Expo Line’s first day almost over

By most accounts, the Expo Line’s rookie debut went smoothly on Saturday. Trains have been running on average every six minutes and lines were minimal at most stations — La Cienega/Jefferson appears to have been the most crowded.

I was on and off trains for most of the day and most people seemed excited to see the trains running with real passengers. Many of the riders I chatted were either giving the ride a test to see how it would fit into their commutes or were simply curious, given that it’s been nearly six decades since a passenger train rolled down Exposition Boulevard.

A reminder: Expo Line rides are again free on Sunday from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. with regular fare service beginning early Monday morning.

If you rode this weekend, let us know what you think of the line. We’ll do a roundup of reviews early this coming week. In the meantime, have a good night and enjoy the opening weekend!


21 replies

  1. Signal priority is a must on the leg from USC to 7th Street Metro Center. I’ve ridden the DASH for years on this stretch. It’s faster to take the DASH–outside of rush hour. Plus you can track DASH buses on the web so you can time it so you never have to wait long. Unfortunately, the Expo Line hasn’t improved my commute at all.

  2. Congratulations to Metro on the opening of Expo. Although my expectations were a little too optimistic. I rode from Exposition Park/USC to 7th street Sunday afternoon and have to say Expo has some kinks to work out. Firstly, the driver didn’t seem to have good control over the train, with constant hard braking jostling around riders. Secondly, the four stops took 30 minutes, which is supposedly the target time from culver city. The signal priority didn’t seem to be working at all. Not only did the train stop at practically all intersections, it stopped multiple times in the tunnels. Luckily, the return trip was smooth and rapid, with only three or four stops at intersections. It reminded me of the first days of the gold line, which has greatly improved since then.

  3. I took the Expo line from USC/Vermont Av and Esposition Blvd over to LaCienega/Jefferson Blvd Saturday. It was absolutely great to go from south-central to the westside in a very short time. The stops chosen along the way were well thought out for travelers, especially students of Dorsey High and Crenshaw Blvd. Just wonderful!

  4. I took the Expo train this morning and it was Greaaaat! It took me 38 minutes to go from Highland Park Station to Jefferson/23rd by USC. The signal priority is not a big deal. I will never drive to USC again. Expo! Expo!Expo!

  5. @ Snack Time “The mesh awnings over the stations are poor, providing neither protection from the sun nor protection from rain (although the latter wasn’t made obvious quite yet). ” Form over Function…

  6. The new Expo line is a great additon to L.A.’s mass transit system. Only one thing would make this line better as well as the Gold line for that matter. Signal prioritization. There must be a way that signals can be timed so that when the train approaches, the train would have priority over the cars. This would also encourage more people to ride the train and not drive. Trains should only have to stop at their respective stations. I’m not a traffic expert but I think this would make the system better. That’s why subways are so much better but we’ll take light rail too.

  7. That is where the announcements at the stops would come in handy, but there are never announcements that I hear, and most definitely, the train should say what train it is at least. As for the comment about the 2000 lrp, is that a type of car or something that is not familiar to me? Most of the stations are unmaned, but I hear announcements all the time on them about packages being lost, safety tips, and so forth, so if Metro can do that, then they can have it announce which train it is, at least. Now is the time to figure out how to do this. None of the underground systems do this either, and there are probably confusions there too, especially with the red and purple lines at some of the stations down town. I’m sure this will all be worked out over time.

  8. Metro needs to work out explaining to riders or have better signages at the Pico Station that the Blue and Expo Lines share the same track there.

    I noticed some people who got onboard the Expo Line were confused asking people why the train was going somewhere different when they thought they were heading down to Long Beach.

  9. Why does this rail line not have SIGNAL PRIORITY??? There’s no reason why Expo should have to wait at stop lights, if everything is timed correctly for cross traffic and parallel streets. It’s ridiculous having the train stop at several streets throughout the route. Imagine how much faster the line could be if there was priority for trains? It could definitely go down to 20 minutes from Downtown to Culver City.

  10. WE took the Expo line downtown and had a blast. It was thrilling! I remembered the old Red Cars and the excitement I felt as a child riding the trains to the beach. Everyone was helpful and we allowed ourselves to get a little bit lost downtown, just wandering around. I hate driving downtown and paying parking, so this will allow for more fun excursions. I look forward to many more trips to downtown LA and other places in the area as I learn to use the subway system. Congratulations to all the people who have made this possible!

  11. Today, I took a ride on the Expo Line and it was so fantastic!The ride was smooth and I would like to say thank you to all of the Expo Line staff helpers who helped people with information about the Expo Line.The only concern I have is that the new Expo Line should frequently operate on the Siemens P2000 LRV.Thank you and I hope that the Expo Line will have more riders riding in the future! 🙂

  12. I noticced at 7th street, there were announcements except for once while I was talking to one of the metro personell as I did lose someone I was riding with. One of the concerns I have as a disabled passenger is that there are no announcement on trains or speaker when trains that share stations like 7th metro, etc. have trains coming in. Also, one of the people that work was telling me the rail cars on the gold line I think it was called 3060, while the other cars were 3010. But I don’t want to get the number on the cars wrong, but I’d like to see that trains announce what train it is and where it is going at least on the stations that have multiple trains going to them. If the buses are announcing for the most part what number it is, why can’t the trains? Also, I was on a blue line train and it wasn’t even calling stops until sometime down the line where it must have been corrected,. I’m curious to find out what metro is doing to have trains make announcements on what train it is and where it is going, since the only one that does it is the gold line. You guys do have disabled passengers who can’t see ride the train, and this was my first trip on the expo line, not have experience on what it used to be. The train did call the stops, so I have an idea of where I’m going, but it did not say expo line, and where it was going. We even still have buses that don’t call their stops, and very few operators that I’ve run in to, have called stops even when it is not calling stops on the train or bus. Keep up the great work, maybe I’ll find something to do on the expo line or find other places to visit. One other question should be raised about boarding, because the guy I talked to said that all boardings on platform 2, and exits on 1, starting Monday on the 7th street stop. You asked for comments, so there are mine. Do keep up the great work.

  13. I rode the Expo Line in its entirety yesterday. My overall impression was good, although if I had a complaint (and this is a complaint with LA’s light rail lines in general), it would be that we seemed to spend way too much time waiting for red lights at cross-streets. One would get the impression that light rail trains aren’t equipped to pre-empt traffic signals. If this is the case, it would seem like a relatively low-cost upgrade that could drastically improve service. In reading the comments above, it looks like others have made similar observations.

    But then, maybe I’m just spoiled with the Red Line and Purple Line subways, which are very nice and fast. (As a former New Yorker, it’s nice to ride a subway that isn’t claustrophobic and smells like urine. I just wish LA had a more extensive subway system.) If cost were no object, I’d still prefer fully grade-separated heavy rail over light rail under almost any circumstances, but I understand Metro has to make the best of the capital resources they have available.

    Like I said, I was impressed overall. I can’t wait for it to go all the way to Santa Monica, and for the Westside subway extension to become a reality!

  14. The Expo Line was awesome!! 🙂 I rode it from Pico Station to Expo Park-USC Station. This line has restored rail service on Exposition Blvd. for the first time in 59 years!!! The inside of the trains looked clean. I went to the California Science Center while there, which is located across the street from the station and USC. I cannot wait for the Expo Line to reach Culver City this summer, and then to Santa Monica in 2016. I look forward to making more trips on the Expo Line real soon. 🙂

  15. Big time kudos for all the Expo support staff who were on hand to direct passengers onto the expo line. The trains were quite packed, so thanks to all Angelenos for keeping cool and providing a comfortable environment in which to explore this new avenue of public transit.

    The mesh awnings over the stations are poor, providing neither protection from the sun nor protection from rain (although the latter wasn’t made obvious quite yet).

    Waits at intersections were also very long, and although this was only the opening event, I am not yet convinced that a normal weekday ride will take 26 minutes to get from La Cienega to 7th/Metro.

    Overall, I am happy with the way everything went, and I hope that additional stations are added sequentially, rather than waiting the entire 3 years before phase 2 completely opens. Looking forward to Expo’s advancement!

  16. the expoline is very clean and smooth,but my only problem with the line is the lack of signal priority,which seems to add alot of time to the trip,is this a temporary issue or will this be the norm,thank you for your answer.

  17. I thought there were long lines as the gold line eastside extension in 2009 for the expo line. I was surprised to see the line was not too long at 7th Street.

  18. I rode today. Why does the train have to stop at so many intersections? I figured the train would have priority and change the signal at the intersection.

  19. I have been so excited to try out the Metro Expo, so I headed down there today. It was great to see the enthusiasm of everyone, and it was evident that this line is going to be a success. In regards to constructive feedback, I think it would run much smoother through Downtown LA if it was aligned with the street lights better (like the Orange Line). It would be great if the traffic lights for the opposing traffic would turn red upon the approach of the Metro Expo, in order to expedite the commute. Thanks for all of the fun events today, and I have no doubt that this line will bring joy to many LA citizens!!!

  20. Parking elevator and one of the station elevators at La Cienega broke down. An annoyance for my family and our stroller; but imagine the difficulties for any disabled riders who parked in the structure.

    Confusion at the Expo Park station when crossing the street. When the walk sign turns on, people assume they can walk all the way to the other side of the street and don’t pay attention to the don’t walk / stop signs located on the tracks.

    The ride on Flower is slow. But generally, trains didn’t linger at stop signals very long. Hopefully they get even more signal priority.

    The tents packed up way too early. Free rides until 7pm, but by 4pm, not much was happening at the 4 stations where opening day festivities were being held.

    That’s it for the negatives. Super happy that the line is finally open. Will be even happier once the Culver City station is up and running.