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Pink Line Dreams: WeHo Hires Lobbyist to Get Some Subway Action

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The planners of the Westside subway extension are currently hosting community meetings in response to the recently-released environmental impact report; this is in advance of making their choice of route clear to the Metro board next month. There's currently five options, two of which include spurs through West Hollywood--both those are unfunded and quite expensive, as a subway to the VA hospital would cost a bit over $4 billion in 2008 bucks, while a WeHo spur (often called the Pink Line by proponents) would add $2.7 billion to that price tag (a 17.5 mile subway line that went all the way to Santa Monica and WeHo would cost $8.4 billion, according to Metro). The WeHo line would make the project more expensive than what is currently set aside for the Westside subway in Measure R funds, so a lot of government money would be needed to make it happen. West Hollywood is undeterred though, and has spent $64,000 on a lobbyist to convince Metro to add the WeHo spur to their recommended route, reports the WeHo News.

A community meeting was held last week in Plummer Park on the status of the EIR. Apparently, West Hollywood mayor John Heilman urged residents to attend all the remaining community meetings--there's one tonight at Roxbury Park in Beverly Hills and on Wednesday in the Santa Monica library--and urge the WeHo spur be added to the recommended route.

The city went a step further and "is paying Sam Schwartz Engineering $64,000 to examine the Draft EIR and to ensure WeHo receives fair consideration in determining which subway route gets built," writes the WeHo News.

The comment period on the subway ends October 18, and the Metro board will hear the recommended route, with stops, on October 28. As per the map, the WeHo spur would have stations at Santa Monica Blvd/La Brea, Santa Monica Blvd./Fairfax, Santa Monica Blvd./San Vicente, and the Beverly Center area.

· WeHo Commits $64,000 to Lobbying for Subway [WeHo News]
· Draft Study for Subway Released [Curbed LA]