West Hollywood has inched a bit closer to getting an extension of the Crenshaw/LAX light rail line with a decision Thursday by the L.A. Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s board of directors to spend $400,000 on screening the number of rail alignments to be carried forward into environmental review..
Metro is considering five options for routes of the Crenshaw/LAX extension four of which involve West Hollywood. Those options include routing the extension along San Vicente Boulevard, La Cienega Boulevard, Fairfax Avenue and La Brea Avenue and a route up Vermont Avenue that doesn’t cross West Hollywood.
The routes that look likely to provide the most benefit to WeHo are the San Vicente Route and the La Cienega Route. Each of those would take Metro trains through dense areas of the city.
The Crenshaw Extension will be funded by a one-half cent increase in the sales tax authorized by the passage of Measure M in 2016 for a variety of public transit projects across Los Angeles County. Metro has allocated $2.24 billion for the Crenshaw Extension. The West Hollywood City Council has asked
The environmental impact study is a key step in the process required to get the extension ‘shovel ready’ by 2020, which could potentially allow Metro to have it completed by 2028 instead of 2047.
City Hall’s Community and Legislative Affairs Division has estimated that the extension will cost between $1.4 billion and $2.2 billion within West Hollywood depending on the final alignment after the environmental review.
The West Hollywood City Council voted in May to take steps to find additional funds to support the extension, which effectively moves the extension up Metro’s priority list.
One of the criteria for ranking projects is whether a local jurisdiction is willing to allocate at least 10% more than the required 3% contribution to the local project. Among the other five criteria in that “partnerships” category are whether the area applying for priority consideration will streamline the construction permit process and whether it will establish a tax district to fund at least 10% of the local extension cost.