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Federal loan to speed work on Crenshaw light-rail line

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s effort to accelerate construction of local transit projects advanced Friday when the federal government announced that it would loan $546 million for a planned light-rail project that would run from the Crenshaw district to a station near Los Angeles International Airport.

The assistance is the first federal commitment to the mayor’s so-called 30/10 initiative, which calls for speeding up the completion dates of 12 transit projects planned by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, including the Westside subway extension.

"This is a substantial down payment," said Villaraigosa, who was in Washington, D.C., recently to lobby for federal assistance. "The money will help create about 5,000 jobs, free up funds for other projects and allow us to move ahead at an accelerated rate."

The loan will cover more than a third of the planning and construction costs of the Crenshaw light-rail project, which is now estimated to cost $1.4 billion.

The proposed line would run about 8 1/2 miles from Exposition and Crenshaw boulevards to the Green Line station at Aviation Boulevard near LAX.

-- Dan Weikel

Graphic: Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Comments () | Archives (14)

Great, good news.

Maybe one day we can get past the taxi driver mafia & connect the last half mile of the Green Line to LAX.

Thank you Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa!!!!

We need a transit station named after this man after he leaves office! Absolutely fantastic!


It is amazing that loaned money from the Feds is available for this project. More debt. It is also unfortunate that there is not the desire or money to have the Green line connect into LAX proper. The nearest station is at Imperial Hwy and Aviation. I guess completion of the Green Line into LAX would step on powerful toes.

All - the people mover from LAX is planned to connect at the new Crenshaw/Aviation station, which will be built with this project. It's like Jamaica station with JFK. That has always been the plan. Never to go inside LAX, but to connect to a people mover system. LAX is responsible for this.

Joe.. the keyword to your comment is "loaned". The voters of Los Angeles County voted to tax themselves for this to happen. The voters will also finance this project in almost it's entirety. Rather than asking for a hand out from the Feds, which when it comes to California who sends $1.20 for every dollar it gets back from the feds isn't really a hand out, the state is having this money loaned. The people want this and they're willing to pay to have it. When have the feds had it better when it comes to transportation? When have states said let me borrow money to finance public transport rather than let me have money?

Now homeless people have more options to explore Lost Angeles!!

The Green Line could easily be extended north to Century Blvd & Aviation, where passengers could walk to & from the airport gates.

Then LAX could build a circular railway, or 'People Mover,' inside LAX to connect to the Green Line for faster movement.

The Gold Line to Pasadena, the Red Line to the Valley, the Exposition Line were ALL built before the last mile of the Green Line connects to LAX.

The LA Times should do an investigation of why this happened, & how to connect the Green Line ASAP.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa should have run for US Senate or Governor of California.

The planned people mover for LAX is a second-rate choice, like the one at JFK connecting to Jamaica Station or the A line -- it's one extra connection for the traveler. A first-rate choice would be like Chicago's Blue Line that runs right into O'Hare, or London's Picadilly Line that runs right into Heathrow.

What happened to having trains going directly to LAX?

Really fantastic news!!!! I wonder what other projects this will speed up now that more money is available? I think this means in about 5-7 years we will see completion of: the expo line phase 1 and 2 from downtown all the way to the beach in santa monica, the first phase of the gold line extension to Azuza, the crenshaw line from the expo line down to LAX, and maybe a people mover into LAX? That a lot of projects. Amazing! If we're really lucky maybe the subway extension will get funding also and that can be partially opened by that time? Really wonderful news, LA county is going to be a very different place in 5-10 years much more like NYC. Awesome, I can't wait to ditch my car and ride the trains!!!!

Thanks Mayor Villaraigosa you rock!!

West LA

30/10 is a great idea. A crenshaw line that goes from nowhere to nowhere while avoiding stopping under the airport is terrible for LA's long-term transit development. We need to build and support lines with high ridership/$ potential and show people light rail can be quick, convenient and support itself. Building a line that goes from basically an empty / hardly ever used stop to another similar stop is just sad. Furthermore, a long people mover which significantly ads to people’s transit times instead of having the line stop under the airport will just make people drive / take the bus. It looks like the pay-to-play political system may ruin LA’s transit system a second time. First we tore up our transit lines, now we’re building ones that have less ridership than other options and avoid major destinations like LAX. Good for certain political donors, bad for the citizens and the long term support of transit in LA.

Name just one non-US airport the size of LAX without a rail connection. This is another glorified streetcar to nowhere! Travel time is going to be twice as long as taking the FlyAway bus from Union Station nonstop to the terminals. What's the point?


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