For nearly two decades, residents of the northern and eastern San Fernando Valley watched as Los Angeles County officials opened new rail lines to the Westside, the San Gabriel Valley and East Los Angeles, hoping that the Southland’s transit building boom would someday reach them, too.
Thursday, they received a clear sign that it will. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority voted unanimously to bring a light-rail line to the East Valley, addressing long-standing complaints that transportation officials have neglected the needs of a poor, transit-dependent swath of the county.
The $1.3-billion rail line will run along Van Nuys Boulevard, the street most synonymous with the Valley’s post-World War II car culture. The line will add 14 stations in Van Nuys, Panorama City, Arleta, Pacoima and San Fernando to the county’s growing rail network.
Metro officials had originally recommended enhanced bus service along Van Nuys, frustrating residents who watched a rail line with far lower ridership projections win approval in the San Gabriel Valley. Advocates lobbied for a rail route, eventually securing $810.5 million through Measure M, the tax increase that passed in 2016.
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