LA Metro shows off its new Expo light rail line

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Corey Moore/KPCC

Los Angeles City Councilman Herb Wesson and other elected officials take a peek at the new Metro Expo light rail line. The service is scheduled to start running between downtown L.A. and Culver City starting later this year.

Elected officials took a peek today at the new Metro Expo light rail line from the Western Avenue station. Trains are to start running between downtown Los Angeles and Culver City later this year. Project leaders say their push to get this expo line running was a big challenge but said now they could see the finish line.

Some spectators asked if they could take a test ride. Metro officials said not today, but in the summer.

Over the platform speakers, an announcement alerted leaders from L.A., Culver City and Santa Monica that the test train was approaching. It traveled from nearby at 2 mph. When the empty car arrived, onlookers took a peek inside through the windows and chatted with train operators.

Some activists have expressed concerns about the rail line running through some South L.A. neighborhoods at street level where many school kids cross. Metro workers say they’re putting the system through its precautionary paces during the testing phase and they’re visiting schools, churches and businesses to discuss safety.

This first phase of this project forms about a nine-mile stretch from L.A. to Culver City and comes with a price tag of nearly a billion dollars.

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