At a lengthy meeting on May 23, the Metro Board of Directors took two key votes to move forward with plans for extensions of passenger rail lines into the Eastside and the South Bay.

In a move which finalizes the environmental review for the project, the Board moved to certify the final environmental impact report for the second phase of the Eastside Transit Corridor, which will push the E Line nine miles east from Atlantic Station to a new terminus at Lambert Road in Whittier.

"The Eastside has been waiting many decades for this extension," said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis in a news release. "Extending the E Line from East LA to Whittier will offer access to jobs — including the creation of as many as 16,000 good-paying union jobs in construction — educational opportunities, and housing which will deliver economic benefits to many of our most vulnerable residents. I am delighted to celebrate this milestone and look forward to continuing the work to improve transit connectivity for our Eastside communities."

Delivery of the extension is expected to occur in phases, owing in large part to a growing price tag which has resulted in a multi-billion-dollar funding shortfall for the project. The largely grade-separated first phase of the project would span 4.6 miles to Greenwood Station in Montebello, with all but 1.1 miles of the route being either below or above ground. Intermediate stops could be located at the intersection of Atlantic and Whittier Boulevards and adjacent to the Citadel in Commerce.

Through a variety of sources, Metro has cobbled together approximately $4.4 billion in funding for the project, versus a total estimated cost estimated at $7.9 billion in 2022. That comes years after Metro had already abandoned plans for a two-pronged extension, with funds once slated for a second route adjacent to the SR-60 freeway instead reallocated toward the creation of transit lines in the San Gabriel Valley.

Metro's website currently forecasts a 2035 debut for the Eastside extension.

Project overview for C Line extension to TorranceMetro

In a separate vote, the Board adopted a locally preferred alternative for the South Bay extension of the C Line, which remains in environmental review.

Against the objections of some in Redondo Beach and Lawndale, Metro will move forward with a "hybrid alternative" as the preferred alignment which would extend the C Line roughly 4.5 miles from Redondo Beach toward new stops the South Bay Galleria and the Torrance Transit Center.

The hybrid alternative confines itself to an existing Metro-owned right-of-way along a historic freight rail corridor, one of several routes long considered for the extension, but now calls for grade separating crossings at 170th and 182nd Streets. That change will mean that the C Line extension is completely segregated from automobile traffic.

The C Line's Hybrid AlternativeMetro

Under the Measure M expenditure plan, completion of the C Line extension is expected between 2030 and 2033. Roughly $891 million in local sales tax revenue has been allocated to the project versus an estimated cost of more than $2.2 billion.

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