U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg joins many officials to dedicate K Line’s Expo/Crenshaw Station

 

In advance of the opening of the K Line later this year, Metro on Friday officially dedicated the Expo/Crenshaw station in the Crenshaw District.U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez, U.S. Congress Members Maxine Waters and Karen Bass, California Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, Metro Board Chair and Glendale Council Member Ara Najarian, L.A. Mayor and Metro Board Member Eric Garcetti, L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board Member Holly Mitchell, Inglewood Mayor and Metro Board Member James Butts, Metro Board First Vice Chair Jacquelyn Dupont-Walter and Metro CEO Stephanie N. Wiggins joined local officials to recognize community leaders, advocates and residents for their efforts to help the project reach this point. Also in attendance were former Congress Member Diane Watson, former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and former Metro Board Members Pam O’Connor and John Fasana. 

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg.

“This is a monumental accomplishment that many have referred to as the most important investment in the heart of Los Angeles’ Black community in decades,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. “This is a good investment in good public transit that will bring new businesses, housing and economic development right here.”The Crenshaw/LAX Line — which will be the K Line as part of Metro’s rail system — is a $2-billion transportation investment from Metro’s federal, state and local partners that will serve the cities of Los Angeles, Inglewood and El Segundo. The rail line will provide an essential link for riders in the Crenshaw Corridor and Inglewood and those headed to a variety of destinations — including downtown L.A. and the Westside.The project will run between the existing Metro E Line (Expo) at Crenshaw and Exposition Boulevards to the C Line (Green) in El Segundo. The K Line will eventually have eight new stations, including stations serving Leimert Park, downtown Inglewood and a new station at Aviation Boulevard and 96th Street that will be the transfer point between Metro trains and buses and the LAX automated people mover that will serve airport terminals. 

The U.S. Department of Transportation provided $263.9 million in federal funding, which included funds from TIGER grants, the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program, the Highway Infrastructure Program and the Surface Transportation Block Grant Program.“Transit all over our country has the ability to be the great equalizer, bringing the same chance to work, learn and play to everyone who steps aboard,” said FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez. “In this critically important part of Los Angeles, thousands of people will have a fast, safe, reliable way to connect with their community. When Metro Airport Connector is finished, it’s a short train ride to LAX, where they can connect with the whole world.”The state of California contributed $215 million in funds from Proposition 1B and the Regional Improvement Program.“Metro’s rail investment in our South L.A. communities is more than just about expanding the transit system, it’s about creating greater mobility, jobs, access to opportunity and improved quality of life for residents in this corridor,” said Glendale City Council Member and Metro Board Chair Ara Najarian. “As we near the opening of this critical new line, we are celebrating with the community as well as our local, state and federal partners who helped make this line a reality.”The project also received over $1.6 billion in local funding directly from the L.A. County voter-approved sales tax measures Prop A, Prop C, Measure R and Measure M. Funds were also provided by local agency contributions and Metro’s general fund.“The K Line is a long-awaited promise of transit equity for South Los Angeles,” said Metro Board First Vice Chair Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker. “This line will be complemented by projects in the pipeline such as the K Line Northern Extension, the Airport Metro Connector and the C Line Extension, all of which, will serve as a nexus to other transit lines. Additionally, passengers will benefit from enhanced first/last mile connections, which include buses, bikes, Metro Micro and walking.”The Crenshaw/LAX project also offered many residents who live near the rail line to work on the project. As part of Metro’s Project Labor Agreement and Construction Careers Policy, the project exceeded the following workforce requirements:

  • Metro’s goal to hire 40 percent targeted workers from an economically disadvantaged community was exceeded by 20 percent, reaching 60 percent of targeted workers on the project.
  • Metro’s goal to hire 20 percent apprentice workers actually reached 23.51 percent.
  • Metro’s goal to recruit and hire 10 percent disadvantaged workers or socially barriered individuals reached 10.31 percent.

Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Rep. Karen Bass check out one of the station’s artworks — there are artworks on every level of the station.

“The K Line is integral to L.A.’s transportation future — and this station dedication shows how close we are bringing world-class public transportation to South Los Angeles,” said Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Member 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.”The station dedication ceremony also included a brief train ride from the Martin L. King, Jr. station to Expo/Crenshaw station. The ceremony highlighted the regional importance of the transfer stations, station art and nearby historic neighborhoods. Public officials also recognized and featured early project champions, small businesses, local performing artists and Expo/Crenshaw Station commemorative pin contest winner, high school student Jada Harmon.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 Expo/Crenshaw Station include mosaic murals by Rebeca Méndeza glass pavilion by Erwin Redl and porcelain enamel panels by Jaime Scholnick.“As a former resident of South Los Angeles, I am happy to see how the station-specific art uplifts our customers, marks each station as unique and contributes to a sense of place in local communities,” said Mayor of Inglewood and Metro Board Member James Butts. “On the K Line, art is a station-defining element that builds on the creative vitality and cultural richness of our Crenshaw area communities.”“My vision is for Metro to be Angelenos’ first choice for transportation. The K Line is a transformative, meaningful investment to help the people of Crenshaw, Inglewood, and south Los Angeles access jobs, opportunity, family and fun,” said Stephanie N. Wiggins, Metro CEO. “Once other enhancements are complete, the K Line will not only be the first choice for transportation in the area, it will be the best choice for Angelenos to get to the airport, SoFi Stadium and destinations in Crenshaw and Inglewood. I can’t wait to welcome the first passengers aboard!”For additional information about the project, please visit https://kline.metro.net. For more information about Metro Art, please visit at metro.net/art.

Photos for download of Friday’s event are here. Video B-roll is here.

9 replies

  1. Even though it is being called a world class system, there are still many issues that will make it inconvenient for many travelers. Right now, there is a major hurdle with it not being able to connect the LAX people mover when the K Line first opens and apparently, that will still be a few years off. And when it is all connected, there is still the issue of many transfers with baggage trying to get to and from LAX. LAX has never made itself a user friendly airport other wise they would have allowed the C Line into the airport decades ago. In addition, most times it is not a one seat ride for Metro Rail customers. Many places where people go for entertainment has involved transfers, which include Dodger Stadium, Hollywood Bowl, Universal Studios, and now SoFi Stadium and LAX.

    • “Even though it is being called a world class system” – The only 2 cities in the US that have the potential of having a “World Class” system in about 50 years from now is Portland and Seattle. The rest are the literal poster childs of how NOT to build a transit system. Metro literally no direction and is instead choosing to build its map based on the WORST cities with the WORST transit (Houston), instead of abroad.

      “Many places where people go for entertainment has involved transfers, which include Dodger Stadium, Hollywood Bowl, Universal Studios, and now SoFi Stadium and LAX.

      – SoFi stadium was proposed AFTER the Crenshaw EIR was done, so that one is beyond Metro’s control.
      – Hollywood Bowl and Dodger Stadium are literally in some of the worst and isolated parts of LA. Why does anyone think it makes sense to build transit in one of the worst places in LA? These stations will only see respectable ridership 3 months out of the year MAX. Outside of that, hardly any ridership due to their locations.

      Universal Studios – Actually, I’m personally not complaining about that transfer, going to Tokyo DisneySea and Universal Japan and both those places required either a LONG walk or an monorail connection. The one con about LA though is having to walk up a hill. But again, I call that poor planning on Universal’s part, which is also the of LAX as well.

  2. Los Angeles is known as one of the most creative places on the planet and Metro has funding streams that most cities/counties/transit districts would dream of. For this we got:
    1. Three subway stations in a single-family residential neighborhood – Crenshaw Blvd. would have been the poster child for an elevated line;
    2. The Expo/Crenshaw station, which is the only station in the world that I’m aware of where you have to leave the station and cross the street to get to the same mode of transportation instead of having one station service both lines. The station is also unnecessarily cavernous like all other Metro stations. Of course no track connections to Expo because that would be too useful. Not sure what urban planning theory requires every metro station to have an empty city block covered in cement above it but we keep doing it.
    3. Grade crossings! You thought Flower/Washington, Lincoln/Colorado, or Expo/Barrington were bad? The K line says hold its beer! We’re going to run this baby through 16 lanes of traffic on Crenshaw/Slauson! Luckily the metal recycler is right down Slauson at the swap meet so we can just take the debris there. Dibs on the pantograph.

    We’ll pass on Centinela/Florence, access to SoFi/Forum/Hollywood Park/Century, the 12-year project length, the bridge “issues,” because some of that was beyond Metro’s control. Just one request to Metro – let’s come up with a truly creative solution for our transit problems. 20mph trolleys down existing ROWs at-grade is not creative. There wasn’t a single creative idea or solution in the 700 pages of the Santa Ana Branch EIR.

    We need new ideas, creative ideas, cost-effective ideas etc. We can do better. This blog is an example. Most large transit agencies have blogs or news sites. This is the only one that interacts with the public and can answer individuals’ questions.

  3. “3. Grade crossings! You thought Flower/Washington, Lincoln/Colorado, or Expo/Barrington were bad? The K line says hold its beer! We’re going to run this baby through 16 lanes of traffic on Crenshaw/Slauson! Luckily the metal recycler is right down Slauson at the swap meet so we can just take the debris there. Dibs on the pantograph.”

    If crossing 16 lanes of traffic is the only long term inconvenience of the Crenshaw Line, then the Expo Line is still a failure by design perspective.

    “We’ll pass on Centinela/Florence”

    – No lets not. Metro is actually agreeing to shut down the line after it opens instead of just adding another 2 year delay NOW and have its opening coincide with the opening of the people mover. Otherwise, at this point, just turn Centinela into a dead end before the tracks and carry on. Having to inconvenience riders because some politicians realized their mistake early on is yet another reason to go privatization and realize the government is no better at doing even basic rail planning done right.

  4. I don’t think people have used very many systems in other cities. The transfers can be terrible and the fares much higher.

    Chicago, London, New York City; not as ideal as you think.. I used bus bridges in all of those cities while their systems were being worked on as well.

    If you want ideal transit, get a car. It will do exactly what you are wishing for billions less. I understand the romance of being dropped of at your seat by metro when you arrive to Dodger stadium, but thats a dream not worth harping over. Walking is suggested, you might even find a quarter on the floor.

    We voted, we planned, it being built, but people are just moaning abt the progress.

    Moving out of L.A. is also an option.

    • “I don’t think people have used very many systems in other cities. The transfers can be terrible and the fares much higher.”

      – This!!! But remember, according to poor people, public transit is a third class utility for the third class, not a utility for EVERYONE, regardless of your walk if life, to benefit from.

      “ Chicago, London, New York City; not as ideal as you think.. I used bus bridges in all of those cities while their systems were being worked on as well.”

      – Can’t speak for those cities but considering Chicago and Boston are no better than LA, I am also not even remotely interested in visiting those cities.

      “If you want ideal transit, get a car. It will do exactly what you are wishing for billions less. I understand the romance of being dropped of at your seat by metro when you arrive to Dodger stadium, but thats a dream not worth harping over. Walking is suggested, you might
      also find a quarter on the floor.”

      – If you want ideal transit, you have options. Sadly regardless of how you see it, LA lacks the infrastructure even for a car. Even our freeway system is the sorriest in the nation.

      – Also, no I don’t romanticize about taking a train to dodger stadium. I have to go with the NIMBYs on this one and romanticize about the day the dodgers FINALLY get out of Elysian Park and build a proper stadium in Downtown LA. Give Elysian Park back to the people. The dodger stadium and the Glendale freeway are the reasons why there is even traffic on this part of LA. Get rid of those 2 and rrebuild the PE Glendale and Burbank Line and suddenly NELA would be a lot more appealing.

      “We voted, we planned, it being built, but people are just moaning abt the progress.”

      – Progress isn’t the issue, but the lack there of, the speed of the progress (which is understandable tbf) and most importantly the pathetic planning from Metro and city leaders . The centinella debacle for the Crenshaw is the exact example of how our city leaders continue to fail to build things right. I’m sorry but I rather no progress than whatever the heck Metro and in this cast. It’s build it right or don’t build it at all.

      – In 2014, 2 rail companies in Tokyo hired 1000+ people to connect both lines, which were separated by 2 floors) together. This tie in work was literally done in about 4.5 hours with no interruptions to service whatsoever. Please don’t give me the excuse that progress has to be slow or expensive, because it doesn’t need to be. This country simply doesn’t care, that’s a fact.

      “ Moving out of L.A. is also an option.”

      – Believe me, the grass can be greener if you water it elsewhere, but a lot of consideration is involved there. Moving out of a city like LA or even the US for that matter if you are not rich takes a lot of time, and a lot of planning for both plan A and plan B.

  5. Scrap the Centinela grade separation project. It’s pointless to rebuild infrastructure immediately after the initial line was completed. That money can be used somewhere else.

  6. hi steve. for crenshaw slauson station name its nipsey hussle station for the line renamed the nipsey hussle line for crenshaw blvd renamed to nipsey hussle blvd.