Expo Line trains every six minutes on weekdays begins this Monday


The Metro Expo Line will begin running every six minutes for the majority of the day starting Monday, Oct. 24.
Trains currently run every 12 minutes and the service changes are expected to help reduce crowding and wait times for riders.

Day-to-Day Service Levels

  • Monday through Friday: Expo Line trains will run every 10 to 12 minutes from start of service until 6 a.m. After 6 a.m. trains will run every six minutes until 8 p.m., when they will run every 10 to 12 minutes. From 9 p.m. to close of service, trains will run every 20 minutes.
  • On weekends: Expo Line trains will run every 12 minutes, then every 20 minutes after 9 p.m. Enhanced service may be in operation for special events, i.e. Rams or USC football games.
  • Trains will initially be two cars each but will be lengthened to three cars as more of the new Kinkisharyo light rail vehicles arrive.

Also, some Gold Line news: Metro will be adding train cars to the Gold Line as the agency receives new cars from Kinkisharyo, the contractor building the new light-rail vehicles. Currently, Metro is operating service every seven minutes during peak periods with mostly two-car trains and two three-car trains. More three-car trains will run as the new light rail vehicles become available.

Here’s the new Expo Line timetable:

You can also see the schedule here.

Finally, for those looking to ride the Expo Line with its new schedule, here are some helpful tips to remember:

  1. Regular fare is $1.75, which includes two hours of free transfers in one direction. Each person must TAP before boarding. If you need a TAP card, they can be purchased for $1 at TAP vending machines that are located at all Metro Rail stations.
  2. Need to park and ride? Check out the list of stations with available parking.
  3. Looking for things to do or places to eat along the Expo Line? Check out Anna’s earlier Source post.
  4. Follow Metro’s Twitter accounts @metrolosangeles or @metrolaalerts for service alerts and updates.
  5. For more routes and connections, use the Metro Trip Planner.

Like the new Expo Line changes? Please leave a comment below!

Media: official news release is here.

Need Expo Line pics for your blog, media or social media stream? Here are a few:


21 replies

    • Hi Ryan;

      There were not enough rail cars available to run more frequent trains. It may not have been ideal, but I think it was better to get the line open for summer rather than let it sit there idle until all the new light rail vehicles arrived.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

      • Steve, does that also apply to the after-9 pm long 20 minute headways? Because that is way too long to wait for a train in a city, especially after a later night work shift or a night out at the bar, restaurant, event etc. 10 to 12 minutes might be more acceptable for late night, but as it stands now, many patrons will probably just opt for Lyft or Uber instead.

      • Hey Steve:
        I know that I probably won’t get a straight answer, but who should I ask regarding general costs of infrastructure upgrades like, say, grade separating the expo line? I understand the limit in funds to do such a thing, I just want to know for my benefit.

        • Hard to say without knowing the extent of the separations. I can tell you that the first 3.9 mile section of the Purple Line Extension costs something like $2.8 billion. Expo is already above ground so really depends on how many bridges or tunnel sections you would want to build. Safe to say tens of millions of dollars for major upgrades. The first section was approved and funded before Measure R and they were trying to keep costs down — the original budget was in the 700 millions before some additional things were added to the project. Hope that helps. Good question.

          Steve Hymon
          Editor, The Source

  1. By this change, I assume that sufficient rail cars have now arrived. However. are there enough cars to operate three-car trains, or is Metro simply spreading the assets around?

    Now, what about the Gold Line? I assume that the present 7-minute frequency will remain, but are there enough cars available to operate three-car trains on all peak hour trips?

    • Good question. It looks like they’re spreading cars (assets) around. I had assumed that the next move would be to provide enough extra cars on the Gold Line so that they could improve the peak frequency from 7 minutes to 6 minutes, but Steve’s message above implies that they’re trying to move to longer trains instead of more frequent service on the Gold Line (which seems like a mistake in priorities, IMHO).
      I’m guessing one more year before we see 3-car trains every 6 minutes on Expo. After Metro upgrades the Gold Line (which will take 3-6 months depending on their short-range plan for the Gold Line and the rail car delivery rate) they will need to deliver another 20-22 cars (i.e. another six months) to operate 3-car trains on Expo.

  2. This is really good news. I was born in Santa Monica and want to bring mom who last road the Red Car when she was 9 yrs old to Helms Bakery.. but I need to be sure the family can get a seat there and back on the weekend.

    • Sorry to break it to your mom but weekends are largely unchanged. Getting that seat for here will remain as challenging as it was on previous weekends.

  3. Thank you Metro. It would be awesome if the info screens at 7th/metro display the updated departure times for relevant transfers often enough to accommodate the incoming expo passengers. And vice verse if transferring to the expo line! Keep on keepin on.

  4. What about the orange an red lines. Will the frequency of those lines be increasing too. Express lines are also needed for all these lines. Has there been any discuss of that?

  5. 20 minutes after 9:00 pm. is pretty rough. Just think of when a game ends at Staples and that little platform at Pico being so packed.

    • Not just the rail lines, but Metro needs to get their head out of the ‘9pm last call’ mindset for connecting buses. Several of the north-south routes like the 740 need to run much later and more often, especially after the Crenshaw-LAX line opens.

  6. I’m very happy to hear the news that you’re improving the service frequency two months earlier than earlier planned. However, I’m bracing myself for growing pains as the new drivers pilot the nine new trains along the route. I expect to be hearing variations of the following announcement quite often for the next few weeks: “We will be holding here for the next few minutes as we wait for train traffic to clear. We appreciate your patience as we wait in line for a spot to open at the platform at 7th/Metro.”

  7. Hooray, thank you! My average wait in the morning is 8 minutes at 7MC. It’ll be nice if it translates into better timing in the evenings getting back to the Red Line. Next, reopening the NoHo main parking lot. And if I’m really dreaming big, signal prioritization in DTLA for Expo and Blue lines.

    • That may be a problem north of the junction, as now there will be on average a train in either direction every 90 seconds, or 40 trains per hour (ten [60/6] inbound and ten outbound per hour on each line).

      This is why Metro should, until the Regional Connector is fully operational, have all Blue and Expo trains use different platforms at Metro Center for all trips, thus eliminating the need for inbound trains to wait while an outbound train is changing ends and departing. Passengers transferring between the two lines would thus have to transfer at Pico.

      All the more reason for Metro to seriously consider under-grounding both the Expo and Blue lines from Metro Center to at least beyond the junction, where there should be a flying or borrowing junction similar to the Red-Purple Line junction, but ultimately to their respective right’s of way.

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