The first Measure M rail project scheduled to be built is the East San Fernando Valley Transit Project — a 9.2-mile light rail between the G Line (Orange) and the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink Station in the San Fernando Valley.
Metro today released the Final Environmental Statement/Report for the project and will accept public comment starting today, October 2, through Tuesday, November 17. The 720-page document with appendices is here.
Metro will also hold two virtual community meetings October 14 (English) and 26 (Spanish) for community members and others to ask questions about the final report during the public comment period. Metro also has a new virtual platform that offers a ton of useful information about the project.
Following the public review period, the Metro Board will consider the FEIS/R as soon as their November/December round of meetings.
The completion of the FEIS/R a big step toward preparing the project for construction, which is scheduled to begin in 2022 with a target opening year of 2028. The project could be built in phases depending on available funding.
The new train would serve the busy Van Nuys Boulevard corridor, which is the seventh busiest in the entire Metro system and a key north-south corridor through the heart of the San Fernando Valley.
For those new to the project, some quick history: significant funding for the line comes from two sales taxes approved by Los Angeles County voters — Measure R in 2008 and Measure M in 2016. After initial studies, the route was selected by the Metro Board in 2018, after which work on the FEIS/R began.
As for the project, the light rail line would run at street level for 9.2 miles between the Van Nuys G Line (Orange) station and the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink Station following both Van Nuys Boulevard and San Fernando Road. There will be 14 stations with traffic signals to be prioritized for the train. A new rail maintenance yard would be built in Van Nuys.
End-to-end light rail trips would take 30 minutes compared to bus trips that take at least 48 minutes today (the end-to-end bus trip requires a transfer). The East San Fernando Valley rail line will also offer easy transfers to Metro’s popular G Line, Metrolink, Amtrak and numerous east-west bus lines in the Valley.
The southern part of the East San Fernando line would also provide transfers to the future Sepulveda Transit Corridor that would run between Van Nuys, the Westside and, eventually, the LAX area. That project is currently in the planning phase.
This is also a project very much about providing quality transit to a population that needs it. Eighteen percent of the households near the line have incomes below poverty level and 35 percent are transit dependent. The area is more than 70 percent Latino.
Once the Metro Board approves of the FEIS/R, the Federal Transit Administration would then certify the report. Preliminary engineering has been underway on the project since 2019. The next steps would be the bidding process to hire a contractor to build the line and to begin property acquisitions and utility relocation. Those steps are scheduled to begin in 2021.
The two public meetings will be held:
Wednesday, October 14, 2020, 4:30–6:30 p.m. (in English, with Armenian interpretation available by request).
Zoom link: http://bit.ly/ESFV-Oct14 Passcode: 867267
Or join by telephone: US: +1 669 900 9128 or +1 346 248 7799 or +1 253 215 8782 Webinar/Meeting ID: 998 7865 2421
(Press # when asked for Participant’s ID) Passcode: 867267
Monday, October 26, 2020, 6–8pm (in Spanish)
Zoom link: http://bit.ly/ESFV-Oct26
By telephone: US: +1 669 900 9128 or +1 253 215 8782 or +1 346 248 7799 Webinar/Meeting ID: 994 5650 0748 (Press # when asked for Participant’s ID) Passcode: 605402