It wouldn’t be October without Taste of Soul.
Metro again welcomes the community to the 13th annual Taste of Soul Family Festival, hosted by the Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper and Danny Bakewell Sr. We’ve been partners for several years now on this important event and we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished and excited about what comes next.
The $2.1-billion Crenshaw/LAX Line has been under construction for nearly five years. The patience and grace shown by communities along this alignment is testament to their strength and resilience. It is no surprise that Taste of Soul persists and, we expect, will be better than ever this year.
Fortunately, the Crenshaw/LAX Line is getting closer to the end of construction. Construction staging is slowly coming down, station platforms are coming to life and station art is on the way for installation. Metro is sincerely grateful for the community’s role in ensuring that we work together to bring out the best of Crenshaw.
We know it hasn’t been easy. Building an ambitious project like the Crenshaw/LAX Line was bound to be disruptive, and it has been. To help alleviate some of those inconveniences, Metro has supported local businesses through several projects aimed to help them thrive while construction has been underway. Metro’s Business Interruption Fund has awarded more than $9 million to hundreds of local businesses along the Crenshaw Line. We’ve also partnered with nearly 200 businesses through Metro’s Eat, Shop, Play program, which offers advertising and marketing assistance to businesses affected by construction.
The project has already brought revenue into the area by spurring economic development, creating new jobs and sustaining existing ones. More than 500 workers have been employed on this project. And nearly 60 percent of the project workers are from low-income zip codes, with 10 percent of those workers having overcome significant barriers to employment.
We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished so far. And we’re excited for the future.
It’s a future that we’re certain will bring exciting and new economic opportunities to the Crenshaw, Leimert Park, Park Mesa Heights, Hyde Park, Inglewood, Westchester and LAX communities. The train will provide more and better access to jobs, recreation and entertainment. That will help ease traffic congestion and improve air quality.
We’re also excited to help educate and train future leaders of LA Metro at the planned Transportation School, a countywide career and technical education school targeting middle and high school-aged youth, with an emphasis on at-risk populations.
Like Metro’s partnership with Taste of Soul, the Crenshaw/LAX Line couldn’t happen without the cooperation and goodwill of residents and businesses in the community. We cannot thank the people and businesses along this line enough for their patience, graciousness and support throughout planning and construction.
It’s been a long road and with every day, we draw closer to completion of this vital project. We’re looking forward to highlighting the progress we’ve made in the months to come.
We hope you’ll use LA Metro both in your daily lives and when traveling to Taste of Soul, which is just a block from the Expo/Crenshaw station. Please be sure to visit us there to find out more about what we’re doing and to use our free cell phone charging stations.
Most of all, we’re looking forward to helping to “Share the Love” at Taste of Soul.