Adam Schiff Nudges Metro to Clarify Its Schedule for the Crenshaw Line Extension

U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff is nudging the L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to clarify what it’s doing to speed up the extension of Metro’s Crenshaw Line, which could become the most highly traveled light rail line in the country.

In a letter to Phillip Washington, Metro’s CEO, Schiff called out the fact that the City of West Hollywood is the only one in Los Angeles County to formally engage Metro to accelerate the project, which is being funded partly by proceeds from a half-cent sales tax increase authorized by voters in November 2016.  Schiff noted that West Hollywood “has already approved $600,000 of city funds to begin the funding and financing study.”

In his letter, Schiff referred to an earlier letter from Washington to City Councilmember Lindsey Horvath that stated steps Metro was going to take to advance the Crenshaw Northern extension as a “shovel ready” project.  Schiff asked that Metro provide his office with an update on its work to accelerate construction of the Crenshaw extension and a timeline for completing the steps authorizing by its board in September.

An initial schedule called for beginning construction of the Crenshaw extension in  2041. The City of West Hollywood has been working with Metro to accelerate the project from a scheduled opening in 2047 to as early as 2028.

At a media conference today, Metro officials said that extending the Crenshaw/LAX line  north to Hollywood would attract from 75,000 to 90,000 daily passengers, depending on the actual route.  That would make it one of the most heavily traveled light rail lines in the country. 

To date, the City of West Hollywood has authorized spending a little more than $2 million to lobby for accelerating the extension and to study the cost of it and how it will be paid for.  While Measure M authorized a one-half cent increase in the county sales tax to fund Metro’s overall growth plans, the agency decided it had to set priorities for the many projects. Its “early project delivery strategy” uses certain criteria to assign points to projects and rank their priority.

One of the criteria for ranking projects is whether a local jurisdiction is willing to allocate at least 10% more than the required 3% contribution to the local project. The mandatory 3% contribution would cost West Hollywood between $44 million and $66 million, depending on which route Metro finally chooses. An additional contribution of between 10% and 25% could cost West Hollywood between $70 million and $550 million.

Four of the five options for the Crenshaw extension involve West Hollywood. Those options include routing the extension along San Vicente Boulevard, along La Cienega Boulevard, along Fairfax Avenue and along La Brea Avenue and a route up Vermont Avenue that doesn’t cross West Hollywood. The routes that look likely to provide the most benefit to WeHo are the San Vicente Route and the La Cienega Route. Each of those would take Metro trains through dense areas of the city.  Metro’s board is expected to choose an option early next year.

Metro is holding four community meetings from March 21 and March 28 to share more information with local residents about the project.  The times and locations of those meetings can be found here.


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Robert
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Robert

La Cienega or San Vicente would be best. Both routes allow people to come to dense employment sites such as Beverly Center, Cedars, and PDC. They also allow people to come to the bars in WeHo. Ride Share is great, but it’s still cars on the streets.

Randy
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Randy

As much as I want a mass transit extension into our neighborhood, I think this has to be studied very carefully. My main concern is that ridership is down on public transit in Los Angeles. I believe they attribute this to the low cost of ride-sharing services, such as Uber. However, this downward trend might not continue. It is tough to make a decision about investing so much money, knowing that the completion date is a decade away, at best. Perhaps they also need to analyze who goes/comes from where, in and out of West Hollywood, and when. For example,… Read more »

mike dunn
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mike dunn

Jose, if they were considering this option they would be digging said tunnel and they are not. Breaking thru the existing structure after it is built would present all kinds of issues both structurally and safety for the Purple Line riders.

It’s my opinion they already made up their minds and it would take an act of Congress to change it as what we saw previously with our previous congressman who put a hold on the westside extension.

John Thomas
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John Thomas

The 4.4 billion price tag for weho makes that extension ridiculous. La brea costs 1.4 billion less and would serve almost as many people plus the operating and maintainence costs for weho are 460 million a year double the o and m of la brea. Why isnt anyone talking about that??? Weho is trying to put its foot on the scale because all they care about is some short term increased revenue not the long term benefits and cost savings that la brea will bring

08 mellie
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08 mellie

NO, NO, NO, NO, NO.

Do not fck up our town. This is another taxpayer funded disaster. Please. NO.

Stephen Warne
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Stephen Warne

“2047 to as early as 2028”

Anything past 2030 seems to be an obnoxiously long wait. Self-driving vehicles, rideshare, and ‘last-mile’ options will have significantly impacted public transportation needs by then.

Thank you Adam Schiff for trying to help solidify a timeline. For the citizens of West Hollywood to enjoy the fruits of this massive undertaking, let’s hope that timeline is as soon as efficiency, cost, and community input can allow!

mike dunn
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mike dunn

Although the San Vicente route to Santa Monica Bl. would have the largest potential passenger ridership, number one it does not connect with the Purple Line missing the La Cienega Station by several blocks. Number two there would be redundant stops at Santa Monica and La Cienega, Santa Monica and Fairfax; and Santa Monica and La Brea since each of those stops would be serviced along the San Vicente route. It’s my opinion as a former MTA employee that La Brea Ave will be the chosen route. It’s the shortest and it connects with the Purple Line La Brea and… Read more »

Jose
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Jose

Mike Dunn. All options would connect to the Purple Line. It would be malfeasance to not create a connection. The San Vicente option would connect at the Purple Line’s La Cienega station. The distance between San Vicente and La Cienega is not that much. There would be an underground passageway to connect the two stations.

Mathew Jakcson
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Mathew Jakcson

San Vicente would be the most logical as the Pacific Electric ran down the center of that street decades ago and the extra-extra wide median is still in place. So surface street traffic will suffer less disruption both during construction and after implementation. At Venice Blvd, San Vicente is closest to Crenshaw Blvd (the PE tracks merged onto Venice Blvd. and the street is wider in that area). Getting between San Vicente and Crenshaw is going to be the trick in this situation as homes, the I-10 freeway and the narrowness of Crenshaw Blvd are obstacles.

Rick Watts
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Rick Watts

The train can go underground: The northern part of the already-under-construction part of the line near Leimert Park already is underground. In any case it would need to be so by the time it hits Wilshire: There’s no other place for it once it hits 3rd (unless you want to tear down the Beverly Center & Cedars). Ditto throughout it’s contemplated run down SM Blvd. The MTA already owns the site at San Vicente/SM Blvd for staging & insertion of boring machines to tunnel in both directions at once to speed up completion & in-service targets; and that site is… Read more »

William Wickwire
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William Wickwire

Adam Schiff is right-on. He should spend more time on issues like this and less on trying to get rid of Donald Trump. Transportation and traffic/infrastructure issues are more bipartisan than anything he could be doing in big blue states like California.

Jamaal Abdul-Rahim
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Jamaal Abdul-Rahim

He can walk and chew bubblegum at the same. Congressional oversight is a responsibility of the House of Representatives.