It finally happened. After delayed and more delays, the Exposition Light Rail line in Los Angeles has finally opened.
The first public Expo Line passenger train was a sweep train departing from 7th/Metro at 4:54 am on Saturday, April 28, 2012.
I’ve written about the line three times before, and it was always about the never-ending delays.
See a theme?
Originally scheduled for a summer 2010 opening, the line was delayed and delayed and delayed again. The mayor finally set in stone an April 29th opening, and it looks like that official announcement was enough to motivate the contractors to finally do their jobs.
Sure, the line missed CicLAvia, and sure, the line missed the festival of books, and yes, the line missed almost the entire USC semester….
But it finally opened.
After years of delay, the Expo Line is finally opening today. But within the last few days, there was still some question about whether the line would open on time.
MTA engineers have been working over the last several weeks to correct a persistent signaling problem, which can cause trains to stop automatically — sometimes in intersections.
But what has passed has passed. The line is finally open and can help people better use their time, reach more jobs and have more opportunities. It brings better mobility to a whole new part of the city and yes, it will get some cars off the road. The line should also have a positive effect on the other LA rail lines and help them all break ridership records this summer.
So what’s next? Well, first Metro needs to serve the expected ridership levels with appropriate service. At launch, the line will operate at best every 12 minutes during the day and 20 at night. Not very good. Hopefully, that is improved by the end of the year, at least to 10/15.
And construction isn’t over. The line will eventually reach Santa Monica, but not for another four years. Or six. Or eight. We’ll see.
It’s an improvement though, and it’s good to see that.