County Supervisor and Metro Board Member Mark Ridley-Thomas tours Leimert Park Station on Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project

Los Angeles County Supervisor and Metro Board member Mark Ridley-Thomas today joined Metro CEO Phil Washington on a tour of the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project’s Leimert Park Station to see the progress of the future light rail line. Metro also honored Supervisor Ridley-Thomas for his contributions to the project.

The Leimert Park Station is one of the three underground stations located in the Crenshaw District, which has long been the heart and soul of the L.A. region’s Black community.

Those with long memories may recall that the Crenshaw/LAX Line was originally envisioned as a bus rapid transit line. Supervisor Ridley-Thomas strongly advocated that the Crenshaw Corridor and connections to LAX merited a rail line. He also pushed for adding the Leimert Park Station to be added to the project. The rail line originally had stations at Crenshaw/Exposition and Crenshaw/Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.

“I am grateful that the Metro Board had the fortitude and dedication to move forward with the Crenshaw/LAX Project and build this station in Leimert Park – the artistic and cultural center of African American life of Los Angeles,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas, who is completing his third and final term on the Board of Supervisors. “This project is not just a transit station people will pass through, but a destination where riders of all backgrounds will experience the best that Los Angeles has to offer.”

The Leimert Park station will also feature new artworks.

Talking Drums, which takes its name from the African talking drum and references the drum circles which often take place at Leimert Park, is an artwork by Ingrid Calame. The artist worked collaboratively with William Watters and Jasmine Morgan of the local nonprofit organization The RightWay Foundation to create hundreds of feet of rubbings of architecturally and culturally significant features found in the neighborhood, including drums, handmade tile and doorways. Calame then collaged these images together against a full color spectrum. The artwork wraps the station entry pavilion and acts as a library of community features.

The 8.5-mile Crenshaw/LAX Line is a $2.148-billion light rail line that will run between the C Line (Green) and the E Line (Expo). Eight new stations will serve the communities of Crenshaw, Inglewood, Westchester and LAX communities. Construction is 97 percent complete.

An additional station will be added to the line at Aviation Boulevard and 96th Street. That station will serve as the transfer point to the LAX Automated People Mover that will whisk riders to the LAX passenger terminals. The people mover is being built by Los Angeles World Airports.

11 replies

      • Well yeah! It is, but this is predictable of Metro at this point. They gave USC 3 stations, with 2 literally about 2 blocks from each other. They could’ve work with LAWA to design the station in a way where the 96th St station (Which at this point should just be called LAX station as that is what the station will connect to.) could be build separately from the people mover while still connected together once it is complete. Yet here we are with 2 stations about 2 blocks distance from each other yet again.

        Man this agency needs an overhaul.

  1. is there a firm or approximate date as to when the Crenshaw Line will finally open? I thought it was supposed be October of this year.
    Despite covid, I’m really looking forward to trying it for the “new rail mileage.”

    • Hi M. Smith,

      The forecast is for 2021 but we don’t have an exact date yet. The contractor still must complete construction and hand the project over to Metro. We then need to complete testing and training, which takes a few months.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

    • To be fair, this is the most grade-separated line of the bunch. It seems like only about 1 mile of the Lind will be at-grade. But I do agree, Something does tell me this could’ve been just a few million cheaper.

      • BART cost $700 million for 71 miles in 1972. Even with 48 years of inflation, this is ridiculous.

    • From what source? Construction is 97% complete according to this exact source we are reading. At the earliest 6 months and at the latest we are looking at 9 months assuming not else happens during pre-revenue testing.