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Light-rail service along Expo Line could begin in November

Expo Line

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

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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

 
Comments () | Archives (6)

lol how could it not be popular. they probably won't be able to pack enough trains on it once it fully opens to santa monica.

lol how could it not be popular. they probably won't be able to pack enough trains on it once it fully opens to santa monica.

This is very good news. But we must remember if it weren’t for the NIMBY’s with their strong political pressure especially in Cheviot Hills the line would be running all the way to Santa Monica now for less than the cost to build to only Culver City.

Over-budget and slow as molasses (17 mph). Typical government boondoggle.

Yes, project cost increased by $290 million. But only part of that was due to cost overruns (including a spike in the cost of steel). Much the cost increase was due to new features which were added to the project. These include three new stations (Expo Park/USC, Farmdale and the elevated Venice/Robertson station), the Figueroa trench, and numerous safety features.

Slang: you're figure (17 mph) is way off. This train will average over 30 MPH, faster than any car or bus traveling alongside it. Compare to the typical 10 MPH on the 10 freeway.

I am very happy to see the line nearly completed...can't wait to ride it to Downtown L.A.!

"Slang: you're figure (17 mph) is way off. This train will average over 30 MPH, faster than any car or bus traveling alongside it. Compare to the typical 10 MPH on the 10 freeway."

There isn't a clear indication of what the average speed will be. 8.6 miles in 30 minutes is 17 MPH, which is not much faster than the Gold Line to East LA, which is painfully slow.

BuildExpo.org states that it will take 46 minutes to travel 15.2 miles when all is said and done, which gives us an average speed of 20 MPH.

When I worked in LA near the Howard Hughes Center, it took two hours to go 38 miles during rush hour, for an average speed of 19 MPH.

With an average speed of 20 MPH, Expo Line will feel like it's always rush hour, even in the middle of the night. Even the Gold Line to Pasadena has an average speed of 27 MPH. The Expo Line is going to be slow, slow, slow.


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