Angelenos have been through a range of emotions lately, both highs-and-lows from excited to frustrated, hopeful to being disappointed when it comes to the Expo Line Phase I–a 8.6 mile light-rail line from Downtown LA to Culver City–that has been delayed and delayed as Metro worked diligently under intense public pressure to address some technical issues that kept the very much anticipated rail line from opening on time.
Today, the LA Times and The Source have confirmed that the Metro Board has determined that (at least for now) the opening date of the Expo Line Phase I will open to the public on Saturday, April 28, 2012. The opening will initially operate trains to the La Cienega station only and extend the operation of the line to Culver City by sometime in the summer according to The Source.
This line will be a tremendous asset to Downtown LA (and LA overall, of course). I expect thousands of riders to take the train into The City where these riders will become full-fledged pedestrians once they hit the sidewalks of Downtown LA, adding more foot traffic and injecting energy to the urban landscape, which will make Downtown LA feel more lively and attract even more people. This will greatly benefit the restaurants and retailers that are choosing to open downtown, possibly adding enough demand to increase business hours into the weekends.