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LA’s Purple Line awarded $1.5bn in federal loans, grants

The second phase of the nine-mile subway extension has secured a total of $2.4bn to finance its construction.

The second phase of the Los Angeles Purple Line extension is set to begin construction after the US Department of Transportation approved close to $1.5 billion in federal grants and loans.

Government financing for the second phase of a nine-mile subway that will connect downtown Los Angeles to neighbourhoods west of the city includes a $1.187 billion construction grant through the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investment Grant programme, a $307 million loan through the DOT’s TIFIA scheme and $169 million through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality plan.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) said the federal financing will be coupled with $747 million raised through a 2008 sales tax measure.

The transit agency has secured $2.4 billion in total financing for the second phase of what it labelled as one of LA County’s “most critically needed public transit projects”.

The total scheme is estimated to cost $6.3 billion, according to Metro’s website. Construction began on the first phase in 2015, and completion of the second subway section is expected no later than 2026. The third section is planned to begin as early as 2019.

“We are moving quickly to create the world-class transit system our people deserve, and these federal funds for the Purple Line extension will accelerate progress along the region’s busiest transit corridor,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Metro added that the sales tax measure and federal loans and grants will fund the majority of the project. The Authority is looking at alternative financing options to cover the rest.

The Purple Line extension will connect downtown Los Angeles and Westwood to the Miracle Mile, Beverly Hills and Century City. Metro expects about 49,300 daily trips at the seven new stations it is building.