|Other name(s)||Expo Line (2012–2019)|
|Owner||Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority|
|System||Los Angeles Metro Rail|
|Depot(s)||Division 14 (Santa Monica)|
|Rolling stock||Siemens P2000 or Kinki Sharyo P3010 running in 2 or 3 car consists|
|Ridership||7,939,241 (2021) -4.4%|
|Opened||April 28, 2012|
|Completed||May 20, 2016|
|Line length||15.2 mi (24.5 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.)|
19.6 mph (31.5 km/h) (avg.)
The E Line (formerly the Expo Line from 2012–2019) is a 15.2-mile (24.5 km) light rail line that runs between Downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica. It is one of the seven lines in the Metro Rail system, and is operated by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro). The line opened in 2012.
The E Line largely follows the right-of-way of the former Pacific Electric Santa Monica Air Line. Passenger service ended in 1953; freight-only service ended by March 1988. Several E Line stations are built in the same location as Air Line stations, although no original station structures have been reused.
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. When the Regional Connector is complete in 2022, the current E Line will be joined with the Eastside portion of the L Line to create an extended E Line, which will become colored yellow on maps.
E Line trains run every day between approximately 4:30 a.m. and 12:30 am. Trains operate every ten minutes during peak hours Monday through Friday, every twelve minutes during the daytime on weekdays, and all day on the weekends after approximately 8 a.m. (with a 15 to 20-minute headway early Saturday and Sunday mornings). Night service is every 20 minutes.
Though the E Line is capable of reaching a maximum speed of 55 mph (89 km/h), it only rarely does so. It takes 46 minutes to travel the line's 15.2 mi (24.5 km) length, at an average speed of 19.8 mph (31.9 km/h), making it the slowest line in the system.
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/Santa Monica College||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||Rancho Park|
|Culver City||June 20, 2012||Culver City|
|La Cienega/Jefferson||April 28, 2012||West Adams||Park and ride: 494 spaces|
|Farmdale||June 20, 2012|
|Expo/Crenshaw||April 28, 2012||Jefferson Park|| |
Park and ride: 450 spaces (closed Sunday)
|Expo Park/USC||University Park|
|LATTC/Ortho Institute||North University Park|
|Pico||July 14, 1990||Downtown Los Angeles|
|7th Street/Metro Center||February 15, 1991|
The E Line largely follows right of way used by the Los Angeles and Independence Railroad steam railroad, built in 1875, which was converted by Pacific Electric to electric traction and operated as the Santa Monica Air Line by 1920, providing both freight and passenger service between Los Angeles and Santa Monica. 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 known as 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.[non-primary source needed] 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 is an under-construction light-rail subway corridor through Downtown Los Angeles that is to connect the current A and E Lines to the current L Line, and to allow a seamless one-seat ride between the A and E Lines' current 7th Street/Metro Center terminus and Union Station.
Once the Regional Connector is completed, the alignment of the L (formerly Gold) Line will be 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 will be assigned to the E Line, extending it to connect Santa Monica and East Los Angeles directly. At this time, the L Line will cease 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 will be recolored from aqua to yellow upon completion of the Regional Connector.
The groundbreaking for the project took place on September 30, 2014, and the alignment is expected to be in public service by early 2023.
Main article: Eastside Transit Corridor
The Eastside Transit Corridor is a project to extend from the former L Line's terminus at Atlantic station eastward 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 for the 2028 Summer Olympics.
Previously, the light rail vehicles used on the E Line were maintained at the division 11 yard in Long Beach, California, the same maintenance facility that is used by the A Line. However, the new division 14 yard, located east of Stewart Street and north of Exposition Boulevard in the vicinity of the 26th Street/Bergamot station in Santa Monica, was opened with the completion of Phase 2.
Compatible with the rest of Metro's light-rail network, the E Line shares standard Metro light rail vehicles (Kinki Sharyo P3010) with the A Line. Metro estimates that it has 47 light rail cars to provide service on the E Line under the peak-hour assumption of 3-car trains running at 6-minute headways.
Main article: Expo Line Bikeway
The E Line Bike Path parallels the route of the light rail line, and includes a mixture of bike lanes on Exposition Boulevard and off-street paths alongside the rail tracks.
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