According to the Expo Line website, the Expo line is planned to comprise two phases. Phase I is from Downtown to Culver City. Phase II is from Culver City to the beach. Phase I is currently being built; Phase II is in engineering and design with construction to begin as soon as late 2010.
Expo Line Phase I Project Description
The Exposition Light Rail Transit Line (Expo Line) will travel along the Exposition railroad right-of-way between downtown Los Angeles and Culver City. It will share a track and two stations (7th St/Metro Center and Pico) with the Metro Blue Line as it leaves downtown Los Angeles. It will then travel along the Exposition right-of-way to the newly approved and funded aerial station at Venice/Robertson. Nine new stations will be constructed along the Expo Line route. In addition to the station at Venice/Robertson, the new stations will be located on Flower at 23rd Street and Jefferson, and on Exposition Boulevard at USC/Expo Park, Vermont, Western, Crenshaw, La Brea, and La Cienega.
The Expo Line will be approximately 8.6 miles in length and parallel the heavily congested I-10 freeway. Estimated travel time from downtown Los Angeles to Culver City is under 30 minutes with a projected ridership of 27,000 by 2020. The Expo Line project is considered a “Transit Parkway” that will be enhanced by bike and pedestrian paths, as well as trees and landscaping along the alignment.
Concerns with the Expo Line Plan
NANDC is focused on safe mass transit. With the Expo Line, the board identified safety risks with the speed, frequency and proximity of the trains to pedestrian children and elderly and passed a resolution calling for a below grade rail line. The project is planned to be at grade directly in front of two large schools without proper safety precautions at crossings.
View an Environmental Justice Chart showing how the costs of the project vary by neighborhood.
NANDC supports the efforts of FixExpo.org. Their site details the efforts underway to improve the project. Among their concerns is that MTA’s street-level proposal at Dorsey High School (the famous “holding pen”) was rejected as UNSAFE by the CPUC over a year ago, MTA has brought back the street-level holding pen proposal and added a station. Now MTA is requesting the CPUC rubber-stamp the unsafe proposal.
This holding pen-street-level station design is being pushed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Westside County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and local council members Herb Wesson, Bernard Parks and Jan Perry. Instead of heeding to the warnings of international rail safety experts and appropriating the resources to build a Dorsey HS grade separation (a train under-crossing like MTA has built at Figueroa by USC, or a train over-crossing like MTA is building in Culver City), Villaraigosa, Yaroslavsky, Wesson, Parks and Perry are hell bent on seeing Dorsey High School students corralled into a holding pen like cattle or inmates in a prison, while 225-ton trains pass by their noses. Follow them on Facebook or Twitter.
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