Even as repeated delays in construction have pushed the opening of the Crenshaw/LAX Line back to the end of 2021 (hopefully), Metro continues to plot out a future northern extension to Hollywood.
Later this month, the transportation agency will host the first of three virtual scoping meetings in preparation of the draft environmental impact report for the extension, which was approved for $2.3 billion in funding through the Measure M expenditure plan adopted by Los Angeles County voters 2016.
Metro is studying three potential alignments for the project, all of which run between Expo/Crenshaw Station and Hollywood, with a connection to the D (Purple) Line.
In this concept, the most direct route to Hollywood, trains would continue north from Expo/Crenshaw Station beneath Crenshaw via Crenshaw Boulevard before veering west along Venice and San Vicente Boulevards. The alignment would then turn north toward Hollywood via La Brea, before shifting slightly east to terminate under Highland Avenue.
Upwards of seven stations would be built in the La Brea alternative, including Crenshaw/Adams, Pico/San Vicente (Mid City Crossing), Wilshire/La Brea, Beverly La/Brea, Santa Monica/La Brea, Hollywood/Highland, and an optional station serving the Hollywood Bowl.
Under this alignment, trains could continue traveling west via San Vicente until Fairfax Avenue, where the route would turn north toward West Hollywood. At Santa Monica Boulevard, the alignment would then veer east, and then north again at Highland Avenue toward Hollywood Boulevard.
Potential stations on the Fairfax alignment include Crenshaw/Adams, Pico/San Vicente, Wilshire/Fairfax, Beverly/Fairfax, Santa Monica/Beverly, Santa Monica/La Brea, Santa Monica Highland, Hollywood/Highland, and the optional terminus at the Hollywood Bowl.
Fairfax-San Vicente Hybrid
The meandering San Vicente alignment would follow the same alignment as the Fairfax route until Beverly Boulevard, where trains would turn west toward the Beverly Center and Cedars-Sinai Medical. At that point, the alignment would then turn north again via San Vicente, and then east to travel under Santa Monica Boulevard toward Hollywood.
At least nine stations could be built in this alternative, including Crenshaw/Adams, Pico/San Vicente, Wilshire/Fairfax, Beverly/Fairfax, La Cienega/Beverly, Santa Monica/San Vicente, Santa Monica/Fairfax, Santa Monica/La Brea, and Hollywood/Highland. Additionally, two optional stations could be built at Santa Monica/La Cienega and adjacent to the Hollywood Bowl.
Plans also call for the construction of a new maintenance and storage facility, which would be located near in the vicinity of LAX and the City of Inglewood - not far from the existing Crenshaw/LAX yard at Aviation Boulevard and Arbor Vitae Street.
Past studies published by Metro have indicated that travel times on the Crenshaw Northern extension could range from as low as 12.4 minutes for the 6.3-mile La Brea alternative to upwards of 20.6 minutes for the roundabout 10-mile Fairfax-San Vicente Hybrid. Likewise, construction costs could range from as low as $3 billion to as high as $6.5 billion.
As the project corridor would slice through much of Central Los Angeles, the Crenshaw Line's northern extension would connect a number of local landmarks and activity hubs like LACMA and The Grove, as well as numerous east-west transit lines. As described in The Source:
"On a big picture level, this project would forge a light rail connection between the South Bay and Hollywood. The project would connect with five of Metro’s busiest bus lines and also offer transfers to Metro Rail stations in the LAX area, South L.A., Inglewood, Crenshaw corridor, Mid-City, Central L.A. and West Hollywood. Riders would be able to transfer to the E Line, C Line (Green), D Line and B Line — meaning riders could continue to places including downtown L.A, Santa Monica, UCLA and USC, to name a few."
Ridership forecasts between the various alignments are consistent - each is anticipated to draw approximately 90,000 daily passengers, roughly 20,000 of which would be new transit users.
However, Metro has yet to secure sufficient funding for any of the three alternatives. The $2.3-billion already allocated to the project is not anticipated to be available for decades under the Measure M expenditure plan, which forecasts that the Crenshaw Line extension would break ground in 2041 and open in 2047. However, the agency has initiated the project's environmental impact report due to the expectation that the cities of West Hollywood and Los Angeles could pitch in additional funds - potentially accelerating construction.
West Hollywood in particular has enthusiastically pursued the Fairfax-San Vicente Hybrid alignment, which would travel beneath the city's commercial spine of Santa Monica Boulevard. A 2019 report to the West Hollywood City Council indicated that the city could contribute up to $1.13 billion to finance the Crenshaw/LAX extension by creating an enhanced infrastructure financing district (EIFD) along the project corridor, tapping Measure R and Measure M local return funds, increasing the local sales tax, and drawing from advertising fees near stations. Furthermore, the report estimated that the EIFD could generate as much as $5 billion in funding if the County and City of Los Angeles were to also participate.
Scoping meetings for the Crenshaw/LAX Line will be held at the following times and locations:
Thursday, April 29, 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM
- Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87500507019 Meeting ID: 875 0050 7019
Thursday, May 6, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
- Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82996680178 Meeting ID: 829 9668 0178
Saturday, May 8, 10 AM – Noon
- Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84880363069 Meeting ID: 848 8036 3069
- Crenshaw Line (Urbanize LA)