Los Angeles Metro moves forward with light rail linking Artesia and Slauson

ARTESIA, Calif. (KABC) — The LA Country Metropolitan Transportation Authority agreed in January to advance the first phase of a new light rail line.

The first phase will connect a station to Pioneer Blvd. to Artesia with a Slauson station. The second phase will connect Slauson to Union Station in downtown Los Angeles.

“Artesia is such a small town, but we are so rich in its diversity in 1.6 square miles,” said Artesia Mayor Melissa Ramoso.

Mayor Ramoso says light rail will be a game changer.

“We are part of what is called an underprivileged community, so we will be able to provide transportation and opportunities for others,” Mayor Ramoso said.

Mayor Ramoso says access to more resources like education will help the community.

Artesia has been called “little India” by many, and Pioneer Blvd. is a popular street.

“Here we have a concentrated strip of clothing stores, restaurants, everything you can imagine,” said Tanmay Asija, head of strategy and operations at Frontier Heritage.

Frontier Heritage has been in Artesia for 16 years and has been a family business for generations.

“My grandfather actually opened the store in 1954 in a small town in Punjab. Since then it has expanded to his seven children. Five boys, two girls,” Asija said.

In front of Frontier Heritage, you will find Surati Farsan Mart.

They opened in 1986 and the owners are from Gujarat, India.

They offer Indian sweets, snacks, traditional Gujarati food as well as Indian street food.

“I recommend you try our pani puri which is small fried tortillas served with a side of spicy water. We also have dosa which is a rice pancake served with a potato filling and lentil soup and a chutney. Pav bhaji is like an Indian version of a sloppy joe served with bread,” said Rema Gopal, social media manager at Surati Farsan Mart.

These are just two of the many places to visit on Pioneer Blvd. where the new light rail station will be located.

Construction of the first phase of the project is expected to begin in 2023.

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Jose P. Rogers