The Los Angeles City Council has unanimously approved City Councilman Bill Rosendahl’s motion to study a future connection between the not-yet-built Exposition Line and the existing Green Line light rail lines.

With Phase I of the Exposition Line under way, city officials said Rosendahl’s motion is a proactive step toward linking the two Westside rail systems.

The Exposition (Expo) Light Rail Line, Phase I, has been approved to connect downtown Los Angeles with Culver City, via the Exposition Boulevard corridor. This 9.6-mile line is fully funded and is under construction by the Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority.

The construction authority is currently preparing to release a Request for Proposals (RFP) to prepare an EIR/EIS (environmental impact report/environmental impact statement) for the Phase II extension of the line between Culver City and Santa Monica, city officials said. The RFP does not include any analysis of a future connection to the Green Line.

“Long-range planning is necessary if we are to provide a much-needed rail network for the Westside,” Rosendahl said. “The connection of the Green Line and Expo Line would serve as a cornerstone for mass transit on the Westside and would help to relieve traffic congestion around LAX (Los Angeles International Airport).”

Rosendahl’s motion calls for the Expo Metro Line Construction Authority to amend the current draft RFP for the EIR/EIS to include a specific work task to analyze the feasibility of connecting the Exposition Line and proposed LAX/Lincoln Green Line extension.

The motion also allocates $250,000 from coastal transportation funds for the study.

“This connection would provide direct rail access to LAX from Santa Monica and West Los Angeles,” Rosendahl said. “It has been the dream of many Westside residents to have north-south lines that connect the Westside to LAX. With this study, we can begin to see that dream turn into reality.”

Approval of the motion came just a week after the official groundbreaking of the Exposition Light Rail Line.

In 1994, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority approved an EIR/EIS to construct a Metro Green Line extension to LAX and beyond to Marina del Rey.

The Green Line travels primarily in the median of Interstate 105 (Century Freeway) from Norwalk to Hawthorne, El Segundo and Redondo Beach. The closest station to LAX is the Aviation Boulevard Station, from which there is a shuttle bus service to the airport.

This Green Line extension was expected to eventually continue north on Lincoln Boulevard to Santa Monica, but due to subsequent funding constraints, residents’ opposition and other concerns, the extension was never constructed.

Currently, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA, the agency that operates LAX and other city airports) is developing an updated LAX Specific Plan that includes an analysis of extending the Green Line to LAX.

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