UCLA stop under consideration
By Dolores Quintana
New construction of the Metro Purple Line (D Line) will actively continue in the coming months. LA Metro has decided on two stations to be constructed in West Los Angeles, at the corner of Westwood and Wilshire, as well as at the West LA Veterans Affairs Medical Center. This is part of the Sepulveda Transit Corridor Project which began in 2018 which has the goal of connecting the San Fernando Valley to the Westside by the year 2035 and ultimately connect the San Fernando Valley to LAX by the year 2059 as reported by the Daily Bruin.
However the community has asked that Metro consider opening a station at UCLA, because housing options that are within the reach of the students’ budgets are extremely limited in the neighborhoods nearby. The Westside Regional Alliance of Councils, which includes many of the local neighborhood councils such as the North Westwood Neighborhood Council, urged Metro to consider alternative station locations. They feel strongly that a UCLA station would be a great benefit to UCLA students, who frequently rely on public transportation. The NWWNC represents UCLA, Westwood Village and the North Village in meetings with the LA City Council.
“Improving transit options in the Westside has the potential to significantly reduce some individuals’ commute times because of the advantages of traveling underground between the Westside and downtown LA,” said Jacob Wasserman, who is a research project manager at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs told the Daily Bruin.
It’s part of the overall goal of LA Metro to increase rider usage of the transit system to relieve traffic congestion and air pollution. The extension of the train system underground to connect different parts of the city is part of that effort. The 405 Freeway through the Sepulveda Pass is one of the busiest freeway routes in Los Angeles according to Metro.net.
Wasserman further expounded to the Daily Bruin that “By adding a stop at the UCLA campus, Metro usage may increase as students are among those most likely to need transit options because they don’t own a car.” Wasserman was appointed to the NWWNC Transportation and Safety Committee as a member of the public.
Wasserman makes the point that stations have to be placed in the areas that are most useful for potential transit customers in order to increase usage of the transit system. A transit system that is not useful to the public is one that is unlikely to be successful.
NWWNC president Furkan Yalcin told the Daily Bruin that he thinks having a station directly at UCLA would be the most important part of the Sepulveda Transit Corridor Project because of the thousands of people who commute to UCLA and Westwood. He is also the at-large stakeholder in the neighborhood.
LA Metro has stated that four out of five of the alternative station plans would include a UCLA station. Metro has released a statement that they will be seeking the community’s opinions on the subject through scoping meetings open to the public and a comment period to gather further information about the public’s preferences.