Expo Line Rolls Towards SMC

New York is famous for theirs, and most major cities rely on them, but like football teams, they have never lasted in Los Angeles.

However, times are changing, and city planners know this. So make way for the new Expo light rail system because it is coming to a commute near you.

Work has already begun on phase two of the city's plan to run an electric rail system from the Culver City area, which will already be connected to downtown, all the way
through Santa Monica.

It will run through Santa Monica from Sepulveda where it will connect to already existing line, and down the median of Olympic Ave, or through the middle of Colorado Ave. The train will be 90 feet long,
eight and a half feet wide, and fifteen feet tall, according to the Expo Authority's website.

Although literal construction will not begin until 2010, Phase two of the Expo project began Jan 2007. Genevieve Bertone, the project manager for the Sustainability
Coordination at SMC, urged school representatives to attend previous public hearings "to ensure the needs of the College are considered in the planning process."
Bertone stated that there are two main goals for the college when it came to the Expo project.

The first is to "make sure an effective and efficient light rail system gets built and is operational as early as possible." The second is to "make sure the system has a station at 17 St. where the college can employ a shuttle link to and from its

If both of these goals are met that would mean that by the completion date, students from all over the Los Angeles area could attend SMC more easily. It would also ease the congestion on freeways and in the
parking structures on campus. Bertone is enthusiastic about the idea and considers it a "great alternative for faculty, staff and

She also made reference to the planet's growing environmental problems. "The expo light rail is an important solution for the entire region as we look for ways to reduce
congestion and related green house gas emissions," Bertone said.

Recently, the Expo Line planners and the public reviewed the project's environmental impact. The draft environmental impact report is available on their website, or in
hard copy at Santa Monica's main library. Expo will also be accepting public comments on the plan until March 27, comments must be sent to Exposition Metro Line Construction
Authority Monica Born PE Project Director, 707 Wilshire Boulevard, 34 Floor Los Angeles, CA 90017.

Several subject s concerning the Expo light rail are still being discussed by the community. For instance, there are still issues as to which alignment option that the
City of Santa Monica has offered (Olympic, or Colorado) will be used.

According to the Expo Authority's website , at local community workshops, held in March and April of 2008, and over three hundred
stakeholders attended. Many people had concerns about grade crossings, as well as the noise levels of the train, a continuous bike path that is to run alongside the train, and the locations of stations and parking areas were also discussed.