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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
Southern California

Construction Of LAX-Crenshaw Metro Line Brings Mixed Reactions

Eric Ruble shows us what the city is doing to help affected small businesses.

In a few years, the LA Metro will finally connect to Los Angeles International Airport. But a rail link to LAX could be bad business for many businesses along Crenshaw Boulevard.

As a result, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and other members of the LA Metro Board opened the Business Solution Center in the View Park neighborhood on Monday. Officials say the office will help small businesses survive through the expansion of the LA Metro's Crenshaw Line. 

"This center is about making sure businesses get the support they need while Metro makes the infrastructure investments Angelenos deserve,” said the mayor. 

This likely comes as a reaction to significant controversy caused by the project. Many businesses on Crenshaw near Exposition Boulevard have been affected, and future construction between 48th and 60th Streets could impact others -- at least until completion of the project in 2019. But some Angelenos have been waiting for a public-transportation connection to the airport for decades. Organizers said new leadership on the LA Metro Board finally set the project into motion.

"[The Board] took action and recognized the importance of our small business communities," said Shalonda Baldwin, a project manager at Metro. 

Some small-business workers were in support of the rail project and satisfied with the city's outreach. Stephanie Bravo, a cook and dishwasher at Tak's Coffee, said that the increase in construction workers has actually been a boost for business. But Ruby Cottle, the owner of the nearby Radiance Boutique, said that traffic detours have created a drop in customers. 

Cottle and other business owners present at the Business Solution Center opening said they were hopeful the city's leaders would uphold their commitment to the Crenshaw community. 

Correction: An earlier version stated businesses would be displaced. While at least one business relocated because of the project, most are able to remain open during construction.   


Reporter Eric Ruble has some of the facts incorrect. I have been trying to get in contact with anyone in the newsroom and nobody answer our phone calls and e-mails. My name is José Ubaldo, Metro Media Relations, (213) 922-3087, a-mail : [email protected]. Really appreciated if someone contact us to make the corrections. thanks.

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