Earlier today Metro released the Notice of Preparation (NOP) for the Division 20 Portal Widening and Turnback Facility project, formerly known as the Red/Purple Line Core Capacity Improvements. The project was environmentally cleared as an Initial Study/ Mitigated Negative Declaration in March 2017. The design team has since been looking at design changes to improve the turnback facility and has determined that the project will be cleared through an Environmental Impact Report (EIR).
Two public scoping meetings will be held for the project that will allow Red and Purple Line subway trains to turn around more quickly at Union Station. The project will also make it possible to run more trains on both lines and to create faster headways (time between trains) between Union Station, Wilshire/ Vermont and Civic Center Stations.
The meeting dates and locations are:
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Art Share L.A.
801 East 4th Place
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Street parking only.
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Japanese American Cultural and Community Center
Japanese Cultural Room, Floor 5
244 S. San Pedro Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
The formal name of the project is the Division 20 Portal Widening and Turnback Facility Project. The project is about to enter its formal environmental study phase and the meetings are a chance to learn what will be studied and to suggest any other topics or issues that should be addressed in the project’s Environmental Impact Report.
Getting more trains in and out of Union Station more quickly is crucial as the Purple Line is currently being extended to the Miracle Mile, Beverly Hills, Century City and Westwood in the coming years. The first 3.9-mile section to new stations at Wilshire/La Brea, Wilshire/Fairfax and Wilshire/La Cienega is scheduled to open in 2023.
The project has two basic components. One is widening the tunnel entrance between Union Station and the Red/Purple Line subway yards in the downtown L.A. Arts District. The other part of the project involves building new tracks in the yard where trains that just dropped of passengers at Union Station could turn around and quickly go back to Union Station.
The project is planned to be designed and built in such a way as not to preclude a future Arts District subway station. That project has not been given the go-ahead by the Metro Board, nor does it have funding — although it certainly has been discussed as a possible, separate project for the future. You can read more about that Board report here.