[A photo gallery of images from the event can be viewed here.]
In advance of the opening of the K Line later this year, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) today held a station dedication celebration for the community at the future Leimert Park Station.
The station dedication brought together residents, students, businesses, community leaders and advocates to recognize their efforts to reach this point in the project and to showcase the line’s amenities prior to its official opening.
The Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project, now the K Line, represents a $2 billion public transportation investment for the communities in the Crenshaw Corridor, Inglewood and El Segundo. The last time rail transit served the Crenshaw Corridor was approximately 70 years ago. Yellow Cars stopped serving local streets in 1955.
The project will extend light rail from the existing Metro E Line (Expo) at Crenshaw and Exposition Boulevards to the C Line (Green). The eight-station K Line will travel 8.5 miles and serve communities in Los Angeles, Inglewood and El Segundo, along with portions of unincorporated Los Angeles County.
“The residents of Leimert Park and the Crenshaw Corridor have waited years to see a return on their investment of time, money, and patience since this rail line was first proposed over 30 years ago,” said Metro Board Chair and L.A. County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis. “This investment in South Los Angeles has been a long time coming and I am happy to see that residents in the Crenshaw Corridor will be able to have easy access to Metro’s fast and efficient transit system within their community.”
The station dedication ceremony also included a train ride and windshield tour from the Leimert Park Station to the Martin L. King, Jr. Station. The ceremony highlighted the cultural uniqueness of Leimert Park, which includes the Leimert Park Village and several historic artistic and musical venues and its proximity to several legacy businesses and restaurants in the Crenshaw Corridor.
“The Leimert Park Station represents the vision and hard work of Metro staff, residents, and community leaders who were intentional about ensuring the art, culture and history that is unique to Leimert Park is felt and honored,” said L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board Member Holly J. Mitchell. “It has been a long road to get to this point. As a third generation Angeleno who grew up in this neighborhood, I look forward to this station and the K Line being part of the fabric of our community.”
Public officials also recognized early project champions, small businesses, local performing artists and Leimert Park station commemorative pin contest winner, high school student Jewel Cox.
“The K Line is integral to L.A.’s transportation future — and this first station dedication shows how close we are bringing world-class public transportation to South Los Angeles,” said Metro Board Member and Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Once complete this fall, this new line will open doors of opportunity for riders across Los Angeles — and is a clear indication of our commitment to make Los Angeles a more accessible, sustainable, and inclusive city.”
“About 70 years ago, Angelenos were able to ride the Yellow Car which traveled in the center island on Crenshaw Boulevard carrying passengers from North Los Angeles to South Los Angeles,” said Metro Second Vice Chair Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker. “Now we are able to restore that memory and Angelenos will once again have a safe, fast efficient, environmentally friendly and cost-effective rail line along the Crenshaw Corridor.”
“With the K Line, we are delivering on a promise made long ago to South Los Angeles communities,” said Metro CEO Stephanie N. Wiggins. “The newest addition to Metro’s rail network will reshape and transform this city, helping residents and visitors get around one of the most dynamic and exciting parts of our community. We could not have constructed this project without the help of the K Line’s many champions, who have worked tirelessly with us over the years to ensure we deliver a project that meets the community’s need for better mobility. I can’t wait to welcome our first customers aboard!”
All K Line stations include artwork commissioned through the agency’s Metro Art program. Artists were selected through an open, competitive selection process following the recommendation of a panel of community-based arts professionals. Artworks commissioned for the Leimert Park Station include Talking Drums by Ingrid Calame, a mosaic mural by Mickalene Thomas and porcelain enamel art panels on the platform level by Dean Erdmann.
“The K Line stations are like open air art galleries, with spectacular examples of collaboration with Metro to help residents express how they feel about their communities through art,” said Inglewood Mayor and Metro Board Member James T. Butts. “With the K Line there are key connections to spectacular venues, job centers and beaches throughout the region – the K Line is game changer. The completion of the K Line is a demonstration of our commitment to rebuilding a transit network to bring equitable transportation to every resident.”
Metro will hold additional station dedication ceremonies for other communities along the line in anticipation of the line’s official opening.
For additional information about the project, please visit https://www.metro.net/projects/crenshaw_corridor.
For more information about Metro Art, please visit at metro.net/art.