Metro Expo Line Opening in April

First phase of line is scheduled to open to public by late April

By Conan Nolan and Jonathan Gonzalez
|  Friday, Mar 23, 2012  |  Updated 6:46 PM PDT
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The new Metro Expo Line's first section is set to open next month, and when it's finally complete, it will carry commuters from Downtown L.A. all the way to the ocean. Conan Nolan has a preview.

The new Metro Expo Line's first section is set to open next month, and when it's finally complete, it will carry commuters from Downtown L.A. all the way to the ocean. Conan Nolan has a preview.

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The wait for the much-anticipated Metro Expo Line will soon be over.

The new light rail line's first section will officially open to the public on Saturday, April 28, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced during a pre-opening rail tour for media on Friday.

The first phase of the line will open between downtown's 7th/Metro Center station and the La Cienega Boulevard station, while the final station at Venice and Robertson boulevards is expected to open this summer.

Initially the line is expected to carry an estimated 26,000 riders each day, according to Villaraigosa, who chairs the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

When the line is completed, it will run from downtown to Santa Monica and is expected to carry 64,000 daily passengers.

“There is no city in the country-- none – is expanding as much public transportation as we are,” Villaraigosa said. “We had a great public transportation system and we dismantled it in the 1940s and 50s.”
 
With funds from statewide Measure R and America Fast Forward, which provides cities with $2 billion in federal public transit funding, Los Angeles will be able to compress the construction timelines of 12 different transit projects from 30 years to 10, he said. 

Southern California residents who commented on the new line via NBC LA's Facebook pagewere generally supportive of the addition of the Expo Line to the area's public transit offerings.

"It's about time," commented Tony Arranega. "I'm looking forward to having more transportation options in the City of Angels."

 Ruth Nettelhorst, who takes the train from the Antelope Valley to Orange County to see her mother, finds the affordability of public transit appealing.

"The $10 weekend pass makes so much more sense than paying high gas prices," she wrote.

But Donna Lee Ferjen said the Metro system is too expensive for an entire family.

"It's much cheaper to drive the family into LA than it is to take the Metro," Ferjen wrote. "I wish there were better family rates."

The announcment came days after an Expo Line train collided with a vehicle during a test run, injuring six people.

The accident occurred on Flower Street near Venice Boulevard.

Construction on the second phase, between Culver City and Santa Monica, is scheduled to be completed by 2015.

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Click the image below for a larger graphic.

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