A look at Artesia and its businesses ahead of LA Metro rail line project

The first phase of the West Santa Ana Branch Project connects Artesia to Slauson. We show you Artesia ahead of construction.
ARTESIA, Calif. (KABC) -- The LA Country Metropolitan Transportation Authority agreed in January to advance the first phase of a new light rail train line.

The first phase will connect a station at Pioneer Blvd. in Artesia with a Slauson station. The second phase will connect Slauson with Union Station in downtown Los Angeles.

"Artesia is such a small city but we are so rich in its diversity in 1.6 square miles," said Artesia Mayor Melissa Ramoso.

Mayor Ramoso says the light rail will be a game changer.

"We're a part of what's called a disadvantaged community, so we'll be able to give transportation and opportunities to others," Mayor Ramoso said.

Mayor Ramoso says access to more resources like education will be helpful to the community.

Artesia has been referred to as "little India" by many, and Pioneer Blvd. is a popular street.

"Here we have a full concentrated strip of clothing stores, restaurants, anything you could possibly imagine," said Tanmay Asija, strategy and operations manager at Frontier Heritage.

Frontier Heritage has been in Artesia for 16 years, and it's been a family business for generations.

"My grandfather actually opened up the store in 1954 in a small town in Punjab. Since then its expanded to his seven kids. Five boys, two girls," said Asija.

Across the street from Frontier Heritage, you'll find Surati Farsan Mart.

They opened up in 1986 and the owners are from Gujarat, India.

They offer Indian sweets, snacks, traditional Gujarati food and also Indian street food.

"I would recommend that you would try out our pani puri which is small fried tortillas served with a side of spicy water. We also have dosa which is a rice crepe served with a potato filling and a lentil soup and chutney. The pav bhaji is like a Indian version of a sloppy joe served with a side of bread," said Rema Gopal, social media manager at Surati Farsan Mart.

Those are just two of the many places to visit on Pioneer Blvd. where the new light rail station will be.

Construction for the first phase of the project is expected to begin in 2023.

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