• (Photo - Graphic dept ©ColoradoBlvd.net).

      (Photo – Graphic dept ©ColoradoBlvd.net).

      2016 is turning out to be a banner year for transit riders in Los Angeles County. Back in March, residents and visitors turned out in droves to help christen Metro’s (Los Angeles County’s transit authority) latest Rail project – the Gold Line Foothill Extension to Azusa.

      By Marc Corti

      The extension ushered in a new era of connectivity for those living in and visiting the San Gabriel Valley (SGV) – providing an alternative to the often congested I-210. The opening of the Gold Line Extension epitomizes the growth of Metro Rail since its inception 25 years ago. More recently, the current spate of rail construction can be attributed to Measure R – a 2008 voter approved transit sales tax initiative. The Gold Line Extension to Azusa was the first of many Measure R funded projects to open. And on Friday May 20, the next project set to open is the extension to the Expo Line (also known as: Phase 2); bringing rail connectivity from Culver City to Downtown Santa Monica and to the beach (and yes, you can bring your surfboard on the train).

      Azusa to Santa Monica

      Santa Monica Pier (Photo - Metro.net).

      Santa Monica Pier (Photo – Metro.net).

      Like all of the Metro Rail projects before it, Expo Line Phase 2 will connect new cities and new communities to the ever growing web of the Metro Rail network. It will provide car-free (and traffic free) travel from one end of Los Angeles County (Santa Monica) to the other end (Azusa) – all for $1.75 per person one-way. Starting on May 20, residents of SGV can take the train from their homes nestled in the foothills all the way to Santa Monica’s beach and famous pier, or can shop at Santa Monica’s 3rd Street Promenade without the need to fight traffic or to deal with parking. And from a macro perspective, Expo Line Phase 2 provides Los Angeles County a game-changing project that opens up the West Side (usually ensnared by traffic) and the beach to all residents and visitors. Los Angeles is slowly becoming a rail town once again.

      Expo Line Phase 2

      • Expo Phase 1 opened from Downtown Los Angeles to Culver City in 2012
      • Expo Phase 2 brings rail back to Santa Monica for the first time since the last Pacific Electric Red Car rolled through the area in 1953.
      • Construction began on Expo Phase 2 in 2011
      • $1.5 billion Measure R funded project
      • 6 miles of new light rail track
      • 7 New Stations:
        • Palms
        • Westwood/Rancho Park
        • Expo/Sepulveda
        • Expo/Bundy
        • 26th Street/Bergamot
        • 17th Street/Santa Monica College
        • Downtown Santa Monica
      Metro Expo Line Extension to Santa Monica (Photo - Metro.net).

      Metro Expo Line Extension to Santa Monica (Photo – Metro.net).

      Schedule Quick Facts

      • $1.75 for a one-way regular fare (visit Metro’s website for full fare information)
      • 46-50 minute end-to-end ride (Metro’s full Expo Line schedule)
      • Trains will run at 12 minute intervals starting at approximately 4:45am and continuing until about 1am (Sunday – Thursday) and 2am (Friday – Saturday).

      Opening Day/Weekend Information

      – When will the Expo Phase 2 to Santa Monica officially be open to the public?

      Friday May 20th

      – Will Metro be offering free rides on Expo Phase 2 on opening day?

      Metro will be offering free rides on the entire Expo Line (Downtown Los Angeles to Downtown Santa Monica) during the opening Friday and Saturday (see below for further information).

      – When will there be free rides on the Expo Line?

      • Friday May 20: Starting at 12pm and continuing until end of service.
      • Saturday May 21: All day Saturday

      – Will there be opening day festivities/celebrations?

      All station celebrations will take place on Saturday May 21.

      Celebrations will begin at 10am and end at 4.pm.

      > Note: Not all stations will have celebrations (see below).

      – Which stations will have celebrations on Saturday May 21?

      • Palms
      • Expo/Bundy
      • 26th Street/Bergamot
      • 17th Street/Santa Monica College
      • Downtown Santa Monica

      > Note: In addition, the Culver City station (which opened in 2012) will also be hosting a celebration.

      Commemorative TAP Cards

      (Photo - Metro.net).

      (Photo – Metro.net).

      Metro will be offering for a limited time only commemorative Expo Line TAP Cards. The TAP Cards can be purchased at select TAP Card machines at all of the Expo Line stations (ask the onsite Metro employee which machines have the commemorative cards), as well as at: Union Station, Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Center, East Los Angeles Center and Wilshire/Vermont Center.


      – Want to see what the trip from Culver City to Santa Monica will look like?

      Metro has published a video from the train driver’s point of view.

      > Click for more information on the Expo Phase 2.

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