With a Korean fan dance, a rabbi's blessing and political chest-thumping, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Friday dedicated the 2.1-mile Wilshire extension of the Los Angeles subway.
Sounding like an evangelical preacher, MTA board Chairman Larry Zarian extolled the virtues of public transit during a ceremony in the new Wilshire Boulevard/Vermont Avenue subway station.
Then, transit officials, contractors and business owners boarded a train for a ride through the three new stations.
The extension opens to the public at 4:43 a.m. today for a weekend of free rides. Entertainment will be provided from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today and Sunday at the new stations along Wilshire at Vermont, Normandie and Western avenues and at the other end of the Red Line, at Union Station.
Beginning Monday, the fare--a quarter since the subway opened in 1993--increases to $1.35, or 90 cents with a token.