Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and other officials Friday celebrated the approval of a light-rail line for the proposed East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor Project.

The ceremony at the Van Nuys Metro Orange Line Station came after the Metro Board of Directors on Thursday moved forward with the adoption of a light-rail system for the proposed 9.2-mile project, which still needs a final environmental impact report.

“The East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor fulfills a promise to voters — a commitment to better connect communities throughout the Valley,” Garcetti said. “The Metro Board’s historic vote accelerates momentum toward our goal to give Angelenos the world-class public transportation they deserve.”

The new line would operate along Van Nuys Boulevard from the Van Nuys Metro Orange Line Station to the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink Station, and link several Valley transit arteries, including the Orange Line and the planned Sepulveda Transit Corridor rail line, which aims to connect the Valley and the Westside through rail by 2035.

The proposal has sparked criticism from community leaders and business owners who said the project would force some businesses to move, but other business leaders have said it is a welcome addition to Valley commerce.

“The East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor Project presents a perfect opportunity to increase the Valley’s share of light rail,” L.A. City Councilman and Metro Board Member Paul Krekorian said. “The existing Van Nuys Boulevard bus lines already accommodate the second highest number of transit riders in the entire San Fernando Valley, and we need to look to the future and construct a system that increases capacity and efficiency.”

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