Expo Line to open to the public on Saturday, April 28

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



  • Jefferson/USC



  • Expo Park/USC



  • Vermont/Expo



  • Western/Expo



  • Crenshaw/Expo



  • Farmdale



  • La Brea/Expo



  • La Cienega/Jefferson



  • Culver City(set to open Summer 2012)


50 replies

  1. While it is great that this line will soon be opperating, a comprehensive transit plan should be a priority. Right now we have several lines that don’t connect the dots. If LA wants a world-class transit system we should be thinking about connecting where people are to where they need to go instead of “if you build it they will come”. Airports, sports events, collages, train stations, in other words any place where people would go enmass. Build lines to those places, connect the dots and ridership won’t be a problem. Look at New York’s subway system, you can get to any Airport or almost any event in a short time. The California HSR is suppost to come into LA at Union station which would at least double the amount of people going thru it yet there are no plans how to get them to the station. We tend in LA to plan individual lines rather the a whole system. The Green line should have connected to LAX when it was built in the 90’s and yet we are still waiting for Metro and LAX to get there act together. It’s sad have to I travel to other cities like N.Y., Seattle, Portland to get off a plane and right on to a train. “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Einstein

    • Oscar,

      I’m sure we will post the maps and timetables on The Source as soon as they’re ready to be made available to the public. You can also check http://www.metro.net/around/maps as we get closer to April 28th.

      Hope that helps!

      Carter Rubin
      Contributor, The Source

  2. Thank You, So much for opening the expo/line now, I can save money and time.

  3. Excited to connect with my friends on the Westside without having to get into my car! I already use the Metro regularly for trips to Pasadena and areas East. Thank you for giving us options that save money and automobile wear and tear!

  4. Congrats to you guys at Metro! 22 years ago, rail service (subway, light-rail and commuter) was unknown to Angelinos. [Even Miami had an elevated train line and a people-mover system operating before you guys ever had rail!] But going from 0 transit lines and stations to 5 lines (2 subway and 3 light-rail routes) and 70 stations is impressive enough; on April 28, when the Expo/Aqua line officially opens for transit business, those numbers will go up to 6 lines and 79 stations (80 when the Culver City Station opens this summer).

    If and when this New Yorker visit Los Angeles, I will be using the Metro! Again, congrats on (finally!) opening the Expo/Aqua Line!

  5. I would guess that the planners realized that the line was opening during a lull period and did so on purpose. Don’t you want them to work out the kinks before a bunch of people start filling the traincars? They need it running smoothly if they expect the allegiance of the pampered Trojans.

  6. Is there a timeline yet for adding Expo data to Metro’s Trip Planner and Google Transit?

  7. Woo hoo! So now that they’re solved, what exactly were the causes of the train detection and track control problems?

  8. Does anyone know how much it costs to park at the LaCienega/Jefferson lot? I’d love to take the train downtown to the library with my son on weekdays (the most-direct bus line is a commuter line and all the hours of a workday are a lot of hours to fill with a toddler downtown!) and it would be great if I could park and ride!

  9. Hooray! I’m looking forward to ride on the Metro Expo Line for the 1st time since hopping on the blue line back in 1990.

  10. Now that Expo is opening, will the related service changes be implemented? Or are they still awaiting the civil rights evaluation?

  11. I know all the reasons why this line is opening in 2012 instead of 2010. But, with three stations around USC, it seems a shame that it’s opening one day after the last day of classes for USC students and one week after the LA Times Festival of Books, which with 150,000 expected visitors is probably the biggest event that’s going to happen along the entire Expo Line.

  12. Oh yay – the weekend AFTER the LA Times Festival of Books, when hundreds of attendees COULD have kept their cars off the road using the Expo Line to travel to the literal front door of the Festival. Color me not thrilled at the timing.

  13. 12 minutes? Even in rush hour? Typically poor planning. Even given shared tracks for the first 1/2-mile or so, you could run trains on a 6-minute schedule in rush hour. Will they be two double-car sets or three?

  14. Morris, the expo line will cross Lincoln at-grade. The city of Santa Monica for some reason decided to have a street-running configuration between 17th and 4th street even though the street is very narrow (for street running at least) and the speed will be low. I believe original plans called for an EL structure but that was changed. Oh and there won’t be signal preemption, so trains will still have to wait at red lights on top of everything else. Go figure…

  15. Does anybody know whether the Expo Line (Phase II) will be grade-separated where it crosses heavily-trafficked Lincoln Blvd. in Santa Monica?

  16. Well, I suppose I should join the mountain of The Source reader comments and add my own “Finally!” and “Congratulations!” to Metro for getting Phase I finished.

    Onward to Santa Monica!

  17. Greg,

    The “seemingly-empty lot” on the Southeast corner of Ocean and Colorado is where a gigantic new civic park is going in. It will flow into the design of the light rail terminus and be a wonderful entrance point to Santa Monica. This is not an LAX-type debacle. The station is literally a two-minute walk to the pier.


  18. Is there a map showing the route? I’d love to see if one of the stops is near my new job.

  19. I am so excited to hear this. We have been waiting and waiting to pare down to a 1-car family, and now we finally can! Yay!!

  20. When will they announce plans for connecting transit. In particular, will there be a one-stop ride from La Cienega station to the Century City area?

  21. Will there be an inaugural ride type event open to the public? How woud I go about getting a ticket to that event?

  22. By then, one could easily travel from the La Cienega station to Long Beach just by walking across the platform at the Pico Station and transferring from an Expo Line train to a Blue Line train. I am assuming that this will count as TWO separate fares and that there will be a TAP validator conveniently located somewhere! Any comments, anybody?

  23. Finally!! It’s about time!! Glad that its finally opening on a set date, although I wish the Culver City station were also opening. Lets just hope that it will indeed open in summer and not later.

  24. Can’t tell you how exciting this is but I have to wonder why service won’t run when bars are closing. What’s better? Drunks on a train or drunks on the roads?

  25. Hurray, finally!

    Will there be any special events held to commemorate the opening?

  26. Will there be any opening day festivities at select stations like in the past when new Metro Rail lines have opened?

  27. Hmm, no mention of free rides. Not that it matters for me, other than it’d keep the crowds down on opening weekend.

  28. Congratulations to all involved. I’m sure it was a lot of work over a long period of time. The wait was long, but worth it. Once it starts running, people will forget about the delays.

  29. Glad to hear a date has finally been set! Shame it’s too late for me to use it – my classes end on April 20th. Maybe I’ll take it to graduation…