Guided ‘how-to’ tours to begin on the Expo Line this weekend

They are designed for new riders but for anyone who has ever had a moment of confusion on the Metro Rail system — or on the bus — these new ‘how-to’ tours, which begin this weekend on the Expo Line, could be a big help. Here’s the news release:

On Metro it’s easy to explore destinations all around Los Angeles County but for first-time riders it may seem a bit daunting. That’s why Metro is launching guided tours on the Metro Expo Line – Saturdays and Sundays at both 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. — that will teach useful skills, such as how to plan a trip and buy and load TAP cards.

“With the opening of the Expo Line Phase 2 and the Gold Line Foothill Extension next year, Metro Rail will soon operate in new parts of our region and attract new riders,” said Metro Board Member Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker. “We want to prepare first-time riders and other patrons so that they feel confident when they step aboard the Metro system. We believe that through education and orientation we can help riders understand the network, schedules, fare payment and signage and we think that will go a long way toward making everyone feel comfortable and secure.”

     The tours will begin at Culver City Station and Union Station and last approximately two hours. Participants can select the station departure location they prefer when they register. Tours are free, however advance registration is required and tour guests are responsible for purchasing their own TAP cards. Cards cost $1 and can be loaded with a one-way fare ($1.75), a round-trip fare ($3.50) or a Day Pass ($7) that is good for travel all day on any Metro bus or rail line.

Metro tour guides will show participants how to:

— Purchase and load a TAP card

— Plan a trip

— Use Nextrip and Metro mobile apps

— Transfer between bus and rail lines

— Navigate the system safely with bicycles

“Our riders are importance to us and we want to help them navigate the system with ease,” said Metro CEO Phil Washington. “We think this common sense yet innovative program is going to help.”

To reserve your spot, visit and complete the online form. You will receive an email within 48 hours of registration confirming the date, time and location of your tour. Please note that tour requests will be processed on a first come, first served basis. There will be a maximum of 20 people on each tour.

3 replies

  1. I’m a very experienced Metro bus and rail rider. Why do people have to use a Metro rail line several times before they can have a understanding of how it works?

    One example of that is which door you are supposed to load your bicycle into on the Gold or Expo Line. The labeling both on the inside and outside of the rail cars does not indicate where the seats were removed for bicycle storage. You literally have to look inside the rail cars to see where that space is before boarding. Then when your inside there are labels above the doors that direct you to move your bike down the aisle to some other unknown location. Another problem is getting off the subway at 7th St and not seeing which direction to travel (left or right) get to the Expo or Blue Line. The first time I got to the loading platform for the Expo and Blue Line UI had to ask whether the Expo Line stopped there as the markings only indicated Blue. Another time UI got off the Red Line and went up the escalator that was on my right. When I got to the Expo and Blue line platform I noticed that there were people only waiting on the opposite platform side. I asked a Metro driver who was talking to someone nearby if UI was on the right side to get to Culver City.

    Another example is the Red and Purple lines. Frequently people will ask where the train is headed because its difficult to tell whether its a Red or Purple train. I once got on a Purple train when I wanted a Red train and then said out loud that I was an idiot, I just got on the wrong train. There was a response from two or three people nearby me that they just did the same thing.

    • All good observations. I have yet to take my bike on the train but have tried to determine what provisions have been made to accommodate cyclists and to this point it’s very ambiguous where and how bikes may be stored. I have yet to board a car that had seats removed or a section labelled specifically for this purpose. Every bike rider I’ve observed just stands alongside their bike in the aisle. I agree about direction-finding at the 7th St. Metro Center as well. I’ve also made the mistake of getting on the Purple train when bound for Hollywood, but fortunately was able to correct my mistake at the Vermont station.

  2. Maybe more tours are needed at Sierra Madre Villa & El Monte Stations. The interesting problem in El Monte is that there will be no paper transfer between Metro and Foothill Transit. You guys need to show people on how to purchase EZ Passes on tap cards. You also need to explain the EZ Pass + Freeway Zones in detail. For Example what is
    the meaning of EZ transit pass Zone 14?
    This table can be confusing to some people especially when you mix it with the freeway zones with no clear explanations.