Decision on Leimert Park Station Nears

Below is a short video with voices from the community, calling for the station.

Should there be a station at Leimert Park?

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The long-awaited decision on the fate of a Leimert Park station for the Crenshaw-to-LAX light rail line could be announced as early as next month.

In May 2011, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board rejected a proposal by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas to add a train station in Leimert Park Village to the upcoming Crenshaw-to-LAX light rail line. Instead, the board opted to add the station only if it could fit within the existing $1.7 billion-budget allocated for the project, leaving the station’s future in question.

The decision was widely criticized by many, including the hundreds who witnessed the board vote, as well as every elected official representing South Los Angeles – city council members and members of the state legislature and of the U.S. Congress – all of whom joined in an unprecedented show of unity to call for the stop in the village.

Now the bids for the Crenshaw-to-LAX line are in and have been reviewed. Within weeks the Metro staff is scheduled to make a recommendation to the MTA board on which bid to accept – by definition, also giving a thumbs up or down to the station. The recommendation, which will be carefully watched by residents, transportation advoctates and elected officials throughout the county, will pave the way for a full vote by the Metro board May 23.

Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chairman and Metro Board member, Mark Ridley-Thomas, who has spearheaded the efforts in support of the station, maintains the Crenshaw/Vernon stop has the potential to become an important component of the revitalization of the Crenshaw corridor.

The new Crenshaw-to-LAX line, which is expected to be completed by 2019, will not only take travelers to the airport, it will take workers employed by restaurants, hotels, rental car fleets and other airport-related industries, to their jobs. And lastly, a station in the village would connect the region to the city’s African American cultural center, as do the stations in Chinatown, Little Tokyo, Culver City and Mariachi Plaza.

Below is a timeline of the history of the struggle for a station at Leimert Park Village.