Exposition Light Rail Authority Board members including Santa Monica City Councilwoman Pam O’Connor observed a light-rail testing on Monday morning, in anticipation of the opening of the Expo Line.
Along with other elected officials, O’Connor toured the Western Station at Western Ave. and Exposition Blvd. in South Los Angeles. She—along with Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yarovslavsky, Los Angeles Councilmen Herb Wesson and Bernard Parks, and others—watched a test train pull in and out of the station. Similar tests have been taking place since early April.
The Western Station is almost complete. Expo Line service to Santa Monica is slated to begin in 2015, with pre-construction work and utility relocation planned for later this year.
During the Monday morning tour, Metro representatives emphasized safety, a message they have been underscoring to the public during related training sessions.
“The goal is to keep everyone safe as trains are tested on the tracks and continue to be safe when it opens this fall,” Exposition Construction Authority CEO Rick Thorpe said.
Phase 1 is 88 percent finished. Last month, the Expo Board of Directors approved the Funding Agreement and Design-Build contract for Phase 2 of the Expo Line, clearing the way for design and construction to begin on the line from Culver City to Santa Monica.
In May, a series of community meetings pertaining to the design-build process will be staged by the Expo Authority.
On Feb. 22, to derail the Expo Line failed when a Superior Court judge dismissed challenges to the project's Final Environmental Impact Report. The petition had been made by Neighbors for Smart Rail, a neighborhood group that had also proposed mitigation measures.
NFSR said it is planning to appeal the judge's decision, but Yarovslavsky has stated his belief that the ruling will be upheld.