Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

LA-area light rail now reaches from distant suburbs to sea

Commuter light rail extended across metropolitan Los Angeles to the Pacific on Friday for the first time since the 1950s.

The opening of the 6.6-mile final leg of the Expo Line connected seaside Santa Monica to downtown Los Angeles and Metro lines stretching as far inland as suburban Azusa, some 40 miles from the coast.

The milestone fulfills a decades-long dream of public officials and transit fans, and its symbolic value is undeniable. Its true test, however, will be whether it can shake up the commuting status quo in sprawling and automotive LA.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority says the ride from downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica will...