What’s In A Name?
A lot, according to L.A. Metro as they rebrand their ongoing rail-line project. After months of public name submissions and votes the “West Santa Ana Branch” has officially been changed to “Southeast Gateway Line.” L.A. Metro received over 1,200 name recommendations and over 4,500 votes during the voting process since launching the renaming campaign in August 2023. In the end, Southeast Gateway Line received the most votes and was officially selected as the new project name in a rebranding ceremony on Jan. 22, 2024.
Connecting L.A. County
The Southeast Gateway Line is a new light-rail transit (LRT) line that will connect southeast L.A. County to downtown L.A. The proposed light-rail project received approval from the LA Metro Board in January 2022 and was designed to take passengers from Artesia to downtown Los Angeles. The new name much more accurately describes the project than the previous one. Many citizens and officials were confused by the “West Santa Ana Branch” name because it led them to believe the rail line was in Orange County. Officials are saying that the clarity from the new name will bring in much needed funding for the project, such as from the state and federal government.
New Proposals Impact Costs
The promise of more funding for the light-rail line project comes at a perfect time as a new group seeks to change part of the rail line into a subway line. The Solutions Alameda Coalition is urging the L.A. Metro to alter the plans for the final segment of the rail line to make the section on Alameda street an underground subway line instead of an above ground rail line. Additionally, they make the argument that this section of downtown L.A. has a high potential for housing development and an underground subway line would better support that growth. However, it would come at a steeper price as it could increase project costs by $1 billion.
You can read more about the Southeast Gateway Line here on L.A. Metro’s website.