Rapper Snoop Dogg joined city officials Saturday in celebrating the reopening of rail service between downtown Los Angeles and Long Beach.
Formerly known as the Blue Line, the newly improved Metro route was rechristened the A Line.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority spent $350 million to upgrade the 22-mile line, which originally opened in 1990 and is the oldest light-rail line in Los Angeles County.
Snoop Dogg, a Long Beach native, took part in an 11 a.m. news conference and celebration in downtown L.A. at the Bloc shopping center adjacent to the 7th St/Metro Center station in the 700 block of Flower Street. Similar celebrations were held at the 103rd Street/Watts Towers Station, at Graham Avenue and 103rd Street, and in Long Beach at Promenade Square.
As part of the reopening, Metro is offering free rides on the A line Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
During the overhaul of the line, which began in January, Metro crews added four crossover tracks, which will help reduce delays along the route by providing more places for trains to pass each other. While the work was being done, rail service on the Blue Line was shut down in segments and replaced by buses. Metro is continuing to operate a peak-hour express bus between Los Angeles and Long Beach.
Crews also upgraded the signal system, portions of worn-out track and the overhead wires that powered the trains. Stations also got new lighting and paint.
The work included a complete renovation of the Willowbrook/Rosa Parks station, where the Blue and Green lines meet.
The station, one of the busiest in the system, will have longer platforms, better lighting and a new security center, Metro said.