For his advocacy of public transit

Actor George Takei, who is known for his advocacy of public transit, as well as for playing Sulu on TV’s “Star Trek,” served as emcee of the ceremony, which also featured Rep. Janice Hahn, Glendale Councilman Ara Najarian and Los Angeles County supervisors Gloria Molina and Don Knabe.

The 1.9-mile tunnel will fill a light rail gap that currently exists between the end of the Blue and Expo Lines at 7th Street Metro Center and the closest Gold Line station in Little Tokyo.

“A trip that takes 20 minutes and two transfers today will be cut to 10 minutes and no transfers tomorrow,” said Garcetti.

Metro survived several lawsuits by businesses in the affected area during the pre-construction stage, and agreed to limit noise when the trains run near the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

The Regional Connector Project is also partial funded from Measure R, a half-cent sales tax increase that was approved by voters in 2008.

The rail line is expected to be completed in 2020, according to Metro officials.

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