The Biden Administration has announced a pre-award authorization to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), paving the way for the West Santa Ana Branch (WSAB) Transit Corridor Project to begin to incur development costs.

The project could include a station in Little Tokyo.

Metro Board Chair and L.A. County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, whose district includes Little Tokyo, stated, “I am pleased and thankful to the Biden Administration for advancing Metro’s WSAB project in the Federal Transit Administration’s New Starts pipeline into the project development phase.

“This is a critical step towards addressing disparities in communities across Downtown and Southeast Los Angeles, whom I had the honor of representing for seven years [in Congress]. Many of these communities suffer from a severe population burden and lack sustainable mobility options. Once the WSAB comes to fruition, Southeast L.A. residents will finally have direct and quick access to Downtown L.A. and the rest of the County, opening up access to more jobs, schools, and housing.

“As chair of the Metro Board…I remain committed to advancing this regionally significant project and all other projects like this that support the administration’s Justice40 initiative.”

FTA approval is a key step toward making the project eligible for federal funding.

Last month, the Metro Board unanimously approved Union Station as the end point for the project with the Pioneer Boulevard (Artesia) alignment to Slauson/A Line as the locally preferred alternative (LPA).

The WSAB alignment will stretch from Artesia to Downtown L.A. through a 19-mile corridor that connects the cities of Cerritos, Bellflower, Paramount, South Gate, Downey, Cudahy, Bell, Huntington Park, Vernon, and unincorporated Florence-Firestone.

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