Metro CEO Says No Arts District Station Unless 'Manna Falls From Heaven'

DTLA—Earlier this year, enthusiasm mounted among Downtown Los Angeles stakeholders for a Metro station in the Arts District. The call came in response to a rush of housing development in the area, as thousands of residents are expected to arrive in the coming years.

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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority even studied the idea of erecting a station at either Third or Sixth streets.

At a luncheon hosted by the Los Angeles Current Affairs Forum on Monday, Nov. 13, Metro CEO Phil Washington revisited the matter. He acknowledged the importance, but said that unless there is something of a financial miracle, the Arts District won’t get its station.

“We don’t argue that a station would be a good idea in the Arts District,” he said at the luncheon at the Palm restaurant. “The question is, how do you pay for it? Because it’s not in anybody’s budget.”

The Arts District Wants a Rail Station

“So unless manna falls from heaven,” and he paused to look up, drawing laughs, “that’s the challenge that we have.”

Editorial: The Arts District Deserves a Station

The priority for Metro in the Arts District, he said, is to prepare for the coming Purple Line Extension, which is slated to open in 2024. Metro intends to expand and enhance the existing Division 20 facility along the Los Angeles River at Third Street, so that Purple Line cars coming through Union Station can turn around and run at fast and regular intervals. The Arts District yard would also be used to store trains.

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