The long-awaited Expo line to downtown Culver City will officially open June 20, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced Tuesday morning. The Farmdale station will also open on the same day.
The trains will officially start running out of Culver City at noon and passengers who board either at Culver City or Farmdale will receive free passes to use the Expo Line for the day.
"The opening of the Culver City and Farmdale stations completes the first phase of the Expo line, connecting Angelenos from the Westside to Downtown and beyond," Villaraigosa, who is also the chairman of the Metro Board of Directors, said in a statement. "We are answering the call from voters to provide more transit options and creating career opportunities for Angelenos in the process."
Culver City Mayor Andy Weissman said the train is an "exciting" and "eagerly awaited project" that will bring much needed traffic relief to the city and region.
"The opening of the Culver City station is a tremendous milestone in the construction of the Expo Line from downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica," he said.
In late April, Metro opened a truncated 7.9-mile route from downtown to La Cienega Boulevard. The train will now travel an additional .7 miles to the station at Washington and National Boulevards in Culver City. It will serve as a temporary terminus until phase two of the Expo Line to Santa Monica is completed.
The public opening of the Culver City Station coincides with Downtown Culver City’s Third Wednesday "Summer Solstice" Happy Hour from 5-9 p.m., which features special offers from over 25 participating businesses throughout the downtown area, as well as outdoor entertainment and activities.
"We welcome the opportunity to bring more visitors to shop and to dine and to create a dynamic transit oriented hub at Washington/National as this exciting, eagerly awaited project comes on line to Culver City," Weissman said.
Metro is encouraging the public to take advantage of the opening of the Culver City Station and take the Metro Expo Line—a short walking distance to the downtown event —to sample artisanal cuisine and cocktails, shop at unique boutiques, view art and enjoy a variety of live music and entertainment.
For a complete list of freebies, offers, discounts and entertainment, visit downtownculvercity.com.
Construction has begun on the $1.5 billion, 6.6-mile extension to Santa Monica, which is scheduled to be completed in 2016.
A group of Cheviot Hills and Westwood homeowners has sued to block the second phase of the line, challenging Metro's environmental study of the project. An appeals court in April ruled in favor of Metro. The group, Neighbors for Smart Rail, appealed their case last week to the California Supreme Court.
— City News Service contributed to this report.