In advance of a series of upcoming community meetings, Metro has unveiled refined concepts for the long-proposed rail line through the harrowing Sepulveda Pass.

The four options - including three heavy rail routes and one monorail route - would link the Van Nuys and Sherman Oaks communities of the San Fernando Valley with L.A.'s Westside.  Though the alternatives would run on different alignments - with variations of at-grade, aerial, and below-ground tracks - each would start at the Van Nuys Metrolink Station in the north before proceeding south via either Sepulveda Boulevard or Van Nuys Boulevard, with potential intermediate stops at Sherman Way and Ventura Boulevard.  After that point, trains would proceed through the Sepulveda Pass - either in a tunnel or on a viaduct adjacent to the I-405 Freeway - towards a station at the heart of the UCLA campus and a transfer point with the Purple Line at Wilshire/Westwood Station.

Metro is considering both the Expo/Bundy and Expo/Sepulveda Stations for a southern terminus for this phase of the project.  A station at Santa Monica Boulevard is also being considered in response to community feedback.

Metro forecasts that the Sepulveda Pass rail line would attract between 122,000 and 137,000 daily riders based on 2042 conditions, with the monorail serving the fewest passengers and the third heavy rail alternative attracting the greatest number.  End-to-end travel times would range between 16 minutes and 26 minutes, with the first heavy rail alternative - a straight shot via Van Nuys Boulevard - providing the speediest trip, and the meandering monorail route providing the slowest trip.

Cost estimates for the four alternatives range between $9.4 billion and $13.8 billion - far outstripping the $5.7 billion committed to the project via local sales tax measures and other sources.  Consequently, the Metro Board will soon consider a predevelopment agreement in which the agency could partner with private firms to move the project forward.

Three sites are currently be considered for a maintenance and storage facility for rail vehicles, two of which would be located adjacent to the Van Nuys Metrolink Station, and the third of which sit at the intersection of Sepulveda and Nebraska Avenue in West Los Angeles.

Though they are not accounted for in the above cost and ridership estimates, Metro is also studying the southern alignment of the Sepulveda Line between the Westside and LAX.  While the agency had been considering routes along Centinela Avenue, Sepulveda Boulevard, and the I-405 Freeway, a new concept under study would route the Sepulveda Line through Palms and Culver City on Overland Avenue.  

Stations would be located at various sites on Venice Boulevard, Culver Boulevard, Jefferson Boulevard, and Manchester Avenue, depending on the alignment.  The eventual southern terminus would be the $500-million Aviation/96th Street Station near LAX, which will connect to the airport's people mover system.

The Metro Board will decide later this year which concepts will be studied in the Sepulveda Line's environmental impact report.

Four community meetings will be held starting tomorrow at the following times and locations:

  • Wednesday, July 24, 6 – 8 p.m. Proud Bird Restaurant 11022 Aviation Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90045
  • Saturday, July 27, 10 a.m. – noon Veterans Memorial Building 4117 Overland Ave. Culver City, CA 90230
  • Tuesday, July 30, 6 – 8 p.m. St. Paul the Apostle Church 10750 Ohio Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90024
  • Saturday, Aug. 3, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Marvin Braude Constituent Service Center 6262 Van Nuys Blvd. Van Nuys, CA 91401 This will be a bilingual meeting. The English presentation will be at 10:30 a.m.; the Spanish presentation will be at 11:45 a.m.