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Leaders Break Ground on Metro Purple Line Subway to Century City

Dignitaries at this morning’s Westside Purple Line Extension section 2 groundbreaking. Photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

This morning, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Inglewood Mayor James Butts, Beverly Hills Mayor Lili Bosse and other L.A. leaders celebrated the official groundbreaking for section two of the Westside Metro Purple Line subway extension. The $2.53 billion 2.6-mile heavy rail subway extension will include stops at Beverly Hills Rodeo Drive and on Constellation Boulevard in Century City.

Three-phase Westside Purple Line extension map - via Metro
Three-phase Westside Purple Line extension map - via Metro
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The project was funded with nearly $1.2 billion in federal grants as well as a $307 million TIFIA loan. It is anticipated to open in 2025.

At today's ceremony, Mayor Garcetti touted the speed of the subway, which, at about 20 minutes from Century City to downtown Los Angeles, is faster than a car, even "at 2 a.m." Senator Feinstein spoke of the difficulties of getting federal funding to blue states at the present time. Many speakers spoke of the utility of the train in carrying participants and spectators during L.A.'s 2028 Olympics.

Senator Dianne Feinstein speaking at this morning's Purple Line groundbreaking
Senator Dianne Feinstein speaking at this morning's Purple Line groundbreaking
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One wrinkle that hopefully will not deter the project is the continuing legal wrangling by the Beverly Hills School District. After losing several earlier rounds, BHUSD filed yet another anti-Purple Line lawsuit last month, again challenging the subway alignment running deep below Beverly Hills High School.

Construction is already in full swing on the westside Purple Line extension section 1, which will extend the subway underneath Wilshire Boulevard from Western Avenue to La Cienega Boulevard. That 3.9-mile $2.8 billion project is expected to be completed in 2023.

The Purple Line extension's third section is planned to extend the line to the Westwood VA medical center in 2026. While some early construction and contracting are already underway, the third phase is not yet fully funded, though it is on Metro's list of 28 infrastructure projects that the agency aspires to complete in advance of the 2028 Olympics.

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