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East San Fernando LRT project gets FTA approval

Environmental green light opens the door for federal funding applications.

On 2 February, the Federal Transit Administration confirmed that the 14.8km (9.2-mile) East San Fernando Valley LRT project in Los Angeles County (US) meets its guidelines for environmental analysis, making it eligible for federal funding applications. State environmental clearance was granted in December.

The 14-stop line will connect the G (Orange) line at Van Nuys with San Fernando, primarily along Van Nuys Boulevard – one of San Fernando Valley’s most intensively-used corridors.

Metro plans to build the line in sections, with works on the first 10.8km (6.7-mile) phase – between Van Nuys and San Fernando Road in Pacoima – to begin this year. Subject to funding confirmations, another 4km (2.5 miles) would reach the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink station.

The majority of the USD1.3bn project cost is to come from Measure M and Measure R sales taxes, and State funds. Planned to open in 2028, daily ridership on the line is expected to exceed 30 000 by 2040.

Metro CEO to step down in May

On 3 February, LA Mayor and Chair of the MTA Board Eric Garcetti announced that Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington is to step down when his current contract expires in May.

Mr Washington has been with Metro since 2015, managing an annual budget of USD7bn as well as holding responsibility for around USD20bn in capital construction projects for the US’ third-largest transit agency.

Mayor Garcetti said: “Phil Washington has been a visionary leader, reimagining our transit network and steering our region toward an era of generational growth and lasting progress… He leaves this agency much better than he found it.”