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Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension opening set for Nov. 15

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Following five years of construction and coming in on budget with a flawless four-million-plus-hour construction safety record, the Edward R. Roybal Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension from Union Station downtown to East Los Angeles will open to the public on Sunday, Nov. 15.

"The long-awaited
Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension is going to greatly benefit the community by
linking it with schools, hospitals, shopping and business opportunities throughout
the county," said Ara Najarian, chair of the Los Angeles County
Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors. "It’s a
wonderful example of the power of our partnership with the workers who built
it, with the local people who insisted on it and with our federal legislators
who secured more than half of the $898 million needed to build it."

The six-mile Eastside
Extension light rail segment will have eight new stations, two of them
underground at Soto and Mariachi Plaza, and 1.7 miles of underground track. It
will link the existing Metro Gold Line to Pasadena with Little Tokyo and the
Arts District in downtown Los Angeles, before traveling east along 1st Street
through Boyle Heights to East Los Angeles. When it opens, it will bring the Metro
Rail system to a total of 79 miles of rail — all built during the past 20
years.

The Metro Gold Line
Eastside Extension will be supported by a confluence of buses to further extend
its reach into the neighborhoods. More than 20 bus lines — including those
serving L.A.’s downtown Union Station — will connect the Eastside Extension
with greater Los Angeles County. Atlantic Station, for example, is the location
of a mini-bus hub for East Los Angeles and is served by six lines. Other
stations, such as Indiana Station, are served by local buses as well as
municipal carriers including Montebello Transit.

Groundbreaking for the
line, which was constructed by Eastside LRT Constructors, was in July 2004.

Ridership on the
extension is expected to grow steadily, reaching 13,000 average weekday
passengers by the end of the first year of operation.

Free rides on the entire
Metro Gold Line from Pasadena to East Los Angeles will be offered on opening
day Sunday, Nov. 15. Community celebrations also are planned around some of the
stations. Local, state and federal officials will take an inaugural ride
following an official ceremony the day before on Saturday, Nov. 14.

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