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July 16, 2024
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CalSTA Awards Metro $600 Mil to Support Critical East San Fernando Valley Light Rail Project


The California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) has announced that Metro will receive the full request of $600 mil in state grant funding for a key expansion of the Metro system, the East San Fernando Valley Light Rail Transit Corridor Project (ESFV), the first rail project to be built in the Valley since the original Metro Red Line subway was extended to North Hollywood in 2000. 

Metro requested this important funding as part of an overall package to advance three significant regional transit projects with a comprehensive application that reflected stakeholder input, regional consensus, and careful consideration of the guidelines and legislative intent of the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP) Cycle 6 opportunity.

The 6.7-mile light rail line will connect the communities of Van Nuys, Panorama City, Arleta, and Pacoima along Van Nuys Blvd, one of the Valley’s busiest corridors. Another 2.5-mile segment is also planned to extend the rail line from Pacoima to the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink Station. Design options for that project segment are now under study and will be built in a second construction phase. 

The ESFV Project, which was already environmentally cleared and broke ground for advanced utility relocation in December 2022, is planned to connect with both the Van Nuys Metrolink/Amtrak Station as well as the Metrolink station at Sylmar/San Fernando to provide Metro transit customers with greater interregional connectivity.  This $600 mil state contribution has provided Metro with the much-needed financial support for a required funding plan per the Federal Transit Administration’s guidelines for the approval of an anticipated Expedited Project Delivery Grant of $908.75 mil.

“I am grateful for Governor Newsom's continued support for transportation projects that will ease congestion, make our air cleaner and expand people's access to opportunity,” said Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Member Karen Bass. “This expansion helps us advance our commitment to provide a reliable, safe, quick and efficient public transportation system that connects every neighborhood in Los Angeles.”

The project provides significant and targeted benefits for communities designated as federal areas of persistent poverty and Equity Focused Communities along the project corridor and links these communities to the Metro G (Orange) Line and the Metrolink/LOSSAN system.

This award was part of CalSTA’s $2.54 mil funding announcement for 16 existing projects throughout California. Projects must maintain and/or leverage significant sources of additional local or federal funds to return project or project elements to full funding status. Funding remains available for additional TIRCP Cycle 6 awards to New Projects and Major Project Development Reserve Projects, as well as High Priority Grade Crossing Improvement and Separation Projects.

“This is a significant investment by the State for the San Fernando Valley,” said Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins. “Our proposed prioritized projects will help uplift our communities by bringing rail and economic opportunity to one of our region’s busiest transit corridors not currently served by rail transit. Metro is committed to ultimately moving forward all three shovel-worthy projects as part of our vision for the future of Los Angeles’ transportation infrastructure.”

In December, Metro’s Board of Directors unanimously approved a prioritized list of projects for this funding request to include not only this project, but also the Metro L (Gold) Line Foothill Extension Light Rail Transit Project to Montclair and the West Santa Ana Branch Transit Corridor Project.

Metro’s full submission requested $1.898 bil for all three projects, which would leverage significant federal and local funds in addition to hundreds of millions of Measure M funding already committed to these projects. Metro will continue to seek full funding for the remaining projects that will ensure the creation of tens of thousands of jobs along with greater mobility and air quality benefits, including for disadvantaged, equity-focused communities.

The other priority project, Metro L (Gold) Line Foothill Extension Light Rail Transit Project to Montclair, is shovel-ready and can begin construction within a year, bringing immediate benefits to L.A. County and San Bernardino County. The West Santa Ana Branch Transit Corridor Project will leverage local and state funding with a Federal Transit Administration Capital Investment Grant to bring rail transit to a corridor that is home to some of our most disadvantaged communities in the State.

The approved ESFV Project is just one of the transit improvements Metro has planned to improve mobility in the San Fernando Valley over the next 10 years. Other projects include the North San Fernando Transit Corridor Project, the G Line Improvements Project, and the Sepulveda Transit Corridor Project. Projects are partially funded through Metro’s local Measure M voter-approved sales tax measure, which supports transportation improvements throughout Los Angeles County. 

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