The Metro Board approved the Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) for the Eastside Transit Corridor Phase 2 Project, which will extend the Metro L (Gold) Line in phases from East Los Angeles to Whittier.
The Metro Board chose staff’s recommended Alternative 3 for the project’s Initial Operating Segment (IOS), which will extend the Metro L Line further east from its current terminus at Pomona/Atlantic in East Los Angeles to Greenwood Station in Montebello.
The alternative chosen best meets the communities’ needs by having fewer impacts related to construction, traffic, noise, and property acquisitions. This alternative also has more environmental benefits and provides additional regional connectivity.
The Board also approved the Lambert Station in Whittier as the terminus for the nine-mile project and authorized the preparation of the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the full project through the California Environmental Quality Act. Metro can now complete the EIR and make this project ready for construction by 2029 as programmed under the Measure M sales tax approved by L.A. County voters in 2016.
When built, the new line will serve the cities of Commerce, Montebello, Pico Rivera, Santa Fe Springs and Whittier, and the unincorporated communities of East Los Angeles and West Whittier-Los Nietos. The Alternative 3 IOS approved by the Board is approximately 4.6 miles long and includes four stations. The LPA also includes maintenance and storage facility site options.
Three build alternatives have been studied extensively in the project’s Draft EIR. Build alternatives consider the full project to Whittier and IOS that would construct the project in phases. Here is a quick summary of all the alternatives studied:
•Alternative 1 Washington: Extends L Line east from its terminus at Pomona/Atlantic to Lambert Road in Whittier.
•Alternative 2 IOS Commerce/Citadel: Extends L Line east from its terminus at Pomona/Atlantic to Commerce/Citadel.
•Alternative 3 IOS Greenwood: Extends L Line east from its terminus at Pomona/Atlantic to Greenwood Station in Montebello.
Design options were also studied, including an underground relocated station at Atlantic/Pomona or an underground open-air station. Other design options are aerial (elevated structure) or at-grade (or street-level) segments in Montebello, including an at-grade Greenwood Station.
The Eastside Transit Corridor Phase 2 is a rail extension anticipated to provide commuters in a high travel-demand corridor relief to the limited transportation systems currently available to them. In addition, the project will provide a connection to the regional transit network via the Regional Connector, a new Metro rail extension under construction in downtown Los Angeles that will open in the spring of 2023.
With the Connector, riders on the Eastside Gold Line will be able to ride the same train directly into the heart of downtown L.A. — instead of having to ride to Union Station and then transfer to the B/D (Red/Purple) Line subway.
Measure M allocates $6 billion for this project in two funding cycles. Cycle 1 allocates $3 billion for the Washington Alternative beginning in 2029 and Cycle 2 allocates $3 billion for the second alternative beginning in 2053. The second alternative is being evaluated through the San Gabriel Valley Transit Feasibility Study).
For more information on the project, please call Metro at (213) 922-3012 or send an email to email@example.com. Information about the project is also available on Metro’s website at www.metro.net/eastsidephase2.
“Our selection of the LPA represents a key milestone in the project’s planning phase and will now allow us to complete the environmental work needed to get this vital transportation improvement project into construction,” said Glendale City Council Member and Metro Board Chair Ara J. Najarian.
“The Eastside has been waiting a long time for this connection to the L Line that will serve a densely populated area of the county, offering equitable access to jobs and educational opportunities and providing economic benefits to surrounding communities,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor and Metro Board Member Hilda L. Solis.
“It is important that we finally deliver this project all the way from East LA through Commerce to Pico Rivera and Whittier. This is just one more step in getting there and we will make this project happen as soon as possible, to deliver a one-seat ride for these communities to downtown LA and beyond,” said LA County Supervisor and Metro Board Member Janice Hahn.
“I am pleased that the Board approved the Lambert Station in the City of Whittier as the terminus for this project. Like many Metro projects, the Eastside extension will be built in phases, and I look forward to its completion to serve the residents of Southeast Los Angeles,” said Whittier City Councilmember and Metro Board Member Fernando Dutra. “The Board also voted to aggressively pursue $150 million in statewide Major Project – Project Development Reserve funding for projects that expect to receive federal funding in the future. Our cities are eager to have multiple transportation options for their residents”.
“We worked with all the communities along this corridor to ensure that we heard their concerns and needs and recommended the best possible alignment for the Eastside Transit Corridor. The locally preferred alternative will add rail connectivity and vastly improve transportation options in this corridor,” said Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins. “We look forward to continuing the work to improve transit connectivity for our Eastside communities.”
Where’s the cost and ridership information? Why is Metro not transparent regarding what this will cost and for how much benefit? How many riders will benefit by this $7.9 billion project to Greenwood and Washington? Can Metro show us what this project does to improve transit service and how it compares to other projects of similar costs?
Metro staff: why do you never publish cost and ridership figures for these $8 billion projects you insist on approving for construction? This article is about the selection of THE project Metro wants to now build using our taxpayer funding, but you specifically and purposefully omit key cost and ridership data? Is the goal to deceive the public by not disclosing the fact that this project will only add 6,500 boardings to the Metro rail system, at a cost of $8 billion? That’s over $1 million per boarding, is this the best use of Metro funds and is this the best alignment and project that can be proposed with $8 billion?
Not publishing cost and ridership proves Metro wants to hide this information. The key question is why?
Congratulations, Metro! You’re going to add 3 new low ridership stations to the rail system for $8 billion. And for less than 7,000 new rail boardings. You’re about to dedicate spending for the most expensive transit project ever proposed in the world, and for the lowest benefits and ridership per dollar spent. Other cities will thank Metro for approving such an awful project that will make every other transit project built in the country seem cheap and effective. Numerous articles will be written about this wasteful spending and project that will only add 6,500 new boardings to the existing rail line that terminates at Atlantic. And Metro staff will never care, because it’s only their job to deliver a project, regardless of its cost or benefits to the transit riders that depend on the system Metro managers will never ride.
Why is this expected to cost nearly 3 times as much as the K line phase 1, even though it has roughly the same amount of underground, elevated, and at grade sections?! is this all inflation? not good… this doesn’t bode well for the future of LA transit expansion…[facepalm]
I ain’t a NIMBY. But of all of proposed rail projects, this is actually one of the only Measure M projects I don’t support for various reasons. This project is one of the most expensive and has one of the lowest ridership potentials in the entire systemwide. I would rather see an extension of the C Line Station to Metrolink. Sure this may be expensive, but this is a more long overdue than this E Line extension. Don’t get me wrong, a one-seat ride from Whittier to Downtown LA is a good idea, but a best option is to create a BRT from DTLA or at least ELAC to Whittwood Town Center via Whittier Bl or a Rapid Line (doubt) from Wilshire/Western to Whittwood Ctr. Whittier Bl at least have a more potential to have better ridership than Washington Bl as bus service on Washington Bl is a joke as that route don’t run on Sundays. Another better solution is to add Metrolink Stations on the Riverside Line including Citadel, Durfee, & Rio Hondo College and include enhancement in service as well. These options would at least save money for the riders and provide better ridership.
$6 billion for 3 stations?
How many people is this expected to carry?
Were they any other projects that were expected to be more cost effective?
It’s not just $6 billion, it’s $7.9 billion now, according to Metro’s own cost estimate.
6 billion divided among the 2 phases.
God I’m laughing so hard right now. Unfortunately have to go back to LA soon but will be leaving within a few years for good. Best believe my tax dollars won’t be paying for this by the time the construction gear starts coming in.
Thanks LA, can always count on you to keep the status quo.