Los Angeles, California/MOS-3 Extensions of Metro Rail

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MOS-3 Extensions of Metro Rail

Los Angeles, California

(November 2000)


The Metro Rail Red Line Project in Los Angeles was to be planned, programmed and constructed in phases through a series of "minimum operable segments" (MOS). The 4.4-mile, 5-station segment labeled MOS-1 opened for revenue service in January 1993. A 2.1-mile, three-station segment of MOS-2 opened along Wilshire Boulevard in July 1996. An additional 4.6-mile, 5-station segment in MOS-2 opened along Vermont Avenue & Hollywood Boulevard in June 1999. The 6.3-mile North Hollywood segment of MOS-3 began revenue operations in June 2000.

ISTEA Section 3034 authorized three extensions in MOS-3 of the Metro Rail Red Line:

  1. The North Hollywood Extension is 6.3 miles in length with three stations, entirely in subway. It extends the Hollywood branch of MOS-2 generally to the north under the Santa Monica Mountains to North Hollywood in the San Fernando Valley. The estimated cost of the extension is $1.31 billion (escalated dollars). Ridership for the entire system essentially doubled to approximately 120,000 daily boardings, far exceeding the projected daily boardings for 2010.
  2. The Eastside Extension was originally designed as 3.7 miles of subway with four stations, extending from Union Station, the origin of MOS-1, into neighborhoods east of downtown. The estimated cost was $1.05 billion (escalated dollars). Ridership for this extension was estimated at 12,000 daily boardings by 2010. However, work on this extension was suspended in 1998. Currently, a replacement project is being planned. The replacement, as currently planned, is approximately six miles of light rail transit that will directly interface with the locally-funded Pasadena LRT (Blue Line) at Union Station. Ridership for this extension is estimated at 15,000 daily boardings in 2010.
  3. The Mid-City Extension was originally planned to extend the Wilshire Boulevard branch generally to the west beyond the current MOS-2 terminus at Western Avenue. It would add 2.3 miles, originally designed as subway, and two stations to the system. The estimated cost was $683 million (escalated dollars). Ridership for this extension was estimated at 13,000 daily boardings in 2010. However, work on this extension was indefinitely suspended in 1998, pending completion of the Regional Transit Alternatives Analysis.


LACMTA and FTA signed a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) for MOS-3 in May 1993, which provided $1.23 billion in Section 5309 New Starts funds for the three extensions of MOS-3. The FFGA was subsequently amended on December 28, 1994 to provide an additional $186.49 million for a total commitment of $1,416.49 million in Section 5309 New Starts funding. A restated FFGA for the North Hollywood extension (Phase I-A) of MOS-3 was signed on June 9, 1997.

In January 1997, FTA requested that the MTA submit a Recovery Plan (Plan) to demonstrate its ability to complete MOS-2 and MOS-3, while maintaining and operating the existing bus system.

Pursuant to the request, on January 14, 1998, the LACMTA Board of Directors voted to suspend and demobilize rail construction activities on all rail projects other than the MOS-2 and MOS-3 North Hollywood Extensions that were already under construction. The MTA subsequently submitted the Plan to FTA on May 15, 1998; FTA approved the Plan on July 2, 1998.

In 1998, the MTA undertook a Regional Transit Alternatives Analysis (RTAA) Study to analyze and evaluate feasible alternatives for the Eastside and Mid-City corridors. The RTAA addressed system investment priorities, allocation of resources to operate existing transit services at a reliable standard, assessment and management of financial risk, countywide bus service expansion, and a process for finalizing corridor investments. On November 9, 1998, the LACMTA Board reviewed the RTAA and directed staff to reprogram State and local resources that were previously allocated to the Eastside and Mid-City Extensions to the implementation of RTAA recommendations, including the LACMTA Accelerated Bus Procurement Plan.

The MTA conducted further studies of transit investment options for the Eastside and Mid-City corridor projects and subsequently requested FTA’s concurrence to initiate preliminary engineering (PE) on both corridors in July 2000. In October 2000, FTA authorized the MTA to begin PE on the East Side corridor. The selected alternative for the Mid-City Corridor has not been approved for PE by FTA. Additional information on the Mid-City Corridor project must be developed to document mitigation measures that are acceptable to the local community. FTA will continue to evaluate the proposed investments, as required under 49 U.S.C. 5309(e).

Through 2001, Congress has appropriated $631.35 million in New Starts funds for the North Hollywood segment of MOS-3. An additional $76.48 million has also been appropriated for the original Mid-City and East Side subway alignments, and $11.86 million was appropriated in FY 1999 and FY 2000 for further studies of alternatives in the corridors. LACMTA also plans to fund $245.6 million of North Hollywood MOS-3 costs with Federal flexible funds (STP and CMAQ). TEA-21 Section 3030(a)(38) authorized the Los Angeles MOS-3 for final design and construction.

The post FY 2001 New Starts commitment remaining to MOS-3 is $696.80 million. This includes $49.69 million for North Hollywood and $647.11 million for the Mid-City and East Side corridors.

Locally Proposed Financing Plan

(Reported in $YOE)

Proposed Source of Funds Total Funding
Appropriations to Date
Federal: Section 5309 New Starts Hollywood FFGA $681.04 $631.35 million appropriated through FY 2001
Federal: Flexible Funds $245.60 N/A
Local: $384.18 N/A
Total: $1,310.82

Note: Totals may not add due to rounding.

MOS-3 Map of Hollywood branch extending generally to the north under the Santa Monica Mountains to North Hollywood in the San Fernando Valley. Eastside Extension extends 3.7 miles from Union Station into neighborhoods east of downtown. The Mid-City Extension extends the Wilshire Boulevard branch generally to the west beyond the current MOS-2 terminus at Western Avenue adding 2.3 miles.