The Expo/Crenshaw station is lauded as an investment in the future.
In advance of the opening of the K Line later this year, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) today held a new station dedication celebration at the future Expo/Crenshaw station in the Crenshaw District.
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez, U.S. Congress Members Maxine Waters and Karen Bass, Calif. Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, Metro Board Chair and Glendale Council Member Ara Najarian, fellow board members and Metro CEO Stephanie N. Wiggins joined local officials to recognize community leaders, advocates and residents for their efforts to help the project reach this point.
“This is a monumental accomplishment that many have referred to as the most important investment in the heart of Los Angeles’ Black community in decades,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. “This is a good investment in good public transit that will bring new businesses, housing and economic development right here.”
The Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project, now the K Line, represents a $2 billion public transportation investment from Metro’s federal, state and local partners that will serve communities in the cities of Los Angeles, Inglewood and El Segundo. This investment provides an essential link for passengers heading to key destinations in downtown Los Angeles, the Westside and Los Angeles International Airport.
The project will extend light rail from the existing Metro E Line (Expo) at Crenshaw and Exposition Boulevards to the C Line (Green) in El Segundo. The Expo/Crenshaw station will serve as a transfer station for the E and K Lines, which will allow passengers to transfer between rail lines via a short walk. The eight-station K Line will travel 8.5 miles and serve communities in South Los Angeles and the South Bay. Rams and Chargers fans and concert goers will eventually have easier access to SoFi stadium in Inglewood, as the Downtown Inglewood station is just a mile away.
The U.S. Department of Transportation provided an array of federal funding, which included funds from TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grants, Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program, Highway Infrastructure Program and the Surface Transportation Block Grant Program for a total of $263.9 million.
“Transit all over our country has the ability to be the great equalizer, bringing the same chance to work, learn and play to everyone who steps aboard,” said FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez. “In this critically important part of Los Angeles, thousands of people will have a fast, safe, reliable way to connect with their community. When Metro Airport Connect is finished, it’s a short train ride to LAX, where they can connect with the whole world.”
The State of California contributed funds from Proposition 1B (Public Transportation Modernization, Improvement and Service Enhancement Account and the State and Local Partnership Program) and Regional Improvement Program, totaling to over $215 million.
“Metro’s rail investment in our South L.A. communities is more than just about expanding the transit system, it’s about creating greater mobility, jobs, access to opportunity and improved quality of life for residents in this corridor,” said Glendale City Council Member and Metro Board Chair Ara Najarian. “As we near the opening of this critical new line, we are celebrating with the community as well as our local, state and federal partners who helped make this line a reality.”
The project also received over $1.6 billion in local funding directly from L.A. County voter approved initiatives such as Proposition A, Measures R and M and Proposition C. Funds were also provided by local agency contributions and Metro’s general fund.
“The K Line is a long-awaited promise of transit equity for South Los Angeles,” said Metro Board First Vice Chair Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker. “This line will be complemented by projects in the pipeline such as the K Line Northern Extension, the Airport Metro Connector and the C Line Extension, all of which will serve as a nexus to other transit lines. Additionally, passengers will benefit from enhanced first/last mile connections which includes buses, bikes, Metro Micro and walking.”
The Crenshaw/LAX project also offered many residents within the alignment an opportunity to work on the project. As part of Metro’s project labor agreement (PLA) and construction careers policy, the project exceeded the following workforce requirements:
- Metro’s goal to hire 40 percent targeted workers from an economically disadvantaged community was exceeded by 20 percent, reaching 60 percent of targeted workers on the project.
- Metro’s goal to hire 20 percent apprentice workers actually reached 23.51 percent.
- Metro’s goal to recruit and hire 10 percent disadvantaged workers or socially barriered individuals reached 10.31 percent.
“The K Line is integral to L.A.’s transportation future — and this station dedication shows how close we are bringing world-class public transportation to South Los Angeles,” said Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Member Eric Garcetti. “Once complete this fall, this new line will open doors of opportunity for riders across Los Angeles — and is a clear indication of our commitment to make Los Angeles a more accessible, sustainable, and inclusive city.”
The station dedication ceremony also included a brief train ride from the Martin L. King, Jr. station to Expo/Crenshaw station. The ceremony highlighted the regional importance of the transfer stations, station art and nearby historic neighborhoods. Public officials also recognized and featured early project champions, small businesses, local performing artists and Expo/Crenshaw station commemorative pin contest winner, high school student Jada Harmon.
All K Line stations include artwork commissioned through the agency’s Metro Art program. Artists were selected through an open, competitive selection process following the recommendation of a panel of community-based arts professionals. Artworks commissioned for the Expo/Crenshaw Station include mosaic murals by Rebeca Méndez, a glass pavilion by Erwin Redl and porcelain enamel panels by Jaime Scholnick.
“As a former resident of South Los Angeles, I am happy to see how the station-specific art uplifts our customers, marks each station as unique and contributes to a sense of place in local communities,” said Mayor of Inglewood and Metro Board Member James Butts. “On the K Line, art is a station-defining element that builds on the creative vitality and cultural richness of our Crenshaw area communities.”
“My vision is for Metro to be Angelenos’ first choice for transportation. The K Line is a transformative, meaningful investment to help the people of Crenshaw, Inglewood, and south Los Angeles access jobs, opportunity, family, and fun,” said Stephanie N. Wiggins, Metro CEO. “Once other enhancements are complete, the K Line will not only be the first choice for transportation in the area, it will be the best choice for Angelenos to get to the Airport, SoFi Stadium, and destinations in Crenshaw and Inglewood. I can’t wait to welcome the first passengers aboard!”
For additional information about the project, please visit https://kline.metro.net
For more information about Metro Art, please visit at metro.net/art.