20 Aug 2014
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Metro Closer to Expanding Light Rail

The Federal Transit Administration awards final approval of plans to build light rail along Crenshaw Boulevard to LAX, meaning Santa Monica residents can take Expo from downtown to the airport.

Metro Closer to Expanding Light Rail

Santa Monica to Culver City, then onward to the Los Angeles International Airport.

Final approval of plans for $1.72 billion transit line along Crenshaw Boulevard, running from the Green Line near LAX to the Expo Line, has been awarded by the Federal Transit Administration, officials announced Wednesday.

The 8.5-mile Crenshaw/LAX line will be the first to connect a major population center of South Los Angeles to the rest of Metro's rail network. The line will connect with the Expo Line on the north end and the Green Line on the south end, serving passengers near Leimert Park, in Inglewood, Hawthorne and El Segundo.

The transit authority's decision means that, eventually, Santa Monica residents can hop aboard the from any of the three future stations within the city and travel by light rail all the way to LAX.

The line into Santa Monica from Culver City, which extends east into downtown, is under construction. Three stations will be built: Olympic Boulevard at 26th Street; Colorado Avenue at 17th Street; and Colorado at Fourth Street.

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The Federal Transit Authority's Record of Decision gives the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority the green light to acquire property, purchase rail cars and move utilities to build the light rail along Crenshaw Boulevard.

Los Angeles County Supervisor and Metro Board member Don Knabe called the transit authority's decision "terrific news."

"At long last, we are on the path to connecting the rail system to LAX, something riders have been demanding for years," he said in a statement. "In the longer-term, this approval also supports our efforts to connect and increase links throughout the system ... This news brings us one step closer to enhancing mobility throughout the Los Angeles region."

To take the Expo from Santa Monica to LAX, according to Metro spokesman José Ubaldo: riders will transfer to the Expo Line at the Crenshaw/Exposition Station, and again transfer to the People’s Mover to the interior of the LAX.

The People Mover is a LAX Project that will connect with Crenshaw/LAX line.

Metro officials said construction could begin as early as this summer. They expect the Crenshaw/LAX line will be open in late 2018.

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