FTA Signs $670 Million Construction Grant Agreement for LA Rail Transit

The funds will go toward improving light rail connections in the greater Los Angeles area.

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration has signed a $670 million construction grant agreement to build the Regional Connector light rail transit line in Los Angeles. The proposed rail line will span two miles and connect three existing transit lines, "offering thousands of area residents more efficient and convenient access to jobs, education, and other ladders of opportunity," according to DOT.

According to FTA, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority will build an underground connection between three stations using the grant money. The project will connect the Metro Gold Line in Little Italy and the Exposition and Blue light rail lines, overall reducing the need for passengers to make unnecessary transfers. In addition, the funds will go toward four new light rail vehicles to add to the existing fleet. In addition to the $670 million grant, LACMTA will receive $64 million in other DOT funds and a loan of up to $160 million from DOT's Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovative Action (TIFIA) loan program.

The Regional Connector is expected to open in 2020 and will be able to handle roughly 60,000 trips each weekday. "LA's Regional Connector will help make this city and region a better place for tens of thousands of Angelenos by ensuring that public transit not only works for everyone, but that it works better than ever," U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said. "This administration is committed to ensuring that every American has access to ladders of opportunity that lead to success—and access to public transportation is essential to making that happen."

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