At this point, it’s obvious that there will be substantial lines the rest of the afternoon on the Eastside Gold Line. We probably won’t get a true feel for commuters’ perspectives on how the train functions until revenue service begins Monday.
My colleague Fred and I chatted with many passengers today and to be honest it’s hard to get a read for what people truly think of the line. Many came out today for the novelty of seeing it and many of the people don’t live in the area the train serves and likely won’t be regular riders.
Plus, service was hardly normal. Trains on Sunday were running more frequently than they normally will and service was split on the Gold Line — with trains running back and forth between Union Station and Pasadena and another set of trains going between Union Station and East Los Angeles. That also caused some delays. Trains will run straight through between Pasadena and East L.A. beginning Monday.
That said, impressions were generally favorable, although a few folks were puzzled by the fact that the train stops at red lights when running along the street. It’s fair to say that I’m also a little puzzled that the trains aren’t getting more green lights. So that’s something we’ll try to learn more about on The Source this week.
The opening of the line received considerable attention from the media, blogosphere and others on the Internet. Fred and I plan a sizeable post tomorrow to review what people said about the line.