|Other name(s)||Expo Line (2012–2019)|
Gold Line/L Line (east of Little Tokyo/Arts District)
|Owner||Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority|
|Line number||804 (formerly 806)|
|System||Los Angeles Metro Rail|
|Depot(s)||Division 14 (Santa Monica)|
Division 21 (Elysian Park)
|Rolling stock||Kinki Sharyo P3010, Siemens P2000 or AnsaldoBreda P2550 running in 2 or 3 car consists|
|Ridership||9,381,013 (2022) 18.2%|
|Line length||22 mi (35 km)|
|Number of tracks||2|
|Character||Mostly at-grade in private right-of-way, with some underground, street-running, elevated, and trench sections|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
|Electrification||Overhead line, 750 V DC|
|Operating speed||55 mph (89 km/h) (max.)|
19 mph (31 km/h) (avg.)
The E Line (formerly the Expo Line from 2012–2019) is a 22-mile (35 km) light rail line in Los Angeles County, California, running between Santa Monica to East Los Angeles. It is one of the six lines in the Los Angeles Metro Rail system and is operated by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro).
The western portion of the E line was originally named the Expo Line after Exposition Boulevard, along which it runs for most of its route, the line was renamed the E Line in late 2019, while retaining the aqua-colored line and icons used to designate it on maps. After the Regional Connector opened on June 16, 2023, the original E Line was joined with the Eastside portion of the L Line to create the current extended E Line, which is colored gold on maps.
E Line trains run every day between approximately 4:30 a.m. and 11:30 p.m. Trains operate every 10 minutes during peak hours Monday through Friday, and every twelve minutes during the daytime on weekdays and all day on the weekends. Evening service (after 7 p.m.) is every 20 minutes.
Short segments of the E Line are certified for speeds of up to 55 miles per hour (89 km/h), but service speeds are much slower. All trips on the 22-mile (35 km) mile line are scheduled at 69 minutes end-to-end, an average speed of 19 miles per hour (31 km/h).
The E Line has drawn criticism for its slow speed, especially on its western segment. To improve reliability, LADOT continues to work with Metro to adjust traffic signals on Exposition Boulevard in favor of trains, and proposals have been made to reconstruct the junction of the A Line and E Line to speed up trains.
The following is the complete list of stations, from west to east:
|Station||Date Opened||City/Neighborhood||Major Connections and Notes|
|Downtown Santa Monica||May 20, 2016||Santa Monica|
|17th Street/SMC||Park and ride: 65 spaces|
|Expo/Bundy||West Los Angeles||Park and ride: 217 spaces|
|Expo/Sepulveda||Park and ride: 260 spaces|
|Westwood/Rancho Park||Los Angeles (Rancho Park)|
|Palms||Los Angeles (Palms)|
|Culver City||June 20, 2012||Culver City||Park and ride: 300 spaces|
|La Cienega/Jefferson||April 28, 2012||Los Angeles (West Adams)||Park and ride: 494 spaces|
|Farmdale||June 20, 2012|
|Expo/Crenshaw||April 28, 2012||Los Angeles (Jefferson Park)|| |
Park and ride: 450 spaces (closed Sunday)
|Expo/Western||Los Angeles (Exposition Park)|
|Expo Park/USC||Los Angeles (University Park)|
|LATTC/Ortho Institute||Los Angeles (North University Park)|
|Pico||July 14, 1990||Los Angeles (Downtown)|
|7th Street/Metro Center||February 15, 1991|
|Grand Avenue Arts/Bunker Hill||June 16, 2023|
|Little Tokyo/Arts District||November 15, 2009||Los Angeles (Little Tokyo/Arts District)|
|Pico/Aliso||Los Angeles (Boyle Heights)|
|Indiana||East Los Angeles||Park and ride: 42 spaces|
|East LA Civic Center|
|Atlantic||Park and ride: 289 spaces|
Main article: Eastside Transit Corridor
The oldest portion of today's E Line is the Gold Line Eastside Extension, the southern branch of the former Gold Line, and the first phase of the Eastside Transit Corridor. The Eastside Extension runs from Union Station east to Atlantic station in East Los Angeles, in a new right-of-way following 1st St and 3rd St.
Service on the line began on November 15, 2009, with Gold Line trains running through Union Station northeast to Pasadena. This through service was in effect through 2020, extending to Azusa in 2016. The Gold Line was renamed the L Line in 2020, and split in two to prepare for construction of the Regional Connector. The Eastside Extension portion of the L Line then operated as an independent line until 2023, when it was merged into the E Line.
The E Line's western section largely follows the right of way used by the Los Angeles and Independence Railroad steam railroad, built in 1875. The Pacific Electric company converted it to electric traction, and operated the line as the Santa Monica Air Line by 1920, with both freight and passenger services. Passenger service ended in 1953, and freight service stopped in 1988.
Local 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. In 2000, an urban art group called Heavy Trash placed signs advertising a fictional "Aqua Line." The signs, with the text "Coming Soon," showed a subway route extending along Wilshire to the ocean, with 10 station stops. Although the campaign was a hoax, it demonstrated newfound support and revealed the frustrations surrounding the lack of rail service connecting Santa Monica and the Westside with Downtown Los Angeles. Metro 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".
An independent agency, the Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority, was given the authority to plan, design, and construct the line by state law in 2003. After construction of the second phase was completed, the line was handed over on January 15, 2016, to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
The line was built in two phases; the first phase comprised the 8.6-mile (13.8 km) section between Downtown Los Angeles and Culver City. Construction began in early 2006, and most stations opened to the public on April 28, 2012. The Culver City and Farmdale stations opened on June 20, 2012.
Design and construction on the 6.6-mile (10.6 km) portion between Culver City and Santa Monica started in September 2011. Testing along the phase 2 segment began on April 6, 2015, and the segment opened on May 20, 2016.
Main article: Regional Connector
The Regional Connector Transit Project constructed a 1.9-mile (3.1 km) light rail tunnel through Downtown Los Angeles that connected the preexisting A and E Lines to the former L Line to allow for a seamless one-seat ride between the A and E Lines' previous terminus at 7th Street/Metro Center station to Union Station and the Eastside.
Once the Regional Connector was completed, the alignment of the L (formerly Gold) Line was split into two parts at Little Tokyo/Arts District station, with the portion north of this station joined to the A Line, extending it to connect Long Beach with Azusa. The alignment east of Little Tokyo/Arts District station was assigned to the E Line, extending it to connect Santa Monica and East Los Angeles directly. At this time, the L Line ceased to exist as a separate line.
In 2019, Metro began using a renaming system where each rail and bus rapid transit line was rebranded with a letter name and an associated color to be used on maps and other wayfinding signs. As a result, the Expo Line became the E Line in 2019, and was recolored from aqua to gold upon completion of the Regional Connector Transit Project.
The groundbreaking for the project took place on September 30, 2014, and it opened on June 16, 2023.
Main article: Eastside Transit Corridor
The Eastside Transit Corridor is a project to extend the line from its eastern terminus at Atlantic station to Lambert station in Whittier. Partially funded by Measure M, construction is programmed to start in 2029 with service beginning in 2035, though the project may be accelerated as part Metro's plans to prepare for the 2028 Summer Olympics.
On Metro Rail's internal timetables, the E Line is called line 804. Prior to the opening of the Regional Connector, it was line 806.
The E Line is operated out of two divisions, Metro’s term for train maintenance and storage facilities.
Division 14 is located east of Stewart Street and north of Exposition Boulevard in Santa Monica between 26th Street/Bergamot and Expo/Bundy stations. The facility opened in 2016 with the completion of Phase 2.
Division 21 is located at 1800 Baker Street between Elysian Park and the Los Angeles River in Chinatown between Lincoln/Cypress and Chinatown stations on the A Line. The facility opened in 2003 for the first phase of the Gold Line.
The E Line operates trains with three light rail vehicles on weekdays and two on weekends, except for weekend days with major events in Expo Park. The line currently uses three different types of light rail vehicles: the Siemens P2000, the Kinki Sharyo P3010 and the AnsaldoBreda P2550.
Metro says that it takes 47 light rail vehicles to provide the maximum service on the E Line with 3-car trains running at 6-minute headways.
Main article: Expo Line Bikeway
The Expo Line Bikeway parallels the route of the light rail line between 17th Street/SMC and Expo/Vermont stations. The bikeway includes a mixture of bike lanes on Exposition Boulevard and off-street paths alongside the rail tracks.