K Line opened in Los Angeles

K light rail lineTransport officials from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) and the Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti inaugurated at Leimert Park Plaza the first section of K light rail line previously known as the Crenshaw/LAX Line in the South Los Angeles region.

“We now have a train that Angelenos can take to reach destinations they never could before via Metro Rail. The K Line is the perfect example of how Metro is continuing to transform public transportation for the better in Los Angeles County,” LA Metro Board Chair Ara J. Najarian said.

The first section of K LRT line with 7 stations connects Expo/Crenshaw station and Westchester/Veterans station. When completed, the entire line will be 13.5 km long with 9 stations stretching from Torrance to LAX to the Crenshaw Corridor to West Hollywood and Hollywood.

With the opening of this section, the citizens and tourists can visit key cultural events and venues in the historic Crenshaw Corridor, public parks and major venues in Inglewood, and have easier access to medical facilities and job and commerce centers throughout Los Angeles without the hassles of traffic and parking.

The USD 2.1 billion K Line project was largely funded by local tax dollars and it was also included USD 233 million in federal funding grants and USD 546 million in loan that helped ensure the timely start of construction.

The new K light rail line is the single largest transport investment in the South Los Angeles region since the construction of the Metro A Line (Blue) and C Line (Green) more than 20 years ago.

“Angelenos generations from now will recognise the opening of this line as a new chapter in Los Angeles’ transport – as a moment where we opened doors of opportunity to communities that had been ignored for too long and put our commitment to making Los Angeles a more inclusive, accessible, and sustainable city on the fast track,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said.

By 2024, the transit authority will complete a new station to connect the K Line with Los Angeles International Airport via its People Mover to airport terminals, finally providing a direct transit connection to one of the world’s busiest airports for the first time. Connecting Metro rail system directly with LAX will be critical for both domestic and international travelers attending the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Los Angeles.

“When we make the all-important connection to LAX, the K Line will be the fastest, most convenient transportation choice for residents, travelers, visitors, and airport employees alike. This line will simply be the best choice for travelers and will finally give them a viable transit alternative to driving to the airport,” L.A. City Councilmember and Metro Board Member Mike Bonin said.

The remaining two stations of the K Line will be put into operation within the next two years with the K Line’s Aviation/Century station being scheduled to be opened in 2023 along with a rail connection to the C (Green) Line. The LAX/Metro Transit Center station along the new K Line tracks is under construction at Aviation and 96th and is planned to open in 2024. The  station will serve as the transfer point between the Metro system and the LAX Automated People Mover that will take riders to and from airport terminals.

The LA Metro plans to expand the K Line north. The agency is now developing a draft environmental impact report that will explore alternatives for extending the K Line to reach Hollywood. Metro plans to release its draft report for public review and comments in 2023.

LA Metro estimates that the line will carry more than 32,000 daily trips by 2035.

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