Friday, December 11, 2009

LACMTA approves LRT for South LA

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Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority late Thursday approved plans for an 8.5-mile light rail line, running roughly north-south, dubbed the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor Project. LACMTA cited input from numerous community leaders and citizens calling for LRT to augment, or replace, existing bus service (many rejecting calls for Bus Rapid Transit in the process).

Still at issue for the proposed line is one of location. Some supporting the LRT line want much of it placed underground. Despite that residual concern, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas hailed the decision, saying, "It's a huge victory for the Crenshaw community and the South Bay community ... I expect it will have a highly positive impact on the quality oflife in that corridor."

The line would run from Exposition Boulevard to Imperial Highway, following Crenshaw Boulevard and passing through Leimert Park and Southwest LA, before running southwest through Inglewood and south to Aviation Boulevard near Los Angeles International Airport.

Officials hope to break ground on the project in 2012 or 2013, and open the line in 2018.