Metro Board to select route and terminus for light rail line to Southeast L.A. County

The Metro Board consider approving Alternative 3 as the initial route for the project and making Union Station the eventual terminus of the light rail line.

Metro is planning a new light rail line that will run between Southeast L.A. County and downtown Los Angeles known as the West Santa Ana Transit Corridor. The Metro Board of Directors is scheduled this month to select a route for the initial segment — between the city of Artesia and the A Line’s Slauson Station — and to consider L.A. Union Station as the rail line’s eventual terminus.

The Metro staff report is here.

The initial segment would include nine WSAB stations and a new C Line (Green) station at I-105 where riders can transfer to and from the C Line (Green). Riders will be able to transfer to the A Line (Blue) — which riders can take to and from downtown L.A. Metro staff is also recommending further study of the Slauson-to-Union Station segment to identify and refine a route that is  cost effective to help accelerate delivery of the project.

The Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (Draft EIS/EIR) for the project was released in July 2021; the report is here. Over 450 public comments were made during the 60-day comment period — when public hearings and community meetings were held.

The Board will consider this item first in the Metro Board’s Planning and Programming Committee on January 19 at 10:30 a.m. and then at the full Board meeting at 10 a.m. on January 27.

All Board meetings are live-streamed; Metro encourages the public to access the meetings online or call-in. A link to the Planning Committee will appear here shortly before the meeting begins and the link for the full Board meeting will be here shortly before the meeting starts.

To support communities that may have limited internet capabilities or technology, visit one of the locations listed below to watch a live-stream of the Jan. 27 Metro Board meeting. Safety protocols for COVID-19 will be implemented at all viewing sites. The live viewing sites will conclude once the Metro board takes action on the WSAB project. Events are subject to change and/or cancellation based on changing COVID-19 safety regulations.

To participate in the meetings, please use the information below:

Metro Planning & Programming Committee Meeting – Wednesday, January 19, 2022, 10:30 a.m.

Metro Board of Directors Meeting – Thursday, January 27, 2022, 10 a.m.

Live Public Comment Instructions

  • Live public comment can only be given by telephone. You may join the call 5 minutes prior to the start of the meeting.
  • Public comment will be taken as the board takes up each item.
  • Dial-in: 888-251-2949 and enter access code.
    • English access code: 8231160#
    • Spanish access code: 4544724#
  • Enter #2 (pound-two) when prompted. Each speaker has one minute to speak.

Metro Board meeting (Jan. 27) in-person Live Streaming Locations

Artesia – Albert O. Little Community Center, 18750 Clarkdale Av, Artesia, CA 90701 

Cerritos – Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Dr, Cerritos, CA 90703

South Gate – City Hall, Council Chambers, 8650 California Av, South Gate, CA 90280

Huntington Park – City Hall, 6550 Miles Av, Huntington Park, CA 90255

Downtown LA – St Francis Xavier Church, 222 S Hewitt St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Visit MetroWSAB.com to learn more about the project.

18 replies

  1. Another waste of several billion dollars on a long rqil route for only 30,000 riders when much shorter projects in the county would attract almost 100,000. And the most useful segment of this project (the connection into downtown LA) which DOUBLES the ridership to 60k or more, won’t even be built until the 2050s. Meanwhile everyone on this train will be forced to transfer to Blue and traverse the awfully slow Washington/Flower junction to make it to all the useful destinations and connections throughout Downtown LA and beyond. But hey, a few people in their suburban single family houses in Artesia or Bellflower might use it once a week, if that, or more likely as an “amenity” in a real estate ad to sell their house, so it’s worth it. And it creates another rail line in a corner of the county that has, until now, under Gateway COG leadership, been fully dedicated to expanding highways and local roads to accommodate more driving in their low density endless sprawl (outside of the smallest SE cities closest to Downtown LA, which are not prioritized under thr construction schedule).
    Keep widening those freeways and this useless line will become even more useless, relying on giant parking lots at its stations, especially in the wealrhier, less transit dependent but more prioritized southern segment south of Green, to actually attract riders. While our busiest bus stops in dense urban areas are overcrowded with riders without any parking at all! EXISTING riders, that actually have to rely on transit, and have to get there without the luxury of being able to drive to a park and ride lot like these stations will forever be.

  2. It’s great that the southeastern portion of the county that is so transit dependent will get some mass transit. I still think that we lack a plan for transit downtown. The ad hoc, project-by-project approach has resulted in a bunch of lines that don’t really interact well together. The regional connector will help a little but it would still be nice to see what our goal for downtown is. It seems obvious from the materials we’ve gotten so far that everyone agrees that the West Santa Ana corridor is a good idea but no one knows what to do with the line once it gets downtown.

  3. Can’t wait to ride this $8 billion rail line to major destinations like Gardendale Street, and all the 1 story strip malls and fast food restaurants at major intersections like Paramount/Rosecrans, and where 2 concrete channels meet with the 710 Freeway! So many destinations served with only 19 miles! A truly transformative project given its ridiculous length and cost. And you get to transfer to the Blue Line to get anywhere useful, which will only help further encourage all the single family homeowners this line will serve to abandon their SUVs and embrace transit that will take three times as long to get them to any actual destination they’re trying to reach.

    • The only reason why they chose the station in Gardendale St instead of Imperial Hwy is because that segment is within City of Downey. If it was relocated to Imperial Hwy it wouldn’t be fair that South Gate will have two or three stations while Downey will have none. Also, the redevelopment on Rancho Los Amigos is on the way, so it could increase the ridership from that station. The Paramount/Rosecrans Station may sound bad, but it could benefit riders because it is across from the busy Paramount Swap Meet.

      Overall, I agree this rail end in the middle of nowhere and it only have 3 STATIONS south of I-105. I wished Metro added more stations mainly at Lakewood Bl, 183rd/Griffey (should’ve been reinstated), Bloomfield (this station should’ve been the terminus instead of Pioneer). Also if OCTA and Orange County allows Metro to extend the rail further to connect in Orange County, I would love to see Stations placed in Moody, Valley View/Cypress College, Knott Av, and the station that should be at least placed as a terminal for the Santa Ana Branch LRT, Beach Bl. Though it would’ve been better if the Rail was extended all the way to Santa Ana like it used to in the past; however due to the new OC Streetcar, it is unlikely and it also likely the OC Streetcar will extend further to Beach Bl or probably at the county border in the future.

    • I think you make good points. Adapting old rights-of-way made sense originally because of the cost savings and availability but the fact is that most of these old lines go through industrial areas and aren’t accessible to riders. There’s also the political and equity issues that come into play. The subway portion of the Crenshaw line is completely useless and unnecessary. Most of the subway is under a 150ft ROW with single-story businesses. The portion that needs to be grade-separated at Slauson and 54th isn’t. Same with the Gold Line on the Eastside. But if the Westside and Hollywood get a subway then the Eastside and Liemert Park get subways. If the Expo line gets built then the southeast portion of the county gets a line.

  4. 15 miles for only 30,000 riders??? That’s 2,000 riders per mile! Doesn’t Metro operate at least a dozen, if not more, EXISTING bus routes that serve many more (transit dependent) riders than that, even today? With only buses that are stuck in traffic??? Why not make one of those lines a rail line first before chasing a measly 2,000 riders per mile on a rail line that will cost almost $10 billion?!?! Are transit riders currently clamoring to reach destinations like Gardendale Street, as proven by existing transit data? Or is this just another politically driven line drawn on a map by a politician who wouldn’t be caught dead ever riding transit, and certainly never has to rely on transit beyond a nice ribbon cutting photo opportunity.

  5. By choosing Union Station as the end point, the Metro board is ensuring this project will be a failure at significantly increasing transit ridership and reducing auto travel. There is absolutely no physical way to extend this north from Union Station – Metro studies already determined this, due to Metrolink conflicts and high speed rail! So this line will forever end at a station surrounded by industrial uses and a prison. Thanks to a purely political board decision that ignores all the data, which clearly shows it should go to the heart of downtown LA and all the connections at 7th street. Not a station on its own island isolated from downtown, surrounded by the 101, the prison, and bail bond shops.

  6. What happened to the “river” confluence station? This was going to be the most beneficial part of this line, having a station where 2 “rivers” meet next to the 710 Freeway. With no other access to any residences or jobs, isolated by the rivers and Freeway itself. And less than a mile from 3 large golf courses just to the east! How else are transit riders going to transfer to the 710 Freeway or either of those two rivers?!?

    • Hi Greg;

      We are still working on the Rio Hondo Station feasibility study and Metro anticipates this study will be completed with the Final Environmental Impact Report for the project. Based on the study findings, the Metro Board will determine the feasibility of this station at that time. Hope that helps,

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

      • Bless your little soul Steve. Everyone is just chewing this one to pieces and yet you still come back with a smile and inform us on how Metro will be considering another way to waste our money on a useless study to nowhere. You deserve every dollar you make. I also think this is not the best idea but I’m going to give you credit for service. Thank you.

  7. Can the Metro board explain why they selected Union Station over 8th/Flower? It makes little sense. Do they anticipate a large number of riders transferring to high speed rail? If they desire a Metrolink connection, the logical choice for that part of the county is a Green Line extension to Norwalk/Santa Fe Springs.

    While it may entail a higher budget, the benefits of a connection into the heart of downtown (and the true spine of the heavy and light rail network) benefits the most riders.

  8. Transit Rider, what shorter-but-greater-ridership routes do you have in mind?

    • Vermont from Wilshire to Green Line is only 9 miles and would serve over 100,000 riders.
      Crenshaw North is as short as 6 miles, and up to 10 depending on the route, and would serve between 10,000 to 15,000 riders per mile.
      But both are non-pillar projects and are only included in the last decades of Measure M (2047-2067 or later), after all the pillar projects are done.

  9. extension of the 20 billion dollar hrt line from 6 flags magic mountain to the disneyland

  10. Will the WSA Branch line run on the A line tracks to Washington BLVD? Will it use the existing or an expanded Slauson Station? Areare we building redundant infrastructure? It seems like the Northern section won’t use the Little Tokyo station currently being built or the Union Station LRT station either… Why?!

    • Hi LRT Man;

      No, the study looked at building new tracks for West Santa Ana trains between Slauson and downtown L.A. as the A Line tracks can only accommodate so many trains.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  11. Could it be possible to build the first section of this line in DTLA, and then expand it further south with each phase? A line from 7th Street/Metro Center that went to Slauson would seem to have a big impact right away. Subsequent phases then extend the line down to Pioneer.

  12. Political project. Billions of dollars and deep opportunity costs are going to be sunk simply so the Southeast Cities can “get theirs.” There are infinitely better projects that need tunnels compared to the WSAB, especially when the tunnels won’t even connect to the densest core of downtown! Money is better spent:

    > Crenshaw Northern Extension via San Vicente/Fairfax
    > Sepulveda Pass HRT via Sepulveda Blvd (in the valley)
    > Extending Purple Line to the beach (rather than barely across the 405)
    > Extending the Red Line to Burbank Airport

    Heck there’d probably be more ridership on an underground line down Ventura Blvd!
    The WSAB should tie into the Blue Line and leave it at that. If you’re going to spend billions to dig a new tunnel downtown, at least cover the area with 3 new stations. May I propose either running down San Pedro St, Los Angeles St, or Main St. Any one of those with stops at 11th, 7th, and 3rd would dramatically increase ridership while providing additional entraces to the Metro system inside the Downtown Core. Running up Alameda St would be a shame since there’s such low density over there and there’s no plan to have an east-west underground line between the 110 and the 5 south of 7th St (stations in the Downtown Core south of 7th St are sorely lacking and desparately needed).

    Here’s a map:
    https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=1bFiC93DGuQc54YVWYpQ0i6R4XB08hu0V&usp=sharing

    Also if the WSAB were to be built to 7th St / Metro Center, it could be extended in the future to Echo Park, Glendale, and Burbank. With a terminus at Union Station, the needs of those denser neighborhoods will necessitate another unique rail line in the future. Map for that: http://www.papadiche.com/transitalignments (third map down, 2035, brown line) / https://imgur.com/a/miO6gu5