It’s beyond obvious that both expectations and anticipation for the Expo Line opening on April 28 are sky-high right now. The Source had its highest traffic day ever when the opening was announced last month.
Readers have been asking many questions about the line. I’ll do my best to answer the most common ones below.
First, I’d like to offer a little perspective. Opening a rail line to the public is not easy. It’s one thing to run empty test trains, it’s another to run real revenue service with paying customers.
The Expo Line was built to serve the public for many decades to come. As with Metro’s other rail lines, there will likely be tweaks made to the service over time. The Gold Line, for example, has shaved seven minutes off its run time between Pasadena and Union Station since its debut in 2003 and greatly increased the frequency of trains throughout the day.
The same will likely apply to the Expo Line. It’s great that the project is finally opening, but this is just a beginning. On to your questions:
Will there be free rides on opening weekend?
Yes, the public can ride the Expo Line for free on both April 28th and 29th; fares will still be charged on other Metro rail and bus lines. Passengers must begin paying fares on the Expo Line on Monday, April 30.
When will Expo Line timetables be published?
Timetables should be posted on the Metro website about two weeks prior to opening the line. Print timetables should be available about a week before Expo debuts.
Why are trains running every 12 minutes at peak periods when other Metro rail lines run more frequently?
Metro wants to ease into revenue service to ensure everything works as intended. One issue, in particular: Metro officials wants to see how the two stations shared by the Expo and Blue lines — 7th/Metro Center and Pico — handle crowds from both lines.
If there is strong demand for more service, Metro could shift to running Expo trains every six minutes in the morning and afternoon peak periods.
How long will Expo trains be?
Each train will initially have three cars. In total, there will be six three-car trains operating on the line.
Is parking free at stations where parking is provided?
Yes. There are about 500 spaces in the new garage next to the La Cienega/Jefferson station and about 400 spaces that will be available on weekdays in the garage belonging to the West Angeles Church of God in Christ that is near the Crenshaw station.
In addition, there will be about 600 spaces adjacent to the aerial station in Culver City.
When will the line open to Culver City?
Hopefully this summer.
Is the junction of the Blue Line and Expo Line tracks still causing problems?
The anti-collision system at the junction is working and Metro continues to test it. The system was previously stopping trains for too long a time and causing delays.
When will Metro make the bus service changes being done in conjunction with the Expo Line opening?
The changes are scheduled to take effect June 24. A brochure detailing the changes will be available soon and I’ll post it.
Art for the Expo Line’s La Cienega/Jefferson station: Engraved in Memory by Daniel Gonzalez (with links to other posts on art for the Expo Line)