Big news: Phase one of Metro's Expo line from downtown to Santa Monica (ending, for now, at La Cienega) opens on Saturday, April 28. Reports Metro's The Source blog:
The line will initially open between 7th/Metro Center station in downtown Los Angeles and the La Cienega station. The final station on the first phase of the project, at Venice and Robertson in Culver City, will open this summer.
Meanwhile, construction has begun on the second phase of the Expo Line between Culver City and Santa Monica. That part of the project — funded by the Measure R sales tax increase approved by L.A. County voters in 2008 — is scheduled to open in 2015.
For now, it looks like Metro is committed to calling it the "Expo Line." I honestly thought the agency would have come to its senses by now and gone back to the original plan, calling it the "Aqua Line." Every other line on Metro's system is named after a color -- and this will stick out like a strange anomaly.
In case you forgot, "Expo Line" was the compromise after the 2006 battle over the name. Blame City Councilman Bernard Parks -- here's a snip of what I wrote at the time:
Back in 2000, the guerrilla pop art group Heavy Trash erected several gag signs around town promoting a fake "Metro Aqua Line" from downtown to the ocean.
When the MTA approved its Mid-City/Exposition Light Rail Transit Project, it actually took a cue from the Heavy Trash group and dubbed it the "Aqua line."
Here's where it gets unnecessarily complicated: City Councilman Bernard Parks has decided he doesn't like the "Aqua line" name, the L.A. Times reports today. He also doesn't like the MTA's other suggestion, the Purple Line.
Why? "Those are colors that don't resonate," Parks explained.
Parks proposes that the new extension be called the "Expo Line" -- even though every other line on the MTA's rapid transit system are named after colors (Red, Green, Blue and Gold). His other option? The "Rose Line."
Metro eventually renamed the Wilshire spike of the Red Line (which was its own source of confusion) the "Purple Line." But as for the "Aqua Line," unfortunately, Metro caved, and it's been called the "Expo" line ever since. But the Expo Line is branded with a light blue, "aqua" color -- perhaps with the hope that sanity will prevail and the line will follow the cue of the Metro's color-coded system.