By Aaron Blevins, 12/29/2011
Phase I of the Project Needs a Few More Months
The opening of Phase 1 of the Expo Line project, which will eventually run from downtown Los Angeles to Culver City, is probably still a few months away, as workers continue to fix bugs in the light rail system.
Rick Jager, spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), said Metro and the Exposition Construction Authority are looking to fix a signal problem at the junction before the Pico station and ventilation issues near the University of Southern California station.
“That is needed before we can determine the schedule and train all the operators,” Jager said.
At the Pico and 7th Street stations, the Expo Line will share tracks with Metro’s Blue Line, but a signal problem is keeping the station from recognizing the arrival of the Expo Line trains, he said.
“We’re working with it,” Jager said.
At the USC station, Metro and the construction authority are determining if they need to add more ventilation systems, since the current tunnel configuration only supports a one-train operation, he said.
“That, obviously, would hamper our operations,” Jager said, adding that testing is ongoing.
Testing began on Phase 1 of the Expo Line in April, in hopes of opening in mid-November. Now, officials are hoping to begin providing service in early 2012, and they may open only the lines from downtown L.A. to La Cienega Boulevard. No decision has been made yet on which segments will be opened, however.
“So far, no date has been set,” Jager said.
He said the construction authority continues to work on the Culver City station, and construction commenced in September on Phase 2 of project, which will run from Culver City to Santa Monica.
Phase 1 will run 8.5 miles, with 10 new stations being created along the Exposition right-of-way, according to Metro’s website. The new stations will be located on 23rd Street, Jefferson/USC, Expo Park/USA, Expo/Vermont, Expo/Western, Expo/Crenshaw, Farmdale, Expo/La Brea, La Cienega/Jefferson and Culver City.
“We are very excited about it,” Jager said. “It’s a great system.”
He said the new system will be a “great alternative” to the Santa Monica Freeway, and should be very popular among residents. Jager said Metro’s fare structure will not change, so riders will pay $1.50 one way.