Los Angeles Subway Project to Move Forward After Major Trial Court Victory

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (“Metro”) celebrated a major victory on March 28, 2014, when Los Angeles Superior Court Judge John A. Torribio ruled in Metro’s favor in a challenge against the long-awaited Westside Subway Extension Project.

The Westside Subway Extension Project, approved by Metro in May 2012, is a heavy rail transit subway that will extend the Metro Purple Line in Los Angeles by approximately nine miles. Slated to open in 2035, the $5.6-billion line is designed to bring fast, reliable mass transit to some of Los Angeles’s busiest destinations including Miracle Mile, Beverly Hills, Century City, and Westwood.

The City of Beverly Hills and the Beverly Hills Unified Schools District filed lawsuits against Metro shortly after the project was approved. The center of the dispute focused on the location of the subway station in Century City. For the subway tunnel to reach the preferred station site, however, it must run under the Beverly Hills High School. Although expert studies demonstrated that no damage would be caused to the high school by the tunnel, the city and the school district strongly opposed the  station and urged Metro to approve an alternative location. Numerous peer-reviewed studies showed, however, that the alternative station site is in an active fault zone, and therefore, it would be unsafe to locate a station at that site.

The petitioners challenged the project and the selection of the Century City station on various CEQA grounds.  They claimed that the analysis in the EIR/EIS was flawed and that Metro’s copious technical studies were inadequate to support the conclusions in the EIR/EIS.  The Los Angeles County Superior Court disagreed and sided with Metro on all claims.

Whitman F. Manley, Tiffany K. Wright, Laura M. Harris, and Chris L. Stiles of Remy Moose Manley, represented Metro in the case.