On the morning of Jan. 21, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, and U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer gathered for the groundbreaking ceremony of the Crenshaw/LAX Line, a light-rail train that is scheduled to be finished by 2019.
The train, which will cost $2 billion and be 8.5-miles long when completed, will run between the Metro Expo Line, which runs from Santa Monica to Downtown, and the Green Line.
The project will ultimately make the Metro Rail closer to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and will serve the cities of Inglewood, Westchester, and the Crenshaw Corridor. In addition, it will provide maintenance facilities for the trains and park-and-ride spots for passengers.
Last month’s groundbreaking ceremony took place at the intersection of Exposition Boulevard and Crenshaw Boulevard, the site of the line’s first underground station. Construction workers will begin the project by destroying existing piping and other structures that are currently obstructing the train’s path, and the peak of construction will take place this spring.
The transit project has been supported by both city workers and citizens. Boxer, who is also the chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, recently expressed her support of the project in a news release on Metro’s website.
“The Crenshaw Line is a top priority for me because it will provide a crucial transportation link, create over 18,000 jobs, help connect communities, reduce air pollution, and provide economic development and economic opportunities,” Boxer said, according to Metro’s The Source.
Additionally, according to Boxer and Foxx, the Crenshaw/LAX Line will not just connect cities but will also connect people, helping to create a more unified community and provide jobs.
“Thousands of hard-working families and seniors living in Crenshaw depend on public transportation every day to get to work, to school, and to obtain medical care,” said Foxx in Metro’s news release.
“Bringing light rail to this community will create jobs, spur local economic development and make it easier than ever for residents to access downtown Los Angeles and beyond.”
Tanya Vaughn, a fashion designer living in Crenshaw, has to drive near the LAX area every Saturday for sewing classes. The drive can take her an hour each way.
“I am very excited about the city taking initiative to create this train because it will save me gas money and wear and tear on my car, and [will lead to] less time focusing on the road, which will help my mental health,” Vaughn said.