Federal loan advances light rail for Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor project

Metro plans to build a light rail line from the intersection of Exposition and Crenshaw boulevards to the Metro Green Line's Aviation/LAX station.

Metro plans to build a light rail line from the intersection of Exposition and Crenshaw boulevards to the Metro Green Line's Aviation/LAX station.

A $546-million federal loan that will enable Metro to more quickly build an 8.5-mile light rail line in the Crenshaw District was announced today by U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA).

It is the first federal funding received for a Measure R transit project and will accelerate the schedule for completion of the Crenshaw/LAX line to the next five or six years; the Crenshaw Line was scheduled to open in 2018 under Metro’s long-range plan. The low-interest loan will be repaid with Measure R revenues.

The funding is a major step forward for the 30/10 Initiative, the Metro policy that seeks to build 12 Measure R transit projects in the next 10 years instead of the next 30 by using federal loans and other financing.

In a news release Senator Boxer said, “This is a great day. The federal government — in partnership with local agencies and the Mayor’s office [L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa] — is helping to leverage local funding to accelerate creation of thousands of jobs, to speed construction of transportation improvements and to bring those benefits to the people of L.A. sooner than would otherwise be possible.”

Senator Boxer announced the funding package in a conference call today with Mayor Villaraigosa, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Los Angeles County Federation of Labor Executive Secretary-Treasurer Maria Elena Durazo and Metro CEO Art Leahy.

Mayor Villaraigosa was in Washington earlier this week to participate in a meeting with President Obama about upgrading the nation’s transportation infrastructure.

An official announcement will be made at a press conference to be held next Wednesday.

The $546 million loan  from the federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program will help get construction underway for the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor project, an 8.5-mile light rail line in the Crenshaw District which will connect to the Metro Green Line and the Expo Line, currently under construction, eventually providing direct train service to a planned LAX transit center.

Metro is currently preparing environmental documents and soon will begin preliminary engineering. Construction could start in late 2011.

The Crenshaw/LAX line represents the largest public works investment in South Los Angeles in history, said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.

“Not only will this project bring much needed economic development to an important region of the County, but these federal dollars will result in more than 7,800 much needed jobs for our community during the development of this project. I will make every effort to see that these jobs are allocated fairly to both local residents and those who live in ZIP codes that are most impacted by high unemployment,” said Ridley-Thomas.

“I am very grateful to Senator Boxer and the Obama Administration for this down payment on our 30/10 initiative to move forward with the Crenshaw line and create jobs we need now,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “Senator Boxer has been a tireless advocate for 30/10, and without her efforts this award would not have been possible.”

Here is a link to the news release issued by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. And here is a link to the news release issued by Mayor Villaraigosa.

16 replies

  1. Once this line is extended north to Wilshire and then to Hollywood it will be indispensable.

    Here’s hoping it extends northwest on San Vicente to Santa Monica Blvd., then northeast on SMB to a Red Line Hollywood station.


  2. I disagree about objections to the people mover. A people mover can stop at all nine terminals and make sharper turns. JFK and Newark and other airports have people movers I do not believe they are onerous.


  3. If you’re going to have a station at Aviation and Century 1 mile from the airport, extend the line right into the airport. Part could be elevated with a stop at Lot C city bus center and when it reaches the airport underground it under the exit road between the parking lots with a stop for terminals 1 and7, 2 and 5,6 and one for 3,4 and the Bradley Terminal. It could also serve as a shuttle from Lot C and Between the terminals and hopefully airport funds could be used. Please reply. Thank you.