Opening Weekend of the Expo Line Extension

The Expo Line extension opened this weekend, after years of anticipation.  Los Angeles finally has a rail line connecting downtown all the way to the beach for the first time in 63 years!

Not only will the Expo line help weekday commuters avoid the chaotic 10 freeway, but it now allows SoCal residents to expand their universe by making the beach accessible.  For many, a day trip to the beach was too expensive or inconvenient.  Now, the Santa Monica Pier is just $1.75 and 50 minutes away from DTLA.

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All aboard to the beach!

I took my inaugural ride on the Expo Line extension Saturday morning.  I didn’t have the fortune of riding on one of the new Kinkisharyo P-3010 train cars, but luckily I didn’t have to compete for a seat at 7th St/Metro Center station.  There were celebrations at the new stations, and I wasn’t going to let my busted knee get in my way of a party!

I rode the train to the Culver City station, the former west end terminus of the Expo Line, to check out the festivities at that location.  I spoke with Culver City mayor Jim Clark about what the Expo Line extension will do for his city and surrounding communities, and he anticipates the line will bring communities together that once seemed so far away.

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Culver City community leaders gather for a picture.  Great photo bomb by one of the new Kinkisharyo P-3010 trains.

I continued west on the line to see the new stations for myself.  I was blown away by how nice they look.  Each station features work from a different artist, and they are all beautiful.  I wasn’t expecting the high quality of art that each station has.

My favorite part of traveling on the Expo Line extension was listening to the reactions of other riders.  I spoke with one man who paints and draws on Hollywood Blvd.  He decided to change his usual location since the beach would be so convenient to him now.  I shared a seat with another man who was going to the beach for the first time in years.  One grandmother was taking her twin grandchildren to the beach so they can enjoy the natural beauty.  I overheard a couple behind me exclaim with excitement when they discovered a new station that services a convenient area for them.

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Enjoying the ocean breeze at the Downtown Santa Monica station. Photo by Paul Gonzales.

I am excited that the beach is now so accessible to me.  That has been one of the toughest parts to living car-free, but now it is just a quick train ride away!

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