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Federal government commits $1.5B for Purple Line extension

Board members past and present with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, including Jacqueline Dupont-Walker, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, Duarte Councilman John Fasana and former County Supervisor Zev Yaroslovsky accept $1.5 billion in federal grants and loans from U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx.
Board members past and present with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, including Jacqueline Dupont-Walker, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, Duarte Councilman John Fasana and former County Supervisor Zev Yaroslovsky accept $1.5 billion in federal grants and loans from U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx.
Meghan McCarty/KPCC

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Federal and local officials on Wednesday announced roughly $1.5 billion in new grants and loans for the second phase of the Purple Line subway that will eventually run the length of Wilshire Boulevard to Westwood.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority project has relied on matching funds from the federal government along with voter approved sales taxes for the project.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti celebrated the funding announcement, saying he doesn't expect the funding to change with the transition to President-elect Donald Trump's administration.

"We feel strongly that this is a bullet-proof agreement and one that'll move forward in the interest not just of Los Angeles, but of America," Garcetti said at a press conference in Century City. "This is something people understand is not politics, it's not ideology - it's about getting people moving."

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx joined Garcetti and Metro officials in making the announcement.

The $1.487 billion agreement between the federal government and Metro calls for a $1.187 billion construction grant through the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investment Grant program along with a $307 million loan from the Department of Transportation. Metro will also receive another $169 million in federal funding to mitigate congestion and address air quality.

The federal dollars will be added to $836 million in local matching revenues from Measure R and Measure M, sales tax increases approved by voters, bringing the budget for the second section to about $2.5 billion.

The first phase of the project, extending the line to stations at La Brea Avenue, Fairfax Avenue and La Cienega Boulevard is already underway at an estimated cost of $2.64 billion, including more than $2 billion in federal grants and loans.

The full length of the Purple Line to the Veterans Administration hospital just west of UCLA is slated to be completed in 2035 but could be accelerated by 10 years with funds from Measure M and possible private partnerships.

You can see a larger version of this map here.

This story has been updated.