Take a quick trip down the new Expo Line, which opens Saturday
The long-awaited Expo Line officially opens this weekend, linking neighborhoods from downtown Los Angeles to the eastern edge of Culver City. It will extend as far as La Cienega Boulevard, allowing passengers to ride the rails west of Western Avenue for the first time in about half a century.
The light-rail line will take commuters on the 7.9-mile trip from the downtown 7th Street/Metro Center station in about half an hour. Officials said they will open an additional 0.7-mile segment west into Culver City later this summer.
The Expo Line shares tracks with the Blue Line for two stations around downtown and then breaks west with stops near USC and Exposition Park, where there is easy access to the California African American Museum and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
The line then moves farther west into the Leimert Park neighborhood before going into West Adams past Dorsey High School.
Construction of the second phase of the line is already underway. Once complete -- estimated in 2015 -- riders will be able to travel from downtown L.A. to Santa Monica in 46 minutes, with 19 stops.
Officials with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority said rides on Expo will be free Saturday and Sunday from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m.
-- Ari Bloomekatz