The Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced Friday it has received federal approval to seek funding for the design and construction of the .
The project has received certification from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), an important step because it documents that the proposed $5.6 billion extension meets federal environmental guidelines, according to Metro.
"The environmental clearance puts us one step closer to our vision of a world-class public transportation network," Los Angeles Mayor and Metro board member Antonio Villaraigosa said. "The subway extension will increase travel options along the city's busiest transportation corridor and provide an essential connection to the Westside."
The 9-mile extension of the Metro Purple Line from its terminus at Wilshire Boulevard and Western Avenue is projected by Metro to add about 78,000 new daily rail trips through seven stations to Westwood.
Most of the construction will be paid for by —a half-cent transportation sales tax approved by voters in 2008—but the FTA approval allows Metro to request federal transportation funds.