LOS ANGELES — The Expo Line extension from Culver City to Santa Monica is about 90 percent complete and on track to open by spring 2016, connecting downtown Los Angeles to the beach in a route Mayor Eric Garcetti called “from Grand to the sand.”
A host of city, county and transportation officials gathered at the under-construction Expo Line station in the Palms area to hail the progress in building the 6.6-mile, $1.5 billion extension.
Train testing on the line began earlier this year, and a test train pulled up to the Palms station so the dignitaries could get an up-close look.
“Train testing is already well underway and we’re on track to reach substantial completion and hand everything over to Metro this fall for final testing,” Garcetti said. “Overall, we’re on multiple tracks to open the Expo Line phase 2 in spring 2016, linking downtown to West L.A. and Santa Monica by rail again for the first time in over 60 years.
“So you’ll be able to take this train from Grand to the sand and beyond,” Garcetti said.
The Expo Line in downtown Los Angeles actually never reaches Grand Avenue, terminating at the Seventh Street/Metro Center station on Seventh and Flower streets, just west of Grand.
Metro officials predict the line will have 64,000 daily riders between downtown and Santa Monica by 2030. They estimate the trip will take about 46 minutes.
Opening the line “provides traffic relief, cuts gas, cutting greenhouse emissions in one of the most congested travel corridors in Southern California,” Garcetti said.