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What is Metro Rail?

L.A.’s Metro Rail system was introduced to the public on July 14, 1990, with the start of Blue Line service from Long Beach to Downtown Los Angeles.  In the 20 years since, Metro Rail has expanded to serve several regions of L.A. County.  As of 2010, the system has five lines, with a total of 79 miles of track and 70 stations.

The Blue, Green and Gold Lines are light-rail lines, meaning they use vehicles powered by overhead lines and can run in a mix of environments, including at-grade, underground, and elevated.  The Red and Purple Lines are heavy-rail subway lines, providing high-capacity service between Downtown Los Angeles, Wilshire Boulevard, Hollywood, and the San Fernando Valley.

In the coming years, Metro Rail will continue to expand, powered by new sales tax revenue from voter-approved Measure R.  Two new light-rail lines (the Expo Line and the Crenshaw Line) will open this decade, providing rail service for the first time to Santa Monica, Culver City, LAX, and Southwest Los Angeles.  The Foothill Gold Line project will extend the Gold Line into the northeast San Gabriel Valley.  And the light-rail “Regional Connector” through Downtown Los Angeles will finally remove the gap between L.A.’s northern and southern light rail lines.  In addition, the Westside Subway Extension will continue the Purple Line west along Wilshire Boulevard, providing access to Fairfax, Museum Row, Beverly Hills, Century City, and Westwood.

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