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Last year, Metro unveiled its updated plan for the Division 20 rail yard in the Arts District, which is being expanded and upgraded in order to facilitate the Purple Line's extension to Westwood.  The project, which will allow for higher-frequency service than is currently possible on the Red and Purple Lines, is being designed so as not to preclude an extension of passenger service to a proposed revenue station near the new Sixth Street Viaduct.

But the proposed station, which would be located at the southern tip of Division 20, is officially considered a separate project from the maintenance yard expansion.  This distinction means that an extension of Red and Purple Line service into the Arts District will require a separate environmental impact report, and it seems that the City of Los Angeles is willing to pick up the tab.

Earlier this week, 14th District Councilmember Jose Huizar introduced a motion that would authorize the City to provide $500,000 to Metro for expenditures associated with environmental clearance and pre-design activities for the proposed 6th Street/Arts District Station.  Funding is expected to come from future traffic mitigation and fees paid by new developments in the Arts District.

Construction of the extension itself would be funded by outside sources identified by Metro and the City of Los Angeles.  One potential option that has been floated by Downtown stakeholders and officials is an enhanced infrastructure financing district.

Huizar's motion notes significant investments now taking shape near the proposed 6th Street station, including the $482-million viaduct replacement  -which includes up to 12 acres of park space - and a $25-million project that calls for improved pedestrian and cycling infrastructure in the neighborhood.

Several private developments are also planned near the 6th Street corridor, most notably a two-tower high-rise complex designed by Bjarke Ingels.

The proposed 6th Street Station has been suggested as a potential northern terminus for the proposed West Santa Ana Branch light rail line.  Some transit advocates have also pushed an alternate proposal in which the West Santa Ana Branch could be built as a heavy rail extension south from 6th Street Station.

The Division 20 rail yard. Photo by Steve Hymon.

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