The long-awaited Los Angeles County subway line that will whisk commuters between downtown and the Westside has secured the last major piece of funding needed to finish the project, officials said Tuesday.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority expects to formally accept a $1.3-billion federal grant for the Purple Line in about a month, following a mandatory 30-day review period in Congress, officials said.
After the congressional review period ends, Metro can “redouble our work to establish a fast and effective rail line,” said Inglewood Mayor James Butts, the chair of the Metro board, in a statement.
The funding agreement was announced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who said in a statement that connecting downtown with the Westside is “crucial to modernizing the city’s transit system.”
The funding deal was met with relief from local officials, who had originally expected it to be finalized more than a year ago. Transportation officials are pushing to finish the subway line before Los Angeles hosts the Summer Olympics in 2028.
Most of the nine-mile Purple Line, also known as the D Line, will run beneath Wilshire Boulevard, which is the busiest transit corridor in Los Angeles County and has one of the highest concentrations of jobs and housing in Southern California. The project is expected to generate 78,000 new daily trips on the county’s growing rail system.
The Purple Line is scheduled to open in three segments: from the current terminus in Koreatown through Mid-Wilshire by 2023; through Beverly Hills and Century City by 2025; and to West L.A. by 2027. Heavy construction is underway on the first two phases.
Metro has secured $2.75 billion in federal grants and low-interest loans for the first two phases of the project. The grant announced Tuesday will be spent on the last leg of the project, which will add 2.59 miles of track and two stations in Westwood and near the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs campus.
Work has been underway on the final phase of the Purple Line since 2018, when Metro hired a contractor to design and build twin subway tunnels that will run beneath the 405 between Century City and West Los Angeles.
Connecting the Westside to downtown is “no longer a distant dream, but a reality that’s within our grasp,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti in a prepared statement.
The rest of the Purple Line’s construction costs will be paid for with revenue from Measure R and Measure M, sales tax increases that voters approved in 2008 and 2016.