Several public officials gathered Monday morning at the Expo Line’s Western Avenue station to remind everyone that train testing will be increasing over the next several weeks and it’s important for motorists and pedestrians to aware the tracks are now active.
The short news conference — on the station platform — also gave officials a chance to express their delight and astonishment that after literally years of talk and construction, Expo Line trains are now actually running.
“The people standing behind me have worked for years on this,” said Los Angeles Councilman Herb Wesson, whose 10th district runs along Exposition Boulevard and the tracks. “This has been one of the most challenging projects I’ve worked on. The reason we’re here today is that we can see the finish line.”
L.A. Councilman Bernard Parks, whose 8th district also includes the Expo Line tracks, echoed those sentiments and reminded people that South Los Angeles remains one of the most transit dependent parts of the city.
“This took a little while longer than planned when we started out,” said County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who is also a Metro Board member and who believes Expo will have ridership higher than most light rail lines in the U.S. “When you look at over the continuum of time [in the future], no one will remember how long it took.”
Expo Line officials have targeted mid-November to open the line to La Cienega Boulevard, followed by an opening to Culver City in the first quarter of 2012. The second phase of the project from Culver City to Santa Monica is scheduled to open in 2015. To read more about the Expo Line, visit the project’s website.