Expo Line (Los Angeles Metro)
Metro Expo Line
Expo Line Culver City Station platform looking east.
|Status||Phase 1: in service
Phase 2: under construction
|Termini||7th St/Metro Center
|Daily ridership||Phase 1: 25,983 (March 2013)
Phase 2: 64,000 (estimated 2030)
|Opened||Phase 1: April 28, 2012
Phase 2: 2015 (approx.)
|Character||Mostly at-grade in private right-of-way, with some street-running, elevated, and trench sections.|
|Depot(s)||Phase 1: Division 11 (Long Beach)
Phase 2: New division at Stewart St and Exposition Blvd in Santa Monica
|Rolling stock||Phase 1: Siemens P2000, Nippon Sharyo P865 and P2020
Phase 2: Kinkisharyo P3010
|Line length||15.3 mi (24.6 km)|
|Track length||3 cars|
|No. of tracks||2|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
|Electrification||750 V DC overhead catenary|
|Operating speed||55 mph (89 km/h)|
The Expo Line is a light-rail line running between Downtown Los Angeles and Culver City - with service to Santa Monica planned to begin in 2015. The line is named "Expo" as it follows Exposition Boulevard for most of its route.
The Expo Line operates from approximately 5 am to 12:30 am on weekdays and until 2 am on Fridays and Saturdays. Maximum speed on the route is 55 mph (89 km/h). Trains run approximately every 12 minutes during the daytime and every 20 minutes at other times. 
The line is being built in two phases; the first phase comprises the section between Downtown Los Angeles and Culver City. Construction began in early 2006 and most stations opened to the public on April 28, 2012. Culver City and Farmdale stations opened June 20, 2012.
Design and construction on the portion between Culver City and Santa Monica started in September 2011 with opening anticipated in 2015.
Compatible with the rest of Metro's light-rail network, the Expo Line shares standard Metro light rail vehicles with the Blue Line. Metro estimates that it has 47 light rail cars to provide service on the Expo Line under the peak-hour assumption of 3-car trains running at 6-minute headways.
Expo vehicles are currently maintained at the Blue Line's maintenance facility in Long Beach, California; however, a new yard is slated to open in the vicinity of the Olympic/26th Street Station in Santa Monica with the completion of phase 2 construction.
The line was built in 1875 as the steam-powered Los Angeles and Independence Railroad intended to bring mining ore to ships in Santa Monica harbor, and as a passenger excursion train to the beach. Eventually purchased by Southern Pacific Railroad it was converted to electric passenger and light freight use in 1909 - after the Santa Monica harbor closed to shipping traffic.
Early electric service
By 1920 the line was known as the Santa Monica Air Line providing electric-powered freight and passenger service between Los Angeles and Santa Monica. Service was discontinued in 1953 but the tracks continued to be used sporadically for diesel-powered freight deliveries to warehouses along the route until about 1989.
From 1989, Southern Pacific maintained ownership of the right-of-way, but no longer used or continued maintenance on the rails. Portions of the right-of-way were leased for use as storage facilities, parking lots, impound lots, and various businesses, but no permanent structures were built.
The abandonment of the line spurred concerns within the community to prevent the line from being sold off piecemeal, destroying one of the few remaining intact rail corridors within Los Angeles County. Advocacy groups including Friends 4 Expo Transit supported the successful passage of Proposition C in 1990, which allowed the purchase of the entire right-of-way from Southern Pacific by Metro (LACTC).
Metro successfully lobbied the federal government to use the remainder of Red Line funding for a different project to the Mid-City district of Los Angeles in 1998. That same year Los Angeles County voters approved Proposition A, another sales tax increase for transit, allowing Metro access to additional funds for transit projects. Metro then released a Major Investment Study in 2000 which compared bus rapid transit and light rail transit options along what was now known as the "Mid-City/Exposition Corridor".
- "Metro ridership statistics". February 2013.
- "Expo Line project fact sheet". January 2013.
- "Santa Monica Air Line". Electric Railway Historical Association of Southern California.
- The Expo Line - Friends 4 Expo Transit Home Page
- "Mid City Westside Transit Draft EIS/EIR: 1.0 History, purpose and need". Metro.
- Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro)
- Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority