The long-awaited and much-anticipated Expo Line will open to the public on Saturday, April 28, said Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chairman Antonio Villaraigosa before a test ride with members of the media on Friday morning.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and Metrolink Chairman Richard Katz, who serve on the Metro Board of Directors, were on board the test ride for the announcement.
The line will initially open between 7th/Metro Center station in downtown Los Angeles and the La Cienega station. The final station on the first phase of the project, at Venice and Robertson in Culver City, will open this summer.
Meanwhile, construction has begun on the second phase of the Expo Line between Culver City and Santa Monica. That part of the project — funded by the Measure R sales tax increase approved by L.A. County voters in 2008 — is scheduled to open in 2015.
The news release issued by the Mayor’s office is below and here’s the link to the story on ZevWeb, Supervisor Yaroslavsky’s website.
Mayor Villaraigosa Announces Opening Date of Expo Line Phase I
Expo Line Phase I will officially open on Saturday, April 28, as the newest addition to L.A.’s expanding rail network
LOS ANGELES – Mayor Villaraigosa, Chair of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, today announced that the Expo Phase I line connecting downtown Los Angeles south to USC and west to La Cienega/Jefferson via Exposition Boulevard will open Saturday, April 28, 2012.
“The opening of Expo Line Phase I is a critical step towards creating the multi-faceted transit network that Angelenos deserve,” said Mayor Villaraigosa during the morning media tour of the new Expo Line. “When Angelenos rallied together to pass Measure R, voters sent the message loud and clear that we want transit options beyond the single-passenger automobile. Los Angeles has been leading the way to improve and expand our infrastructure and support jobs.”
Phase I of the Expo Line will officially open on Saturday, April 28, 2012, as the newest addition to LA’s expanding rail network. The line will initially run 7.6 miles from downtown 7th/Metro to La Cienega/Jefferson. This summer, the Culver City stop will extend the line a mile further. Including the Culver City stop, the Expo Line Phase I will share two stations with the Blue Line downtown for a total of 12 Expo Line stops.
“Metro is excited about opening the new Metro Expo light rail line, the first time the traffic choked Westside will see rail passenger service in half a century,” said Metro CEO Art Leahy. “And we’re also gearing up to soon open the Metro Orange Line busway extension to Chatsworth in the San Fernando Valley. These and other transit projects in the pipeline will give commuters and others real options for parking their cars, hopping on the bus or train and beating high gas prices.”
MTA will operate the Expo Line seven days a week starting at about 5 a.m. and ending at about 12:30 a.m., and is expected to have 27,000 daily boardings.
Phase II of the Expo Line, whose construction began last September and is scheduled to be completed by 2015, will extend from Culver City 6.6 miles out to Santa Monica ending at 4th/Colorado. Together, Expo Phase I and II will be the first mass transit line to connect Downtown Los Angeles to the Santa Monica in half a century.
“We want to see a region that leads in transit ridership, not gridlock,” the Mayor continued. “To build our transit system faster, we launched the 30/10 initiative and expanded the idea nationwide as America Fast Forward and I continue to urge the House of Representatives to pass a long term transportation bill that includes America Fast Forward.”
The surface transportation bill passed by the US Senate with a bipartisan 74-22 vote would save or create 1.8 million jobs nationwide. The America Fast Forward component of the bill can create up to 1 million additional jobs across the country.
If the House follows the Senate and passes a transportation bill with America Fast Forward, local transit agencies will be able to compete over the next two years for $2 billion in low-interest TIFIA loans. This would allow Los Angelesto create 166,000 jobs now by accelerating bus and rail projects.
But Los Angeles is not waiting for Washington. In a little over one year,Los Angeles will open three major transportation projects—the Expo Phase I Line, the Orange Line expansion, and the I-405 expansion.Los Angeles will also break ground on three more major projects—the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor, the Purple Line Subway extension, and the Regional Connector. These projects are expected to support over 100,000 jobs.
Expo Line Phase I Station stops:
- 7th / Metro (Shared with Blue Line)
- Pico (Shared with Blue Line)
- 23rd Street
- Expo Park/USC
- La Brea/Expo
- La Cienega/Jefferson
- Culver City(set to open Summer 2012)