AirTalk for April 27, 2012

LA’s brand new Expo Line opens this weekend

expo line public art

Courtesy of Metro

"Wanderers" by artist Willie Robert Middlebrook is on display at Expo/Crenshaw Station.

Starting Saturday, passenger rail service to the Westside will be a reality again, with the grand opening of the Expo line.

The $930-million light rail project will run from downtown Los Angeles to Jefferson and La Cienega, with an extra segment going to Culver City due open this summer. Service to Santa Monica is expected within a few years. The new rail network will have 12 stations, two of which will be shared with the Metro Blue Line, and will serve USC, Exposition Park, mid-city communities, the Crenshaw District and Culver City.

"The knock on the transit system, particularly the rail transit system in L.A., is that it doesn’t go everywhere," said Steve Hymon, editor of The Source, MTA's blog. "So if you’re trying to decide should I take transit or if I should drive, you’re probably going to drive because, the transit either doesn’t get too short of where you want to go, it’s not convenient. As we add lines like Expo Line suddenly you can get to all these places, and it’s one less reason to drive."

It’s been almost 60 years since the Pacific Electric Railway stopped its trains to Santa Monica. Will the traffic-choked Westside finally get some relief? What new business opportunities will this bring to surrounding areas? Are Angelenos ready to ditch their cars and ride the rails?

Guests:

Steve Hymon, edits “The Source,” MTA’s blog at TheSource.Metro.net.

Robert Kleinhenz, Chief Economist, Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation


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