Angelenos are excited to learn this week that the federal government has allocated a new grant to the City of L.A., allowing it to finish the Purple Line extension of our rail system through Beverly Hills and Century City to Westwood by 2024, just in time for the Olympics! This will enhance L.A.'s chances of securing 2024 Olympic games, in its competition with Paris and Budapest.

Besides aiding L.A.'s Olympic aspirations, of course, the new subway will connect popular westside neighborhoods like Beverly Hills, Westwood and West Hollywood with the rest of L.A. by rail, alleviating traffic, and allowing a trip downtown in just 20 minutes, regardless of traffic. The Purple Line is a major step forward in completing L.A.'s mass transit system.

According to United States Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, the $1.6 billion in new grants announced Wednesday will allow Los Angeles to "continue its transformation from the nation's car capital to one that embraces sustainable, multimodal solutions that increase access to opportunity."

This $1.6 billion will be added to the nearly $1 billion from Measure M, a 1/2 percent increase in the sales tax that L.A. voters approved last November to improve transportation through measures like the Purple Line construction.

Currently, construction of the Purple Line from the current terminus in Koreatown to the Miracle Mile (representing only about 1/3 of the full route) is scheduled to be completed by 2023. The new funds move up the completion date of the entire route to Westwood by 2024.

Successful completion by that date will allow athletes competing in Olympic venues located at UCLA (near Westwood) to access the rest of the city. The line will also connect the city's two largest employment centers, downtown and Century City. Construction of the rail line will also support more than 25,000 jobs, according o the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation."There are very few places in our country where the vision is big enough for the challenges we face," said Secretary Foxx. "Where Los Angeles points the way, the rest of the country is going to follow."