The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) has announced that Phase II of the Expo Line will officially open in Palms and Santa Monica, US on 20 May.
The Expo Line will be the first rail transit line to the far west side of Los Angeles since Pacific Electric streetcars stopped running to Santa Monica in 1953.
Valued at $1.5bn, the Phase II extension is expected to provide an alternative to the congested Santa Monica Freeway.
The 6.6-mile light rail project will feature seven new stations at Palms, Westwood / Rancho Park, Expo / Sepulveda, Expo / Bundy, 26th Street / Bergamot, 17th Street / Santa Monica College and Downtown Santa Monica.
The Phase II completes the 15-mile Expo Line between downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica, where the final station will be close to the beach, the Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica Place, Third Street Promenade and Tongva Park.
The first phase of the Expo Line between downtown Los Angeles and Culver City opened in 2012.
Upon commissioning the new rail extension, train trips between downtown Santa Monica and downtown Los Angeles will take 46 minutes.
Both projects were largely funded through Measure R, the half-cent sales tax approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2008.
Los Angeles County supervisor and Metro Board chair Mark Ridley-Thomas said: "Metro is in the midst of a region-wide transit revolution.
"With two rail lines opening this spring and three others under construction, as well as massive highway modernisation projects underway, we are easing congestion and changing commuting patterns in all corners of the county."
Metro is testing its fleet of new Kinkisharyo P3010 light rail vehicles (LRVs) on the line.
Each of the stainless-steel LRVs can seat 68 passengers, and are designed to support Metro’s system expansion requirements.
The Expo Line extension project also includes construction of a new Santa Monica rail maintenance facility, which will house up to 48 LRVs and operate on a 24/7 basis.