"Marilyn Monro" and twenty three lookalikes of other famous characters rode with passengers on the new 9.5km North Hollywood extension to the Los Angeles Red Line metro when it opened at the end of June.

Main feature of the three station addition is a 4km long twin rock tunnel through the Hollywood hills to a station at Universal Studios, a big tourist pull which will push up rider levels. The studio provided the characters. Current weekday ridership for the extended line, after a "free weekend" on 24/25 June, is close to target at 120 000 daily.

Traylor Bros and Frontier Kemp worked on the tunnel under supervision of US/British JMA joint venture consultant of Jacobs Engineering, Hatch Mott MacDonald and ACG Environments. The firm’s $60M contract with Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority was to manage the whole $1.3bn project which came in under budget and 6 months early.