Construction of L.A. Metro’s Westside Purple Line halted over safety issues on the route’s first section that have frustrated riders and local officials in L.A. and beyond.
The Federal Railroad Administration is seeking to intervene in the city’s transit lawsuit over the work stoppage on the Westside Purple Line. The agency on Tuesday filed a motion that asks U.S. District Court Judge Vince Chhabria to allow intervention in the lawsuit by the transit agency, the LA Department of Transportation, and the agency’s contractor, the California Public Utilities Commission.
The agency is suing L.A. and the city of Los Angeles over a series of safety violations on the first segment of the Westside Purple Line, which is part of the Los Angeles Metro rail system.
For the most part, the agency’s contract with Transdev was to run the rails over the route from the Westside to Century City, and Transdev would then operate the train, said Scott Smith, a spokesman for the agency.
But “in order to meet the deadline,” Smith said, “Transdev has the understanding that they need to have more time to make additional improvements to the tracks. So… Transdev has asked the agency for additional time, and the agency agreed to allow additional time to do that.
That agreement has been ongoing for more than a year, said agency spokesman Paul Berry.
“Transdev has been willing to work with (the agency) to find a way to move the project forward,” Berry said. “Even though we’re in litigation, they’re looking for ways to improve the train.”
Since the beginning of 2016, Transdev has provided maintenance and operating support for the Purple Line for the agency, according to Berry.
And the agency has provided the company with notice on more than 30 occasions of its concerns over the route, including one in late February, said Berry.
“This is a case where the local and federal defendants have not only put forth arguments that Transdev failed