The Metro Rail Expo Line extension, which connects LA’s downtown, Staples Center and the Coliseum with Santa Monica’s beaches was opened Friday. It’s the latest project in Los Angeles’ $300 billion public transport infrastructure construction program, the largest in the U.S.
According to L.A. 2024, the project continues to define the future of urban mobility and ensures that L.A. will deliver a comfortable, convenient and accessible Games-time transport experience in 2024.
The new $1.5 billion extension means the 14-mile journey from the beaches of Santa Monica to the Coliseum in L.A. 2024’s Downtown Cluster will now take about 32 minutes, and the rail journey to Staples Center will take 45 minutes.
L.A. 2024 says the concept is designed to take full advantage of the $88 billion in transportation improvements scheduled for completion before the 2024 Olympics, regardless of the outcome of the bid. The planned enhancements will connect all venue clusters by 2024, complementing the existing this-capacity network of highways and minimizing travel times for all Games participants.
L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, who was joined by Los Angeles 2024 Vice Chair and Director of Athlete Relations Janet Evans at the opening of the extension, said, “the opening of Metro’s Expo Line to Santa Monica marks an important milestone for our city. This new transit line will give residents and visitors the world over a chance to ‘follow the sun’ and get from L.A.’s downtown skyline to the shoreline in minutes. As we continue building our ambitious transit network, we can ensure the highest standards of mobility and convenience for visitors to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2024, and for all Angelenos long into the future”.
Evans added, “the vision and commitment of our city’s leaders means L.A. is becoming more Games-ready every day. The city’s wealth of existing and planned infrastructure will enable us to focus our attention on providing all participants with the best possible Games experience, not on construction deadlines. These major infrastructure upgrades will be a huge benefit to our sustainable, low-risk Games concept as we work to earn the honour of hosting the Games in 2024”.
Los Angeles is up against rivals Budapest, Paris and Rome in a race to host the 2024 Olympic Games. The International Olympic Committee will elect the winner in September, 2017.