1983: The California Transportation Commission ranks Metro Rail as one of the state’s 10 high priority transit projects.
1983: The State of California approves $32.6 million for the acquisition of the Santa Fe Rail Yard to be used for Metro Rail storage and maintenance shops.
1986: Groundbreaking is held on Segment 1 of the Metro Rail Red Line Project on the site of the Civic Center station at 1st and Hill Streets.
The event marks the return of rail after 35 years of mass transit planning by the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority (1951-1964) and Southern California Rapid Transit District.
The 4.4 mile, five-station segment will stretch from Union Station to MacArthur Park, with Segment 1 to be completed by October of 1992.
Numerous photos from the groundbreaking ceremony can be found here.
2006: The Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority breaks ground on the 8.5-mile Metro Exposition Line.
The Expo Line is projected to cost $640 million and estimated ridership is pegged at 43,600 daily riders by the year 2020.
Los Angeles County Supervisor and LACMTA Board Member Gloria Molina declares:
“Today’s groundbreaking on this crucial link to the regional transportation system marks a major milestone in bringing rail access to the Westside. It’s been over 50 years since Pacific Electric’s Santa Monica Air Line provided passenger service along this right-of-way and in less than five years we will once again have a rail system in place to ease congestion and speed travel times for Westside residents.”
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa acknowledges the efforts of current and former Board members and the involvement of cities along the Expo Line right-of-way:
“We understand that if we don’t begin to rethink what the region looks like; if we don’t begin to invest in public transit and move people out of the single-passenger automobile; if we don’t figure out how to treat density along transportation corridors like they do in every great city around the world; we’re not going to address the quality of life in this city.”