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Metro announces federal funding to bring the subway to Century City by 2026

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It’s part of a nine-mile extension of the Purple Line

A map with a purple-shaded line and white dots denoting stations
The nine mile extension of the Purple Line will include seven new stations at: Wilshire/La Brea, Wilshire/Fairfax, Wilshire/La Cienega, Wilshire/Rodeo, Century City/Constellation, Westwood/UCLA, and Westwood/VA Hospital. 
Courtesy of Metro

Metro has lined up nearly $1.5 billion in federal funding to bring the Purple Line subway west to Beverly Hills and Century City by 2026, with stops at Wilshire Boulevard and Rodeo and Avenue of the Stars and Constellation Boulevard.

The transit agency announced Wednesday that it has secured a $1.187-billion Federal Transit Administration grant and a $307-million Department of Transportation loan for this stretch of the Purple Line’s extension, called Phase Two.

Metro officials said they will pitch in local dollars, too: $836 million in revenue from Measures R and M, two countywide sales tax hikes passed by voters in 2008 and 2016, respectively. Without that money, the federal funding might not have landed, they said.

“Angelenos and people across L.A. County have shown their commitment to creating a better-connected transportation system—and this investment echoes that commitment to giving people faster, more convenient connections to their jobs, to healthy recreation fun attractions, and to the people they love,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement.

Phase Two is part of a nine-mile extension of the Purple Line that will be built in three sections. Once all three phases are finished, the Purple Line will stretch from Downtown Los Angeles, past its current terminus at Wilshire Boulevard and Western Avenue in Koreatown, to the VA West Los Angeles Medical Center in Westwood.

Construction on the third and final segment is expected to start in 2019, and when it opens, it will take riders from Downtown to Westwood in 25 minutes. Metro originally planned to open the final segment in 2035, but under Measure M, it could open sooner, sometime between 2024 and 2027.

It doesn’t look like the federal funding announced today will help hasten construction of Phase Two, which is set to kick off in 2018. Metro officials had already planned to have Phase Two up and running in 2026.

Recently, Metro has said it would try to speed up construction, if the city wins its bid to host the 2024 Olympics. But the announcement today pegs the opening date as 2026—two years too late. The Source does say, “Metro is aiming to finish the project at an earlier” than 2026. But no guarantees.

Construction is already underway on Phase One, which runs underneath Wilshire. Phase One will have three stations on Wilshire at La Brea, Fairfax, and La Cienega.