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The Metro Board of Directors on Thursday unanimously approved the final environmental impact statement/report for the long sought Crenshaw/LAX Line, a 8.5-mile light rail project that will run along Crenshaw Boulevard, Florence Avenue and Aviation Boulevard between the Green Line and Expo Line, passing through Inglewood along the way.
The line, with a budget of $1.715 billion, is scheduled to open in 2018 under Metro’s long-range plan and is funded largely by Measure R, the half-cent sales tax increase approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2008. The train will take an estimated 21 minutes to travel between the line’s northern terminus at Exposition Boulevard and the Mariposa station on the Green Line. It will also connect those living in the Crenshaw corridor to Metro’s growing rail network, which in the next several years will reach from Santa Monica to downtown L.A. to Azusa.
A streetcar at Crenshaw & 54th in 1955. Photo by Alan Weeks, via Metro Library's Flickr page.
“Today’s approval of the final EIR for the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor Project brings us one step closer to delivering another Measure R light rail project that will bring thousands of badly needed jobs to LA County,” said Los Angeles Mayor and MTA Board Chairman Antonio Villaraigosa. “Once completed, the new light rail line will connect residents of South LA to Downtown and provide all Angelenos a new transit option to LAX.”
“This is a historic moment,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor and Metro Board member Mark Ridley-Thomas. “For 25 years, community leaders have worked to make a high-quality light rail line a reality. This was the dream of Julian Dixon, of Diane Watson, of Mayor Tom Bradley and many, many others. Today’s vote means we’re ready to start right away — not 15 years from now as originally was slated to happen. We’re not done pushing forward, we’re still working to see that the Crenshaw-to-LAX line ultimately includes a station at Leimert Park Village, but from many vantage points, in terms of job opportunities, economic development and improved mobility and transportation, today is a day to celebrate. “