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With the 2024 Summer Olympics in mind, public transit leaders in Los Angeles County have asked for federal help to speed up ongoing expansions of light rail and subway service.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority wants to accelerate constructions to extend the Purple subway line to the Westside and a rail connection to the city’s international airport.
Current timetables wouldn’t see the projects completed until 2028 for LAX and 2036 for the subway to the University of California, Los Angeles.
With federal assistance, LA Metro expects to finish both projects in 2024, just in time to shuttle Olympic sports fans.
Metro CEO Phillip Washington called the proposed timetable “extremely aggressive” in a letter asking to join a Federal Transit Administration program that would accelerate federal money to the projects.
Finishing the constructions early would “reduce construction costs, reduce construction impacts to dense urban centers and expedite transportation benefits to the region,” Washington wrote.
As traffic congestion worsens, Los Angeles is eager for another success story like that of the 1984 summer games, where a predicted traffic catastrophe didn’t appear.
The subway would increase access to UCLA, where organizers of LA’s bid hope to stage some competitions. International organizers are expected to decide on the host city in 2017.