July 31, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Phase 1 Of Expo Light Rail To Open To Culver City In Mid-April:

The final phase of testing for the Expo Light Rail Line Phase 1 is now underway with trains set to begin operating out of the La Cienega/Jefferson station come mid-April.

The Venice/Robertson Station will open six to eight weeks after the opening of the La Cienega/Jefferson Station, which will provide commuters from downtown Los Angeles their first chance to reach Culver City and the outer rim of the Westside via light rail, according to Eric Olsen, Chief Project Officer of the Expo Authority.

Olsen said safety protocols were the reason for the delay of the opening of Phase 1 of the Expo Line. It was initially scheduled to open in January and then March of 2012.

“We just put in a high tech automatic signal protection system,” Olsen said. “It is an added safety measure and will override an operator if an operator misses a signal.”

The new auto stop technology is being applied to vehicles that are more than 20 years old and the task, now completed, has been passed onto the Metro authority to operate test runs on the system to make sure it is ready for commuter travel to and from Culver City.

Phase 2 of the Expo Line, which is currently under construction, is expected to start operating all the way to downtown Santa Monica in 2015.

Phase 2 will link the Expo Line from Culver City to the Santa Monica terminus at 4th and Colorado, which is a block away from the Third Street Promenade.

“It’s a $2.4 billion regional project,” said Santa Monica Deputy City Manager Kate Vernez. “It will go from Santa Monica to downtown Los Angeles in 45 minutes.”

The Expo Line from Culver City to Santa Monica had initially been scheduled to open in 2014, but has been pushed back until 2015.

City officials believe that this project will be worth the wait.

“Without Expo Light Rail there is a major missing link to the regional transportation system,” Vernez said. “It will be the first mass transit system created. It will be of very substantial benefit to both the environment and the city.”

Commuters who drive their cars through the city of Los Angeles to reach Santa Monica and Los Angeles during rush hour frequently experience a daily ‘carmageddon’ en route to their jobs with traffic along the 10 Freeway.

Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom said the Expo Line would provide for a better experience for residents in the business community as well as benefit tourism.

“One thing we don’t think about is the freeway system,” Bloom said. “The 10 (Freeway) has effectively removed us from various communities and Expo is going to help bring these communities back together.”

The City of Santa Monica has been working to implement the Expo Light Rail Line since the late 1980s and preliminary construction of the line has already begun with the recent demolition of old buildings such as Sears Auto Center and the bank training facility on Colorado and 24th.

“It takes decades of concerted effort by people in the City Council who really worked hard to get this type of rail system opened and we are thrilled that it is within reach,” Vernez said. “I think it will be great for the region and Santa Monica and the tourist economy.”

The Expo Light Rail Line will also feature the Bergamot Station that will be located near the intersection of 26th Street and Olympic Boulevard. Its inclusion will offer commuters the chance to reach the Pico district along the southern edge of Olympic Blvd.

In the meantime, the Big Blue Bus will be offering some new bus routes once the Robertson/Venice station is complete. This will allow for commuters to take a combo ride of light rail and bus to reach their destinations in the UCLA area and downtown Santa Monica.

“We’re currently planning to serve the Expo Robertson/Venice station to the UCLA area sometime after the completion of the station,” said Joe Stitcher, Chief Administrative Officer for the Big Blue Bus. “We are looking to change line 5 to that station. We’re (also) looking to change our line 12.”

in News
Related Posts

Library Director Patty Wong to Leave Santa Monica

July 30, 2021

July 30, 2021

Santa Monica Public Library (SMPL) Director Patty Wong announced recently that she will leave Santa Monica to take on the...

City Council Prioritizes Housing for Historically Displaced Households

July 28, 2021

July 28, 2021

At its meeting on July 13, Santa Monica City Council made changes to Santa Monica’s Affordable Housing Production Program and...

Homeless Man Charged with Hate Crime in Assault of Korean Woman in Santa Monica

July 27, 2021

July 27, 2021

Melvin Taylor faces charges in connection to July 23 incident By Sam Catanzaro Hate crime charges have been filed against...

Homeless Advocate Arrested Near Shelter on Suspicion of Dealing Drugs, Claims no Wrongdoing

July 27, 2021

July 27, 2021

65-year-old Garry Featherstone accused of selling meth, PCP By Sam Catanzaro A self-described homeless outreach advocate was recently arrested near...

Off Leash Dog Park And Picnic Area Coming To Downtown Santa Monica: Santa Monica Beat – July 27, 2021

July 27, 2021

July 27, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Off Leash Dog Park And Picnic Area Coming To Downtown Santa...

Two Arrested for Main Street Bike Shop Burglary

July 23, 2021

July 23, 2021

Two suspects were arrested for the burglary of a Main Street bike store after the owner witnessed the crime via...

Council Selects Berkeley Deputy City Manager to Helm Santa Monica

July 23, 2021

July 23, 2021

David White to be Santa Monica’s next City Manager starting in October  By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica City Council has...

Ocean Park Library Set to Reopen

July 20, 2021

July 20, 2021

New self-service hours begin July 28 By Sam Catanzaro The Santa Monica Public Library’s Ocean Park Branch is set to...

Police Tase Suspect Following Santa Monica Beach Stabbing

July 19, 2021

July 19, 2021

32-year-old man arrested Sunday evening on Santa Monica Beach, suffers head injuries in arrest By Sam Catanzaro As part of...

Santa Monica Beat: Santa Monica Beat – July 19, 2021

July 19, 2021

July 19, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Serial Killer Arrested by SMPD Sentenced to Death * New Grants...

Santa Monica May Ban Lobbyists From Serving on Boards and Commissions

July 19, 2021

July 19, 2021

City Council instructs staff to draft ordinance to bar paid policy advocates from serving on board, commissions, task forces   By...

Water Near Santa Monica Pier Remains Questionable as Beach Closures Lifted Following Sewage Discharge

July 15, 2021

July 15, 2021

17 million gallons of raw sewage discharged from Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant Sunday Night By Sam Catanzaro Beach closures have...

Edify TV: Local Cafe Supporting Foster Youths

July 14, 2021

July 14, 2021

La La Land Kind Cafe recently opened its first California location in Santa Monica, delivering not only unique coffee and...

Santa Monica Experiencing 9-1-1 Call Outage

July 13, 2021

July 13, 2021

Update: As of 3 p.m., 9-1-1 phone service in Santa Monica has been fully restored. Please call or text 9-1-1...