The Metro Board today approved the final configuration of the East San Fernando Valley Corridor project, which will be the first light rail transit line in the Valley since the demise of the Red Cars in 1952. The project will connect the Van Nuys Metro station with the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink station, servicing busy commercial corridors and densely populated residential areas in the Valley.
L.A. City Councilmember Paul Krekorian, who represents the East Valley and also serves on the Board of Directors of Metro, helped lead the effort to fund the project. As Chair of the San Fernando Valley Council of Governments at the time, Krekorian ensured that this would be among the top-tier projects funded through Measure M, the sales tax initiative overwhelmingly approved by County voters in 2016. The East Valley Corridor project has been one of Krekorian’s highest transportation priorities throughout his time in office.
“For far too long, the Valley was neglected by transportation planners who have seen us as the center of car culture,” Krekorian said. “But the Valley needs more transit, the Valley wants more transit, and the Valley will support more transit. This project will be a huge step forward for the residents and small businesses of the East Valley, who have longed for the return of light rail transit for well over a half century.”
“My parents used to ride the Red Cars down Van Nuys Blvd. to connect with the rest of the county until the streetcars were shut down,” Krekorian noted. “Since then, Van Nuys Blvd. has become the busiest bus corridor in Los Angeles. The East Valley Line will bring an incredible transformation to the area by reducing congested traffic, increasing transit capacity, sparking economic development and opportunity, improving air quality, and enhancing equity for underserved and transit-dependent communities.”
The Board’s action today ensures that the project is “shovel-ready” and ready to compete for additional state and federal funding. The $2.2 billion line is expected to begin major construction in 2022 and to begin operations in 2028.
Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Krekorian is chair of the Los Angeles City Council Budget and Finance Committee. His website is paulkrekorian.org, where you can sign up for news updates. Visit him on Twitter (@PaulKrekorian) or Facebook.