Metro celebrated the silver anniversary of modern Metro Rail this morning by reenacting the July, 1990 opening of the Metro Blue Line, in celebration of 25 years and 87 miles of modern rail. View the photo gallery of the event above or watch video from the occasion below.[youtube https://youtu.be/M6P4eeP207U]
If you’re curious about the impact 25 years of Metro Rail has had on L.A. County and what the future might look like, make sure to read part one of our Metro Rail Q&A.
Here’s the press release for the event today:
Metro today marked 25 years of modern Metro Rail – and an astonishing 87 miles of rail built — by re-creating the opening of the Metro Blue Line at the same spot where it occurred 25 years earlier.
A Metro Blue Line train appeared from the 7th St/Metro Center Station tunnel through a veil of smoke to break through a banner as it did in 1990. At Pico Station, Metro Board Chair and L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas emerged from the cab of the train, accompanied by elected officials and other VIPs, to address the crowd of several hundred.
“We’re here today to thank the voters of L.A. County,” said Chair Ridley-Thomas. “This is your system. You told us what you wanted. You directed it. You supported it. And through your generosity and farsightedness, we’re creating a modern rail system that is regional in scope, rational in its appeal to riders and equitable in the benefits it is providing for the people of L.A. County. We would not be here today, were it not for you.”
Modern Metro Rail is an amazing accomplishment. From zero miles of rail in 1990 to 87 miles today and with five major rail lines under construction, including two more set to open next year that will add 17.6 more miles, modern Metro Rail is a direct reflection of the will of Southern California voters.
“But we would be remiss if we didn’t also recognize the transportation visionaries of the time – particularly L.A. County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn and L.A. Mayor Tom Bradley — who worked so hard to pass Proposition A, giving us the kick start we needed to create modern Metro Rail and expand our transit system,” said Metro Board First Vice-Chair and Duarte Council Member John Fasana. “Without their transportation insight and courage, I doubt we’d be celebrating today.”
Since 1990, the expanding Metro Rail system has carried 1.5 billion rides. That’s millions of cars off the streets – each one freeing our commutes of traffic and our air of 4,800 pounds per car of particulate matter for each year that the car is left at home.
“A 20-year USC study released this spring revealed that clean air can be directly linked to stronger lungs among children who have grown up in Southern California,” said Metro Director and Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis. “We know that in the past 25 years regional smog levels have dropped and that translates to healthier air quality for our children. Metro Rail can’t take all the credit for our improved air quality, but with more than 1.5 billion boardings in the past 25 years – representing thousands of cars not on our roads – it has undoubtedly contributed to cleaner skies.”
Metro Rail has also contributed to the reversal of neighborhoods. In Hollywood, Long Beach, Pasadena and Little Tokyo, neighborhoods have been transformed for the better, following the arrival of Metro Rail. Better lighting, commercial development and the in-and-out of travelers have all made the surrounding neighborhoods more prosperous and attractive to business and community.
“But Metro Rail does not fly solo,’ said Metro CEO Phil Washington. “It’s the centerpiece of a transit network that includes 2,200 Metro buses covering 170 bus routes and nearly 16,000 bus stops. Together with Metrolink, the municipal carriers like the Big Blue Bus, the local-return operators like the Glendale Bee and highway improvements like the ExpressLanes project for highway mobility, we’re building a balanced transportation network to address the issues of the entire region.”
In celebration of the Metro Rail event, 5,000 25th Anniversary commemorative TAP cards are being loaded into ticket vending machines in Union Station and 7th/Metro, Pico and Willowbrook stations.
A Metro website has been established at metro.net/25 with details on upcoming 25th anniversary events, including concerts and art and architecture tours of the rail stations, scheduled for the next year, as well as a chance to share your stories through an interactive literary program that is open to the public.
Categories: Go Metro