LAMetroLogo.svg Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor  
View from Getty Center Monorail 2.jpg
Sepulveda Pass and Interstate 405, as seen from the Getty Center Tram in 2008
Overview
StatusPlanned
LocaleSan Fernando Valley
Westside
Service
TypeRapid transit or Monorail
SystemMetro
Route map

Alternative 1 (MRT)
Amtrak Metrolink (California)
Van Nuys Metrolink
Sherman Way
maintenance facility
Sepulveda
G Line 
U.S. 101
Getty Center
Westwood/VA Hospital
D Line  (Bus interchange to UCLA)
Santa Monica Boulevard
Expo/Sepulveda
E Line 
Alternative 2 (MRT+APM)
Amtrak Metrolink (California)
Van Nuys Metrolink
Sherman Way
maintenance facility
Sepulveda
G Line 
U.S. 101
Getty Center
UCLA
Westwood/UCLA
D Line 
Santa Monica Boulevard
Expo/Sepulveda
E Line 
Alternative 3 (MRT)
Amtrak Metrolink (California)
Van Nuys Metrolink
Sherman Way
maintenance facility
Sepulveda
G Line 
U.S. 101
Getty Center
UCLA
Westwood/UCLA
D Line 
Santa Monica Boulevard
Expo/Sepulveda
E Line 
Alternative 4 (HRT)
Amtrak Metrolink (California)
Van Nuys Metrolink
Sherman Way
Sepulveda
G Line 
Ventura/Sepulveda
UCLA
Westwood/UCLA
D Line 
Santa Monica Boulevard
Expo/Sepulveda
E Line 
Phase 2
Alternative 5 (HRT)
Amtrak Metrolink (California)
Van Nuys Metrolink
Sherman Way
Sepulveda
G Line 
Ventura/Sepulveda
UCLA
Westwood/UCLA
D Line 
Santa Monica Boulevard
Expo/Sepulveda
E Line 
Phase 2
Alternative 6 (HRT)
Van Nuys Metrolink
Amtrak Metrolink (California)
Van Nuys
G Line 
Ventura/Van Nuys
UCLA
Westwood/UCLA
D Line 
Santa Monica Boulevard
Expo/Bundy
E Line 
Phase 2

The Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor is a two-phased planned transit corridor connecting the Los Angeles Basin to the San Fernando Valley through the Sepulveda Pass in Los Angeles, California, by supplementing the existing freeway. The corridor would partly parallel I-405, and proposed alternatives include a rapid transit (subway) or a monorail line connecting the G Line in the Valley to the D Line and E Line on the Westside, and the K Line near Los Angeles International Airport.[1]

Interstate 405 over the Sepulveda Pass between Interstate 10 and US Highway 101, which runs parallel to the proposed transit line, is the busiest highway corridor in the United States, serving 379,000 vehicles per day.[2]

Overview

Rail system map included in the official 1980 Proposition A election pamphlet, including the Sepulveda Pass Corridor
Rail system map included in the official 1980 Proposition A election pamphlet, including the Sepulveda Pass Corridor

The line is a long-established goal in Los Angeles transit planning. Proposition A, which imposed a half-cent sales tax in Los Angeles County to fund a regional transit system, was passed in 1980, and a Sepulveda Pass line was in the project map that was part of the proposition's documentation.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) has $10 billion in funds available for construction planned to begin in 2026.[3] The plan included in the Measure M transportation funding measure is to build improvements in three stages: additional lanes to be used for express bus service to open by 2028, an 8.8-mile (14.2 km) transit project between the G Line's Van Nuys Station and the Purple Line Extension’s Wilshire/Westwood Station by 2035, and a planned extension to LAX with a 2059 completion date.[4][5] In April 2017, Metro issued a Request for Proposals to study alternatives, and several companies sent unsolicited proposals to accelerate the project via public-private partnerships.[6] The project's timeline is expected to be accelerated under the Twenty-eight by '28 initiative.[7] The Metro Board of Directors in late 2019 will decide which concept routes to start the project's formal environmental studies.[8]

Initial proposed routings and modes

In June 2018, Metro released its initial six alternative rail concepts for the corridor. All of the proposals provided connections between the G Line (at Sepulveda, Van Nuys, or both) and the E Line (at Expo/Sepulveda or Expo/Bundy), as well as to the Westside extension of the D Line, currently under construction, and to the East San Fernando Light Rail Transit Project, currently being planned. The proposals fell into four categories:

In January 2019, Metro released a refined second set of rail concepts for the corridor, eliminating light rail and rubber-tired metro technology from consideration and narrowing it down to four concepts:[3]

In July 2019, Metro released a third refined rail concept after community input. These covered mostly the same routes, but with a station added at Santa Monica Boulevard Station in reaction to public feedback. Both costs and ridership projections were higher for these propsoals.

The feasibility study for both phases was completed and presented in November 2019,[10] with no major refinement from the July 2019 presentation. The study said that additional research was needed on whether the project would need to relocate or maneuver around a nine foot wide DWP water pipe, called the "Sepulveda Feeder".[11] Additional studies were also called for on general station locations, tunnel design configuration, rider transfer patterns, and the identification of costs and cost reductions. Also, the study also called for more information to be gathered on the impact of the Santa Monica Fault near Santa Monica Boulevard. The Metro Board then commenced the NEPA and CEQA scoping process.

Two different engineering firms were chosen to prepare pre-development materials for the two potential modes. Monorail proposals were developed by BYD LA SkyRail Express, while heavy rail work proposals were prepared by Bechtel.[12] By December 2021, six alternatives had been prepared for further consideration: three heavy rail and three monorail (one of which included a separate automated people mover to serve UCLA).[13] On June 16, 2022, Metro reported that 93% of public comments favored a heavy rail option versus 7% which favored monorail.[14]

Phase One: Valley–Westside

Initial alternatives analysis

In November 2021, the CEQA notice for the project alternatives was released, with an environmental scoping period to begin in February 2022. Rail options were refined to three monorail and three heavy rail alternatives. Monorail options 1 and 2 did not include a station on the UCLA campus and proposed connecting transit options instead. The new alternatives are being considered for the Draft Environmental Impact Report[15] north to south routes from the Valley to E Line were as follows:

DEIR Alternative[3] Description Ridership
(daily)
Estimated cost
(billions)
Alternative-1: MRT w/ Aerial I-405 alignment[16] A monorail line heading west from the Van Nuys Metrolink station then heads south on Sepulveda Boulevard. Eight total aerial stations stops, similar to Metro C line stations on the center medians of a freeway. Stops include Van Nuys G Line station, US-101 freeway, the Getty Center freeway entrance, I-405 station with a bus to UCLA, a station near Westwood D Line station (with a bus to UCLA) and at Santa Monica Boulevard before terminating at the Expo/Sepulveda station E Line. A 19-minute ride. [17] $[17]
Alternative-2: MRT w/ Aerial I-405 alignment[3] Similar to Alt-1, A monorail line heading west from the Van Nuys Metrolink station then heads south on Sepulveda Boulevard. Eight total aerial stations stops, similar to Metro C line stations on the center medians of a freeway. Stops include Van Nuys G Line station, US-101 freeway, and the Getty Center freeway entrance. Last three stations at Wilshire/I-405 (w/ APM to UCLA), Santa Monica Boulevard/I-405 and terminating at the Expo/Sepulveda station E Line. All along the I-405. A 19-minute ride. $
Alternative-3: MRT w/ I-405 alignment[3] Similar to Alt-1 except with a tunnel, A monorail line heading west from the Van Nuys Metrolink station then heads south on Sepulveda Boulevard. Nine total stops, including the Van Nuys G Line station, US-101 freeway, and the Getty Center freeway entrance. A 3.3 mile underground tunnel between the Getty Center/I-405 station with a station at UCLA and at Wilshire boulevard. Returning to aerial south of Wilshire Boulevard. Last two stations at Santa Monica Boulevard/I-405 before terminating at the Expo/Sepulveda station E Line. A 19-minute ride. $
Alternative-4: HRT Sepulveda Blvd alignment[16] A Heavy Rail Transit line on Sepulveda Blvd., aerial in the San Fernando Valley and underground south of the Santa Monica Mountains. Eight total stations, Four aerial in the Valley and four underground in the Westside area. Includes a station on the UCLA campus. Would make direct transfer stations out of Wilshire/Westwood Station on the D Line and at Expo/Sepulveda station on the E Line. A 14-minute ride. $
Alternative-5: HRT Sepulveda Blvd alignment[16] A Heavy Rail Transit line on Sepulveda Blvd., same Alignment as Alt: 4, all underground except northern terminus Van Nuys Metrolink station. Seven total station before terminating at the Expo/Sepulveda station E Line. Would be a 14-minute ride. $
Alternative-6: HRT All Underground Van Nuys Blvd alignment[16] A Heavy Rail Transit line down Van Nuys Blvd., Heads south from Van Nuys Metrolink station, all underground. Three stations in the Valley and four in the westside. Southern terminus would be Expo/Bundy station. Direct stations with within UCLA, Wilshire/Westwood D line station. Seven total stations. Would be a 14-minute ride. $

In April 2021, Metro advanced five routes to the next stage of study, including three routes selected as part of Metro's public-private partnership solicitation for the line. The P3 proposals came from Bechtel and BYD Company, with Bechtel submitting the same heavy rail alignment and station proposals as HRT-4, and BYD submitting two monorail proposals that differed from the original MRT-1 alternative studied by Metro.[18]

The following table shows all potential metro stations, and the alternatives for which they apply:

Station Options[19] Alt. 1
MRT
Alt. 2
MRT
Alt. 3
MRT
Alt. 4 / 5[a]
HRT
Alt. 6
HRT
Connecting
rail services[20]
Community
Van Nuys (Metrolink) × × × × × Amtrak Amtrak: Pacific Surfliner & Coast Starlight
Metrolink (California) Metrolink:Ventura County Line
Future station of the East San Fernando Valley LRT.
Van Nuys
I-405\Sherman Way × × × - - Van Nuys
Sepulveda Boulevard\Sherman Way - - - × - Van Nuys
Sepulveda Boulevard (w/ G Line) - - - × - G Line  G Line Van Nuys
Van Nuys (Future Metro Station) - - - - × G Line  G Line

Future southern terminus station of the East San Fernando Valley LRT.

Van Nuys
I-405\G Line × × × - - G Line  G Line Van Nuys
I-405\US 101 × × × - - Sherman Oaks
Ventura Boulevard/Van Nuys Boulevard - - - - × Sherman Oaks
Ventura Boulevard/Sepulveda Boulevard - - - × - Sherman Oaks
Getty Center × × × - - Pass Area
Westwood/VA Hospital station - - - - - D Line D Line (by 2027). Electric Bus per MRT 1, 2, and 3. Westwood
UCLA - - × × × Westwood
Westwood/UCLA - - × × × D Line D Line (by 2027) Westwood
I-405\Wilshire Blvd × × - - - W/ Bus or people mover to UCLA. Westwood
Santa Monica Boulevard × × × × × West Los Angeles
Expo/Sepulveda - - - × - E Line  E Line West Los Angeles
Bundy/Sepulveda - - - - × E Line  E Line West Los Angeles
Expo/I-405 × × × - - West Los Angeles
MSF Locations

Three Maintenance and Storage Facility (MSF) options are being proposed.[17]

Monorail Maintenance and Storage Facility above existing Metro G Line Sepulveda Station Parking Lot. MRT 1, 2 and 3.
Van Nuys at Arminta. HRT 6.
Woodman at Van Nuys Metrolink Station. HRT 4 & 5.

Pre-Development

In March 2021, Metro awarded contracts to two firms for development of two alternatives to advance the project. A plan for conventional heavy rail is being developed by Bechtel. The rival design is a monorail as planned by BYD LA SkyRail Express.[21]

A scoping process carried out by Metro from November 2021 to February 2022 showed a heavy majority favoring heavy rail over monorail, with the tally being 93% to 7%, respectively. Heavy rail alternatives were cited by comments as having better transfer options to other lines, faster travel times, and being more familiar in the LA Metro system.[22]

Phase Two: Westside–LAX

Initial alternatives analysis

Early concepts for phase two from E Line to the future K Line were released in 2019, with detailed connections to the under-construction LAX Automated People Mover.[1] Metro hopes to complete the feasibility study by 2019 and begin an environmental impact review along with phase one.

There are two main modes for phase two of the corridor. There are five proposed concepts that begin at either Expo/Bundy station or Expo/Sepulveda station, contingent on the terminus of the first phase of the project. All routes terminate at the Aviation/96th Street station, which is currently under construction as part of the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor Project. This terminus station will offer transfers to the K Line, and LAX Automated People Mover.[3]

Concepts include routing south along Sepulveda Boulevard, Overland Boulevard, Centinela Boulevard and Interstate 405, with possible intermediate stops at Venice Boulevard, Culver City Transit Center, the Howard Hughes Center, and Sepulveda Boulevard at Manchester Boulevard. The Sepulveda Boulevard route option would be completed as below-grade heavy rail, while the I-405 option could be completed as either a combination of elevated and below-grade heavy rail, or a combination of elevated and below-grade monorail.[23]

The July 2019 updated concepts released by Metro for phase two added a stop along Santa Monica Boulevard per public popular demand. They added the fifth concept, extending the east/west purple line extension terminus south towards LAX. A one-boarding HRT trip from LAX to Downtown Los Angeles along Centinela Blvd.[15]

All north to south routes from the E Line to LAX are:

DEIR Alternative[3] Description Ridership
(daily)
Estimated cost
(billions)
Alternative 1: HRT or MRT I-405 route[16] A heavy rail transit (HRT) line heading south from the Expo/Sepulveda station on the I-405 median with an aerial stop at Venice Blvd/I-405. Leaves the aerial route and continues underground with stations on Centinela/Sepulveda and Manchester/Sepulveda near LAX. The southern terminus station is at Aviation/96th Street station at LAX.[17] A 38-minute ride. MRT: 173,000 HRT: 228,000[17]
Alternative 2: Centinela route[16] A heavy rail transit (HRT) line heading south underground from either Expo/Bundy station or Expo/Sepulveda station with stops at Venice/Centinela, Culver/Centinela, Jefferson/Centinela, and Manchester/Sepulveda with its southern terminus station at Aviation/96th Street station near LAX.[17] A 31-minute ride. 229,000[17]
Alternative 3: HRT Sepulveda route[16] A heavy rail transit (HRT) line heading south underground from the Expo/Sepulveda station along Sepulveda Boulevard with stops at Venice/Sepulveda, Jefferson/Sepulveda and Manchester/Sepulveda near LAX. The southern terminus station is at Aviation/96th Street station at LAX.[17] A 30-minute ride. 236,000[17]
Alternative 4: HRT Overland Avenue route[16] A heavy rail transit (HRT) line heading south underground from the Expo/Sepulveda station to Overland Avenue. Stations located on Overland/Venice Blvd. and Overland/Jefferson Blvd, Jefferson/Sepulveda and Manchester/Sepulveda near LAX. The southern terminus station is at Aviation/96th Street station at LAX.[17] A 31-minute ride. 233,000[17]
Alternative 5: D Line Extension routes[16] A heavy rail transit (HRT) extension south of the under construction D Line extension terminus station of Westwood/VA Hospital station or Westwood/UCLA station, a stop on Santa Monica Boulevard and then follow the Centinela Ave route alternative (alt 2) as underground HRT. The southern terminus station is at Aviation/96th Street station at LAX.[17] A 31-minute ride. 275,000[17]

The following table shows all potential metro stations, and the alternatives for which they apply:

Station Options[1] Alt:1 Alt:2 Alt:3 Alt:4 Alt:5 Connecting
rail services[24]
Community
Westwood/UCLA or Westwood/VA Hospital (Under Construction as HRT) - - - - × D Line D Line (by 2027) Westwood
Expo/Bundy or Expo/Sepulveda (Already Built as LRT) × × × × × E Line  E Line West Los Angeles
Venice Boulevard/I-405 × - - - - Mar Vista/Westdale
Venice Boulevard/Centinela Avenue - × - - × Mar Vista
Venice Boulevard/Sepulveda Boulevard - - × - - Mar Vista/Westdale
Venice Boulevard/Overland Avenue - - - × - Washington Culver
Jefferson Boulevard/Overland Avenue - - - × - Studio Village
Culver Boulevard - × - - × Del Rey/Culver West
Slauson Avenue/Sepulveda Boulevard - - × × - Fox Hills
Jefferson Boulevard/Centinela Avenue - × - - × Playa Vista
Howard Hughes Center × - - - - Westchester/Fox Hills
Manchester Avenue/Sepulveda Boulevard × × × × × Westchester
Aviation/96th Street Station (Under Construction as LRT) × × × × × LAX Automated People Mover (by 2023)
 K Line(by 2024)
Westchester

Alternative 5 concept for the Westside-LAX phase of the Sepulveda Transit Corridor would extend the Purple Line subway south down Centinela Ave along the same route as the other proposed Centinela Ave concepts (Alt 2). This concept would provide a one-seat ride from the LAX Automated People Mover to Downtown Los Angeles, but would require passengers from the San Fernando Valley to transfer at Westwood/UCLA station to travel further south.[23]

The second phase of the Sepulveda Transit Corridor is not due to break ground until 2048.

Advocacy

Transit advocates have proposed combining the Van Nuys Transit Corridor and Sepulveda Pass Corridor into a single study with an aim to connect Sylmar, Van Nuys, the Orange Line, Sherman Oaks, UCLA, and the future Westwood/UCLA D Line station. Metro studies declined the LRT merge option and stated HRT would provide faster times and more occupancy on trains. Future extension phases south to the E Line, LAX, South Bay, or beyond are also being advocated and proposed.[25] Metro proposed a Centinela Avenue route to LAX or thru Sepulveda Boulevard. No studies have been allocated funds.

Phase one of the project is part of Metro's Twenty Eight by '28 initiative, which aims to complete its list of expansions in time for the 2028 Summer Olympics.[1] Metro is looking into a public/private partnership to accelerate the opening.

Construction

Measure R and Measure M timelines call for construction to begin in 2043, though the first phase may be accelerated in preparation for the 2028 Summer Olympics.

References

  1. ^ a b c d "Rail concepts released for Sepulveda Transit Corridor project". Metro.
  2. ^ "I-405 In LA Named Busiest Interstate In Any U.S. City". CBS Los Angeles. CBS Broadcasting Inc. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Here are the four new refined concepts for Sepulveda Transit Corridor". Metro. 29 January 2019. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  4. ^ Hymon, Steve. "Of monorails, Measure M and the Sepulveda Pass; How We Roll, June 14". LACMTA. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  5. ^ "Metro Seeks Mass Transit Solution For Sepulveda Pass". CBS Los Angeles. CBS Broadcasting. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  6. ^ Sotero, Dave. "Metro releases RFP to study Sepulveda Pass transit options". LACMTA. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  7. ^ Sharp, Steven (27 November 2018). "Here are the 28 Projects that Metro Could Complete Before the 2028 Olympics". Urbanize. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  8. ^ "More refined concepts and early cost estimates are released for Sepulveda Transit Corridor". 23 July 2019.
  9. ^ Grigoryants, Olga (9 June 2018). "LA Metro releases concepts for a rail line through, over, or under the Sepulveda Pass. Take your pick". Los Angeles Daily News. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  10. ^ http://media.metro.net/projects_studies/sfv-405/images/Feasibility%20Report.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  11. ^ "The Center for Land Use Interpretation".
  12. ^ Sotero, Dave (12 February 2021). "L.A. Metro Releases its Recommendation to Contract with Two Private Sector Teams for Pre-Development Work on the Sepulveda Transit Corridor Project" (Press release). The Source. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
  13. ^ Sharp, Steven (December 3, 2021). "Metro kicks off EIR for Sepulveda Pass rail line". Urbanize.LA. Retrieved 6 December 2021.
  14. ^ Scauzillo, Steve. "Public says: 93% favor rail tunnels, not an overhead monorail, for mega Sepulveda Pass project". Los Angeles Daily News.
  15. ^ a b https://thesource.metro.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Refined-Concepts.jpg[bare URL image file]
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i Next stop: exploring alternatives to the 405 (Report). Metro. June 2018. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Next stop: exploring alternatives to the 405 (Report). Metro. July 2019. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  18. ^ "Here are five route alternatives that will be studied for Sepulveda Transit Corridor". 15 April 2021.
  19. ^ "We're exploring alternatives to the 405. Sepulveda Transit Corridor Project". Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved 2022-01-08.
  20. ^ "Bus and Rail System Map" (PDF). Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved 2018-12-03.
  21. ^ Sotero, Dave (March 25, 2021). "Contracts for Pre-Development Work on Sepulveda Transit Project approved by Metro Board". The Source. Metro. Retrieved March 26, 2020.
  22. ^ @numble (June 17, 2022). "LA Metro June 2022 update on Sepulveda rail project. 93% of comments in scoping period supported heavy rail, 7% supported monorail. UCLA connection was most mentioned topic. Next update in the Fall would be an update on alignments and stations" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  23. ^ a b https://media.metro.net/projects_studies/sfv-405/images/presentation_Sepulveda_HNTB_2019-01.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  24. ^ "Bus and Rail System Map" (PDF). Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved 2018-12-03.
  25. ^ Reed, Bart. "Valley-Westside Rail Tunnel". The Transit Coalition. Retrieved April 12, 2011.

Notes

  1. ^ Alternatives 4 and 5 only differ in how they treat the Sherman Way, G Line and Ventura Boulevard stations. Alternative 4 has them as elevated stations while alternative 5 lists them as underground.