The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) broke ground on the Rail to Rail Active Transportation Corridor Project, a new 5.5-mile bicycle and pedestrian path that will transform a blighted, unused rail corridor in South Los Angeles and connect local bicyclists and walkers to current and future Metro rail lines in South Los Angeles.
The $143 million project, paid for by a variety of city, county, state, and federal funding sources, is a significant investment in the South L.A. community and will inject new life and vibrancy into the historically disadvantaged area. It is expected to be completed in 2024.
The path will connect the future K Line (Crenshaw/LAX) Fairview Heights Station, Metro Silver Line, and the A Line (Blue) Slauson Station with a two-way Class I, II, and III bike path and pedestrian walkway along Metro-owned right-of-way and along city and county streets. Path amenities will include extensive landscaping, including several hundred shade trees, greenery, lights, security cameras, street furniture, and wayfinding signage, among others.
The path will be constructed along the former Harbor Subdivision and will improve access to the neighborhood communities of Hyde Park, Chesterfield Square, Harvard Park, Vermont-Slauson, South Park, and Central-Alameda.
Rail to Rail was funded through a variety of sources, including a federal TIGER grant, Transportation Development Act funds, proceeds from Metro’s 2008 Measure R sales tax, L.A. County’s Measure W Safe and Clean Water Grant, L.A. County Repurposed Earmark, the State Active Transportation Program Grant, and a CalSTA Soil Mitigation Grant.
“I could not be happier to see this important active transportation project break ground,” said Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins. “The Rail to Rail project will improve on a well-worn path thousands of people in the community used every day, improving access to transit and adding beautiful amenities to the community in the process. Thank you to the Metro Board, the City of L.A., our federal and state partners, and everyone else who worked so hard to bring this project to the people of South L.A.”
The latest census data reveals that this corridor has some of the county’s highest percentages of people who rely on transit, biking, and walking to commute. Nearly 19% of households in the area do not have access to a car. Census data also indicates that nearly 4,300 pedestrians and 2,500 cyclists use the corridor each day. Rail to Rail will provide a significant safety benefit for bicyclists and pedestrians because the new path will be mainly separated from busy, congested local streets.
Adding to new transit options in the area, Metro anticipates opening the K Line later this year. The K Line will extend from E Line (Expo) at Expo/Crenshaw Station and merge with C Line (Green) at Aviation/LAX Station, connecting the Crenshaw Corridor, Inglewood, and El Segundo. It will add another 8.5 miles to the 106-mile Metro Rail System.