Steve and I rode the line, battled the crowds, and joined in the festivities of the Eastside Extension’s opening day. When we started our day at about 9:00 a.m., crowds were relatively light and the lines were short, but around 11:00 a.m. there was a notable increase in the crowds. By the early afternoon, it was clear that many in L.A. had decided to devote their Sunday to checking out their newest transit investment. Lines snaked around station entrances like a ride at Disneyland, and the festive atmosphere around the stations added to the theme park vibe.
Here’s a collection of snapshots that hopefully capture the mood of this great L.A. day.
A Gold Line coming from East L.A. arrives at the Little Tokyo/Arts District station.
At the East L.A. Farmers Market kids had fun building paper Metro light rail vehicles.
A future blogger for The Source?
Also found at the East L.A. Farmers Market were paintings of trains created by local children.
The Metro Experience is a multi-media experience on light rail safety and proved to be very popular with the crowds at the East L.A. Farmers Market.
Crowds made their way across 3rd Street from the East L.A. Civic Center station to the nearby farmers market and festivities.
Riders at the East L.A. Civic Center station wait for the next train going to Union Station.
The area around the Mariachi Plaza station is a surprisingly open and welcoming public space for Los Angeles.
The Downtown skyline paints a pretty picture looking down 1st Street from the Mariachi Plaza station.
The Mariachi Plaza station proved popular, with long lines of people coming and going.
At the Mariachi Plaza station impromptu signage was added by Metro to help with the growing crowds.
The Little Tokyo/Arts District festivities were more low-key than the others, but popular L.A. food trucks showed up.
Perhaps it was the parking lot setting that kept crowds thin at Little Tokyo, or the fact that after waiting 40 minutes to board the train, most riders wanted to go more than a single stop.
Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard showed up to make a speech at the Little Tokyo/Arts District ribbon cutting.
Crowds of people headed to both Pasadena and East L.A. filled the platform at Union Station.
Riders coming from East L.A who wanted to continue to Pasadena had to go back downstairs and get in line in order to transfer.