Metro Magazine

AUG 2014

Magazine serving the bus and rail transit & motorcoach operations since 1904

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 29 of 93

28 < m ETRO m AGAZINE AUGUST 2014 RAIL PROJECTS Los Angeles: Expanded federal loans made difference on Westside Subway In the city that seems to be best known for ripping out its world class interurban network (see the movie "Rog- er Rabbit"), citizens have embraced arguably the most ambitious transit renaissance in the country and have leveraged this support with expanded federal loan pro- grams. Tere is no better example of this leveraging than the Westside Subway Project, known locally as the Purple Line, a 3.92-mile, underground heavy rail transit line that will serve major parts of Los Angeles' Westside as well as Beverly Hills. Te project comprises three new underground stations, new maintenance facilities and 34 new heavy rail vehicles. Tis will be the frst of three planned segments that will eventually extend the Pur- ple Line to Westwood near the border of Santa Moni- ca. The estimated additional weekday ridership once the frst segment opens in 2024 is 20,700, rising to 33,700 additional daily boardings when all three segments are opened in 2035. To build the frst segment, which is estimated to cost $2.82 billion, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) put together a cre- ative funding strategy that leveraged the strong com- mitment of the county through the $40 billion, 30-year Measure R program that the voters passed in 2008. Some $583.9 million of that program has been committed to the project. In addition, the agency successfully obtained a $536 million Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan, a federally guaranteed loan program that was recently expanded, which will be paid back with Measure R sales tax revenue. Additional fund- ing will come from $12.2 million in federal highway pro- gram funding that has been "fexed" to the project. Te remaining funds will come from other local sourc- es of funding. For the rest, Metro obtained a $1.24 billion Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) in May 2014 through the federal New Starts program. While none of these sources represent anything radically new, the TIFIA loan is part of more novel strategy by Metro to use expanded federal and local loan programs paid by with local dedicated tax sources to build their projects in Measure R and beyond much faster than would otherwise be the case with more traditional funding strategies. Denver: Eagle commuter rail is frst 'true' U.S. P3 An even more novel strategy is being undertaken by Denver. The Mile High city's commuter rail project is the one among the three pilot cities that comes closest to the vision of the program, and as such, is America's frst true "transit P3." Denver's Regional Transportation District (RTD) is the project sponsor and owner. It selected Denver Transit Partners (DTP), the Eagle project's con- cessionaire consortium, to design, con- struct, partly fnance, operate and main- tain two new electrified commuter rail lines, plus a starter segment of a third. These include the East Corridor from Denver's newly redeveloped and mod- ernized Union Station downtown to Denver International Airport ; the Gold Line, also starting at Union Station but running westward to Ward Road in the suburb of Wheat Ridge, Colo.; a short starter segment of the Northwest line; and a new commuter rail maintenance facility for the network. Te two main lines are projected to av- erage 57,500 boardings per weekday in 2030. The consortium will also design and construct six stations on the East Corridor and seven along the Gold Line. Te consortium partner Rotem USA will also build 44 new electric multiple When completed, the Denver Regional Transportation District's commuter rail project will become America's frst true "transit P3." To build the frst segment of its Westside Subway Project, which is set to open in 2024, L.A. Metro put together a creative funding strategy. Los Angeles Metro Denver RTD

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Metro Magazine - AUG 2014