Photo Courtesy LA Metro.

By Libby Rainey/LAist

Originally published May 22

The much anticipated rail line that will connect Azusa to Long Beach and Santa Monica to East Los Angeles will open on June 16.

The regional connector will also make transfers easier for people using other lines. The Red, Gold, Expo and Purple lines will all stop at 7th and Metro.

The backstory

Public meetings on the regional connector began way back in 2009 — when an LAist story optimistically reported:

When it happens, it will be a one seat ride from Long Beach to Pasadena and Culver City (or perhaps Santa Monica) to East LA without an extra fare or timely transfer (officials say you can save up to 21 minutes on an end-to-end commute). Count eight years into the future and this could be the reality for Los Angeles, thanks to Metro’s Regional Connector, a light rail link to connect the Gold, Blue and Expo Lines. Currently, the routes terminate just over a mile from each other, either at Union Station or the 7th/Metro Center Station.

In reality, construction on the 1.9-mile regional connector didn’t even start until 2014. The work required years of street closures snarling downtown L.A. traffic.

With an initial projected cost of $709 to $910 million, the project ultimately topped $1.6 billion.

What’s changing

The new routes include three new underground stations.

A look at how the lines will connect. Photo Courtesy LA Metro.

Several stations along the routes now have new artwork. You can catch a sneak peak here:

YouTube video

What’s next

Testing on the lines got underway in March.

Free rides will be offered on opening day.

This report is reprinted with permission from Southern California Public Radio. © 2023 Southern California Public Radio. All rights reserved.

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