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Community meetings set on plan to connect two Norwalk rail stations

Local officials are asking the public to weigh in on a proposal to connect two rail stations on two different train lines in the city of Norwalk that are now separated by about three miles.

The plan calls for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to extend the Green Line from its Norwalk station to the Metrolink station, which serves regional trains connecting to Orange County and Riverside.

Southern California Association of Governments

The Southern California Association of Governments will be holding community meetings this Saturday and next Wednesday to discuss the proposal as part of a feasibility study for the project. The Saturday meeting runs from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Both will be held at the Sproul Reception Center, 12239 Sproul St., in Norwalk.

SCAG Executive Director Hasan Ikhrata said creating the link between train lines would go a long way in making the system a viable alternative to car travel.

"You cannot expect people to use transit unless it's fully connected and unless it's convenient for them to use," he said.

By 2023, the Green Line will fully connect with LAX terminals with the LAX people mover, which will also connect to the future Crenshaw Line's 96th Street station. If the Norwalk extension to Metrolink is completed, it could provide rail access to the international airport from Orange County and Riverside.

The idea of extending the Green Line to Metrolink has been on the table for decades but was scuttled in the 1990s due to community objections and a lack of funding.

The Measure M county sales tax increase approved by voters in November provides $200 million for the project, although it wouldn’t be available until 2046. Officials would need to seek about $500 million more in state or federal funds to complete the extension.