The Measure M sales tax increase approved by Los Angeles County voters last year will fund a massive expansion of rail in the county. This week, Metro will move forward with two of those projects.
The Metro board is winnowing down route options for two new train lines: One to push transit deeper into the eastern part of the county by extending the Gold Line from Atlantic Boulevard in East Los Angeles to South El Monte or Whittier. The other will connect Union Station with Artesia.
Metro originally considered choosing between a northern route for the Gold Line that would take the train along State Route 60 to Peck Road in South El Monte or a southern route that would travel along Washington Boulevard to Lambert Road in Whittier.
Metro is now considering a third option to build both in a Y formation.
The Artesia transit line has been planned since 2008 when voters approved the Measure R sales tax increase. Measure M provides the funds needed to build the line as a light rail in two phases.
The line would serve diverse and densely populated working class communities in the Harbor Gateway area of southeastern L.A. county that rely heavily on transit.
During the campaign for Measure M, local leaders complained the project wasn’t given high enough priority under the Measure M project timeline — the second phase isn’t scheduled for completion until 2041.
But Metro will begin the environmental review process this year and hopes to have the project ready to move forward quicker if new funds become available.
The agency is exploring several proposals for private partnerships that could speed up the rail line by 10 years or more.