New option will ease congestion on I-10 freeway
LOS ANGELES: Marking the first time in a generation that passengers can take a train from Downtown L.A. to the coast, the Expo Line extension to Santa Monica was officially dedicated today by Mayor Eric Garcetti, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), and state and local officials.
“For the first time in a generation, Angelenos and visitors from around the world can travel from our skyline to the shoreline without setting foot in a car — bringing needed relief to some of our most congested corridors,” said Mayor Garcetti, who is Metro Board Second Vice Chair. “This extension of the Expo Line — along with the recently-opened Gold Line extension and the Crenshaw-LAX Line that is now halfway complete — will improve quality of life by delivering convenient, affordable, and efficient transportation to more people than ever before.”
As part of the grand opening, Metro will provide free rides on the entire Expo Line beginning at noon Friday and continuing until the end of service. On Saturday, free rides on the Expo Line will be offered the entire service day and there will be community parties from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the following stations:
• Downtown Santa Monica
• 17th St/SMC
• Culver City
The $1.5-billion extension is the second Measure R-funded rail project to open this year, following the March debut of the Gold Line extension to Azusa. Almost 68 percent of Los Angeles County voters in 2008 approved the Measure R half-cent sales tax increase to fund new transportation projects and programs.
The 6.6-mile Expo extension runs from Culver City to Santa Monica and includes seven stations: Palms, Westwood/Rancho Park, Expo/Sepulveda, Expo/Bundy, 27th St/Bergamot, 17th St/Santa Monica College, and Downtown Santa Monica.
The Expo Line now stretches for 15.2 miles between Downtown Los Angeles and Downtown Santa Monica, with 19 stations. In Downtown L.A., the Expo Line offers easy transfers to the Blue Line, Purple Line and Red Line at the 7th/Metro Center Station.
The Expo Line extension includes a paved bike path that runs adjacent to the tracks for most of the route between Culver City and the 17th Street/SMC Station. The bikeway includes lighting and landscaping. Each station has secure bike racks and lockers.
There will be parking available at three stations: Expo/Sepulveda (260 spaces), Expo/Bundy (217 spaces) and 17th Street/SMC (67 spaces). As part of a test parking fee program, the daily parking rate is $2 and the monthly fee is $39. Each station has a drop-off area and is served by buses from Metro, Big Blue Bus, or Culver CityBus.
The Expo Line to Santa Monica was built by the Exposition Construction Authority and the project was completed on time and on budget. The project broke ground in 2011 with heavy construction beginning in 2012. In February, the project was turned over to Metro, which will operate the line. Extensive system testing and employee training have been conducted on the line over the past year.
Other Measure R projects under construction include: the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project, the Regional Connector project, and the first section of the Purple Line Extension.
About L.A. Metro
Metro is a multimodal transportation agency that is really three companies in one: a major operator that transports about 1.5 million boarding passengers on an average weekday on a fleet of 2,000 clean air buses and six rail lines, a major construction agency that oversees many bus, rail, highway and other mobility related building projects, and it is the lead transportation planning and programming agency for Los Angeles County. Overseeing one of the largest public works programs in America, Metro is changing the urban landscape of the Los Angeles region. Dozens of transit, highway and other mobility projects largely funded by Measure R are under construction or in the planning stages. These include five new rail lines, the I-5 widening and other major projects.
(Your email won’t be published.)