Several readers have asked about this: all Expo and Blue Line trains will be leaving from platform 2 at the 7th/Metro Center station in downtown Los Angeles.
Announcements are being made in the station. Another easy way to tell which train is an Expo Line train and which is a Blue Line train is to look at the signs on the train.
If it says “La Cienega” it’s an Expo Line train.
If it says “Del Amo, Willow or Long Beach” it’s a Blue Line train.
“You know what other agencies do? They have digital signages on the platform that read “next train: BART Dublin/Pleasanton” as opposed to “next train: BART Richmond”
What’s even more incredible is that (at the 7th St/Metro Center station) they DO have these signs/monitors downstairs for the Red/Purple Line. If they work downstairs, can’t the same thing be replicated upstairs within the same station?
And while we’re discussing improving signage/graphics, when is Metro ever going to add purple dots at the stations from Vermont to Union Station shared with the red line, as well as fix the line color graphic designations at Pico and Metro Center?
Speaking of signage – the updated Purple/Red line maps that are overhead in the cars are placed backwards. The end stations should be reversed, ie. Union Station should be facing the direction of Union Station and vice versa. Right now, if you’re traveling in a direction, you have to continually read the map backwards to figure out the next stop – this is how they are placed on the station platforms, why not on the actual subway car you’re riding in? Metro spent a bit of money on doing 2 versions of these for both the left AND right sides of the cars as mirror images, but they weren’t put up correctly.
Here’s an earlier post on the Expo Line destinations guide that includes some restaurants along the line. When the line opens to Culver City — likely this summer — there will be a lot to add to the list.
Editor, The Source
The problem is that the trains themselves have faded out digital signage which makes it very difficult to read where it’s headed. Have you looked at them? Majority of them displays texts that are so faint and faded that it looks like an old dot matrix cell phone running out of battery.
So the announcements are bad you can’t hear them. The signage is so faded out you can’t read them. With both out of the question, of course there’s going to be confusion.
They need better signage on the trains like bright colored texts on black background LEDs like these:
Then again, Metro isn’t a for profit enterprise so there’s no funds to do such upgrades. You want something like this, y’all need to pay higher taxes.
Is it really that difficult? For those who are visually-impared, when you hear the announcement then you know which train is there. If you can SEE the train, then you know which train it is. Either Blue Line or Expo Line.
Also, rail cars can be used on other lines (when additional cars are needed) so changing colors on the trains will not help.
Then again, a few weeks ago, I did see people flock to the two-car train that clearly had “La Cienega” on the side of the train (as the annoucement that the train was not in service blared over the speakers).
“Another easy way to tell which train is an Expo Line train and which is a Blue Line train is to look at the signs on the train.”
Yeah, stick out your head out from the platform to figure out what the incoming train is. Great idea and a disaster waiting to happen.
You know what other agencies do? They have digital signages on the platform that read “next train: BART Dublin/Pleasanton” as opposed to “next train: BART Richmond.”
A taped up piece of paper 8.5×11 with a HUGH ‘E’ printed in times new roman should be sufficient for Art and his Metro design team.
The answer is to use colors only as a secondary ID such as on maps, but move to a LETTER system for all Metro Rail, but NOT for BRT that aren’t rail. People have always been confused with the color system, and, in fact many I know don’t even use it in conversation but refer to Subway. As for LRT, those same folks do use color in chat, but even they have said it is confusing and should use letters or some other designation.
A few people said the trains should have the same colors paint scheme as the line they operate. I am also thinking of D.C. Metro and how the colored lights illuminate to give the train a glow of the color of the service for that train..
At least Metro finally added adequate signage direction for the Silver Line. Maybe now people will probably give it a try!
Since all of the bus lines have a number, why not letter the trains and BRT?
The only real negative comment I have about the Expo experience was getting out of the parking lot at La Cienega. It’s virtually impossible to get out of the parking lot and head west, which is a big problem since this park-and-ride lot is supposed to serve passengers who live on the West Side. The left turn signal at the Jefferson exit (with access to Jefferson westbound) is marked for “buses only”, forcing all autos to turn right and head back towards downtown. The La Cienega exit is also “right-turn only”, but there isn’t enough room to cross three lanes of rush hour traffic to reach the left-turn lane to head west. If I obey the rules and follow these restrictions I will be forced to either A) drive an extra two miles to turn around at La Brea; or B) drive through residential streets to make a U-turn.
Shouldn’t this system be designed to reduce traffic congestion on our streets?
Growing pains. My first day commuting was very enjoyable – for the most part. The morning trip went without a hitch. Plenty of free parking at La Cienega, my TAP card worked, plenty of seats on the train. I’m guessing that Metro will switch to 1-car or 2-car consists in a couple weeks so the trains don’t look so empty (and to save a few $$ in operating costs).
The return trip was interesting. When I got to 7th/Fig at 5:15 the yellow vests were clearing everybody off of the train and telling us that it was an Expo train. I got on with the other Expo riders and a couple minutes later all the Long Beach passengers got back on. So stop blaming us passengers for not being able to identify which train is which – the Metro staff can’t tell either!
Perhaps it’s time to bring letters back. The last time we had letters was back in the days of the old yellow cars (street cars).. But yes, watch the signs… that’s the best thing to do.
Hopefully, people will get the hang. Metro’s signage is no more confusing than other agencies’. People will also hopefully get the hang of standing on the right on the escalator if they are not walking up or down, and moving away from the train doors before they stop to figure out what they’re doing. New lines mean new operations and new riders, with everybody learning the ropes. Let’s not overlook that this is a good thing, even if our fellow riders and the kinks and quirks of Metro are irritating at the moment.
Platform 1 is for arrival of Blue and Expo line. Platform 2 is for departure.
I know no one from LA Metro ever uses the system let alone rides other systems in other cities (and heaven forbid in other countries, that’s be un-American!), but there is this large city built on a swamp east of here called “Washington, D.C.” and that is where something called the “Federal Government” is based. You may have dealt with this level of government over the phone since they send money to you sometimes.
Anyways, they also have one of these new-fangled electric metropolitan railways and use colors to distinguish between the routes. And they four lines that share the same tracks and stations for a stretch at certain points of the system: The Orange Line, the Blue Line, the Yellow Line and the Green Line.
See the map here:
In order to help their customers (actually helping customers is something that some transit agencies actively try to do, hint, hint) the Washington, D.C. system places large colored cards inscribed with the written word name of the line too in the front window of each train on these four lines.
The trains that will will travel on the Blue Line have a card that is a Blue Square and has the word “Blue” written on it. Why, look, I found you a picture of one for you to see:
It cannot be that hard have the print shop make these and to post one of these at the front of each train, now could it? You could even add the names of the lines in Spanish and Korean!
So there’s a solution LA Metro. At least until you have replaced all the destination signs on your trains with modern ones what are bright and capable of displaying multiple colors!
The color coding is very confusing at first glance on many of the print outs and signs. It’s not that I don’t think different shades of blue is not possible to differentiate clearly, but the printed result in some places is much too close in likeness. Given the generally fairly good graphic design work of Metro, I was a little surprised it wasn’t clearer.
I think if the the Expo color had the green and the lightness values punched a little, to make it a little more obvious it’s an aqua or celeste color, it would not be so easily mistaken for the color of the Blue Line. The need for a little more color separation seemed to especially be an issue on print outs and signs with a black background.
The announcements are heard in the stations, but never understood. The speakers are terrible or the volume is up too loud. Please work on that, thanks!
Also, when will the western most station of the Expo line be open? The one in Culver City?
Then, what is Platform 1 going to be used for?
Yes, please read the signs. The color code for the Long Beach line and the Expo Line is potentially confusing anyway. Couldn’t Metro have thought of another color for the Expo Line? Brown could have worked.