Expo Line FAQ

It’s beyond obvious that both expectations and anticipation for the Expo Line opening on April 28 are sky-high right now. The Source had its highest traffic day ever when the opening was announced last month.

Readers have been asking many questions about the line. I’ll do my best to answer the most common ones below.

First, I’d like to offer a little perspective. Opening a rail line to the public is not easy. It’s one thing to run empty test trains, it’s another to run real revenue service with paying customers.

The Expo Line was built to serve the public for many decades to come. As with Metro’s other rail lines, there will likely be tweaks made to the service over time. The Gold Line, for example, has shaved seven minutes off its run time between Pasadena and Union Station since its debut in 2003 and greatly increased the frequency of trains throughout the day.

The same will likely apply to the Expo Line. It’s great that the project is finally opening, but this is just a beginning. On to your questions:

Will there be free rides on opening weekend?

Yes, the public can ride the Expo Line for free on both April 28th and 29th; fares will still be charged on other Metro rail and bus lines. Passengers must begin paying fares on the Expo Line on Monday, April 30.

When will Expo Line timetables be published?

Timetables should be posted on the Metro website about two weeks prior to opening the line. Print timetables should be available about a week before Expo debuts.

Why are trains running every 12 minutes at peak periods when other Metro rail lines run more frequently?

Metro wants to ease into revenue service to ensure everything works as intended. One issue, in particular: Metro officials wants to see how the two stations shared by the Expo and Blue lines — 7th/Metro Center and Pico — handle crowds from both lines.

If there is strong demand for more service, Metro could shift to running Expo trains every six minutes in the morning and afternoon peak periods.

How long will Expo trains be?

Each train will initially have three cars. In total, there will be six three-car trains operating on the line.

Is parking free at stations where parking is provided?

Yes. There are about 500 spaces in the new garage next to the La Cienega/Jefferson station and about 400 spaces that will be available on weekdays in the garage belonging to the West Angeles Church of God in Christ that is near the Crenshaw station.

In addition, there will be about 600 spaces adjacent to the aerial station in Culver City.

When will the line open to Culver City?

Hopefully this summer.

Is the junction of the Blue Line and Expo Line tracks still causing problems?

The anti-collision system at the junction is working and Metro continues to test it. The system was previously stopping trains for too long a time and causing delays.

When will Metro make the bus service changes being done in conjunction with the Expo Line opening?

The changes are scheduled to take effect June 24. A brochure detailing the changes will be available soon and I’ll post it.

Earlier posts:

Expo Line to open April 28

More on the Expo Line opening

Videos from The Source’s Expo Line preview

Video: The Mayor announces Expo Line opening

The temptation at La Cienega station

Go Expo Line to USC

Expo Line maintenance facility

Art for the Expo Line’s La Cienega/Jefferson station: Engraved in Memory by Daniel Gonzalez (with links to other posts on art for the Expo Line)

20 replies

  1. I am curious about how 7th/Metro Station will handle both the Blue Line and Expo Line. Since the platforms are side-by-side and not in the middle, will the Expo Line sit on the East side platform and Blue Line sit on the West side platform? My thinking is that breaks are kept to a minimum at 7th/Metro Station, and more so at Transit Mall and Culver City/La Cienaga Stations. At night usually, the Blue Line train usually parks at the 7th/Metro for several minutes. If an on-boarding Blue Line train arrives, it drops passengers off at the East side platform. This may have to change because of the Expo introduction. At least until the Regional Connector is built, will there be set platforms for Blue on one side and Expo on the other, making sure that on-boarding trains aren’t affected by this as well.

    • Hi Antonio,

      Good question! We’ll post more this week about boarding Expo and the Blue Line at 7th/Metro Center.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  2. What’s the status of the publication of the Expo Line timetables? It’s less than two weeks until opening day, and I can’t find any timetables on the metro website.

    I’m planning to take Gold Line to Red Line to Expo line, in order to get from Pasadena to USC on Monday the 30th, and need to figure out when I need to catch the Gold Line.

    • Hi Joel;

      The timetable should be available very soon. It looks like trains will be running between about 5 a.m. and 1 a.m. and at 12-minute intervals during peak hours and daytime.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  3. One more question about the 400 spaces at West Angeles Church – what kind of security will there be? It’s a little worrisome that people could lurk, unobserved from the street, for Metro riders to return to their cars.

    • Evan;

      The bike path is complete between La Cienega and National. The stretch west of that was, I believe, recently paved and landscaping has been installed. It looks like they’ve made a lot of progress in the past two weeks.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  4. Can I make it to 1st & Spring before 6AM from La Cienega station and/or Robertson Station later and with transfer to Red/Purple at 7th & Fig? What time would I have to catch the train?

  5. Can you elaborate on the Metro service changes? I thought the December 2011 changes would be implemented in March 2012 or when the Expo Line begins service. So Line 305 will continue running after the Expo Line opens?

  6. For instance, one will easily be able to travel from the La Cienega station to Long Beach just by walking across the platform at the Pico Station and transferring from an Expo Line train to a Blue Line train. I am assuming that this transfer will count as TWO separate fares and that the TAP validators will be INconveniently located at both ends of the station. Any comments on that, Mr. Hymon?

  7. Can you confirm that the Farmdale Station won’t be ready on 4/28? (This was mentioned on Zev Yaroslavsky’s blog — http://zev.lacounty.gov/news/eating-it-up-on-the-expo-line)

    If not, what exactly is the reason people won’t be able to board? The station looks to be near completion, with safety testing on the lights and gates having been going on for months, and seemingly it just needs ticket kiosks.

    If the train is already coming to a stop at the Farmdale Station per the agreement with local residents and Dorsey High parents, can’t we just… board the train on 4/28 and beyond?

    • Hi there;

      The article on Supervisor Yaroslavsky’s website is correct; Farmdale will open sometime after the 28th but not sure exactly when.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  8. I would suggest at 7th Metro that arrivals should be on the easterly platform at all times for both lines, and departures on the westerly platforms for both lines at all times. (Perhaps some variance late at night during maintenance periods, when ridership is low.) This is how things are going to have to be once the Regional Connector is built, so why not get people used to that right now. Yes, people are going to have to read the destination signs on the trains to see which one is The Blue Line train and which one is the Expo Line train. Maybe some signage on the platforms could remind riders to “check your destination signs.” That’s only two different trains. People do this all the time in larger train systems around the world, including this country in New York, Boston, Washington and on the Loop in Chicago.

  9. Regarding the 400 spaces that will be available on weekdays in the garage belonging to the West Angeles Church of God in Christ that is near the Crenshaw station, would you happen to know if that will be free or paid?

  10. The Gold Line shaved 7 minutes off of its time since opening? That seems huge! If Expo could ever shave time like that off it’s total time, it’d be no doubt the best way to get from Downtown to Culver City at almost any time.

    I’m still interested to hear what the boarding process at 7th Street/Metro Center will be like. Expo on one platform and Blue on the other? Arrivals on one side, departures on the other? Union Station “seems” (at least I can’t figure out a pattern) random, but it’s easy to navigate because it’s a center platform. If you’re on the wrong side at 7th Street, it’s a far walk to get over to the other when you realize your train is leaving without you.