Expo line opening date pushed back indefinitely

USC students have expressed disappointment after the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials announced Jan. 9 that they have just now entered the final phase of testing for a portion of the new Expo Line, which has stations running near USC.

Running late · The Expo Line, which will eventually provide rail service from Santa Monica to Culver City, has been delayed again because of technical malfunctions. - Aoyang Wang | Daily Trojan

Brad Sutton, a senior majoring in architecture, said the Expo Line would have been convenient for his summer job in Venice Beach.

“I worked in Venice last summer and the [Expo Line] would have been perfect,” Sutton said. “I won’t be able to take advantage of [the Expo Line] but it will be nice for students to use it to go to the beach or Culver City and not have to drive.”

This announcement comes after the discovery of technical problems with the line during the previous testing period in September and October. In one situation, trains were unable to pass through a junction where the Blue Line meets the Expo Line because of a signaling malfunction. In addition, MTA encountered ventilation problems in a trench near USC where two trains are meant to run underground.

These set backs have been resolved, but the testing period has been extended, MTA spokesperson Rick Jager said.

“We want to ensure the system is safe and reliable before we open it up to the public,” Jager said.

He said that within the next few months, MTA will run trains on the Expo Line from Downtown Los Angeles to Culver City. Though no official date has been set for the line to open, phase one of the line will be complete early this year.

USC Director of Transportation Tony Mazza said MTA sends out regular notices to university officials about ongoing testing. MTA has also provided safety ambassadors at areas where the Expo Line runs near the university to ensure that no cars or people accidentally enter the track.

Mazza said USC Transportation will suspend operation of the LA Live Shuttle once the Expo Line opens but will continue to offer the shuttle system off campus, on campus, and between campus and Union Station.

Nastassia Andari, a graduate student studying global communication, said if the Expo Line proved to be cost saving, she would take advantage of the Expo Line.

“If there was something available that would be more cost-effective, I would be open to that.” Andari said. “I wasn’t expecting the Metro would be opening and running by the time I was [still] living here.”

The Expo Construction Authority, the builders of the Expo line, broke ground in September for phase two, which will extend the line to Santa Monica. Phase two is expected to be complete in 2015.

  • Anon

    Just in case anyone is not clear, they have started pre-revenue testing which generally lasts 2-3 months which is the final testing phase in which they basically just run the train regularly (as they have been doing) but more frequently to get everyone used to the trains running as often as they will when public passengers ride it. Nothing will hold the train up from opening by early April at this point unless something technically breaks and requires fixing.

  • Thomas Jay

    I did a little calculation and figured that the San Francisco Bay Bridge (all 7-10 miles and 3 bridges and one tunnel and ten lanes of it) would cost $1.5 billion in today’s dollars.

  • Joe B.

    @John McNary The kind of idiot who thinks that building an eight mile light rail line on an existing rail right-of-way should take less than 6 1/2 years. It’s not like there’s any paradigm shift involved here. It’s just a trolley.

  • Earl

    this Story Is A Joke Useing Dated Info and dose not have Facts Corect the Workers on Phase-1 where also Union Workers this must be writen by some one tha has no clue to what is realy going On the Tracks for Blue-Expo have been now used for the Last 2-Weeks and trains are also now running the full line

  • Matt

    So many facts in this article are wrong, it’s ridiculous.

  • (If it’s any solace, at least the Phase 2 Expo Line workers are unionized, paid a fair wage, and allowed safety precautions.)

  • To echo what Joe said, the Transcontinental Railroad would cost around $800 million in today’s money. The Expo Line is already pushing $900 million. Hmm.

    • John McNary

      They used Chinese workers making 10 cents a day. Thousands were killed or maimed. The railroad companies were given vast tracts of land along the rails to subsidize the transcontinental trains. What kind of idiots are USC training here?

      • Thomas Jay

        Cabinet members in a future Nixon administration.

    • T. Starr

      The transcontinental railroad was built in 6 years but on the backs of minorities (Largely Chinese, African American, Irish, Homosexuals and Transgendered persons) at a huge cost to their respective communities. Is that what you are suggesting we should use as a model for our modern public transportation system? I say NO to your obvious bigotry!

  • Joe B.

    I remember when they first started working on the line, when I was a freshman in 2005. Now here we are 6 years later and it still isn’t open. For comparison, the transcontinental railroad was complete in 6 years without the benefit of modern technology. Your tax dollars [not] at work.