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Transportation and Mobility

PHOTOS: LA Metro's Long-Awaited K Line Extension Is Finally Open, And We Went Along For A Ride

A train breaks through a banner reading "Now arriving... The K!" The banner is held by two Metro staff members.
The Metro K Line train breaks through a banner as it opens to the public on Oct. 7, 2022.
(Raquel Natalicchio
/
for LAist )
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L.A. Metro’s Crenshaw/LAX K Line extension has officially opened, running through South Los Angeles and Inglewood. The plan is to ultimately connect the area with the Los Angeles International Airport — though that part of the line won’t open for a couple more years.

The opening (sans direct LAX rail connection) included a K Line Fest hosted Thursday by Metro at Leimert Park Plaza from noon to 6 p.m.

People lined up to ride the new route, which opened to the public shortly after noon.

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A man walks along a textured pathway using a long white cane for the visually impaired to guide him. He's wearing a dark orange polo shirt, gray shorts and a sun hat, and he's passing beneath a sign that reads "Leimert Park" followed by a letter K in a pink circle, for the Metro K Line.
Visually impaired riders are given a tour on how to navigate the tactile grips along the new Metro K Line as it opens to the public in Los Angeles on October 7, 2022.
(Raquel Natalicchio
/
For LAist)

While waiting for the station to open earlier in the day, rider Cynthia Gibson said that she was there because she wanted to be part of transit history. She'll choose the K Line over driving for trips in the area, Gibson said, and also hopes to use it to get to LAX once those stations open — possibly in 2024.

First look

LAist’s Ryan Fonseca was also there and took his first ride shortly after the opening.

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A brief (but long) history

Transit planners envisioned an “Airport-Southwest Corridor” that would start in downtown L.A., then run along Exposition, Leimert, and Crenshaw boulevards on its route to LAX. That was 1967. It took more than half a century of studying, planning, and constructing (and delays). What changed: Money. When Measure R passed in 2008, it cleared a path to this day.

The line moves along a 1.3-mile-long art project celebrating L.A.’s African American achievement, known as Destination Crenshaw.

A colorful tile mosaic shows butterflies and flowers and swooping black lines reminiscent of graffiti art, along with stylized words in cursive that read "Love can do that."
Art displayed at one of the new Metro Crenshaw K Line stops.
(Raquel Natalicchio
/
For LAist)

If you want to check out the K Line and take a ride, the whole Metro system is free all weekend.

Read Ryan Fonseca's full guide to the long-awaited rail line here. And check out more photos from opening day down below.

More photos

A black Metro subway train with yellow trim approaches the platform as three people wait. Two of them are wearing yellow and orange safety vests. The other is a woman wearing a white baseball cap with a black bag slung over one shoulder. The bag bears the word "Metro" and the organization's signature capital "M" in a white circle.
The Metro K Line opens to the public in Los Angeles on October 7, 2022.
(Raquel Natalicchio
/
For LAist)
The cockpit of a subway train with a view of the track and the yellow-edged station platform as it arrives at a station. The instrument panel sits below the main viewport, and on the left and right sides of that viewport are vertical video screens. Above the viewport is a series of lights or dials and a placard that reads "1227B."
A Metro K Line train arrives at the platform on the first day of operation in Los Angeles on October 7, 2022.
(Raquel Natalicchio
/
For LAist)
A man with olive skin tone wearing a red safety vest stands in the open doorway of a Metro subway train, smiling as he meets eyes with two older brown-skinned women seated nearby.
Some of the first riders as the Metro K Line opened to the public in Los Angeles on October 7, 2022.
(Raquel Natalicchio
/
For LAist)
A Metro train car is filled with a diverse group of riders. Every seat is taken and several people are standing. Nearly everyone is smiling. A few still wear medical masks, a sign of the lingering COVID-19 pandemic.
Metro K Line opens to the public in Los Angeles on October 7, 2022.
(Raquel Natalicchio
/
For LAist)
A group of children sit on the train. Two boys have backpacks on their laps, one with a mask hanging off his lower lip. Two girls sit behind them on a seat higher up, both smiling and one of them talking to the other.
Children ride the Metro K Line on opening day in Los Angeles on October 7, 2022.
(Raquel Natalicchio
/
For LAist)
A girl with her hair in pigtails and wearing a green T-shirt peers down at a sheet of paper in her lap that reads across the top "Crenshaw Line Scavenger Hunt: Opening Day!" The worksheet has a list of numbered items running down the page, and she is drawing in the right margin with a pink marker.
Kids on a school field trip check off a scavenger hunt list made for the opening of the Metro K Line in Los Angeles on October 7, 2022.
(Raquel Natalicchio
/
For LAist)

A conductor, blurred in the foreground and framed by a narrow doorway, looks out from a subway train cockpit onto the tracks, though it is not clear if this is the front of the back of the train.
A conductor on the new Metro K Line in Los Angeles on October 7, 2022.
(Raquel Natalicchio
/
For LAist)
People exit the train on the newly opened Metro Crenshaw K Line. An older woman with a baseball cap, a blue and yellow patterned tunic, calf-length black pants, and pink shoes pushes a red wheeled walker as she exits, her belongings secured on a sling under the handlebars.
People exit a train along the Metro K Line, which opened to the public in Los Angeles on October 7, 2022.
(Raquel Natalicchio
/
For LAist)

A broad staircase with two handrails running down the middle and flanked by escalators leads up to the ground level, where blue skies and palm trees can be seen behind a sign that reads "Exit Crenshaw Boulevard / MLK Junior Boulevard."
Martin Luther King Jr. Station on the Metro K Line opened to the public in Los Angeles on October 7, 2022.
(Raquel Natalicchio
/
For LAist)
What questions do you have about getting around L.A.?
Ryan Fonseca explores the challenges communities face getting from point a to point b and the potential solutions down the road, sidewalk, track and bike path. 🚴🏽‍♀️ 👨🏿‍🦽 🚶‍♂️ 🚇 🚙 🛴 🚌