The massive subway project under construction beneath the streets of downtown Los Angeles has long been seen as the linchpin in L.A. County’s ambitious rail expansion plans, a way to ease commutes and attract more riders to a rapidly growing transit system.
The twin tunnels known as the Regional Connector are designed to knit together three rail lines into two mega-routes that will allow passengers to ride from East Los Angeles to Santa Monica or from Azusa to Long Beach without changing trains.
Early progress on the project was rocky, forcing Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials to increase the budget twice, to $1.75 billion, and push back the opening date by a year, to December 2021.
Now, it appears riders may wait longer still. As the contractor grapples with labor shortages, progress has slowed, pushing the completion date to mid-March 2022, Metro said. Rail service is scheduled to begin about five months after that.
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