Metro staff says Crenshaw Line should be light rail

Metro staff have selected a preferred alternative for the future Crenshaw Boulevard transit project: a light rail line that begins at the Expo Line, goes south along Crenshaw and then follows an existing rail right-of-way through Inglewood to connect with the Green Line near LAX. A map of the alignment is in this recent report–click to page five.

The preferred alternative goes before the Metro Board of Director’s planning committee on Nov. 18. There’s more on the exact alignment on the committee’s agenda, as well as details of potential grade separations for the rail line.

County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas issued a press release today praising the selection. The line runs through his district and Ridley-Thomas — also a member of the Metro Board of Directors — has been vocal that he wanted a light rail line as a better alternative to sitting in traffic and as a job generator.

The agency initially considered a wide variety of routes for a train line or busway as part of the project. Recently, as part of the draft environmental study of the project, the list of options had been narrowed considerably, although public support seemed to also favor a light-rail line.

Under the agency’s long-range plan, the Crenshaw line is due to open by 2018. Its cost is estimated at more than $1.7 billion.