Westside Subway Extension flyover video!

Fun video by ExpoLineFan posted to YouTube this morning showing a flyover of the future Westside Subway Extension using Google Maps and animation.

Two cautionary notes: the alignment shown in the video is only a general description and is not completely accurate, particularly in the western Beverly Hills to Westwood section. Here is a link to a Metro document with maps that show the precise route the subway will take and a more general map is below.

The video is also a little overly enthusiastic and takes the line all the way to Santa Monica. The Westside Subway Extension is only funded at this time to the Westwood/VA Station.


15 replies

  1. NB – the link in middle of the post doesn’t work! tried copy/pasting the link but it’s a whole paragraph about BH v Metro.

  2. I don’t want to state an opinion, but rather ask- why was the station location for Westwood/VA chosen? What are the chances of high ridership there as its not immediately adjacent to anything but the hospital… Granted, the walk to West LA businesses isn’t bad, but the station doesnt seem ideal at first glance…

    • Hi Daniel;

      The Metro Board decided that under Measure R and the agency’s long-range plan, there was only enough funding to get the subway to Westwood. As a result, the Westwood/VA Hospital is about as far west as Westwood goes. Metro’s planning staff say they will do everything possible to ensure good connections to the station from surrounding neighborhoods. Here’s an earlier post that looks more closely at the station entrance. As you will see, many other readers commented on this issue.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  3. Two cautionary notes: the alignment shown in the video is only a general description and is not completely accurate, particularly in the western Beverly Hills to Westwood section. Here is a link to a Metro document with maps that show the precise route the subway will take and a more general map is below.

    The SOURCE Is Incorrect I Used the Maps in the Link they are pointing to to come up with the General Placement of the Line between western Beverly Hills to Westwood section

    • Sorry, we’re not incorrect. It’s a great video and we appreciate the effort and that’s why we posted it. But it’s very difficult in Google Maps to draw a line as precise as the ones in the actual technical documents. It’s a relevant issue here because some people will naturally want to know exactly where the tunnels will be.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  4. Ok, thanks for your feedback. My response would be- Why not just make the Wilshire/Westwood/UCLA station the terminus for now and wait for more funding to build a better station just over the West L.A. border? Now, if a station is going to be built in West L.A., it will have to be “west of ideal” in order to be well-spaced from the V.A. station.

    Also, as far as I know, the V.A. isn’t technically in LA City, making it NOT a part of the Westwood district. The decision seems established on subjective boundaries.

  5. One of the most obvious and least expensive ways to get people to the subway, who live west of the final subway stop at the Veterans Hospital, would be to build two protected bike paths along Wilshire Blvd through the city of Santa Monica to Ocean Ave. The entire length would be about four miles, with half this distance less than a 15 minute bike ride for most people.

    Using the Los Angeles 2010 bike plan cost estimates for a bike path along a flood control channel or railway, this Wilshire Blvd bike path would cost $2.6 million a mile. I’ll bump that up to a highend estimate of $5.2 million a mile for doing both sides of the street. Building this four miles would then cost $20.8 million or less. Compare that to the cost of extending the subway another four miles into Santa Monca and that could cost $2 billion or more, or at least 96 times more than building the bike paths.

    With bike paths, I would expect that the daily bike trips to and from the subway station at the Veterans Hospital could quickly be in the hundreds, and building to the thousands. Last week I counted 70 bicycles parked in the racks at the North Hollywood subway station and I would guess that at least 2% of the rail passengers are carrying bikes onto the train. There is no north/south bike infrastructure close to the North Hollywood subway, but there is are bike lanes running west of it and a bike path a few blocks east. The popularity of biking and the amount of infrastructure to support it in Santa Monica should translate to a lot more bikes showing up to the VA hospital station, if a bike path in installed, compared to the North Hollywood subway station.

    For a extreme example of how popular it can be for connecting to a rail station by bike, here’s what some of the bike parking looks like in the Dutch city of Utrecht, the busiest rail station in the Netherlands, where 70% of the rail passengers arrive to the station by bike. Utrecht is building a facility that will hold 23,000 bikes for a city population of about 300,000


    Here’s another video that shows the rush hour bike traffic at this rail station in Utrecht:

    If you make a subjectively safe, fast and comfortable way to bike to the rail station, then many people will likely choose to pedal there.

  6. @Daniel W.: One good reason I can see for having this phase of the project continue past the UCLA station is to move the riders past the horrible 405 bottleneck without adding to the road traffic with more buses. If the project stops at UCLA all those riders that need to continue west would need to be transported on the surface through that already congested area. The same goes for riders starting west of the freeway needing to travel east to get to the UCLA station. I can see the UCLA station to VA station portion of the route being very popular for that reason.

  7. Daniel w: Though it’s not a high ridership generator, the VA station is more ideal than Westwood/UCLA because there would be more room for the inevitable parking structure at the VA site. Also, it’s closer to Brentwood, though it’s still a bit of a hike (I would have liked to see the station on the north side of Wilshire so it’s closer to San Vicente in Brentwood).

    Lastly, this station would eventually be a transfer station to whatever transit line is going to be built on the Sepulveda Pass linking the Valley and the Westside. Whether it’s light rail or heavy rail or busway, no one knows yet, but the amount of open space in the VA property allows it to be built as a transfer station more feasibly there as opposed to the already-dense Westwood/UCLA stop.

  8. Great video!
    Thanks so much for the post.
    As far as I’m concerned, the subway west of the VA Hospital is not even in the consideration right now (sadly), but hopefully in the future – especially if the 30/10 plan materializes – the next phase will indeed go beyond the VA Hospital.
    Ideally, subway to Westwood / VA Hospital opens in 2022,
    and subway from Westwood / VA Hospital all the way to Santa Monica / 4th Street in 2030.

  9. Saw similar things in Copenhagen Denmark. Notice how its always the pedestrians that don’t wait for the light unlike the bikes in this video ?

  10. If the Flyover video was accurate, then the Purple Line would tunnel right under Marilyn Monroe’s crypt. Kinda ironic.

  11. I love that this is happening. I’m just sad that with the 18 year timeframe, I’ll be nearing retirement age when this is all done, and will have very little opportunity to use it for a commute. But to future residents of the city, it will be nothing short of miraculous.