The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has approved Metro’s request for entry into the Project Development Phase of the Capital Investment Grants Program for the West Santa Ana Branch Transit Corridor Project.
“I am pleased and thankful to the Biden Administration for advancing Metro’s West Santa Ana Branch project in the Federal Transit Administration’s New Starts pipeline into the project development phase,” said Metro Board Chair and L.A. County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, representing the First District. “This is a critical step towards addressing disparities in communities across Downtown and Southeast Los Angeles, whom I had the honor of representing on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for seven years.”
“Many of these communities suffer from severe pollution burden and lack sustainable mobility options. Once the West Santa Ana Branch comes to fruition, Southeast Los Angeles residents will finally have direct and quick access to Downtown Los Angeles and the rest of the County, opening up access to more jobs, schools, and housing,” continued Supervisor Solis. “As the Chair of Metro’s Board of Directors, I remain committed to advancing this regionally significant project and all other projects like this that support the Administration’s Justice40 initiative.”
Funding from FTA is a key step toward making the project potentially eligible for federal funding. The 14.8-mile Slauson/A Line to Pioneer route was also approved as the Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) for the project’s initial segment between Artesia and Downtown Los Angeles.
“This is a big moment for the West Santa Ana Branch project. I appreciate our federal partners for working quickly and acknowledging this project is a priority not just for LA County, but for the nation,” said L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board Member Janice Hahn. “Our Southeast LA communities deserve high quality transit, and this milestone gets us one step closer.”
As the project enters the project development stage, Metro will retain eligibility as it completes the environmental review process, as well as engineering and design activities that the agency finds necessary. Once the environmental review process is complete, the FTA will extend the pre-award authority to project sponsors in project development to incur costs for engineering and design work necessary to develop a cost estimate, financial plan, utility relocation, and property acquisition.
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