Paving work completed at Expo Line's Culver City station; no more muddy messes

A view of the paved parking lot from the train platform. Photo by Metro.

A view of the paved parking lot from the train platform. Photo by Metro.

Because I know this is an issue that spurred a lot of complaints — and probably some car washing bills — earlier in the rainy season, I wanted to post this nice photo of the newly paved parking lot at the Culver City station.

Metro passes along their thanks to patrons for their patience for the past couple of weeks while paving work was taking place. The work was done quickly with one minor delay due to last week’s rain.

Also, this reminder: if the Culver City parking lot is filled, there is usually free parking available at the La Cienega/Jefferson station in the parking garage and near the Crenshaw station in the garage belonging to the West Angeles Church of God in Christ, just north of the station on Crenshaw Boulevard. 

More info on Expo Line parking here.

25 replies

  1. Another issue at the Culver City station is that on the other side of the station, the sidewalk is blocked and not finished at the collector entrance to the parking lot off of Venice (just east of Robertson). People who use the train are forced to walk onto the road entering into the parking lot. And, with the tall green fencing, any driver who makes the right into the parking lot may not see the pedestrians and hit them. This is a major hazard to pedestrians and commuters; MTA and/or Culver City are opening themselves up to litigation if (God forbid) someone gets hit by a car because of the lack of a sidewalk.

  2. I agree with Lance on the inefficient method for accessing transfers to other lines. A bigger concern for me is the lack of a crosswalk on Washington to catch the Eastbound Culver City 1 and 7, and the Commuter Express 437. The bus stop is in the middle of the block just west of the overhead track.
    To get to the stop you must either walk east to National and go back west to the stop or walk west to Landmark and back east to the stop. Most people will not do this, instead will cross in the middle of the street to get to the stop directly in front of them from the parking lot.
    This is a safety hazard that was not given any thought. A sign was put up saying “No Crossing” with arrows pointing in both directions. If you miss any of these buses, there is generally a half an hour wait before the next one arrives.
    It may only take a few minutes to get from the parking lot or the train platform to the street, however, the time it takes to walk up and back to get to a stop that is right in front of you, is the difference between a 1 hour commute and a 2 hour commute. Putting in a crosswalk would number 1 increase safety and commuter satisfaction significantly.

  3. Hi Steve,
    Thanks for your reporting on the paving work at the Culver City station site. I just wanted to clarify for you that there is still a master-planned, mixed-use development planned for the site with the City of Culver City. It is still early in the planning process; the City recently re-zoned the property for the proposed Planned Development.

  4. BrianMojo,

    The point is exactly what you just said. I’m sick and tired of all these yuppies who think they know better and snobbishly making statements like they represent everybody in LA.

    They are the ones who keep saying stuff like “EVERYBODY should ditch their cars and take Metro” or “EVERYONE in LA should take Metro so we can have cleaner air.” Some of these yuppies even go extreme as saying “EVERY car driver should die because cars are evil.”

    You said it right there. Public transit isn’t for everyone, for many it’s a preferred option. I agree.

    But there are these others who are totally blind to the fact to see that everyone doesn’t live the same way they do, keep saying the repetitive “everybody” word like they’re god given with almighty powers to represent and speak for all Angelenos.

    They don’t realize that for a vast majority of Angelenos that make up a similar work life like me, public transit isn’t still a cheap nor convenient option and driving is still a better option, despite that we do live nearby bus stops.

  5. @local

    What’s your point, man? It seems that you and your friend who work at CostCo are going out of your way to say that Metro doesn’t work for you. That’s great! Please feel free to continue using your car. No one is forcing you to use transit. Transit will never be everything to everyone, nor is it always the cheapest or most convenient option. But it is sometimes people’s ONLY option and other times people’s PREFERRED option. The point is that it’s an alternative, and for some people (clearly not you) it’s a viable one.

  6. I think the better way to describe it is how much does Downtown LA employ compared to rest of the City and County of LA. While a lot of people do work in Downtown LA, I think Metro can’t dismiss that the fact that there are also plenty of jobs throughout LA where a vast majority of the workers consist of the short commuter crowd where the car still wins over public transit for various reasons.

    Going from the Valley to Downtown, or from the South Bay to Downtown, we need mass transit for that to ease traffic on the freeways. But what’s the solution to get rid of cars from the roads within the Valley and within the South Bay? What’s the solution to reduce congestion on the roads for intra-Valley and intra-South Bay commuters? Those make up a large share of commuters and traffic in LA too.

    There’s no denying that there is a vast number of people that work in big name retail stores, bank branches, strip malls, fast food places, shopping malls, supermarkets, restaurants, etc. These places mainly consist of workers and customers that live relatively close by. Why do a vast majority of intra-regional commuters in this work force and customers that use them still rely on the car instead of taking public transit?

    To reduce intra-regional street traffic, to achieve the goal of “becoming 100% car free,” Metro cannot overlook this market. It needs to see the big picture on how in addition to getting rid of arterial traffic jams on our freeways, they also have to look into convincing more of the short distance commuters to try out Metro as well. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to be gaining any big ridership increases in this market, leaving intra-regional short distance surface street traffics still clogged during the heaviest commuting hours.

    By that, I agree that Metro should look into working closer with the Franchise Tax Board to analyze the home address/work address commuting distance, and analyze them based on income levels and zip codes to gain a better perpective on how to run public transit in LA. That should point out the best way for Metro to plan projects, run the most efficient transit system (and at likely which peak hours), and even which fare system to use (leave it as it is, 100% flat rate, 100% distance fare, or a choice of unlimited ride passes and distance fares).

  7. @Local
    My W-2 would show a downtown address for my employer, while I work miles away. In theory, using the W-2 address and mine, I am well served by transit (I live within 1/2 mile of a MetroRail station). In reality, I -*cannot*- use transit to get to work. To get to work on time, I would have to leave the night before. From where I live to where I work, there is no significant transit. I would have to go to DTLA. Or I could ride 2 or 3 busses, taking 2 to 3 hours.

  8. Mospaeda,

    But what are the remaining 80% with jobs in the other sectors consist of and where do the employees that work there tend to live?

    Where do the nurses and caretakers working at our County USC hospitals, UCLA Medical, and Cedars Sinai live? Doctors I assume they’re likely to be commuting from far away, but the nurses and caretakers?

    How about bank tellers at Bank of America and Chase? Would a Bank of America employee working at a branch in South LA, likely to be commuting in from the suburbs, or would they be likely to be commuting close by from South LA?

    Or say, those business parks in Torrance. Are office employees working at those business parks tend to be South Bay area residents or from commuting in from Orange County?

    If you view it in a larger scale, there has never been any solid and realistic study on how far Angelenos actually commute from home to work. If you compare to the rest of the nation, LA is very densely populated.

    Even Metro relies on AAA data based at a nationwide average of 15,000 miles of driving. That maybe very likely in places like Denver, Phoenix, or Atlanta. But in Los Angeles where we built homes and businesses all over the place that there’s practically no more land left? I have a high doubt that’s the case.

    In contrast, independent studies by Chicago based Center For Neighborhood Technology and Forbes say we’re actually #2 in the nation, right behind NYC, when it comes to being the nation’s lowest per household annual driving. That’s a good thing in itself. Yet we also have to wonder why there’s still so many cars on the road then.

    If Metro is developing a mass transit for Angelenos, shouldn’t Metro be conducting a study on how Angelenos really commute around this city with their cars, instead of using AAA statistics that is based on a nationwide average of 15,000 miles of driving per year?

    Instead of working with AAA (nationwide), why doesn’t Metro work with AAA Southern California to conduct this study? Or work with car insurance companies in the region where they collect odometer readings from car drivers?

    Or even more easier, just work with the State Franchise Board to cross reference every Angeleno’s taxpayer residential addresses with their employer’s (W-2 form) addresses? This would be the most easiest way to figure out the realistic average of how far Angelenos commute to work from their homes across all income levels and demographics.

    Such a study may shock everyone that car driving patterns in Los Angeles is far different from the rest of the nation. If that study matches the Chicago and Forbes report, that per household that we really do drive less only beaten by NYC, Metro really needs to rethink their business model.

  9. @ local commuter

    according to the census data for the city of los angeles only 10% of the workforce works in retail and another 10% works in the arts, entertainment industry and food service industry. thats leave the remaining 80% with jobs in the other sectors. i would believe the county numbers should not be much different.

  10. I’m tired of all these white collar know it alls assuming they’re representative of how everyone in LA lives.

    You want to know how a large number of LA people live? I’ll give you a culture shock.

    I work at Costco. It employs a lot of people in my neighborhood.and area. Practically everyone knows each other because we all live near by. How do all the people who work in Costco get to work? Well all drive. Some even do carpools. Parking? Plenty of it. We just park in the same place everyone who shops at Costco does. No one commutes from faraway to work at our Costco, it’s all made up of local residents in the nearby surrounding area.

    Before I worked at Costco, I used to work at McDonald’s. In a typical busy day shift, there would be 5 people there including the shift manager. We all lived close by. How did we get to work? We drived. We didn’t use public transit. And no one commutes from faraway just to flip burgers at McDonald’s and put up with the some of the ruder customers either.

    Why don’t we use Metro? It’s not because there isn’t a bus stop nearby. Hell, the bus stop is very close by to my apartment, it’s a five minute walk from the front door of my apartment. But no one ever uses it. I never see anyone waiting for it. You’d think with all these apartments nearby people would be taking the bus. But no, we’re not. And everyone in this area all have jobs nearby.

    No, we ain’t rich either. Keep hearing people who try to categorize us that we’re some “lucky people” who can afford apartments and have nice jobs near by. If you think of us being rich white collar Downtown LA office type yuppies earning $40,000 a year like you folks, we’d all laugh so hard that your eardrums are gonna pop out.

    Metro wants to know why we don’t use transit? Cuz it ain’t worth it and it’s too much of a hassle. Faster, cheaper, and more convenient to drive. I don’t have to memorize schedules, pray that nothing goes wrong with the light rails you’ve been having problems with, I don’t have to deal with stuff like “can I get on or will it be crowded” or whatever. Just go to my car, turn on the ignition and drive to Costco. Simple as that. When the car gets low on gas, I fill it up at Costco with employee discounts. A full tank of gas in my beatup Mitsubishi? Still less than $50 at today’s gas prices. And it lasts a month and a half before it needs another one. Why would I need a $75 bus pass?

    And I work at Costco, I shop at Costco cuz they give me employee discounts. Does Metro allow me to stash the shopping cart full of groceries onto the bus like I can do with the trunk of my car? I don’t think so.

    They want us to take Metro? It needs a lot more work to get a vast number of Angelenos to take them.

  11. Hahaha, “free” parking! Of course, there’s no such thing, just parking that’s subsidized by someone else other than the car owner.

  12. So once you get to that, you can figure out why these people do not use the bus to get to work.

    Less than a 5 mile commute in a certain vehicle, they can get by with one, maybe even two months in just one fill up. If it were a hybrid, it’ll be even more fuel efficient. usually these strip malls also have other stores nearby where they can do their daily shopping too. Work at Staples, do grocery shopping at Vons, it’s right next door. That adds to additional trip distance savings right there too.

    Let’s look at auto insurance. Insurance rates is set by annual miles put into the odometer. A vast majority of the people who work in the retail and service sector, I wouldn’t be surprised if they put only 5,000-10,000 miles to the odometer every year, far less than the AAA national average of 15,000 miles that majority of transit studies are based upon.

    Have you looked at auto insurance rates for those who only add 5,000 miles a year to their odometer? It’s around $300 per year! That’s less than a buck per day. And these include everything from collision, uninsured, not just liability. And you get additional discounts for getting renter’s insurance at the same time! You should step into a major auto insurance company agent (anywhere, Progressive, AAA, State Farm, etc.) and talk this over. You’d be SHOCKED how low auto insurance rates are for these folks because they travel shorter distances.

    Maintenance costs, if they only travel 5,000 miles a year, their next maintenance won’t be for years to come. Spread out a $20 oil change that’s supposed to be done every 10,000 miles over two years because they only drive 5,000 miles a year, comes around to 2.7 cents a day. Spread out a major maintenance job that’s supposed to be done at 50,000 miles, it’ll be ten years before it’s needed. The cost of maintenance over ten years is nothing.

    Add that to the convenience of going when they want to without waiting for the bus? No brainer why transit isn’t popular with these people. It’s still far too convenient and cheap to drive.

    Retail and service sector. That’s the key market Metro has missed out on. Who works there. How many Angelenos work in that business category? Where do they all work? What mode of transportation do they tend to use?

    Metro needs to study this part extensively.

  13. Matt,

    That’s because you’re looking at a person who works in the suburbs and has an office job.

    In the grand scheme of things, an office type of job in LA consists of very little of the job market. The biggest employer in LA is retail and the service sector.

    A big, and I mean really big number of people in LA work in retail and the service sector.

    Don’t say that’s not true; all you need to do is look around all the businesses that occupy the strip malls everywhere in LA. Supercuts, Target, Walmart, Costco, McDonalds, In ‘n Out, the list goes on.

    These places don’t work on their own. They have workers there too. And how do the workers there get to work? A vast majority of them drive. A vast majority of them provide free employee parking, just park in any spot. A vast majority of the employees at these places live close by.

    What do the employee demographic of these business make up of? They make up of people who fit into the “I live in an apartment and I work less than 5 miles away.”

    If you look at the grand scheme of how LA has big name retail stores all over LA intermixed with multifamily complexes, LA is a very dense city.

    Cars still remain the way to travel for these people. Why is that? I rarely see anyone going to work for Staples taking the bus. Or Vons. Or Ralphs, Or Costco. Why is that? Instead they drive. A that consists of a large number of Angelenos, far more than the office worker type.

  14. Local Commuter,

    Have you tried using I-10 from Culver City to Los Angeles (or v.v.) lately? And the Westside surface streets?

  15. Local commuter,

    Not sure what planet you live on, but a tank of gas is $60-$70, which is nearly the cost of a monthly pass. Registration for a beater is $100 a year, insurance is at least $50 a month and closer to a $100 a month for some people. Car repairs and maintenance are not trivial and have been exploding in costs in recent years as cars have become more complex. Stop and start city traffic is not good for a car at all.

    Oh, and in LA County if you work for a company with 50 or more employees, they have to pay you the cost of a parking spot if you don’t use it. In many areas of Los Angeles, that is well over $100 a month and close to $200 a month.

  16. Culver City and Metro should join together to find a developer to build a mix-use complex with Lofts and condos. A few Bus stops on the streets surrounding the property would be best in order to get the best use out of the property.

  17. It would be nice if everyone rode Metro. Unfortunately for most Angelenos, driving is still cheaper than taking Metro.

    Recent independent studies have now shown that LA ranks #2 right behind NYC in average household gas consumption. Angeleno household on average only use 630 gallons of gas per year, one of the best in the nation.

    This is a big surprise to me because we have so many cars on the road. But it makes sense; we actually have so many dense multifamily complexes and businesses scattered throughout LA that people tend to drive very few miles to their workplace.

    And when it comes down to it, it’s far more cheaper to drive shorter distances than go Metro. A person who has short commutes can very well just get by with a fill up once per month. Even at today’s gas prices, that’s far less than the cost of a monthly pass, even including the cost of parking (majority of them being free), insurance, maintenance, and registration.

    What we have been lead to believe all these years have been totally wrong.

  18. Look at all of the SMOG by the mountains in the distance… Hopefully more people will clean up LA’s dirty air by riding Metro!! If everyone in LA rode Public Rapid Transport here in LA we would have CLEAN AIR.

  19. Metro,There should be a Bus Terminal/Transit depot at the new Culver City Expo Station at the bottom of the elevated platform in the paved parking lot with easy connections to Metro lines 33, 220, 534, and 733, Culver City Bus Lines 1,7 and SM Big Blue Bus Lines 5,12,R12 BBB Line 12/ Rapid 12 to Palms, Westwood/ UCLA and R20, connections to Venice Beach,and Metro 534 Express Service to Santa Monica and Malibu!!! This would make bus connections much easier for commuters… Why didn’t Metro build a bus depot while paving the parking lot? Thanks a Metro Student Rider who loves the new Metro Expo Line and can’t wait to got to SM by Metro rail in 2016!! The Parking Lot show’s you how we’re so dependent upon cars here in LA… Don’t be stuck in traffic save Money and GO LA METRO!!

  20. And buses are still kept out of the station, making bus connections difficult and burdensome becasue…?

  21. Hopefully the station becomes so busy, they will build a parking structure. I can’t wait for the complaints when/if that happens!!

    • Hi David;

      There was originally a mixed-use development proposed for the site, the reason the Expo Line Construction Authority didn’t bother to pave it — thinking it would soon be developed. But that fell through. Something could be proposed in the future, I suppose.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source