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MTA, mayor preview Gold Line extension

October 30, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa got a sneak peek of the Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension Friday. The extension will link the existing Gold Line to Pasadena with Little Tokyo and downtown's Arts District. It will then continue through Boyle Heights to East Los Angeles.

"What's so important about this train station and this line is that this is one of the most transit-dependent communities in the Los Angeles region, but it's also a stone's throw away from downtown and city hall," said the mayor while riding on the Gold Line.

"When people ask me about Boyle Heights they think about it as some far-away place, but it's a mile away," he added.

Community leaders believe the extension will change parts of the city for the better.

"I think it's going to be two-fold. It's going to bring in business, developers. I feel in about 20 years, East L.A. will be a different East L.A," said East Los Angeles community activist Diana Taranto.

The MTA's CEO Art Leahy said the project is also on-time, and at $900 million, under budget.

"I'm really happy about the line. I'm excited about it. People are going to ride it and they are going to enjoy it," said Leahy.

The six-mile light rail will open to the public on Nov. 15.

The extension is one more piece of the MTA's mass transit plan is in place: A link between the heart of the city a historic neighborhood, which is a connection that many hope will be more than just a commute for workers.


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