Saturday, September 14

Westwood Boulevard extension of Expo Line to begin operation in May


The Expo Line will begin stopping on Westwood Boulevard on its way to Santa Monica starting May 20, Los Angeles County Metro officials announced Thursday.

The train, which currently operates between downtown Los Angeles and Culver City, will add seven new stations, including one on Westwood Boulevard a few blocks south of Pico Boulevard. The station is less than three miles, or a 10-minute drive, from UCLA, according to Google Maps.

Metro officials estimate riders can travel from downtown to Santa Monica in about 46 minutes, creating an alternative that could decrease congestion on the 10 Freeway, according to a Metro press release. Trains are expected to run every 12 minutes on average.

The current Expo Line sees about 30,000 boardings per day. Metro officials anticipate about 64,000 daily boardings by 2030.

The Expo Line would be the first train to operate on the Westside since 1953. Metro officials anticipate it to create about 200,000 jobs in the region, according to the press release.

Construction was largely funded by Measure R, a half-cent sales tax increase approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2008. The first phase of the Expo Line opened in 2012 after six years of construction.

Big Blue Bus lines 8, 12 and Rapid 12 currently run from UCLA to the planned Westwood Boulevard train station.

Big Blue Bus officials plan to add more north-south bus lines that complement the east-west travel of the Expo Line. One of these lines include a bus line that will run from UCLA to the Expo Line on Sawtelle Boulevard starting in June.

The Expo Line Phase 2 is one of many planned rail projects throughout Los Angeles, which includes a Purple Line extension to Westwood and a train from the Western/Expo Line Station to the Los Angeles International Airport.

Compiled by Roberto Luna Jr., Bruin senior staff.

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