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Metro officials estimate that between 61,000 and 65,000 passengers rode the Gold Line on New Year’s Day. Metro provided increased service and heavily promoted the Gold Line as an easy alternative to driving to the Rose Bowl events in Pasadena.
This was also the first year residents of East L.A. could take the train to the festivities. Ridership on the Eastside Extension was surprisingly high for being in service for less than two months – northbound trains to Union Station were at 50% to 75% of seated capacity.
Metro also ran shuttles from the Sierra Madre Station to a post-parade viewing area at Victory Park which proved to be a success – ridership was up 30% from last year.
One area that remains a challenge, and something that Metro is looking to improve next year, are the crowds that form at Memorial Park Station as parade-goers leave Pasadena and football fans arrive. The station’s narrow platform entrances and exits, combined with the sheer number of people headed in opposite directions creates a potentially chaotic situation.
Metro staff prepared for this by setting up queues of departing passengers on the platforms and allowing arriving passengers to get off the train before others could board. For the most part this solution worked and there was only one instance where a bottleneck occurred. But Metro would like tweak the lines so next year’s operation is flawless.
Did you ride the Gold Line to Pasadena this New Year’s Day? How do you think Metro handled the crowds? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Categories: Inside Metro