The City of West Hollywood has long supported increasing its transit options. The West Hollywood City Council, in December 2015, approved a plan to conduct outreach and to build regional partnerships in support of a Metro rail project that would extend the Metro Crenshaw/LAX Line to West Hollywood and connect to the Metro Red Line. The proposed Northern Extension of the Crenshaw/LAX light rail transit line would provide critical north-south connections to, from, and through West Hollywood and would enhance the existing Metro regional rail network.
Metro is currently finalizing an Advanced Alternatives Screening Study summarizing additional outreach and technical analysis to narrow the number of alternative routes that they will recommend carrying forward into environmental analysis from five to two or three. The alternative routes under consideration are shown in the maps below.
While Metro finalizes their work to reduce the number of alternative routes being considered, the City of West Hollywood is conducting ongoing community and regional outreach and a Funding and Project Delivery Strategy Study to identify financial strategies to accelerate the project in accordance with Metro policy. For more details on the Funding Study, scroll to the "Funding and Project Delivery Strategy Study" section towards the end of this page.
Current Alternative Routes (Ongoing Advanced Alternatives Screening Study)
Previous Alternative Routes (2018 Feasibility Study)
City of West Hollywood Transportation Issues Survey
Part of the City's outreach was a statistically significant survey to assess the overall level of support for a Metro Rail extension to West Hollywood and the level of support for specific options being considered as part of the CNE project. Overall, the survey showed that the initial level of support for the project (80% in favor) and for the City potentially providing funding (73% in favor) is overwhelming and increases as residents receive more information about the proposal and potential benefits (to 88% and 80% respectively).
The survey results are summarized in the April 20, 2020 City Council Staff Report and the abbreviated slides presented at the City Council Meeting. A longer series of slides with information on additional findings is available here.
More detailed additional outreach and research focused on exploring community attitudes towards potential City funding levels and funding sources will be conducted after the ongoing COVID-19 crisis has subsided. This information will inform discussions on a potential funding package with agency partners including Metro, the City of Los Angeles, and the County over the next 18-24 months.
In late spring or summer 2020, the Metro Board will receive an update and Metro staff recommendations on the CNE project including Metro’s Final Screening Study; the City’s package of Phase 1 Funding and Project Delivery Strategic Plan documents; and contracts for the environmental analysis necessary to move the project forward and inform the major decision to select a single locally preferred alternative route and move into more detailed engineering work. The City will publish the details of the Metro Board Meeting where this item will be considered, including how to submit public comments, as soon as it is confirmed both on this webpage and across the other channels of City information.
Metro held their second round of community meetings in fall 2019 to gather additional feedback from the public on destinations, community concerns, design considerations, and potential alternative routes.The slides from Metro's community meetings are available online and those that could not attend a meeting in person are encouraged to email their comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Regional Connectivity Map: Connecting Five Metro Rail Lines from the South Bay to the San Fernando Valley and Closing a Gap in the Metro System Unlocking the Heart of LA
8.5 miles of the Metro Crenshaw/LAX light rail transit line are currently under construction in Los Angeles, Inglewood, and El Segundo from the Metro Green Line to the Expo Line where the current project terminates at the existing Expo/Crenshaw station. The project will serve the Crenshaw District, Inglewood, Westchester, and LAX (via a people mover connection being constructed through a separate project).
The Northern Extension of the Crenshaw/LAX line would bring the light rail line north through Mid City, West Hollywood, and Hollywood to the Metro Red Line resulting in between 5-9 new stations and 6.5-9.5 miles of new track depending on which alignment alternative is ultimately selected.
Passed in November 2016, the Measure M transportation sales tax measure allocates $2.33 billion towards the project with groundbreaking not scheduled until 2041. West Hollywood residents strongly supported each of the transportation sales tax initiatives in Los Angeles County, surpassing all other communities in the County except Cudahy in the degree of their support (Measure R 83.6%, Measure J 81.4%, Measure M 86%).
On May 7, 2018 the City Council formally voted to support accelerating the Northern Extension of the Metro Crenshaw/LAX light rail transit line to West Hollywood and Hollywood with Resolution No. 18-5055. This action builds upon previous Council actions dating back to before the passage of the Measure M transportation sales tax measure and a previous commitment from Metro CEO Phil Washington to get the project shovel-ready and competitive for future funding opportunities.
The Resolution made the City of West Hollywood the first of the 88 cities in Los Angeles County to seek acceleration of a transit project under Metro’s Early Project Delivery Strategy. Namely, the Council voted to:
- Reaffirm corresponding adopted City goals and implement additional adopted Metro goals related to the integration of transportation and land use
- Pursue an agreement towards Inter-agency coordination and streamlining of related permitting and environmental review with the City of Los Angeles
- Support phased implementation if necessary, as long as an initial phase serves West Hollywood
- Explore ways to bring up to $550 million in new revenue and funding to the project
Key Council Actions:
- October 7, 2019 Staff Report
- Directing staff to transmit the preliminary findings of the Funding and Project Delivery Strategy Study to Metro
- Requesting the allocation of the majority of the $160 million in West Side Measure M Sub Regional Equity Program funding from the Westside Cities Council of Governments
- Authorizing staff to hold a Public Private Partnership (P3) conference vent and issue a request for proposals for Rail Integration Studies
- September 23, 2019 Staff Report
- Authorizing staff to hire consultants to conduct community surveys on priorities related to Metro rail and a potential City sales tax measure that would be placed on the November 2020 ballot.
- November 5, 2018 Staff Report
- Authorizing Staff to hire consultants to analyze various potential revenue streams to towards accelerating the project.
- Resolution No. 18-5055, May 7, 2018
- Supporting Acceleration Responding to Metro’s Early Project Delivery Strategy
- September 19, 2016 Staff Report (and supplemental Memo)
- Adopt a position of support for Metro’s Ballot Measure M
- September 16, 2016 Metro CEO Phil Washington Letter committing to shovel-readiness
- July 20, 2015 Staff Report
- Authorizing Staff to facilitate a community advocacy committee to promote light rail and/or subway to West Hollywood
On July 27, 2018 the Metro Board of Directors voted to release the Crenshaw Northern Extension Feasibility/Alternatives Analysis Study Final Report—an important milestone in the planning and environmental clearance process necessary to make the project competitive for future funding opportunities and acceleration. Overall, the Feasibility Study shows that the Northern Extension project will have the highest ridership of any light rail line in the United States and serve some of the densest, most job rich, and most congested areas in Los Angeles County while providing time-saving alternatives to highly congested travel routes. Five alternative rail alignments were studied in the Feasibility Study but additional outreach and technical studies were funded and authorized by the Metro Board of Directors on September 27, 2018. Over the next few months, outreach to West Hollywood and other communities along the corridor as well as additional technical studies will provide key information to decision makers as Metro works to refine the number of alternatives that will eventually be carried forward into an Environmental Impact Report (EIR).
Funding and Project Delivery Strategy Study
On November 5, 2018 the West Hollywood City Council approved contracts with top financial firms HR&A (with InfraStrategies) and Scully Capital (now part of JLL) to study how how the City could raise additional local, state, federal, and private investment to help accelerate the project by almost 20 years. This effort, known as the Funding and Project Delivery Strategy, is being conducted with input from Metro as well as both the City and County of Los Angeles. For more details, see the flyers below:
On September 23, 2019 the West Hollywood City Council voted to transmit the initial findings of the first phase of the Funding and Project Delivery Study (summarized below) to Metro in fulfillment of the next steps outlined in Metro's September 2018 Board Action which challenged the City to study potential funding sources and demonstrate “that a reasonable ability to fund, operate and accelerate delivery of the project exists.” Further analysis on potential financing structures will continue based on the results of ongoing discussions with the City of Los Angeles, the County of Los Angeles, and Metro, and as Metro gets closer to narrowing the number of alternative routes under consideration.
Summary of Funding and Project Delivery Strategy Preliminary Findings:
In addition to any private, state, and federal funds—which the project would be highly qualified for—the Funding Study found that the City could potentially contribute up to $1.13 billion between 2020-2065. It’s important to note that this is an estimate of potential capacity and not a commitment of funding. The structure, makeup, and quantity of any future capital contribution would be developed based on input from and approval by the City Council, as well as negotiation with Metro, the City of Los Angeles, and the County of Los Angeles. Any capital contribution would then be subject to a formal Memorandum of Understanding with some, or all, of the jurisdictions previously mentioned. The $1.13 billion potential funding capacity estimate includes the following key funding sources available between 2020-2065:
- Future local return funds from the existing Measures R and M countywide sales taxes: $48 million
- A potential local sales tax increase (either 0.5% - 0.75%): $254 - $447 million
- Revenue from new potential advertising adjacent to future stations: $49 - $65 million
- A potential Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District within West Hollywood (dedicating 50% of new growth in existing City property tax receipts within 0.5 mile of the proposed alternative routes for the project): $42 - $573 million*
- * Amounts vary considerably depending on the alternative route selected for the project
Additionally, since between 51-80% of the project would run within the boundaries of the City of Los Angeles (depending on the alternative route selected), the funding study team also assessed the amount of revenue a potential EIFD could generate if the City of Los Angeles and County of Los Angeles each also contributed to the district at a similar 50% threshold of new growth in existing property tax receipts within 0.5 miles of the proposed alternative routes:
- Potential City of LA EIFD Contribution Capacity: $800 million - $2.15 billion*
- Potential County of LA EIFD Contribution Capacity in the City of West Hollywood: $22 million - $500 million*
- Potential County of LA EIFD Contribution Capacity in the City LA: $750 million - $2 billion*
- * Amounts vary considerably depending on the alternative route selected for the project
With the completion of Phase 1, the next step for the funding study will be to finalize HR&A’s work and continue to work on JLL’s (formerly Scully Capital) analysis on potential financing structures, cash flow scenarios, and bonding capacity, which is considered Phase 2 of the funding study. Further discussions with the City of Los Angeles and the County of Los Angeles on their potential participation in an EIFD as well as a future memorandum of understanding (MOU) streamlining project related permitting and environmental analysis are also ongoing. Metro’s screening study will be finalized in the next few months based on any additional feedback from their second round of public meetings in October 2019 and the final results will be communicated to the Metro board. If both the City funding study and Metro’s screening study are successful as evaluated by Metro staff, the Metro board will consider authorizing a contract for environmental analysis at that same Metro Board meeting—likely in January or February 2020.
In the next few months the City will finalize a community survey on the Metro project and a potential November 2020 ballot measure, organize a Public Private Partnership conference to gauge private sector interest in participating in project acceleration efforts, and release a request for proposals for a Rail Integration Study to prepare for future rail service and construction impacts and advocate effectively for community needs during Metro's environmental analysis. The City will continue conducting outreach to keep West Hollywood residents and businesses informed throughout the process.
- Metro Project Page
- Metro Feasibility Study Executive Summary
- Metro Feasibility Study Final Report
- Regional Destinations Map
- Infographic Map
- Key Regional Supporters List
- Metro Measure M Page
- "Opinion: The Crenshaw Line is a start, but L.A.'s most transit-dependent neighborhoods need more options" – Los Angeles Council President Herb Wesson in the LA Times
- "Weho light rail extension staying on the fast track" – Beverly Press
- “City Council Votes to Spent More to Fight for Metro Extension”–Wehoville
- “Rail to West Hollywood inching closer to reality” – Curbed LA
- “Metro’s Crenshaw Line extension could solve many of West L.A.’s traffic woes. Build it now” – LA Times
- “Will it Take Until 2047 to extend the Metro West Hollywood” – LA Times
- “Metro’s plan for L.A. transit would be transformative…with one small fix” – LA Times
- “Where should WeHo’s Rail Line Go?” – Los Angeles Magazine
Additional information will be posted to this web page as it becomes available.
The regional All on Board Coalition and local West Hollywood Advocates for Metro Rail (WHAM) advocacy groups facilitated by the City also post regular updates to social media pages at the following links:
For additional information about the City’s Rail Advocacy efforts, please contact David Fenn, City of West Hollywood Associate Planner, at email@example.com.
Historic Photos of Pacific Electric Interurban Streetcars and the Metro Division 7 Site in West Hollywood