The project has been mooted for decades, and two groundbreaking ceremonies were held in 1962 in an attempt to raise funds. The scheme is finally underway because nearly 68% of Los Angeles County voters approved a half-cent sales tax increase in 2008 to provide local funding, combined with a $US 1.25bn federal grant and a $US 856m loan.

Los Angeles Metro is trying to secure funding for the second phase of the Purple Line extension to downtown Beverly Hills and Century City.