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There has been overwhelming interest in the new light rail project currently under construction in our community. The Exposition Light Rail Transit Line (Expo Line) is just a year away from arriving and we thought it essential to learn more about the benefits it will bring to our community.
Phase 1 of the Expo Line will travel along the Exposition right-of-way from Downtown Los Angeles to Culver City. At an estimated cost of $862 million, the 8.6 mile line will have nine (9) stations, three park and rides lots, which include 1,500 parking spaces, and can travel in under 30 minutes from downtown to the Westside. In addition, this project will generate numerous good paying local jobs for community residents. Many local residents have already been hired and more will be hired and trained as a result of Expoâ€™s local hiring program.
With stations located along the alignment from Staples Center to Venice/Robertson, the Expo Line will be a great resource to the community. Residents will have the advantage of easily identifiable stops that will allow them to travel between work and home, as well as provide access to key destinations such as museums in Exposition Park, Staples, USC, West Angeles Church of God in Christ and shopping centers on Crenshaw Blvd.
The Expo Line is a safe, affordable and reliable transportation option that our community needs. With the rising cost of gas and traffic congestion on the I-10 Freeway and major thoroughfares, the Expo Line will provide a convenient mass transit alternative to the car and remove some of those everyday added stresses caused by commuting.
Improve Air Quality
The project will also provide an incentive for people to leave their cars at home and potentially reduce the number of cars that travel on our streets, thus reducing harmful pollutants resulting in better air quality in our community. Light rail trains are electric so they are a clean and environmentally beneficial transit alternative.
The Expo Construction Authority has demonstrated their commitment to our community by hiring local residents and contracting with many small, minority and women owned firms. Expo hopes to exceed their goal of providing 20% of the design, professional services and construction work on this project to Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) contractors.
Expo expects to award over $100 million in design, professional and construction services to DBE firms. They have already awarded over $75 million to 47 firms. This helps many small and minority owned business during these difficult economic times.
With the economic crisis and rising unemployment rates, well paying union construction jobs have become more and more valuable to our community. Los Angeles Countyâ€™s unemployment rate has risen to 10.5% and our community is suffering as a result. The Expo Line has a local hiring goal of 30%, meaning that 30% of the construction hours on the project will be worked by local Expo corridor residents. This is a direct benefit to our community during construction of this project.
Our community needs easy access to jobs and business opportunities throughout the region. The Expo Line will interface with major bus lines and will connect with the Blue, Red and Purple line in downtown Los Angeles, providing easy access to job interviews, business meetings and entertainment destinations all over the region. In addition, the Expo Line will foster transit oriented development in our community, as stations provide prime opportunities for joint development and revitalization.
The Expo Line will build a bridge between our communities and the region at large, attracting further investment and opportunities of all kinds for our residents. Our community has waited too long for viable, affordable and convenient transportation options and now is the time to support real transit alternatives that benefit our community.