LOS ANGELES (AP) — L.A.’s new Expo Line is now carrying passengers, and trains are running from downtown to the west side for the first time since the Eisenhower administration.

The light rail line’s first leg from downtown to La Cienega Boulevard opened Saturday and rides are free for the weekend. An additional stop in Culver City opens this summer. Trains are slated to reach Santa Monica by 2016.

The $932 million Expo Line, the system’s first without a color-coded name, connects with the Red, Blue and Purple lines and passes Staples Center, USC and Exposition Park.

Compared to original estimates, the project overran costs by more than $200 million and arrives nearly two years late.

Officials hope the train relieves the traffic-clogged west side and those weary of driving on nearby Interstate 10.

(©Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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