While this isn’t nearly as cool as the idea of a monorail from downtown to the beach, the MTA is planning on breaking ground on the Exposition Light Rail line some time this year which is already planned and approved to run from the Metro Center Station at 7th Street to a Washington & Culver stop in Culver City.
It now appears that the City of Santa Monica is making arrangements for the rail line to continue into their city and have purchased property to convert into a rail line station near the 3rd Street Promenade…
The City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to purchase more than 104,000 square feet of land currently owned by Sears Roebuck and Co., giving elected officials and residents more power in which to shape the future of downtown…
…City officials are discussing the possibility of locating a light-rail terminus at the site, as well as affordable housing, parking and supportive retail, said Miriam Mack, the city’s economic development manager.
There is hope that downtown will be served by the Exposition Light Rail line, and that the Sears property will serve as a major transit hub…
Plans for the rail line are still preliminary, though more than $505 million has been set aside for the first phase, which goes as far as Culver City and is scheduled to be completed in 2012. No money has yet been earmarked for the Santa Monica extension. (source: Santa Monica Daily Press)
The MTA has a site with maps, plans, schedules, and updates for the Metro Rail Mid-City/Exposition Light Rail Transit Project, including an overview of what Light Rail Transit is:
Light rail trains are electric-powered vehicles that operate primarily on exclusive rights-of-way. Light rail transit (Light Rail Transit) sometimes travels on streets with vehicular traffic. Electric-powered vehicles provide smooth rides and do not create air pollution. They are convenient and avoid traffic congestion through right-of-way separation and traffic signal priority. Light Rail Transit is known for flexible at-grade service that is pedestrian friendly, whether it is running on streets or in a right-of-way.
A far cry from the flying car lanes I was hoping for, but close enough in spirit to a monorail to think we’re heading in the right direction.
(h/t LA Observed)