Test trains have been running along the Expo Line light rail’s new extension between Culver City and downtown Santa Monica for a while now, but the line is about to enter the last phase of testing before fully opening to the public—very soon.
Santa Monica Next took a look at a report from the Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority (the agency that manages the actual building of the project), which says that the authority is expecting to hand the keys to the extension over to Metro next week. That’s kind of a big deal: once Metro is in control of the line, they can begin pre-revenue testing, which is their practice run for when the line eventually opens.
The construction authority’s report also anticipates that the Expo Line will open in April or May 2016. That’s their estimate, not Metro’s, and Metro will, of course, have the final say in when the line is ready to operate. (There are plenty of tests they have to run.) Metro previously announced that the line would open in the spring of 2016, but hasn’t elaborated further.
When it opens, the Expo Line’s second phase to Santa Monica will provide the first commuter rail service to the seaside city in about 50 years.