The Metro Orange Line Extension kicked-off its grand opening Saturday with music, food, family fun and free rides from the Canoga station to the newly extended Chatsworth station.
The 4-mile extension is set to offer faster travel times, improved bus connections, and better access throughout LA county.
“We’re here to celebrate the expansion of the Orange Line to this Chatsworth station,” said Claudia Osorio, event staff member. “We have a lot of people here today to take part in our festivities including different vendors, booths, speakers and a special ribbon cutting.”
In addition to the extension, some new features will include new stations along the new route, new bikeways and pedestrian paths, a new park-and-ride lot at Sherman Way station, and additional parking at the Chatsworth station.
This busway will offer improvements to north-south mobility in the western San Fernando Valley by connecting activity centers along the corridor and connecting the Metro Orange Line with Metrolink.
“These festivities show us that they care about our mobility,” said Anthone Sipin, orange line rider. “The free rides from the Canoga station to this station are a great way to get the community involved.”
The original Orange Line runs 14 miles from North Hollywood to Woodland Hills. With the new extension, the line now reaches the Chatsworth Metrolink Station located on 10040 Old Depot Plaza Road.
The project’s original budget was $215.6 million, but was able to come in under budget.
“It’s apparent that they put in a lot of work and thought into this extension of the orange line,” said Eric Volfango, bike rider and event attendee. “I’ve always enjoyed the bike paths from the North Hollywood station to the Canoga station and I think it’s great that they’ve extended it because it gives me even more ground to cover.”
Volfango, 22, has picked up bicycling as his newest hobby and enjoys the paths along the orange line. In addition, he uses the orange line to travel within the Valley to visit friends.
“There are so many busy streets and so many stoplights in the Valley. It’s hard to find a path that doesn’t have a stop sign or a stoplight,” said Volfango. “Luckily, the orange line bike paths offer a smoother ride in which I don’t have to stop too often.”
The Chatsworth station grand opening was a country-western themed event complete with heart-pumping country music, a food truck, and various vendors.
In addition, children were able to enjoy free pony rides and petting zoo for all ages.
“Despite this heat, it’s a great time for Metro users like me,” said Sipin. “We got to come out, enjoy the free rides, listen to live country music, see other Orange Line users, and meet all these Metro workers who helped make this extension possible.”
Free rides from the Canoga station to the Chatsworth station ended Sunday.