Train riders traveling from one side of Los Angeles County to the other must currently transfer twice in downtown. But thanks to a $670 million federal grant and a $160 million federally backed loan, the regional connector will allow for seamless travel from Santa Monica to East LA and Pasadena to Long Beach without transferring.
The federal funding agreements pave the way for construction to begin later this year on the 1.9-mile underground light rail line in downtown Los Angeles that will connect the existing Expo Line, Blue Line and Gold Line. Once the track is complete, riders will no longer have to transfer between these lines.
In addition to making travel in Los Angeles easier for riders, the project will also fund local jobs. The connector will cost approximately $1.4 billion with the balance funded by U.S. Department of Transportation loans, state funding and local sales tax.
Los Angeles County Supervisor and Metro Board Member Mark Ridley-Thomas said, “Funding the Downtown Regional Connector is a major step toward a more rational rail line.”
The regional connector is expected to shave as much of 20 minutes off trips and attract 17,000 new riders. The new tracks are scheduled for completion in 2020.