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Metro awarded $100M federal grant for last leg of Purple Line extension

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When the full extension is built, subway riders will travel from Downtown to Westwood in 25 minutes

The shaft of the tunneling machine is lowered into Purple Line’s future Wilshire/La Brea Station.
Courtesy of The Source

Metro announced Wednesday that the federal government has approved $100 million in funding for the third and final leg of the Purple Line subway extension between Century City and the Veterans Affairs campus, just west of Westwood.

That’s just a fraction of the $1.3 billion in federal funds the agency is seeking for the third phase of the extension, which will put new subway stations at UCLA and the VA. Metro says this $100 million grant is “a significant step in the path toward obtaining” the full funding, which it expects to receive in early 2019.

Construction on the third segment of the extension is expected to begin that same year.

Metro is also using funds from Measures R and M—two sales tax hikes that were approved by voters—to pay for the project, but the federal money is crucial.

It’s “needed to complete the Purple Line to Westwood by 2026,” says Steve Hymon at The Source, Metro’s news blog.

It’s estimated that the third section will cost $3.56 billion in total to complete.

Metro has already won $1.25 billion from the federal government for the first segment of the extension, from Wilshire/Western to Wilshire/La Cienega. It has also received about $1.2 billion for section two from La Cienega to Century City’s Constellation Boulevard, despite expertly publicized protests from Beverly Hills schools.

Both portions are under construction now.

The full 9-mile extension will connect Downtown LA to the Westside, mostly along Wilshire Boulevard. When complete, it will offer a one-seat ride from Union Station to the Veterans Affairs campus in a mere 25 minutes.