Time does fly: it was 10 years ago today that the first segment of the E Line — then known only as the Expo Line — opened between 7th/Metro in downtown L.A. and La Cienega/Jefferson Station.
In the time since April 28, 2012, there have been 127 million boardings on the light rail line, which opened to Culver City in June 2012 and then to Santa Monica in 2016.
Much of the line was built atop an old rail line — which dated to 1875 — that was used by Pacific Electric streetcars until 1953 and a few freight trains until 1987. The right-of-way was acquired by Metro, which saw the corridor as a viable way to start building rail transit along the I-10 corridor and to the Westside. The original segment cost $932 million and included 10 new stations and two stations shared with the A (Blue) Line.
Two current Metro Rail projects nearing completion will make the E Line even better. Riders will be able to transfer to the upcoming Crenshaw/LAX Line at Expo/Crenshaw Station for rides south and, eventually, to LAX. And Metro’s Regional Connector project will allow E Line trains to continue to the Civic Center, Little Tokyo and Arts District in DTLA and then on to East Los Angeles.
The E Line has proven to be a catalyst for major development in the corridor, including a new transit-oriented development — the Expo/Crenshaw project, a development with L.A. County that will have 400 residential units, including affordable housing, retail, and community space. To better integrate bicycling with transit, Metro included convenient bike parking at all stations and a bike path parallel to the light rail tracks.
A media event was held this morning adjacent to the Expo Park/USC Station — where the line was officially dedicated in 2012. Here’s video of the event, which included the following speakers: Metro Vice Chair Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker; Inglewood Mayor and Metro Board Member James Butts; former Santa Monica Mayor and Metro Board Member Pam O’Conner; former CEO of the Expo Line Construction Authority Rick Thorpe; USC Associate Vice President for Community and Local Partnerships David Galaviz; Los Angeles Trade Tech President President Dr. Katrina VanderWoude, and; Metro CEO Stephanie N. Wiggins.
For more information on the E Line, please visit https://www.metro.net/riding/guide/e-line/.
Below are some pics from the archives of the E Line opening, along with construction of the initial segment and the rail service that preceded our light rail line.