One in a series of posts that will look at projects and programs that would receive funding from the Measure M sales tax ballot measure on the Nov. 8 ballot.
Purple Line Extension acceleration
What is it? The Purple Line Extension is a nine-mile extension of the Purple Line subway to Westwood. The subway when done will provide a 25-minute ride between Westwood and downtown Los Angeles. The draft spending plan for the ballot measure calls for finishing the entire project between 2024 and 2027 instead of the current target date of 2035.
Could I use the project to reach UCLA? You bet. The center of campus is a 1.1-mile walk, bike ride or bus ride from the future station at Wilshire and Westwood boulevards (UCLA already runs frequent shuttles). The station is also a short walk from Westwood Village and the many high-rise offices and residences in the area, including the Condo Canyon stretch of Wilshire Boulevard. Another station in Westwood will be in front of the Veteran Administration’s West Los Angeles Medical Center.
Where else will the subway go? See the above. Downtown Los Angeles, Koreatown, the Miracle Mile (with a station across the street from LACMA and the future Academy of Motion Picture/Oscar Museum as well as the La Brea Tar Pits), downtown Beverly Hills and Century City. The Wilshire/Fairfax Station will be about a mile from the Farmers Market and the Grove (with walking, biking and bus connections) and the Wilshire/La Cienega Station is about .75 miles from the Beverly Center and Cedars Sinai Medical Center.
Could the subway be done before the 2024 Summer Olympics? That’s the hope. Los Angeles is one of four cities — Budapest, Paris and Rome are the others — competing to host the games and UCLA has been tabbed to host competitions and the athletes’ village. The International Olympic Committee is due to pick a city in Sept. 2017.
What happens without the potential ballot measure? The original plan under Measure R was to build the Purple Line Extension in three phases — to Wilshire/La Cienega by 2023, to Century City by 2026 and to Westwood by 2035. The first section to Wilshire/La Cienega is under construction. The second phase to downtown Beverly Hills and Century City is in the pre-construction phase with Metro finalizing a federal grant and loan to help pay for it.
What’s the big picture here? The entire nine-mile alignment gets done sooner rather than later, likely at less cost. Two rail lines — the Purple Line and Expo Line — would exist to serve the job-heavy Westside. And the Purple Line Extension would later offer transfers to a Sepulveda Pass transit project and northern extension of the Crenshaw/LAX Line (both also funded by the potential ballot measure under the current draft plan), creating a more complete rail network across Los Angeles County.
Measure M calls for a half-cent sales tax increase and an extension of the existing Measure R sales tax. Please visit theplan.metro.net for more info and use the hashtag #metroplan when discussing on social media. The Metro Board approved sending the ballot measure to county voters at their June 23 meeting.
Related: All previous posts about the Purple Line Extension on The Source are here.
Other posts on Measure M projects