Wednesday, August 22

Metro’s Purple Line Extension to begin construction ahead of schedule


Construction of the Metro Purple Line Extension to the VA West Los Angeles Medical Center will begin in 2018 using funds provided by the Measure M sales tax approved by voters in November 2016. (Daily Bruin file photo)

Construction of the Metro Purple Line Extension to the VA West Los Angeles Medical Center will begin in 2018 using funds provided by the Measure M sales tax approved by voters in November 2016. (Daily Bruin file photo)



Correction: The original version of this article stated construction on the Purple Line's extension to Westwood would start more than a decade ahead of schedule. In fact, construction will start nine years ahead of schedule.

This post was updated May 23 at 7:10 p.m.

A planned subway extension to Westwood will begin construction in 2018, nine years ahead of its original schedule, according to a schedule Metro distributed at a community meeting Thursday.

The new timeline is possible because in November, county voters passed Measure M, a half-percent sales tax increase toward Los Angeles Metro’s public transportation projects. The estimated $860 million in new annual revenue will help cover the cost of finishing the Purple Line Extension to Westwood faster. However, the schedule also depends on promised federal matching funds, which still need to be allocated and approved every year as part of Congress’s budget.

The line currently runs from Union Station in downtown Los Angeles to Western Avenue. The extension, originally scheduled for completion by 2035, would run under Wilshire Boulevard to its final stop at the VA West Los Angeles Medical Center.

If construction is completed according to the new schedule, the line will begin operating in 2024, which the city has used as a major selling point for its bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics.

Some students said they think the extension’s earlier arrival in Westwood will benefit UCLA students.

Emmily Canizales, a third-year psychobiology student, said she thinks access to the subway will give students a cheaper alternative to ride-sharing apps for exploring the rest of the city.

Chirine Chidiac, a first-year international development studies and economics student, said she thinks future students will benefit from having an environmentally friendly option for traveling outside Westwood.

However, others raised concerns about how increased access to Westwood will impact the cost of living in the area. A 2016 study on RadPad, an apartment-hunting site, found rent prices around planned Metro stations increased by up to 45 percent between 2015 and 2016.

Jonathan Liu, a third-year global studies student, said he is happy the extension is being built sooner, but thinks it will raise local rent prices.

“Rent will skyrocket,” he said. “As good as it is to have convenient public transportation, it will harm students overall.”

Contributing reports from Kavya Gupta, Daily Bruin contributor.

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Catherine Liberty Feliciano is news reporter and a member of the Bruin Editorial Board. She writes stories about Westwood, research and student life. She dabbles in video journalism and frequently writes #ThrowbackThursday blogs. Feliciano was an assistant opinion editor from 2015-16.


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  • Richard

    Is it that hard to get a picture of the Purple Line?

  • Cocobware

    UCLA needs to develop as many apartment complexes as possible in the next few years, otherwise living in Westwood is going to be a huge issue for prospective Bruins (especially graduate students).