Its lack of mass transit has presented L.A. with ongoing, serious traffic problems. Shortly after World War II, L.A. abandoned its archaic rail and trolley system called the Red Cars in favor of the automobile. Sixty years later, clogged freeways and spiraling gas prices make it increasingly difficult to get from one place to another.
Today, Los Angeles is at last developing solutions to its traffic congestion with the soon-to-be-built Expo Line. This fast, comfortable, high-capacity light-rail transit line will run from downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica. Darrell Clarke, executive director of Friends for Expo Transit, has spent nearly two decades convincing the city to begin building this alternative to L.A.'s world-record traffic.
The Expo Line represents the first east-west light-rail line in Los Angeles in 50 years. Approximately nine miles in length, it will run the same route as the I-10 freeway. It's expected that it will take less than 30 minutes to ride from Culver City to Downtown L.A. Construction will begin on the first half of the line, running from downtown Los Angeles to Culver City, in the fall of 2007. Phase 2 will extend the line through downtown Santa Monica. The projected cost is $640 million.
In the next few years, the hard work of Friends for Expo Transit and the mass transit dream of many Los Angelinos should become a reality. According to the Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority, the Expo will be running in 2010. (We'll see!)