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L.A. Metro to Open New K Line Light Rail Line on October 7, Offer Free Rides on Entire Metro System October 7-9
Published September 22, 2022

Metro Rail graphic design (courtesy Image)

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) today announced that it will officially open the K Line, formerly known as the Crenshaw/LAX Line, to the public shortly after noon on Friday, October 7. In celebration, Metro will be offering free rides on the entire Metro Bus and Rail System, including Metro Bike Share, opening weekend.

The K Line extends from E Line (Expo) at Expo/Crenshaw Station and eventually merges with C Line (Green) at Aviation/LAX Station, connecting the Crenshaw Corridor, Inglewood and El Segundo. It brings a new era of equitable transportation investment that connects the Crenshaw Corridor and Inglewood residents to convenient, fast, reliable and low-cost rail transit that has not served the area since the Los Angeles Railway’s Yellow Cars shut down service in the 1950s.

“The wait is over! We have completed our official line testing and will soon bring new rail service to Los Angeles County residents,” said Glendale City Council Member and Metro Board Chair and Ara J. Najarian. “The K Line fulfills our promise to build a first-class project that will better connect the Crenshaw Corridor and Inglewood to our region’s transit system and make it far easier to reach the Crenshaw Corridor, Inglewood and LAX without the hassle of traffic congestion, high gas prices and parking.”

Pink indicates the route of the Metro’s K Line (thesource.metro.net)

Once the K Line opens, Metro riders will be able to visit cultural events and venues in the historic Crenshaw Corridor, public parks and major venues in Inglewood, and have easier access to medical facilities and job and commerce centers throughout Los Angeles. Many of the key destinations along the K Line are within walking distance of the stations.

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“The K Line will have a solid presence in the heart of the Crenshaw Corridor and Inglewood; it represents a new gateway to jobs, education and healthcare,” said Metro Board First Vice Chair Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker. “The K Line will provide riders with easy access to high density housing, popular restaurants, shopping and entertainment venues ranging from Leimert Park Village to SoFi Stadium.”

“Communities in South Los Angeles and Inglewood are going to reap the benefits of Metro’s transportation investments for generations to come,” said L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board Member Holly J. Mitchell. “We have waited for a long time for this rail line to come to our part of town, it is exciting to see this line come into fruition before the end of the year.”

“With our opening date set, we’re almost ready to fulfill a dream that started with Mayor Tom Bradley and was carried on for decades by countless community leaders and elected officials: world-class public transportation in South Los Angeles,” said Metro Board Member and Mayor Eric Garcetti. “The K line is integral to Los Angeles’ transportation future, and in just a few weeks, it will open doors of opportunity for riders across our region and help make Los Angeles a more accessible, sustainable, and inclusive city.”

The K Line’s Expo/Crenshaw, Martin L. King Jr., Leimert Park, Hyde Park, Fairview Heights, Downtown Inglewood and Westchester/Veterans stations will open first. The K Line’s Aviation/Century station is projected to open in late 2023 and will provide access to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The LAX/Metro Transit Center Station along the new K Line tracks is planned to open in late 2024 and will provide easy transfers between Metro and the LAX Automated People Mover that will serve airport terminals.

“When the K Line opens, Inglewood will have three light rail stations in the City of Champions that will link residents and patrons to The Kia Forum, Sofi Stadium and soon, Intuit Dome, the future home of the Los Angeles Clippers,” said Mayor of Inglewood and Metro Board Member James T. Butts. “Little by little we are becoming the world’s center of sports and entertainment, thanks in part to the K Line coming to our city.”

“Metro is about to be the fastest, most convenient choice for LAX employees, travelers, residents and visitors,” said L.A. City Councilmember and Metro Board Member Mike Bonin. “When the K Line opens, the Westchester/Veterans station will connect Westchester residents and Inglewood businesses to the broader regional transit network. It’s my hope that these new stations will change the lives of residents and future generations of Angelenos who need fast and efficient access to Downtown Los Angeles, the Westside, South Bay and other job and commerce centers.”
With its offer of free rides on buses and trains systemwide, Metro encourages Angelenos to explore new communities, especially those along the new alignment. During opening weekend, residents can take transit to entertainment venues, sporting events, dining and shopping.

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“The opening of the K Line fulfills a promise long made to the people of South Los Angeles and Inglewood,” said Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins. “The K Line provides better access to jobs and community amenities for this region of the county, and I couldn’t be prouder of the Metro team for delivering this incredible piece of infrastructure to our community.

The K Line was designed and built with the help of community input and local voices. This transit project ushered in model programs that are now used on all of Metro’s major construction projects. For example, this was the first project to employ  Metro’s Board approved small business mitigation programs: the Business Interruption Fund, Business Solution Center, and Eat, Shop, Play. All which helped to support small businesses in this corridor during construction. The Business Interruption Fund awarded more than $20.1 million to over 230 small “mom and pop” shops, Metro’s Business Solution Center provided hands-on business development, support services and referrals to partnering business resources providers to more than 300 small businesses and the Eat Shop Play program provided free marketing assistance to more than 150 businesses along the K Line alignment.

Metro also implemented a Project Labor Agreement and Construction Careers Policy to encourage construction employment and training opportunities as we built the K Line. More than 60 percent of construction workers hired by Metro’s prime contractors on the K Line project were from economically disadvantaged areas, 23 percent were hired as apprentices to start their careers in construction and 10 percent were those with social barriers that made it hard for them to find employment. PLA/CCP workers included 63 percent who were Latino, 11 percent African American and three percent female.

For additional information about the K Line, please visit https://kline.metro.net/.

Metro Rail graphic design (courtesy Image)

 

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