Light-rail service along Expo Line could begin in November
After numerous delays and cost increases, officials this week will begin running test trains on the long-awaited Expo Line and have announced that the first rail line serving the traffic-clogged Westside since the days of the Red Car trolleys could start operations in November.
The first phase of the project, when completed, promises to zip commuters about 8.6 miles from downtown Los Angeles to Culver City in 30 minutes. Originally carrying a price tag of $640 million, the cost has now reached $930.6 million. The entire first phase of the line will go into downtown Culver City near the Kirk Douglas Theatre, but officials say they will be able to open the line only as far as La Cienega Boulevard, just east of Culver City, in the fall, with a target date of Nov. 15. They hope to finish the last 0.7 miles early in 2012.
The planned opening of the line has generated great excitement in transportation circles because the Expo Line will move L.A.'s rail network far into the western part of the county. But it remains unclear how popular the line — which will eventually extend all the way to Santa Monica — will actually be.
Read the full story: Expo line to begin running test trains to Westside
-- Ari Bloomekatz
Photo: The line will initially run from downtown Los Angeles to La Cienega Boulevard, above, and soon after it will go to downtown Culver City. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times