With the completion of construction on Phase 2 of the Metro Expo Line, which is scheduled for early 2016 and will extend the light-rail line to downtown Santa Monica, the portion of Silicon Beach including Bergamot Place and Bergamot Station looks to become a zone of increased pedestrian activity and decreased traffic. That’s because one of the seven new Expo Line rail stations coming in as part of Phase 2, the 26th Street/Bergamot station, will be located immediately north of the Bergamot Station arts complex, bringing passengers right to the doorstep of the Bergamot area.
Once the second phase of the Expo Line is completed, the line will have a total length of 15.2 miles, with an anticipated travel time of 46 minutes — even during rush hour — from downtown L.A. (where the line originates) to the final stop in downtown Santa Monica, and will be the first extension of Metro Rail service to L.A.’s Westside.
The Expo Line project in its entirety is just one part of what amounts to a major investment in public transportation throughout Los Angeles County, and its completion will represent the end result of over 20 years of collaboration and planning between multiple jurisdictions in the county.
It is expected that the 26th Street/Bergamot station will contribute to a noticeable reduction of gridlock in Silicon Beach, which has seen a growing number of commuter vehicles congesting its roads in recent years as it increasingly becomes a highly attractive location for businesses, especially tech firms and entertainment companies, to set up shop. At the same time, it is anticipated that it will bring more visitors to Bergamot Station to enjoy the wealth of artistic offerings on display there.
Along with the 26th Street/Bergamot rail station, Silicon Beach will see a new Expo Line maintenance facility at Olympic Boulevard and Stewart Street, just east of Bergamot Place and Bergamot Station. That facility is currently under construction and is scheduled to be completed in 2015. Currently in the planning stages is a buffer park to be created adjacent to the facility in order to minimize visual and environmental impacts and provide benefits to the surrounding community. Construction on the park is anticipated to begin in 2015 following completion of the maintenance facility.