Most of Phase 1 of the Los Angeles Metro Expo Line
opened on April 28, 2012 with the last two stations (Culver City and Farmdale) opening on June 20, 2012. The line (from Expo Park/USC onwards) uses the ROW of the Santa Monica Air Line that was the Pacific Electric trolley route from Santa Monica to Downtown Los Angeles and last saw passenger service on September 30, 1953. The line though was kept in service for local freight traffic until 1987. Luckily the ROW was purchased by Metro and preserved instead of getting divided up piecemeal and currently about half of it has reopened and the line all the way to Santa Monica is under construction as Phase 2 and should be open in November 2016.
The line that mostly runs in the median of Exposition Blvd and may stations have split-platforms with the platforms for each direction completely offset from each other on the near or far sides of an intersection with the namesake street crossing between the platforms. Every new station on the line also has a unified design that is unique to the expo line. The fencing and steel framework of the stations are all a similar Aqua Blue to the line's color. Stations have unique wavy steel canopies along the entire platforms. These don't deflect rain but more diffuse the California Sun. Every platform also has about two more solid steel canopies that provide plenty of shelter from rainstorms.
The line represents a few firsts for Metro:
It is the first line that shares tracks with another line. The line enters downtown Los Angeles on the two tracks shared with the Blue Line terminating at 7th St/Metro Center, stopping at Pico Station shared with the Blue Line before finally going straight and continuing south on Flower Street after the Blue Line curves east on Washington Street (just before the Blue Line's Grand Station). Phase 1 of the line was built without a train yard line (one will be built in Santa Monica with Phase 2) and Expo Line trains use the Blue Line's in Long Beach. This also means that the line's entire fleet is shared with the blue line consisting mainly of Metro's oldest cars, the P865s and P2020s supplemented by some P2000s (that are also running on the blue line) that have been relocated from the gold line with Metro's newest cars (the P2550s) all staying on the Gold Line. The strip maps in the Blue Line fleet now show the routings of both the Blue and Expo Lines since their fleets are unified. There are tons of sings at 7th St/Metro Center telling to passengers to look at the destination signs ("Long Beach" or "Culver City") to make sure their boarding the right train.
The line is the first to be represented by a name and not just a color as the Expo Line for Exposition Blvd that it runs along. It is aqua-blue on maps but station bullets for the line are an aqua dot with a black E in the middle of them. (I actually just used the NYC Subway bullets font sent to make the bullet used on this website for the station pages). It seems from a few surviving bullets without E's that the line was originally supposed to be represented by a simple aqua dot like every other metro line but this aqua colored dot was seen as looking to similar to the darker blue of the Blue Line. The Expo Line name for the route also seems a bit short lived, Metro is currently beginning to build the Regional Connector Tunnel through downtown that will connect the Blue and Expo Lines with the Gold Line through downtown. The plan is to split the Gold Line into two with the Blue Line running from Long Beach all the way to Montclair (or wherever the Gold Line's Foothill Extension has reached by then) and the Expo Line through on the southern Gold Line Branch to East Los Angeles. I can only assume that the Blue Line name will be used to replace the northern branch of the Gold Line and the Gold Line name will be used for the combined routing with the Expo Line so Metro can get back to only color line designations.