The Westside Subway Extension continues to be a polarizing issue for some members of the Beverly Hills community and proponents of the continuation of the line.
What a future stop on the Westside Subway Extension may look like.
To frame this issue, a quick summation of the current Metro system is helpful. Currently in revenue service, there is the Red Line (Downtown Los Angeles to North Hollywood), Blue Line (D. Los Angeles to Long Beach), Green Line (Redondo Beach to Norwalk), Gold Line (Pasadena to D. Los Angeles; an extension from Pasadena to Azusa has been proposed), and Purple Line (D. Los Angeles to Wilshire/Western). The tentatively named ‘Expo Line’ is slated to open for revenue service in March 2012, although several previous delays have postponed its opening day since 2010.
At this time, a subway system does not exist that serves the Westside area directly. Since Antonio Villaraigosa was elected Mayor of Los Angeles in 2005, the Westside Subway Extension has been one of his administration’s priorities, thus becoming one of Metro’s priority projects. The extension builds onto what is already the Purple Line, which was formerly the Wilshire Branch of the Red Line. Villaraigosa has also referred to this Extension as a “Subway to the Sea,” although whether or not it will end at the Santa Monica pier is still in question. This phrase, that once generated buzz, has been largely abandoned in favor of the “Westside Subway Extension”. According to Metro’s website:
The Westside Subway Extension would provide a high-capacity, high-speed, dependable alternative for those traveling to key destinations such as Miracle Mile, Beverly Hills, Century City and Westwood, including the UCLA campus. Over 300,000 people travel into the Westside every day for work from areas throughout the County and beyond.