Light rail is returning to Santa Monica – in four years that is – following the formal groundbreaking of Phase 2 of the Expo Line in Santa Monica this morning.
The ceremony was held on the southeast corner of Colorado Avenue and Fourth Street, which will be the location of the terminus station as part of the new line scheduled to be completed in 2015.
The $1.5 billion project will include seven new stations at key destinations along the corridor, linking Santa Monica to Culver City. Phase 1 of the project connects Culver City to downtown Los Angeles.
Pam O'Connor, Santa Monica Councilwoman and Expo Board Vice Chair, said the project was many years in the making.
"It’s a great thing," O'Connor said at the ceremony. "It’s connecting our Santa Monica to the rest of Los Angeles county with safe, reliable rail transportation. It’s going to connect our institutions like Santa Monica College, our hospitals, our beach, our other cultural institutions, all the convention and visitor facilities we have in Santa Monica with the rest of the county."
L.A. County Supervisor and Expo Board Chair Zev Yaroslavsky said the Expo Line marked the first rail transit line connecting the Westside to the rest of L.A. in more than half a century.
"The demand for this service is very high and, as a result, we expect that the Expo Line will be one of the most heavily used light rail lines in the nation," Yaroslavsky said.
The Expo Line project is funded through voter-approved Measure R sales tax revenue as well as state and local funds.
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