Expo Line 2 testing ramps up

Here’s the notice — trains will be running every 12 to 20 minutes from 4 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Friday and until 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights. The extension from Culver City to Santa Monica opens on Friday, May 20.

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24 replies

  1. I was under the impression that ALL METRO projects opened on a Saturday. Why is THIS ONE opening on a week day? What NO FREE RIDES on opening day? No community events on opening day? Having this line open on a Friday makes no sense what so ever. That is UNLESS METRO is going to have ALL the community events on Saturday along with the FREE RIDES. Exactly what’s going on here? Doesn’t METRO want to advertise this line the way they did the Gold Line? By opening on a Friday, METRO is liminiting the amount of people who will be able to attend these events. All of the opening events need to be on Saturday, so that the public can see this NEW LINE at its best.

    • This is a testing announcement. We’ll have details about opening day soonish and will post then.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

      • I’m talking about opening day! EVERYTHING that I’ve seen says “METRO will be opening the EXPO Line extension from Culver City to Santa Monica on FRIDAY, MAY 20.” Can the notice be any clearer? Again, My question is, Why is METRO opening this line on a Friday, as compared to the Gold Line opening on a Saturday? You didn’t address my question in your answer!

        • Weekends are already very crowded in Santa Monica and the opening is expected to draw big crowds. This might take the edge off that.

          Steve Hymon
          Editor, The Source

    • How is this a necessarily a bad thing?? People are going to be coming out regardless considering how many commuters and even enthusiasts have been waiting for this day.

      Even if there are no community events or free rides, people WILL show up on that first day, I’m positive about it (I know I will after getting off work). We shall wait until the first week of May for final announcements to see what happens.

    • What I am thinking is different. For those who really want to be on the first train, they can go on Friday. Community events and free rides can be scheduled on Saturday and Sunday so that people can celebrate the opening of a light-rail extension for the whole weekend. The opening is quite crowded on the gold line Azusa extension, so I think it is a better idea to allow and encourage people to enjoy the extension for the whole weekend.

    • Over the past several weeks, the Expo line has greatly reduce the number of passenger cars — resulting in significant overcrowding. There are many students and other passengers who also have take bikes on the train. what’s the rational behind reducing the number of passenger cars? Now that the Expo expansion opening is near, there will be even MORE possible passengers — right? Just wondering who was the PHD executive(s) making that decision; and do they even bother to ride the train to experience the impact of their decisions. Dissapointed Expo rider…

  2. It makes sense to open on a weekday. I think it should open on a Thursday because this will give people three full weekend days to use the line to go to the Beach and so on. It won’t make a huge difference on future ridership no matter it is free or not on opening day in a congested area.

      • To expand Dayle Ros Diamond’s question, what would enable the Expo Line extension to Santa Monica to open earlier than the scheduled May 20 date? [I asked this for selfish reasons because I’ll be in Los Angeles the week before (May 10-14) with the hope that Expo Line Phase 2 would open when I arrive. LOL! At the moment I guessed wrong!]

        • Hi Martin,

          There’s a lot of testing of equipment, as well as training of operators and other staff, before the line can receive the go ahead to safely open for revenue service from the California Public Utilities Commission.

          Anna Chen
          Writer, The Source

  3. I don’t care when the line opens, I just hope they have enough train cars to run 3-car trains during peak service once they do open. Do you have any info from Metro or from the assembly plant to tell whether the cars will be ready by then?

  4. Is there a possibility the new Expo tap cards can be available at all expo or expo extension stations instead o just the santa monica ones? Or is that just a city of santa monica thing?

    • The City of Santa Monica may have their own commemorative TAP cards. We’ll try to get info on that, but you might find out more from them directly. Stay tuned for details on distribution of Metro’s commemorative cards!

      Anna Chen
      Writer, The Source

  5. FYI: My Expo train this morning had two cars and the westbound train also had two cars. It looks like we are experiencing a major shortage of rail cars with the Foothill extension, which has supposedly been upgraded to three-car trains on some of the Azusa trains, and with the ramp-up of the Expo testing documented above. Does Metro expect to have enough rail cars to operate the Expo at capacity on May 20?

    • I hear ya, @ExpoRider!

      Metro has been very opaque on communicating how the car supplier is catching up (or not) on their deliveries. Neither the Gold or Expo Line project pages are being updated regularly, so we are relying on the PR folks to spoon feed us ‘something’.

      We really need some regular status reporting on this vital issue. Not amused by the deafening silence! Even bad news is better than no news ……

    • The Gold Line had excess cars before the extension was opened but the Expo Line shares cars with the Blue Line. Since most of the system is not inter-connected and most likely never will be excess cars on one line can not be easily transferred to another line. So here the riders will be stuck with over crowded trains and perhaps will have to wait to receive Gold Line cars as they are being replaced by the newer cars on order destined for the Gold Line.

  6. When I got off the (arr 5:44am) train at Culver City, they (LASD) made everyone get off and kept going West 🙂

    • As I understand it that’s how the pre-revenue testing is supposed to work. The rail line is supposed to now run the full length of the alignment between downtown LA and Santa Monica, but passengers aren’t allowed on the new portion of the line, for safety reasons. Obviously it requires a lot more train cars to operate the complete alignment than just the existing alignment between downtown LA and Culver City. Ideally Metro would have received delivery of enough rail cars from the manufacturer (Kinkisharyo) before they started pre-revenue testing so that they could provide full service to the existing portion of the line. Instead it appears that Metro hasn’t received the new cars yet, and that they have had to shorten the trains from three cars to two cars. As a result of the reduced capacity we can expect the Expo trains to be much more crowded now. I’m lucky because I ride the train at 9:00 AM, so they’re not too crowded when I ride to work in the morning. However, I don’t expect to be so lucky this afternoon when I go home during rush hour.

      • Thanks , ExpoRider and Anna Chen. That explains why Expo Line Phase 2 probably won’t open before May 20. Safety does need to be taken seriously. What happened in Washington, DC, last week was very extreme in my opinion (the 24-hour shutdown of the nation’s second busiest subway line), and something like that would NEVER happen in New York City (where I live), but it was done in the name of safety and it’s better to be safe than sorry.

  7. Still no reply regarding the over crowded Expo and Blue line trains during rush hour. The Sheriff is even afraid to stand in the crowds of the platforms when they get overcrowded…last week they stood on the opposite platform waiving their hands instead of coming over to the crowded platform and controlling the unsafe situation. We need more train cars so that everyone waiting on the platform can fit into the trains at rush hour. An accident is going to happen otherwise. Metro staff and Sheriff are useless when it comes to providing information and controlling the situation. Tired commuters don’t want to have to stand and be shuffled around on the platform for half an hour or more before they get on a train with sardine like accommodations for another 45 minutes… Please take the comments above regarding overcrowding seriously. I only see the “fun” comments being responded too. Who cares if there’s a commemorative TAP card!

    • Hi Hello?

      Sorry, I’ve been out of town. We are taking the complaints seriously. As you know, we have new light rail vehicles on order. Some have been delivered for use on the Blue and Expo Line but they aren’t ready yet for regular service. There are also more test trains running on the Expo Line between Culver City and Santa Monica, which requires using some light rail vehicles. We’ll keep passing comments along about crowding but I can’t sit here and offer you any immediate remedy.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source