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Officials celebrate opening of Westside-bound Expo rail line

April 27, 2012 |  2:41 pm

Expo Line train
A marching band from USC played as the inaugural Expo Line train pulled into the station at Exposition Park on Friday afternoon carrying public officials and dignitaries, a day before the first segment opens to the public.

"The opening of the first phase of the Expo Line signifies a critical step towards a 21st century transportation network," said Los Angeles Mayor and Metro board Chairman Antonio Villaraigosa.

The first phase of the Expo Line will run from the downtown 7th Street/Metro Center Station west to La Cienega and Jefferson boulevards. Metro is offering free rides on the line Saturday and Sunday.

County Supervisor and Metro board member Mark Ridley-Thomas led an enthusiastic crowd of invited guests in a chant: "Go Expo! Go Expo!"


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Photo: An Expo Line train pulls into the Exposition Park Station near USC. Credit: Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times