Service Advisory: first Gold Line trip from Union Station to Atlantic Station departs at 3:31 a.m.

Now that the entire Gold Line is open from Azusa to East L.A., Rail Operations is working to fine tune the schedule to best meet current service levels. To that end, we’re making a temporary adjustment to the first southbound Gold Line trip of the morning: it’s leaving a few minutes earlier than scheduled.

The first southbound Gold Line trip from Union Station to Atlantic Station will depart at 3:31 a.m. and arrive at Atlantic Station at 4:16 a.m. until further notice. The first northbound trip from Atlantic Station will remain unchanged and will continue to depart at 4:21 a.m. The rest of the schedule also remains unchanged.

If you need to catch that very first Gold Line train from Union Station as part of your morning commute, please make sure to arrive an extra few minutes early. The next East L.A.-bound trip departs Union Station at 3:54 a.m.

16 replies

  1. What in the world is going on with the Gold Line? There’s only a few overcrowded trains heading to Union Station in the morning rush and then almost no trains heading to Asuza for evening rush… if this keeps up I will have to ditch my TAP card and go back to paying for parking at work. Before Little Tokyo reopened it sort of worked but now it’s getting unusable.

  2. Now that Metro is operating the Gold Line as one continuous route, does that affect the number of rail cars required for peak service? Does this mean Metro will operate more or fewer long trains to Azusa? I would guess fewer, because now they have to run the three-car trains all the way to Atlantic, which requires more light rail equipment, which Metro doesn’t seem to have right now.

  3. The Gold Line is consistently OVERCROWDED in the mornings heading toward UNION STATION and in the evenings. I don’t mean a few people standing. Commuters are wedged against each other like sardines. This is unsafe and should not be allowed. The only solution is to have MORE TRAINS. I’ve never seen the Gold Line so unresponsive to commuters’ needs.

    • Hi Jackson,

      All feedback is being passed along, and we encourage you to email specific details of your experience to so it can be logged. Staff is monitoring for safety, and new rail cars are being added as they arrive and are prepared for service.

      Thank you,

      Anna Chen
      Writer, The Source

      • Can you give us more information about the “new rail cars are being added as they arrive and are prepared for service”? How many of the new rail cars have been delivered so far? (Last I heard it was 21, when the Gold Line extension opened on March 5.) How many cars will be delivered by the time that Expo Phase 2 opens for service to Santa Monica? (I heard that Kinkisharyo was supposed to deliver 62 cars by May, 2016, in anticipation of serving both Gold Line Foothill and Expo Phase 2). Does Metro communicate with Kinkisharyo on this subject?

      • Anna: Thanks for the info on the rail car delivery. At that rate (one car per week) you should have ~31 of the new cars ready by May 20 when Expo Phase 2 opens. I hope I’m wrong, but that doesn’t sound like it will be soon enough to allow sufficient rail cars to operate both the Expo Phase 2 and Gold Line to Azusa with three car trains, which seem to be needed during peak hour service to avoid crush loads.

  4. I used to take the Gold Line from Memorial Park or Fillmore to go downtown in the morning, but lately I’ve been getting on at Allen station to be sure of getting a seat. Thanks to Pasadena Transit, all those stations are easily accessible even though I don’t drive. But, as an immigrant from London, I still find it strange to get on a train in the middle of the freeway!

  5. ANNA: In your 3/22 reply to Jackson earlier in this thread, you encouraged Metro riders to email details of our experiences to Metro’s Customer Relations dept. so they can be logged, and you also said “Staff is monitoring for safety, and new rail cars are being added as they arrive and are prepared for service.” I would suggest that there is an easier, faster way for Metro’s decision-makers to see how overcrowded the Gold Line trains now are during rush hours, especially southbound trains in the morning: Try getting on board at any stations south of the Memorial Park station. (Good luck!) I catch the Gold Line south to Union Station from the Del Mar stop, and it’s strictly standing-room-only. For heaven’s sake, you need to start running longer trains by adding cars now that the Gold Line has been extended. Congratulations, more people are trying to ride the Gold Line, but your trains don’t have room for them. Did no-one at Metro foresee the need to ensure the trains could accommodate the additional riders? It has become ridiculous! When people seated in the middle rows of seats between the train’s doors want to exit the train at any of the stops before Union Station, they have a very difficult time squeezing through all the uncomfortable, irritated passengers standing in the aisles and doorways. It really should not be this crowded. Make the trains longer or run them more frequently during rush hour. Heck, you might need to do both those things.

    • Scott: My suggestion to Gold Line passengers is to study the Gold Line schedules and schedule your travel so that you’re on one of the trains that isn’t coming from Azusa. As you know, half of the rush hour trains serve Azusa, and the other half turn back at Sierra Madre Villa. The Azusa trains are the ones that are packed, while the Sierra Madre Villa trains should have much more seating available.

  6. @ExpoRider, that would be fine and dandy if the trains were on time, which has not been the case. So folks at SMV would need to skip trains, wait longer for their train. Also this doesn’t address the issue in the evening peak hours. Trains to both SMV as well as APU are overflowing.

    The only options are for additional cars and additional trains or extending all trains to APU (which MIGHT distribute the crowds more).

    • ND: I agree that it’s Metro’s responsibility to maintain reliable schedules, along with accurate signage and communication. Without that information, passengers have no way of planning their travel to avoid the worst crowds.
      Also, please realize that as bad as the crowds are on Gold Line trains, they are even worse on the Expo Line, and Expo is only going to become more crowded in May when Phase 2 opens to Santa Monica. Because of the late delivery of new rail cars for these two lines, Metro will be in the position where they need to decide which of these markets will have the worst crowding problems for the next six months.

    • For Azusa passengers, they should just get on the first train they see, regardless of whether it goes to Azusa or not, and get off in Pasadena to wait for the one that goes to their destination. I understand that the SMV station, in the middle of a freeway, is not particularly pleasant but waiting in Old Pasadena or Del Mar isn’t that bad.

      • Wow, calwatch, for those passengers who want to travel to the farthest stops on northbound Gold Line trains, why are you encouraging them to take up space on trains that will take them no farther than Sierra Madre Villa station? Don’t you realize that your suggestion will only make the overcrowded conditions worse for *all* passengers, regardless of how far they are traveling? Besides that, the Azusa-bound passengers will not get to their destination any faster because they will still have to wait in Pasadena for the later train that will take them the rest of the way. Where is the benefit in that?

        • Because generally the shortline trains (East LA-Pasadena) have more seats available, since they are not occupied by people riding through the shortened section. It helps distribute the load on the trains better.