For the first time in 60 years, Angelenos can take a break from the city’s gridlocked traffic and hop on the extended Expo Line train from Downtown all the way to Santa Monica beach
In Los Angeles, the US’s most congested city, commuters spend a hellish 164 hours a year stuck in a traffic jam. Mention rush hour on the 405 or the 101 and drivers will roll their eyes and groan. With a reputation for gridlocked highways, smog and an unwieldy public transport system, the car capital of America is a daunting city to navigate.
The I-10 from Downtown to Santa Monica is notoriously slow at weekends, when it can take up to two hours to drive the 17½ miles. But from this weekend, many Angelenos will finally be able to make a less stressful trip to the coveted beachside town. In what mayor Eric Garcetti describes as a “game changer”, the city has spent $1.5bn on the new Expo Line extension to the coast. Seven additional stations and 6.6 miles of new track mean that, as of 20 May, sun seekers can hop on a train, surfboard under one arm, in Downtown LA, and hit the beach 46 minutes later.