Coming to Los Angeles in 2047: The Busiest Light Rail Route in the U.S.

An extended Crenshaw Line would cut north-south through the middle of the Los Angeles basin, connecting three rail transit lines and some of the busiest buses in the county. Some don't want to wait 30 years for the plan to come to fruition.

2 minute read

August 1, 2018, 9:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Metro Rail Map

Notice a lack of north-south connections on the left side of this map? A lot of people live there. | airbus777 / Flickr

Laura J. Nelson reports on a plan to extend a still-under-construction light rail line that would create a north-south spine connecting three existing light rail and subway lines with new transfer stations.

The Crenshaw Line extension, as the still-speculative project is called, would travel through Hollywood, Beverly Grove, and West Hollywood, connecting to transfer stations on the Expo Line, the Red Line, and the Purple Line (the last of that list is already under construction on a westward expansion). Nelson explains the appeal of the project:

The area studied for the route — a crescent shape that includes West Hollywood, Mid-City, Miracle Mile and Arlington Heights — has a higher population density per square mile than San Francisco, Boston and Chicago.

Six of Metro’s 10 most popular bus lines cross through the area, the agency said. The agency said ridership on the extension could top 90,000 trips per day, which would make it the busiest light-rail line in the United States.

Initial plans for the Crenshaw Line extension targets a delivery date three decades in the future, in 2047, but already has $2 billion in funding allocated from Measure M. Given the high ridership projections for the line, some advocates are pushing for the line to move forward in Metro's priority list, perhaps in time for the 2028 Summer Olympics.

Nelson provides a lot more detail about the many alternatives regarding route and construction method that must still be determined as Metro plans the extension.

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