Preliminary construction for a subway line that will eventually connect downtown Los Angeles with West Los Angeles began last week.
Last Tuesday, utility workers began to relocate telecommunication lines near the future Wilshire and La Brea subway station, where construction will formally begin in 2014, said Gayle Anderson, a Metro spokeswoman.
The Purple Line will eventually extend from its current endpoint in downtown to a station at the Veterans Medical Center in West Los Angeles. The line will travel mostly along Wilshire Boulevard, with a stop on the corner of Wilshire and Westwood boulevards, according to the statement.
The project, which expected to be completed in 2036, is moving forward despite the failure of Measure J in the recent election, which would have sped up construction by increasing the sales tax by half a cent to pay for the subway line.
The expansion is already largely funded by a similar tax approved by voters in 2008, according to a statement from Metro released last week. Measure J would have extended the tax rate for another 30 years.
While many students said they support the subway project, they seem to have conflicting stances on the effectiveness Measure J.
Brooke Cullison, a second-year political science student who voted against the measure said she thought Metro should try and finish the project with the money they already have.
“I use public transit to get around and would like it to be more efficient,” Cullison said. “But I didn’t think (the measure) was needed.”
Other students, such as third-year neuroscience student Mariana Gomez, voted yes on the measure because they rely heavily on public transit.
“The subway would be amazing,” Gomez said. “It would make everything so much more accessible.”
Following the failure of Measure J, Metro will work on alternative plans to speed up the progress of transit projects, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said at a press conference last week.
“Skeptics once thought it would be impossible to get Angelenos out of their cars, and now L.A. is once again leading in transportation innovation,” Villaraigosa said at the press conference.