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Expo Line (Los Angeles Metro)

Metro Expo Line
Expo Line train at Culver City Station platform looking east.
Expo Line train at Culver City Station platform
looking east.
Owner Metro Rail
Transit type Light rail
Line number 806
Number of stations Phase 1: 12 (in service)
Phase 2: 7 (under construction)
Daily ridership Phase 1: 31,710 (July 2014; avg. weekday)[1]
Phase 2: 64,000 (estimated 2030)[2]
Website BuildExpo
Began operation Phase 1: April 28, 2012 (2012-04-28)[2]
Operation will start Phase 2: 2015 (2015)[2] (approx.)
Operator(s) Metro (LACMTA)
Character Mostly at-grade in private right-of-way, with some street-running, elevated, and trench sections.
Number of vehicles Phase 1: Siemens P2000,
Nippon Sharyo P865 and P2020
Phase 2: Kinki Sharyo P3010
Train length 2–3 cars
System length 8.6 mi (13.8 km)[3] (Phase I only)
15.2 mi (24.5 km)[2] (Phases I & II)
No. of tracks 2
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
(standard gauge)
Electrification 750 V DC overhead catenary
Top speed 55 mph (89 km/h)
System map
Tail Tracks
7th St./Metro Center
Flower St.
Interstate 10
Blue Line to Long Beach
Washington Bl.
23rd Street
Interstate 110
Flower St. trench
Figueroa tunnel
Exposition Bl. trench
Expo Park/USC
Arlington Av.
7th Av.
11th Av./Degnan Bl.
Buckingham Rd.
La Brea
Hauser Bl.
La Cienega
Jefferson Bl.
Ballona Creek/
City of Culver City
National Bl.
Washington Bl.
Culver City
End Phase 1
Venice Bl.
City of Los Angeles
Bagley Av.
National Bl.
Motor Av.
Interstate 10
Northvale trench
Overland Av.
Westwood Bl.
Military Av.
Interstate 405
Sawtelle Bl.
Pico Bl.
Gateway Bl.
Barrington Av.
City of Santa Monica
Centinela Av.
Maintenance facility
Stewart St.
26th St.
Cloverfield Bl.
Olympic Bl.
20th St.
19th St.
14th St.
11th St.
Lincoln Blvd.
7th St.
5th St.
Downtown Santa Monica

The Expo Line is a light-rail line which resumes former service between Downtown Los Angeles and Culver City, with service to Santa Monica (Phase 2) planned to begin in 2015.[4] The line is named "Expo" as Exposition Boulevard, named after Exposition Park (Los Angeles), runs alongside most of the route. The first portion of Phase 1 of the Expo Line opened in April 2012;[5] the remaining two stations of Phase 1 opened on June 20, 2012.[6]


  • Service description 1
    • Construction 1.1
    • Hours of operation 1.2
    • Headways 1.3
    • Speed 1.4
  • History 2
    • Steam railroad 2.1
    • Early electric service 2.2
    • Abandonment 2.3
    • Community rescue 2.4
  • Proposed developments 3
    • Regional Connector Transit Corridor 3.1
  • Station listing 4
  • Operations 5
    • Maintenance facilities 5.1
    • Rolling stock 5.2
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Service description

Route of the Expo Line


Interior of a westbound train, first day of operation to Culver City

The line is being built in two phases; the first phase comprises the 8.6-mile (13.8 km)[2][5] section between Downtown Los Angeles and Culver City. Construction began in early 2006 and most stations opened to the public on April 28, 2012.[5] The Culver City and Farmdale stations opened on June 20, 2012.[5][6]

Design and construction on the 6.6-mile (10.6 km)[2] portion between Culver City and Santa Monica started in September 2011, with opening anticipated in 2015.[4]

Hours of operation

The Expo Line operates from approximately 5 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. on weekdays and until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.[7]


As of June 2013, trains run approximately every 12 minutes during the daytime, every 10 minutes during the evening, and every 20 minutes after midnight.[7][8][9]


Maximum speed on the route is 55 mph (89 km/h).


Steam railroad

The line was built in 1875 as the steam-powered Los Angeles and Independence Railroad to bring mining ore to ships in Santa Monica harbor and as a passenger excursion train to the beach—first independently and later after purchase by the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1877. When the Santa Monica harbor closed to shipping traffic in 1909 the line was leased to Pacific Electric who converted it to electric traction.

Early electric service

By 1920 the line was known as the Santa Monica Air Line[10] providing electric-powered freight and passenger service between Los Angeles and Santa Monica. Service was discontinued in 1953 but the tracks continued to be used sporadically for diesel-powered freight deliveries to warehouses along the route until March 11, 1988.[11]


From 1988, Southern Pacific maintained ownership of the right-of-way, but no longer used or maintained the rails. Portions of the right-of-way were leased for use as storage facilities, parking lots, impound lots, and various businesses, but no permanent structures were built.

Community rescue

The abandonment of the line spurred concerns within the community to prevent the line from being sold off piecemeal, destroying one of the few remaining intact rail corridors within Los Angeles County. Advocacy groups including Friends 4 Expo Transit[12] supported the successful passage of Proposition C in 1990, which allowed the purchase of the entire right-of-way from Southern Pacific by Metro (LACTC).

Metro successfully lobbied the federal government to use the remainder of Red Line funding for a different project to the Mid-City district of Los Angeles in 1998. That same year Los Angeles County voters approved Proposition A, another sales tax increase for transit, allowing Metro access to additional funds for transit projects. Metro then released a Major Investment Study in 2000 which compared bus rapid transit and light rail transit options along what was now known as the "Mid-City/Exposition Corridor".[13]

Proposed developments

Regional Connector Transit Corridor

The Regional Connector Transit Corridor (also known as the Regional Connector, Downtown Connector or Downtown Light-Rail Connector) is an under construction light rail subway corridor through Downtown Los Angeles that is designed to connect the current Blue and Expo Lines to the current Gold Line, and to allow a seamless one-seat ride between the Blue and Expo Lines' current terminus at 7th Street/Metro Center and Union Station.

Once the Regional Connector Transit Corridor is constructed, the Eastside leg of the Gold Line will be connected to the Expo Line, which by that time will include the completed Phase 2, and will be running between downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica. At the same time, the northern leg of the Gold Line through the San Gabriel Valley will be joined with the current Blue Line connecting downtown Los Angeles and Long Beach, creating what will be the longest light rail transit line in the United States. Names and/or colors for these new lines have not yet been officially announced, but it seems likely that the current Expo Line-eastern leg of the Gold Line will become the new Gold Line, and the Blue Line-northern leg of the Gold Line will become the new Blue Line. The groundbreaking for the construction of the Regional Connector Transit Corridor took place on September 30, 2014, and it is expected to be in public service by 2020.

Station listing

Metro Expo Line heading westbound to Jefferson/La Cienega Station leaves Expo/Crenshaw Station.
The following is the complete list of stations from Downtown Los Angeles traveling west.
Station Connections/Notes Date opened City
7th Street/Metro Center
Metro Red Line  
Metro Purple Line  
Metro Blue Line  
Metro Silver Line  
Metro Local: 14, 16, 18, 20, 37, 51, 52, 53, 55, 57, 60, 62, 66, 70, 71, 75, 76, 78, 79, 81, 96, 316, 352, 355, 357, 378
Metro Express: 442, 450, 460, 487, 489
Metro Rapid: 720, 760, 770
Antelope Valley Transit Authority: 785*
City of Santa Clarita Transit: 799*
Foothill Transit: 481*, 493*, 497*, 498*, 499*, 699*, Silver Streak
LADOT Commuter Express*: 409, 422, 423, 430, 431, 437, 438, 448, 534
LADOT DASH: A, B, C (weekdays only), DD (weekends only), E, F
Montebello Transit: 40, 50, 341*, 342*
Orange County Transportation Authority: 701*, 721*
Santa Monica Transit: 10
Torrance Transit: 4

"*:Indicates commuter service that operates only during weekday rush hours.

February 15, 1991 Downtown Los Angeles
Pico       Metro Blue Line  
Metro Silver Line  
Metro Local: 30, 57, 81, 330, 357, 442, 460
LADOT Commuter Express: 419, 422, 423, 438, 448
July 14, 1990
LATTC/Ortho Institute     Metro Silver Line  
Metro Local: 37, 55, 81, 355, 442, 460
Metro Express: 450, 460
LADOT DASH: D, F, King-East
Torrance Transit: 4
April 28, 2012
Jefferson/USC   Metro Local: 38, 81, 102, 200
Metro Express: 442
LADOT DASH: F, King-East
April 28, 2012 University Park
Expo Park/USC   Metro Local: 81, 102, 200
Metro Express: 442, 550
LADOT DASH: F, Southeast
April 28, 2012
Expo/Vermont   Metro Local: 102, 204
Metro Rapid: 754
Metro Express: 550
LADOT DASH: F, Southeast
April 28, 2012 Exposition Park
Expo/Western   Metro Local: 102, 207
Metro Rapid: 757
April 28, 2012
Expo/Crenshaw   Metro Local: 210
Metro Rapid: 710, 740
April 28, 2012 Jefferson Park
Farmdale   Metro Local: 38 June 20, 2012 West Adams
Expo/La Brea   Metro Local: 38, 212, 312
LADOT DASH: Crenshaw
April 28, 2012
La Cienega/Jefferson   Metro Local: 38, 105, 217
Metro Rapid: 705
Culver CityBus: 4
"TheLink": Baldwin Hills Parklands Shuttle
April 28, 2012
Culver City   Metro Local: 33, 220
Metro Rapid: 733
Metro Express: 534
Culver CityBus: 1, 5, 7
Santa Monica Big Blue Bus: 5, 6, 12, Rapid 12, Rapid 20
June 20, 2012 Culver City


Maintenance facilities

The light rail vehicles used on the Expo Line are maintained at the division 11 yard in Long Beach, California, the same maintenance facility that is used by the Blue Line. However, the new division 14 yard is slated to open in the vicinity of the 26th Street/Bergamot station in Santa Monica, with the completion of Phase 2 construction.

Rolling stock

Compatible with the rest of Metro's light-rail network, the Expo Line shares standard Metro light rail vehicles (Nippon Sharyo P865 and P2020, and Siemens P2000) with the Blue Line. Metro estimates that it has 47 light rail cars to provide service on the Expo Line under the peak-hour assumption of 3-car trains running at 6-minute headways.

Upon completion of Phase 2, it is expected that new P3010 light rail vehicles (LRVs) from Kinki Sharyo, that were ordered by the L.A. Metro board of directors in 2012, will begin operation, replacing the current LRVs in operation on the Expo Line. (See: Los Angeles Metro Rail rolling stock article.)


  1. ^ "Ridership Statistics - Rail Ridership Estimates".  
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Expo Line project fact sheet".  
  3. ^ "Facts at a Glance".  
  4. ^ a b "Expo Line Phase 2 - About Expo Overview". 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-06. 
  5. ^ a b c d "L.A. Metro - Facts at a Glance".  
  6. ^ a b "Two more Expo Line stations to open June 20". L.A. Times. June 5, 2012. Retrieved 2013-10-06. 
  7. ^ a b "Expo line timetable" (pdf).  
  8. ^ "Bus and Rail System (map)" (pdf).  
  9. ^ "Expo Line FAQ". The Source ( 
  10. ^ "Santa Monica Air Line". Electric Railway Historical Association of Southern California. 
  11. ^ Morgenthaler, Anne (March 14, 1988). "END OF THE LINE—The last train out of SM blows a final whistle". Santa Monica Outlook. 
  12. ^ The Expo Line - Friends 4 Expo Transit Home Page
  13. ^ "Mid City Westside Transit Draft EIS/EIR: 1.0 History, purpose and need".  

External links

  • Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro)
  • BuildExpo (Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority)
  • Extensive Collection of Construction Photos
    • Expo Phase I Construction Drive By
    • Los Angeles Metro Expo Line - Phase II Tour, Part 1

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