LOS ANGELES (AP) — Trains are busting out all over the city that long ago crowned the car king.
The expansion of Los Angeles' public rail network continued Tuesday with the ceremonial ground-breaking for a $2.1 billion project that will bring light rail to some of the sprawling region's poorest neighborhoods for the first time since streetcars were ripped out in the 1950s.
Speakers including U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx said that when the tracks open in 2019, historically black areas would see fresh vitality and economic opportunity.
"Folks who have been transferring buses three or four times a day to get to work may soon be able to find a job right down the street," Foxx told a crowd of several hundred.
Soon after a round of speeches, construction equipment began to demolish a nearby school that will be replaced by one of eight new stations on the 8.5-mile line.
An important part of the conversation was a missing mile — the mile between the closest new station and Los Angeles International Airport.
Many world cities have extended rail service directly to passenger terminals. In Los Angeles, the plan is to build the Crenshaw/LAX project while transportation planners sift through various proposals to connect the new line to the airport with a yet-to-be-designed — or funded — people mover.