Here are five route alternatives that will be studied for Sepulveda Transit Corridor

Metro staff this month are releasing five alternatives to be studied as part of the Sepulveda Transit Corridor project’s environmental review process. The five are:

•A monorail alternative along the 405.

•A monorail alternative that would use an underground segment to connect to UCLA, which is about one to two miles east of the 405 depending on campus location.

•A heavy rail (i.e. with trains similar to Metro’s B/D Line subway) line that would travel underground with an aerial section along Sepulveda Boulevard in the San Fernando Valley.

•A heavy rail alternative that is entirely underground, including along Sepulveda Boulevard in the Valley.

•A heavy rail alternative that is entirely underground, including along Van Nuys Boulevard in the Valley.

Let’s back up a step for those new to the project.

As many of you already know, the project will be a high-speed, high-capacity heavy rail line or monorail that will run between the Van Nuys Metrolink Station and the E Line (Expo) on Los Angeles’ Westside. The line will be the desperately needed option to driving on the perpetually-congested 405 freeway between the San Fernando Valley and West L.A. and will also offer access to the Metro G Line (Orange), Ventura Boulevard, the UCLA campus and the Purple (D Line) Extension.

In March, the Metro Board awarded contracts to a pair of firms to do pre-development (PDA) work on two different potential types of transit (see this earlier Source post for more details) on the project:

•LA SkyRail Express is developing its proposed monorail concept that would follow the 405 freeway and take 24 minutes to travel between the Van Nuys Metrolink station and the E Line. The details are below:

 

•Sepulveda Transit Corridor Partners – Bechtel is developing a proposed heavy rail line that would be 60 percent underground with the rest mostly aerial. That line would take 20 minutes. Details below:

The idea behind the selection of these five alternatives is to study the two proposed PDA transit solutions along with other options that emerged from the project’s Feasibility Study that was completed last year. We think these five alternatives give the Metro Board the best options from which to choose when they eventually select a final route, otherwise known as the Locally Preferred Alternative.

In regards to money: the idea behind the pre-development work is to bring private firms into the planning phase much earlier than is usually done for transit projects. We think that greatly increases the likelihood that the project can be built via a public-private partnership (PPP) that allows innovations in design, engineering, construction approach, financing and operations. Just developing the PDAs was a long and deliberative process that we think will result in a better project.

Why else is this important? Because this is a very big, very complex and very expensive project. Metro has $5.7 billion in funding from a variety of sources  — most prominently the Measure M sales tax approved by L.A. County voters in 2016. But the project is almost certainly going to cost more than $5.7 billion, which is the exact reason that Metro is exploring a PPP. We think it may be our best chance to fund, finance and accelerate the project.

We’re also, of course, working to make the project eligible for federal funding. Because Metro has local dollars from Measure M and three previous sales taxes, we have a good track record of using local dollars to lure and secure federal grants. Our subway extension project to Westwood has received more than $3 billion in grants from the feds and the Regional Connector in DTLA another $670 million. With President Biden proposing to greatly expand infrastructure spending, we want the Sepulveda project — arguably the most desperately needed of our future projects — to have a shot at future dollars.

And the best way to do that is study a healthy variety of route options. What do you think of these routes, Source readers?

62 replies

  1. Combine the propose Van Nuys light rail and combine it with this project. I think I speak for everyone when I say heavy rail all the way underground. We’re willing to wait and pay for it. Don’t screw this one up.

    • Don’t speak for me please, Heavy Rail to future Santa Clarita (or even present day Sylmar) is an outright pointless idea cause the population in that area will probably never grow that dense (it’s not even getting an HSR station). Instead, just grab that black sheep, Create a Wye at Orange Line and have those trains continue west or east, and then it should finally be useful for all Valley residents (keyword – should).

      • Ditto on the wye. But, alternatively, it could also continue south to Ventura Blvd. where it then curves east towards the red line to which it could then turn south (overlapping the red line) and link up with the crenshaw north extension, though if it’s a choice between that and the former, then the former probably makes more sense, though Ventura Blvd. does need some kind of dedicated transit line.

    • I will add however that Sepulveda NEEDS to be extended north to Roscoe and not the Metrolink. While I will agree with Metro that the Metrolink station is a good endpoint, the Heavy Rail is justified to Panorama Mall. From experience the Buses get packed from Panorama and on south while just North of Panorama City (outside of rush hour) seems to start drastically falling fast!

    • When you cut corners in building transit, the cost estimate may look good early on, it will cost more down the road, eventually.

      No monorail, No BRT, No streetcar.
      Either grade-separated light rail or full-on heavy rail. Thank you.

  2. Heavy rail above ground through the pass not an option? Tunnel to UCLA and probably at Mulholland because of the grade but building a tunnel the entire way definitely not necessary. No neighbors in most of the pass. Did landed gentry in the pass kill this option before it could even be considered a la commuter rail in the Expo corridor?

    • There are types of ‘heavy rail’ that can navigate the pass, but the steep grade and nessisary turns would limit it to speeds similar to the Monorail(50-55mph) rather than the speeds LA’s existing heavy rail can do(70-75mph)

      The pass also adds a mile or two in turns over the direct route, so it gets even slower.

      Tunneling the pass is worth it.

    • @Thomas Ryan No, heavy rail above ground is NOT an option, the incline, specially on the valley side is far too steep for any traditional rail, even in dry conditions, not to mention when rails would be wet. Westwood@UCLA is roughly 340ft above sea level, the top of Sepulveda Pass (405) is at 1130ft, and the Valley floor at Sherman Oaks is at 660ft.As you can see, even a tunnel would have to deal with a 320ft height difference between the Sherman Oaks and Westwood.

      • Valley side has max 5.1% incline. Light rail could do that easily, existing red line subway cars would need a tunnel under Mulholland to not take toll on equipment. Sepulveda/Ventura is 732 feet. Add 30-40ft for elevated station. Cuts incline down to 4% without tunnel at top of hill. Anyways, my point is that this should be an option that’s investigated since we’re at the pre-planning/scoping stage, especially since it could reduce costs by billions and construction time by years. Also, I’m not aware of any five-mile long subway tunnels in this country. Transbay tube is in the ballpark but was mostly cut, drop and cover. Were talking about some serious engineering challenges here and we don’t exactly have a great track (sorry) record.

        • New York has multiple tunnels that are 5 miles long or more. Here is a map of the system. Red are tunnels, blue is all other. Mahattan Island is just over 12 miles long.
          https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/61/Nyc_subway_underground_or_overground_track_position.svg/684px-Nyc_subway_underground_or_overground_track_position.svg.png
          The 1 line does not daylight until about 181st street. So that tunnel is about 10 to 11 miles long.
          https://new.mta.info/map/7551

          • I think you misunderstood me. A tunnel from UCLA to Ventura Blvd. would be almost six miles without intermediate stations or access points. We have no experience in this country doing anything like that. The IRT lines in Manhattan were built mostly by building a trench, laying tracks, and building a roof over. The only real tunnel they excavated in Manhattan was for the four Washington Heights stations from 157-191st streets. The East River tunnels – Steinway (7), Joralemon (4/5), and Clark (2/3) are all a little over a mile long for comparison.

          • We might not have done a 6mi tunnel, but it’s not like that engineering challenge hasn’t been accomplished anywhere else. You look at Switzerland and there’s tunnels that literally go through the Swiss Alps for much longer than is proposed here, so it’s not impossible by any means. For a local reference, Metro did deep bore TBM the Red Line tunnel in the Hollywood Hills, which has no stops for almost 3mi straight. Any problems and lessons learned would be similar to ones encountered with the Sepulveda Pass, just for double the distance.

        • the Transbay Tube’s weird brother, the Berkeley Hills Tunnel, is three miles long with more distance between the two nearest stations – it even runs through a fault line. it was even built in the 1960s. pretty close, just double it.!

    • I had the same question when they first presented options. Aerial is so much cheaper than a tunnel all the way through. Metro presented some really nice analyses of the elevated option through the pass. From a layman’s perspective it looked like they REALLY tried to make it work, but they determined that unfortunately it’s unfeasible to put heavy rail down the the freeway due to a number of factors including turns, an 8-foot diameter sewer line underneath that would prevent the installation of large pillars, environmental concerns with the creek, etc. Unfortunately, it seems that no matter how desirable, the option is just simply not possible.

      • Great info. Are these presentations on the Metro website or otherwise available? Strikes me as odd though that an above-grade monorail can get through but heavy rail is completely impossible. Different modes but the footprints can’t be that different.

  3. NO MONORAIL! Employing a brand new technology for LA’s Metro system is a huge waste to taxpayer dollars. Plus Metro needs to hire companies from France or Switzerland, who have been able to build tunnel projects WITHOUT bankrupting their economies.

  4. Heavy rail underground — for the project I’ve been hoping for since I moved here 15 years ago.

    But I have to say that for public transportation, it’s shameful that two de facto regressive sales tax were not enough. We also have to make it part private and contribute even more to wealth disparity. All of this against a backdrop of soaring homelessness and outrageous housing costs.

    The working class, poor, and all of us, deserve better.

    • “ private and contribute even more to wealth disparity”

      I hate to say this but considering I have had experience with privately operated rail lines, and I can tell you right now it was DECADES better than (insert every transit agency in the US here), because they all have to actually compete for the dollar (or Yen).

      The US government literally has no reason to put any effort into public transit especially in a society that loves their car that gives them their independence, so it doesn’t surprise me this is the route we have to take.

  5. Heavy rail along Sepulveda or Van Nuys San Fernando Valley near the 405 is most practical, people can transfer to and from Santa Clarita, Lancaster/Palmdale, and the metrolink to Ventura county. Heavy Rail All The Way !!!

  6. Heavy rail and underground for as much of the rail as possible. Our primary goal should be high capacity, fast, consistent, reliable, clean and safe rail. We should focus on “future proofing” as much as possible. Spending on easier and “cheaper” options don’t serve or benefit any of us in the long run. I don’t think we should be over concerned with price/funding. Taking out debt to fund these projects is a good thing; public infrastructure projects pay themselves off. We must invest in the future, something that is never cheap or easy, but something that is greatly needed and overdue for our community.

  7. monorails last appeared decades years ago as a gimmick to draw visitors to world fairs.

    monorails pose problematic, massive life safety hazards to 16 lane wide interstate 405 surface and overpass vehicular traffic.

    Drawing federal dollars is reason enough not to pose completely avoidable catastrophes and loss of life by going with the low bid, that is monorail.

  8. No monorail. It is outdated technology and it cannot be integrated into the existing system. Seattle has a monorail and they decided to build a subway system with heavy rail. Think of the life of the system. All the heavy rail subway systems are still in existence, e.g., New York, London, Washington D.C., and Atlanta.

    • As mentioned, Seattle has Light Rail, but so far Sound Transit is proving to be Light YEARS cleaner and more efficient than whatever it is that Metro has become.

      I really wish Metrolink (or a State agency) would take over the rail lines here in So Cal so we can finally end this “build only until we reach the county line” crap.

  9. My feelings is that a monorail would be used mainly as a tourist attraction. We want good, reliable, fast transportation between the valley and West LA. Even though, the monorail would be less expensive, overall heavy rail would be slightly faster. The Metro Red Line has been a big success between Hollywood and North Hollywood which is totally underground, so why mess with a system that is proven successful.

    The 405 Freeway has been a mess for decades and has not improved. The HOV lanes do not seem to be helpful in reducing congestion. The Sepulveda Pass transit should have been a priority with Metro for a long time. Instead of constantly expanding the Metro Gold Line further east in to less populated areas; the Sepulveda Pass project should have taken priority over the Gold Line project.

  10. Monorail is like the flying car. It is not a real option. It is a fantasy that people only consider because of the “world of tomorrow” visions from 50+ years ago. Any railed vehicle runs on pairs of wheels, even the handful of so-called “monorails” that have been built.

  11. •A heavy rail alternative that is underground, including along Van Nuys Boulevard in the Valley.

    – This, and ONLY this gets my money.

  12. Heavy rail (underground tunnel) is really the only choice here. Would advocate an above ground method to go from Van Nuys Bl to Sepulveda…where the Sepulveda Pass Transit SHOULD start.

  13. No monorail. Period. It’s a nice tourist attraction option or for circular routes (think an AirTrain, convention center, or designated entertainment district), but not for legitimate public transportation.

    If you’re going to build a vital public transportation link, spend more on the heavy rail so we get it right the first time. No learning curves, no worries about interoperability with what is currently in use and proven to work in Los Angeles. My gripe too, especially with increased climate change, is that the monorail is susceptible to wildfires or construction in the region. When, and not if, there’s a fire in the Sepulveda Pass again, then that means no transportation links between the Westside and Valley. No monorail or cars. With an underground heavy rail, even when there’s a fire or another Carmageddon, the public transport option is fully functional.

    If part of public transportation goals are to get people out of cars to decrease the affects of climate change, then show that public transportation can also be the one method that runs through the pass no matter the climate disaster that strikes.

  14. Metro should spike monorail now.

    Separate the long reach tunnel contract from ventura blvd/Sepulveda to Wilshire Westwood, from the rest of the project.

    get the CA legislature to do the super-fast EIR sports stadium type exemption for the long reach tunnel.

    Finish the DEIR in four months, Finalize FEIR in another four months, accept a bid after another four months, order the TBM,

    Break ground after another four months, receive the TBM after another four months, Start the TBM mining after another four months.

    Just plow ahead full steam while waiting to see if it gets infrastructure dollars or a FFGA and remember this is just tunnel contract, no stations or anything else, Focus on one thing only: just building the tube.

    The Result? decisive action today results in a tunnel machine starting mining two years from now.

    Meantime the rest of the project can wrangle to their hearts content doing the usual puttering EIR and NIMBY backflips and NEPA certs and FFGA and eternal utility relocations and that bullshit process which always takes five to eight years.

    But it’s fine, because mining the long reach from ventura blvd/sepulveda to Wilshire Westwood will also take five to eight years. So Metro should start now, doing whatever it takes to accelerate the tunnel mining immediately.

  15. No monorail, why even waste time and funds studying this ?
    Heavy rail with a subway stop in UCLA campus connecting 4 other Metro lines and Amtrak and Metrolink at Van Nuys.
    This is a no-brainer.
    Based on the time line for the 3 segments of Purple lIne, will the Sepulveda Line even get done prior to the Olympics?
    Seems you almost have to start building soon, like next year, for this to have any chance of happening.

    We have local money to leverage Federal funds. We need to pursue funding NOW while Biden is in office. Best change as he believes in transportation and infrastructure investments.

  16. No monorail. The reasons have already been given. Heavy rail under the Pass. I am not a Valley resident so I cannot comment on the conditions there. Spend the money, it will be worth it now, and in the future.

  17. Heavy rail, please. We need transportation, not an amusement park ride using Yet Another technical mode.

  18. It looks like heavy rail is faster than the monorail and has higher capacity.

    Even if you ignore all the jokes and people not taking the monorail option seriously (myself included, it’s ludicrous) I don’t think that Los Angeles should go for anything less than a heavy rail solution to one of the biggest traffic corridors in the country.

  19. Why is the monorail being studied? It is such a dumb idea I can’t believe we really have to waste millions of dollars studying it. The capacity isn’t there — why even build it? Also, you think Caltrans, a freeway-loving-cars-always-first agency, is going to let Metro put up a monorail over the freeway?

    This is such a clear cut case for heavy rail. I don’t understand why we have to study this stupid monorail proposal. It’s a toy. That is more expensive to run over time and less useful. The costs look cheaper upfront but honestly who even buys that projection? There’s no compatibility with existing vehicles. What is the point?

  20. hey – i commented asking a question on this thread and now it’s gone. what gives?

    • Hi Phil;

      I don’t see the comment anywhere. Do you know when you posted it?

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  21. While I understand the grade is rather steep north of Mulholland, several commenters have implied that the entire grade through the pass is too steep for heavy rail. But somehow BART accomplished this over the Dublin Grade, which is certainly steeper than the portion from Sunset to Mulholland. What about a heavy rail hybrid that is partially underground rather than the whole thing? Maybe that could save some money.

  22. No monorail. Do heavy rail with an option later for a branch East from Sherman Oaks to North Hollywood and Burbank Airport.

  23. If the Union Pacific and BNSF can make it over passes in Southern California like the Cajon Pass there is no reason why the MTA can’t do the same. Hell, the Pacific Electric built over the Cahuenga Pass from Hollywood to the Valley. And if it is elevated along Supulvada Bl. they can get a running start of sorts concerning the grade they must conquer.

  24. Heavy Rail Please. Trying to add another technology (monorail) will be shooting ourselves in the foot. Heavy rail will allow connections to already existing lines, have faster transportation, higher capacity, and better experience for the riders. Freeway aligned stations are garbage, just ask anyone who has actually used the C line. The rail system in LA county is already a weird patchwork of different modes, and adding another will just make it worse. The long-term benefits and opportunities are NOT worth sacrificing for a potential cost savings and speed of completion now. We are building infrastructure for decades to come, not just for the Olympics.

  25. Build rail from LAX 405/105 go surface middle of 405. Begin tunnel north of sunset go almost parallel to 405. End tunnel a mile before ventura Blvd. Continue rail in the middle of 405 all the way to 405/118 freeway or continue to Santa Clarita. Few years ago I was traveling in San Francisco. I saw a monorail going middle of freeway uphill. It can be done.

  26. Either figure out a way to speed up the time-line for the subway alternative or just build the monorail. The people who will actually benefit from the project could care less about the mode and an additional 4minutes as long as this line hits the necessary destinations, 24minutes is a hell of a lot better than the 90+ minuntes it can take to get through the Sepulveda Pass.

  27. The advantage of freeway median/adjacent structures is that ROW acquisition is relatively low cost, but past Metro projects (see Green Line, North San Gabriel, and Silver Line bus) have shown that it’s rider unfriendly and misses the final destination that’s intended. People don’t live and work at the freeway, they do so in residential and commercial zones. When the Sepulveda Line is extended south, it will ultimately be nowhere near a freeway so it serves Culver City and/or Marina del Rey properly before reaching LAX.

  28. Couple questions bouncing around – feedback always welcomed.
    1) I hate to say this as a loyal Bruin but is the heavy-rail option essentially building six or seven miles of subway (at one billion plus per track mile) for one station? Would a shuttle spur to campus from the Westwood station and bypassing UCLA altogether be a better option for a north/south line? This would follow the monorail path but obviously not have the monorail (use light rail or subway cars instead).
    2) Not really sold on the necessity of subway down Sepulveda between Wilshire and Expo. Tunneling under the main north/south natural gas pipeline in the city probably isn’t a great idea anyways. Plenty of above-grade room between Sepulveda and the 405 and no neighbors.
    3) An all elevated light-rail from Van Nuys to Expo/Sepulveda bypassing UCLA would cut the cost of this project by 75% yet keep most of its functionality and be done in 1/3 the time. Light-rail would have no problem with the grades or curves in the pass and most of the corridor has no residential neighbors.

    • Thomas
      1. Yes, the tunnel option is a much higher budget, but it doesn’t have to follow the 405, and as others (and even Steve Hymon pointed out at one time) freeway based trains are not an ideal transit option.

      2. At one point, probably before the PPP version, an option was presented to end the Sepulveda line at Wilshire/Westwood and extend the Purple from the VA to LAX. One seat from Union Station to LAX sounds like a more valuable idea.

      3, Thought engineers had concerns about light rail in the pass (also see comment 1 about freeway trains). The other consideration was LRT passenger capacity wouldn’t be enough for projected ridership.

      • Agree on the freeway-based transit systems. Mostly because the stations are inconvenient/unpleasant for riders. No stations in the pass though. Also, last place I would ever put a train is on the 405 somewhere (median, raised, etc.) – no room and no way to detrain passengers in case of emergency. The pass is huge. We need a 30ft row. Maybe two places in the pass where we would need a short tunnel. Retaining wall in one other place.

        Kind of surprised no one else thinks six miles of subway for one station at UCLA isn’t excessive? Just to save Valley riders having to backtrack one or two stations? Not exactly a throng of riders on the 734 going to UCLA as final destination anyway. When I was a Bruin I met one person that commuted from the Valley and while there were signs for the 561 bus, I can’t say I actually ever saw one.

        Re capacity/ridership – light rail would have more capacity than any monorail and that made it.

        • Thomas
          In your scenario, where would the Sepulveda line connect to the Purple Line? It would either have to be Wilshire/ Westwood or the VA.

          The monorail proposal has an arial station between the VA hospital and the 405 with a not so short walk to subway portal. Not sure the VA makes sense as a connection point as that adds a lot more pass through riders and potential drop offs on a semi-private property. Street traffic-wise, there’s going to be a mess with a much more active Bonsall entry to Wilshire eastbound immediately before the 405 South entry ramp.

          Conversely, Wilshire/Westwood is designed with 3 portals to handle growth down the road. Arial through Westwood Village is not feasible and tunneling under the cemetery is not permitted, so a tunnel going through campus is not that far out of the way. Even with an arial down the 405 proposal, a transition to subway would need to be made north of Sunset to come close to the west end of campus under Veteran.

        • No actually! Have you seen the time savings on this Line compared to the failure the Expo Line is in terms of Time Savings.it’s amazing! No way would I have ever expected this out of Metro. 20 min to travel 15 miles vs 47-54 min on the expo line. I can drive from Downtown to SM on a Saturday morning and get to SM in HALF the time it would take the Expo Line because of the stupid shortcuts Metro and residents insisted on taking simply because rail was so desperately needed. Yes, the 6 mile tunnel is worth it if you want this to actually attract riders from their cars both day and night. Not to mention it seems you are only looking at the small picture here (please correct me if I’m wrong on that part).

          About 8 months ago It took me 80 min to travel from Van Nuys (Sherman Way) to Torrance (Del Amo) leaving at 2pm on a weekday along the 405 which also involved having to get off the freeway in Westwood and use Sepulveda until Howard Hughes Center before getting back on the freeway again. Had I been able travel at 70-80 MPH the entire way I could’ve made it to my point B in about 35-45 min.

          Now I say that to say this: part of the reason why travel time will be only 20 min on this line is because of that 6 mile non stop tunnel under the pass. Also, this isn’t just about traveling between valley and UCLA. This about travel from Valley to the beach via Expo Line or Purple Line, this traveling from the Valley to Culver City or Howard Hughes Center to work or play, this is about traveling from Valley to LAX to catch that flight. That 6 mile non-stop tunnel will allow to make that travel time from the Van Nuys Metrolink to LAX to be just under 45 min. Try to see if you can do that during the day once everything returns to normal. Having to cut corners to save money will increase travel time and risk Ridership numbers and ruin the opportunity to demonstrate that rail can actually compete with the personal automobile.

          Now if this was getting built only between Valley and UCLA, with no further extensions, then heavy rail wouldn’t even make sense at all and I would agree as well, but this is a valley to LAX line, so every little change matters now because of the overall endgoal here.

          Maybe Japan has spoiled me with what a true rail experience is supposed to be, but it thought me that projects like this NEED to be built right even if the initial investment leaves you penniless, because long term this line actually has the potential to pay for itself if built right.

          “Not exactly a throng of riders on the 734 going to UCLA as final destination anyway.” – Yeah those future Subway riders are currently driving because the 734 is slow, doesn’t use the freeway, has even more stops than the 761 had and goes around the campus rather than a straight shot to Sepulveda. Those 10 min of extra travel time can mean a lot to people and add up fast during travel.

  29. I can’t understand the opposition to monorail. You really want to tunnel for years with the huge inevitable cost overruns. Monorails aren’t just for amusement parks; ask Japan and China. Besides being less expensive, they are relatively quick and easy to build and L.A., to paraphrase Ray Bradbury’s essay on the subject, is the perfect environment. The Heavy Rail Industrial Complex must be busy posting here.

    • Heavy rail is preferable due to intercompatibility with the existing HRT network allowing easier maintenance and possible interlining with the D line as well as not having to add additional isolated transit equipment to metro’s network.

      The long straight tunnel will allow for the fastest travel time and position the stations in more central, pedestrian friendly positions in the urban area whereas the monorail concept seems to almost exclusively be in the middle of the freeway and station access will be much less user friendly due to their locations. For example, a station right at Ventura Blvd. is much better integrated with the overall urban environment than the “101 station” concept as the latter seems taylormade for car oriented NIMBYS.

      As far a which alignment for HRT, I think it comes down to a choice between elevated along Sepulveda with the additional Sherman Way station or the underground route along Van Nuys Blvd as a rapid overlap with the LRT planned. I would echo that ending the line at Roscoe/Van Nuys (with provisions made for possible future northward extension should the demand and funding arise) should be considered especially in light of the proposed development around there.

    • Exactly how many monorails and for how much of a distance do they Operate in Japan? I tried the Shonan monorail in Kanagawa and I must say that while it is making effective use of the limited land available, there’s just no use to use it as an actual commuting alternative compared to the JR Lines, Yokohama Subway Lines,Keikyu Main Line and Tokyu-Toyoko Line or even the Odakyu Railway from Fujisawa to Shinjuku. The Tokyo monorail isn’t even 100% useful either as only goes from Haneda to Partially into Tokyo (not even the Tokyo underground).

      Please point to an actual monorail line that is actual useful for commuters and not just lines that are clearly leisure, local only or Airport trippers, cause even in Japan that’s all the monorails were useful for.

      Quick and Easy is why we go the Pathetic excuse Metro insist on calling the Expo Line. You really want this rail line to be slower and lose ridership potential because you wanna build a rail line that’s “cheap and easy?”

  30. This definitely needs to be heavy rail and to stop at UCLA. Connecting UCLA to the D and E lines plus the Valley means cars off the road. As someone who lives near the Expo and goes to UCLA/Westwood regularly (in normal times) I would connect via a heavy rail line ALL THE TIME. However, a slower method with a less direct route, and possibly dropping me closer to the 405 than right at UCLA or Wilshire/Westwood… I don’t know.

  31. Underground is the way to go. Forget the monorail idea. Unnecessary mixing of two different types of transit requiring a transfer. Vancouver did it right with Skytrain. Pick a mode, and everything deployed uses the same mode. I know that heavy rail will be grade separated the entire way, even when above ground in aerial sections. As other have stated, don’t be penny wise and pound foolish. Perfect example is the Gold Line to Pasadena. Upon arrival in Pasadena, there are 3 at-grade street crossings: Glenarm, Del Mar, California. The traffic backup during rush hour on California is mind boggling. It is going to cost $110,000,000 to grade separate that single street. Including years of construction nightmares. From the outset, the stretch from Glenarm to Memorial Park should have been subway. The large apartment complex at DelMar could have had a world class underground station built in from the start of construction. No way to ever fix that short sighted error.

  32. I’m a proponent of a heavy rail solution for the Sepulveda Pass but to be fully functional there needs to be a connection from the Purple line to the Expo Line and Ideally south to the Crenshaw line and LAX.

    As for a 6 mile tunnel through the pass its not the longest tunnel proposed for the Southern California Area. The currently proposed alignment for the California High Speed Rail from Palmdale to Burbank requires a tunnel between 12 and 14 miles long and the Northeast Interceptor Sewer Tunnel completed in 2006 was 3.5 mile long and completed without mishap under downtown.

    • No monorail: it’s not a serious alternative, prone to failure, and over-engineered. Just build a heavy-rail subway with the same loading gauge as the Red and Purple lines. Maybe a rubber-tire subway like the Paris Metro would be suitable for the grade.