Metro to run more Gold Line trains every six minutes from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends beginning Jan. 27

The Gold Line adjacent to Los Angeles State Historic Park on a recent afternoon. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

The Gold Line adjacent to Los Angeles State Historic Park on a recent afternoon. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

Gold Line trains currently run every 12 minutes during the day on weekends so this is a big-time improvement. Here’s the news release from Metro:

Beginning Sunday, January 27, Metro will operate more frequent service along the Metro Gold Line, improving train service from every 12 minutes to every 6 minutes on Saturday and Sundays from approximately 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Patrons using the Metro Gold Line, operating between East Los Angeles and Pasadena via downtown Los Angeles, can now enjoy more frequent service on the weekends with less waiting time between Gold Line trains.

The enhanced Gold Line service will encourage patrons to enjoy Old Town Pasadena, Chinatown, Little Tokyo and East LA over the weekend, making better and faster connections.

New timetables are now available on board trains. Plan your weekend on the Metro Gold Line by using Metro’s Trip Planner.

This isn’t hugely surprising, given the surge in ridership on the Gold Line in the past two years — which was helped by increasing the frequency of trains during weekday peak hours in June 2011.

ridership_graphs

21 replies

    • Agreed. I suspect there are a lot of people who live east of Sierra Madre Station who would like to ride into downtown L.A. or Pasadena but don’t want to deal with finding parking at Sierra Madre. The 210 in the SGV is just a complete mess at peak hours.

      Quasi-related question for readers: the ExpressLanes project originally looked at the 210 but couldn’t muster political support for it. I always thought motorists would have gone for it, given the extreme congestion on the 210 between the 134 and 605. What’cha think?

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  1. Two thoughts:
    1. During the worst rush-hours times (especially p.m.), the carpool lanes often aren’t moving any faster than the regular lanes, so I’m not sure making the HOV lane into a toll lane will do much to alleviate the situation.
    2. I remain to be convinced that the Express Lanes project will significantly improve overall drive times (i.e., regular lanes and toll lanes) but also have no confidence that Metro will every acknowledge that fact whenever it decides to issue results.

  2. Metro is really aggressively expanding rail service, but is holding bus service hours flat. The trains every 10 minutes until midnight are not well used, especially Monday to Wednesday nights, and half the time they don’t operate every 10 minutes due to track work. Every 15 minutes after 8 pm could have worked just fine and would have allowed some track work to take place instead of doubling wait times. The same goes here – when moving it to every 8 or 10 minutes would have been more cost effective than just doubling the number of trains. I’d like to see some of those hours go to help alleviate overcrowding on some of the more impacted lines on the weekends, like the 720 and 733, which on nice days like today get slammed with people headed for the beach.

  3. Have you travelled the 210 east bound during rush hour? Often the carpool lane is at the same speed or slower than the main lanes. This is not a good idea.

    I have seen the ridership on the Gold Line on weekends and off hours. There are times that a 3 car would be helpful. I am wondering why go from 12 straight to 6? Why not 8, 9, or 10 for a few months then reassess?

  4. Wouldn’t it be better to try and set objective standards for when Express Lanes projects are to be implemented? By that I mean, if a given freeway meets these X number of conditions, it enters the pipeline of ExpressLane consideration and planning. Conditions could include sufficient room to implement the solution, a certain threshold of traffic at peak times, or possibly projected time savings for motorists using the lanes based on a standardized, transparent methodology.

    Whatever the case, some sort of solution for that stretch of the 210/134 is sorely needed, as a rail transit-based solution seems so far off that my young children may not even be able to enjoy it by the time they are old and grey and I’m pushing up daisies.

  5. So when does Expo line go to 6 minute headways? It already has more passenger than Gold line on a per mile basis (Expo line is much shorter)

  6. Yeah, the Gold Line gets really busy on weekends. Pick a direction on the Pasadena side! I suspect Metro will keep the longer trains out when they halve the frequency…. Otherwise the improvement is not really an improvent and makes no sense.

  7. Rail runs on its own right of way. Buses, except for the Orange Line and the Silver Line, do not. Buses contribute to traffic congestion. I am in favor of making rail (and the Orange and Silver Lines) as convenient as possible, in order to help orient future development around them.

  8. I agree with Thomas. What’s the difference between a two car train every 12 mins, or a single car train every 6 min? Is 6 min service on weekends that important? And what will this do to automobile traffic? At grade crossings the gates will be stopping traffic much more frequently. Can anyone explain how this will be a good thing?

  9. I think Metro is planing fast track lanes on all the freeways. Once the Gold is extended the Fast track lane should be built to encourage drivers to use the rail line.

    I was wondering when will a carpool lane connection from the S/E 210 to the East 210 would be built. Some days traffic is backed up 3 to 4 miles to merge onto the e/b 210.

  10. Added service is always good, but I wonder how did the Blue Line, with 62,780 riders on a Saturday get beaten by the Gold Line’s 22,170 riders? Since there appear to be resources to double rail service, have there been any consideration in bringing back some of the bus service frequency that has been cut over the past several years?

  11. Warren, how would you engineer a carpool E210 to E210 transition? There is no current carpool lanes coming into the junction from the E210. The transtion road would have to be a flyover from there up and over, depositing the cars past Fair Oaks. It is just not practical for the flow at this time.

  12. Mass transit should always take priority over single occupancy vehicles. I’m going to enjoy the more frequent service while others sit in traffic chocking on exhaust fumes.

  13. just a person, i was thinking about a flyover too. Fair Oaks has a carpool lane enterence where the flyover can merger onto the 210 east carpool lane or fast track lane. i know traffic isnt thar bad yet but when the gap is complteted i except to see higher volume. They should build the flyover when they build the 710.

  14. JP and John – I assume that the reason the Red and Blue lines haven’t been able to get higher frequency is that they share part of their track with another line. The Red and Purple lines together come every 5 minutes in each direction through Vermont and Wilshire, which means that the interchange has to switch direction every 150 seconds – they may be close to the limit there. The Blue and Expo lines have the interchange near Washington and Flower, which has already been having trouble. Every 3 minutes might be the limit, which means that the Blue and Expo lines may not be able to do more than every 10 minutes.

  15. A lot of people are wrong about traffic congestion for the carpool lanes being the same as general traffic with expresslanes. The 110 has arguably the worst traffic congestion going downtown. An article recently reported here on the source pointed out that it has been averaging atleast 45mph since the service has been implemented. It can work, because people never everyone will pay to go 3-6 miles, they rather sit in general traffic.