. I’m seriously getting annoyed by people critizing L.A.’s metro system. Yes, it’s a shame that the streetcars were removed by 1961 but let’s not forget that the first light rail line (blue line) was completed in 1990. Doing the math, that means are metro system is 20 years old. It’s completely insane to compare it to New York, London, or even San Francisco! Now, I agree that money from taxes has probably not been managed properly but I feel confident that in the future our metro system will be adequate. Let’s be realistic angelenos: this is not a city built for mass transit. But metro is trying to give everyone options and at today’s current cost, (purple line exceeding 4 billion), we all need to relax and be happy that any kind of rail extension is greatly appreciated.


  2. Anything less than a subway is a total fail.

    Switzerland just built a 35 mile tunnel through a mountain in the Alps. 35 miles!!

    Why do we have to struggle so hard for this?