LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The subway is coming to Beverly Hills.
But it’ll still be nearly a decade before the first train arrives.
On Friday, local and federal officials ceremonially broke ground on a 4-mile extension of the LA Metro Purple Line into Los Angeles’ famously flashy neighbouring city.
“This is a historic day for the west side, we have not had mass transit on the west side since the Red Car was dismantled 60 years ago,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, referring to the extensive electric rail system that served the region through the first half of the 20th century until the car culture and freeways became the transportation norm.
The construction firm doing the $2.8 billion project expects an opening in 2023. Work moving underground utility lines already has started.
Beverly Hills is not where the extension will end — by 2035, it is supposed to head more than 5 miles farther west, through Beverly Hills and past the University of California, Los Angeles.
Most of the funding comes from federal grants or low-interest loans, with much of the rest from a voter-approved sales tax.
“Although this has a full funding grant agreement no one should take anything for granted,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, adding that she wants to “stay the course on this one.”
Acting Federal Transit Administrator Therese McMillan said expanding the capacity of LA County’s transit system is critical for supporting population growth and economic development.