NEWS RELEASE: High-Speed Rail and LA Metro Reach Agreement to Advance Union Station Project Funding Plan

Apr 21 2020 | Sacramento

Today, the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s (Authority) Board of Directors approved a preliminary funding plan with LA Metro to move the Link Union Station project (Link US) forward in Southern California. Today’s approval outlines a proposal for High-Speed Rail’s shared use of right-of-way in Palmdale, Los Angeles Union Station (LAUS) and several additional locations within Southern California.

“We appreciate the collaboration and partnership with LA Metro,” said Authority CEO Brian Kelly. “These agreements we have reached together demonstrate concrete and realistic steps for us to move forward with the Link US project, while continuing with our efforts to bring high-speed rail to Southern California.”

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The Link US project will transform how the regional rail system operates in Southern California by allowing trains to enter and exit the station from both existing northern tracks and new tracks to the south over the 101 freeway.

“Metro is very excited to partner with California High-Speed Rail to enable future high-speed rail service to Los Angeles Union Station,” said Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington, who addressed the Authority’s Board of Directors prior to its vote. “We appreciate High-Speed Rail’s contribution of $423 million to this Link US project.”

In September 2019, High-Speed Rail announced an agreement with LA Metro to work collaboratively to secure approval of $423 million in Proposition 1A funds towards the Link US project. The Proposition 1A funds were appropriated by the California Legislature pursuant to Senate Bill (SB) 1029, which was signed into law in 2012.

Today’s Memorandum of Understanding contains four major components:

  • It contains an agreement between all parties to work together to construct the Link US in a manner that will accommodate all future and current operators.
  • It outlines the need for a funding agreement for the first phase of the Link US Project, to include $18.726 million for Design and Environmental and $423.335 million for construction from the Authority.  It also acknowledges a $398.391 million investment from the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program.
  • It contains an agreement between the parties to work toward shared use of LA Metro ROW in Palmdale, LAUS and Sections of the Valley and River Subdivisions.
  • It contains a provision for all parties to make the best efforts to acquire funding for the next phase of the Link US project for completion prior to the 2028 Olympics through State, local, federal grants, legislative action and private entities.

The Link US project is anticipated to significantly increase capacity for rail service while reducing train idling times. The project will also accommodate future high-speed rail service and greatly expand the station’s capacity with a new expanded passageway under the tracks and new platforms, escalators and elevators.
The Authority continues to move forward with environmental reviews in the Southern California region.

On February 28, the Authority issued a draft environmental impact report/environmental impact statement (Draft EIR/EIS) pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act and the National Environmental Policy Act for the Bakersfield to Palmdale segment. The Authority anticipates issuing the DRAFT EIR/EIS for the Burbank to Los Angeles project section this spring, with the environmental documents for Los Angeles to Anaheim and Palmdale to Burbank later this year. The preliminary shared corridor concepts outlined in this MOU will be included in these documents for public review and comment.

About Metro
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is building the most ambitious transportation infrastructure program in the United States and is working to greatly improve mobility through its Vision 2028 Plan . Metro is the lead transportation planning and funding agency for L.A. County and carries about 1.2 million boardings daily on a fleet of 2,200 low-emission buses and six rail lines.

Stay informed by following Metro on The Source and El Pasajero at metro.net, facebook.com/losangelesmetro, twitter.com/metrolosangeles and twitter.com/metroLAalerts and instagram.com/metrolosangeles.

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Contact

Micah Flores
916-330-5683 (w)
916-715-5396 (c)
Micah.Flores@hsr.ca.gov

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