Council Backs Metro Rail's Second Phase

After voicing concerns that their subway dreams may never be realized, Los Angeles City Council members Wednesday endorsed a plan to run an elevated extension of Metro Rail north from MacArthur Park along Vermont Avenue and then west on Sunset Boulevard, terminating at Vine Street.

The proposed extension would become the second phase of Metro Rail, which has thus far received funding for an initial underground line from Union Station to MacArthur Park. The Southern California Rapid Transit District board is expected to make a final determination on the alignment in the next few months.

The council action is purely advisory.

Several council members, however, tempered their support with doubts about whether Metro Rail funding will continue. The U.S. Senate recently overrode by a one-vote margin President Reagan's veto of a major transportation bill that included first-phase Metro Rail funding.

In making its recommendations, the City Council also asked the RTD board to delay a decision on running a line along the Wilshire Corridor. Subterranean gases are believed by some to pose a risk in tunneling, while business and property owners along Wilshire adamantly oppose an above-ground train line.

The council reiterated its support for a subway extension from Sunset to the San Fernando Valley, following generally the route of the Hollywood Freeway.

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