Expo Line testing to expand on Sunday, March 18

Here’s the news release from Metro, hot off the presses:

Metro will expand the operation of test trains along the Metro Expo Line corridor beginning Sunday, March 18, running trains from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m., seven days a week, on a schedule of every 12 minutes to simulate regular service on the line once the system opens in early 2012.

Test trains have been operating along the alignment from approximately 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. The additional train testing is needed in an effort to test the operation of the trains and the integration of Expo Line service with Metro Blue Line service in downtown Los Angeles. No date has been set for the opening of the line. Metro will select an opening date for the public once all systems and trains are thoroughly tested and operated.

Due to the increased frequency of trains traveling along the entire Metro Expo Line corridor, Metro is reminding the public to be alert and stay updated on rail safety tips.

Metro’s website (metro.net), under Transit Safety, reminds pedestrians and motorists to pay attention to signs around the tracks and at intersections, in particular the “keep clear” and “wait here” signs painted on streets and sidewalks. In addition, the public needs to watch for the flashing “train” signals, listen for bells and obey all traffic signals and lowered crossings gates.

The public will notice more and more trains operating along the line, including testing of trains during the early morning hours and late at night and along the portion of the line that shares tracks with the Metro Blue Line, serving the Pico Station and the 7th Street/Metro Center Station in downtown Los Angeles.

As part of Metro’s rail safety awareness program, rail safety ambassadors have been placed at various intersections along the Metro Expo Line during the testing of trains to educate the public about the service and how to safely navigate around the system. The rail safety ambassadors are all retired Metro bus and rail operators that are fully trained in safety rules and regulations so they can assist at crossings, observe situations that may occur and report back to Metro Rail staff.

Metro community relations staff continues to offer safety presentations to various groups and organizations and to date, 63,000 safety flyers have been distributed door-to-door within a two block radius of the line. An additional 60,000 safety flyers are to be distributed during the next few months leading up to the actual opening of the line.

Additionally, beginning back in April 2010, all schools within a 1.5-mile radius of the line began receiving safety presentations by Metro community relations staff members with safety posters being distributed to schools including the University of Southern California, Mount St. Mary’s College and LA Trade Technical College. Safety presentations also have taken place at libraries, community centers and senior centers in the area.

Metro relies on the community as partners to make rail safety a priority. Metro reminds all pedestrians and motorists to remember that before crossing any set of railroad tracks, “look, listen and live.”

Phase I of the Metro Expo Line is a new $932 million, 8.6-mile light rail line under construction from downtown Los Angeles to Culver City. It will have 12 stations with two stations shared with the Metro Blue Line. The new light rail line will serve USC, Exposition Park, The Mid-City communities, the Crenshaw District and Culver City.

Phase II of the Metro Expo Line, a $1.5 billion 6.6-mile extension from Culver City to Santa Monica, is funded under the Measure R half-cent sale tax initiative approved by the voters in 2008. Phase II will have seven stations serving West Los Angeles/Santa Monica and is expected to be completed in 2015.

Both Phase I and II of the Metro Expo Line are being built by the Expo Construction Authority. Once completed, they are turned over to Metro to operate. For more information about the new Metro Expo Line, visit metro.net/expo or buildexpo.org.

Categories: Service Alerts

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14 replies

  1. This is definitely a step forward, particularly given the fact that Mid City and Westside residents will need to become accustomed to the idea of a train running through the neighborhood. I am definitely looking forward to the opening of the line and, though it has been awhile, I believe that our patience will pay off in the end and a lot has been learned through this experience.

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  2. Me too, Erik!

    My office just moved from Downown to Culver City on Monday so the 733 has replaced the red line for me. Looking forward to getting back on the train and riding it all the way from Downtown to Culver City soon!

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  3. So is this new expo line gonna be as slow as the gold line and a waste of money? Is it gonna have to stop at every red light for minutes?

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    • Hi Jeff;

      Here is a link to some videos that we made on an Expo Line test ride in November. The videos were taken from the cab of the train so you can judge for yourself whether it’s fast enough.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

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  4. The gold line is more slower and empty than the bus. They should just have created a rapid bus on 1st street.

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  5. To Jeff regarding Goldline, the Goldline is a success it’s ridership has risen by 30percent and will continue, course like busses there r rush hour times and low peak time. as for the slowing of the train in Highlnd park or parts of East LA it’s not that bad. Try driving on the 405 fwy or any freeway or major blvd at least u can sit back and relax and get all lot more green light on the rail as to the bus that stops every other block . I’ve been to every opening of each line all I can say I wish there was more police on rail cars especially blue line.

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  6. Have just found your site. As a native Angeleno, I am more than excited to find LA working hard to build a mass transit system. As a somewhat spoiled former NYC resident and frequent traveler to Wash. D.C., could you direct me to finding information on any proposed extension of the Red Line or suggest alternatives that would link me to other lines before the Union Station hub? The No. Hollywood station is a nightmare for parking. I love mass transit.

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    • Hi Patricia,

      Welcome to the blog!

      Your best bet for finding your ideal transit route is Metro’s trip planner or Google Transit:

      Metro’s trip planner — http://socaltransport.org/tm_pub_start.php
      Google Transit planner — http://www.google.com/intl/en/landing/transit/#mdy

      Also, this interactive map of the Metro Rail system has information on other park-and-rides in the system:

      http://www.metro.net/interactives/go_metro/

      As for a Metro Red Line extension, Metro’s Long-Range Plan identifies an extension from North Hollywood to Bob Hope Airport as a “Tier 2 Candidate for Further Project Definition” in Metro’s Strategic Unfunded Plan.

      In plain English, that means the project is on Metro’s wish list, but it’s likely a long a ways off given the present lack of funding.

      Hope that helps!

      Best,

      Carter Rubin
      Contributor, The Source

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  7. @Jeff
    Well, the expo line will have signal priority which means that it should get very few red lights and if it does it wont last long (the signal time phase will be longer for LRT than for cross traffic), unlike the east side gold line which i agree has abysmal traffic signal configuration. The eastside gold line often stops even at lightly used intersections where very few or even no cars are crossing. I doubt this will be the norm on the expo line although without absolute signal preemption there are no guarantees. The stopping at lights issue is rather simple and could easily be solved but LADOT panders to car culture at the expense of transit. So its really a political issue rather than a technical one.

    On that note, I still don’t understand why crenshaw is a non-gated crossing given that its still a RR row at that point and that the crenshaw line LRT tracks will be below grade there. Maybe someone can clear that up for me because I cant seem to find that information.

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    • Hi Jordan;

      I don’t know the plans for deploying the different types of vehicles to the different rail lines. I’ll try to find out in advance of the Expo opening.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

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