Let’s make some history: LIVE updates of today’s opening of the Expo Line extension

Good morning, everyone! It’s hard to underplay the significance of today: after 63 years, rail service will be restored between Santa Monica and downtown Los Angeles. And a very crowded and congested corridor for residents and workers will now

have the kind of transit enjoyed in many other corners of Planet Earth.

We’ll be posting updates and photos here throughout today. Please check back often. We’ve also posted plenty of articles about the Expo Line Extension on the blog. A good place to start is here: Everything you needed to know about Expo and probably weren’t afraid to ask.

9:55 p.m. — Whoops. Almost forgot! Stating the obvious…

9:30 p.m. — And that’s a wrap for Expo Day One. Free rides continue tomorrow from beginning of service for you early birds to close of service early Sunday morning. Station parties will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the following stations: Downtown Santa Monica, 17th St/SMC, 26th/Bergamot, Expo/Bundy, Palms and Culver City. More here. Anna and I will be out there all day — please say hello if you bump into us!

And from earlier this evening:


9:20 p.m.This is a fun listen. An old acquaintance of Steve’s from City Hall — Mayor V — declines to say “I told you so” to KPCC’s John Rabe. Someone’s getting mellow 🙂

9:15 p.m. — These two SaMo residents — Ava and Beatty — took the train to a meet-up with their aunt. Here, they are emailing us the nice video they made, seen below this pic.


9:10 p.m. — It was a pleasure to run into this crew of loyal transit riders (Alex, Brian, George, Moises and Jonathan) and Source readers at Palms Station.


















Javon Stoneham (middle) said that he expects Expo to shorten his commute from Grammercy Park in South L.A. to Santa Monica College from about 90 minutes to an hour each way. He and his friends have been waiting for the line to open since it broke ground back in 2011.

Bonus pic for Javon:


8:40 p.m. — Free rides for this one for a few more years. Tip: two children under age four and under may travel free with each fare-paying adult on bus or rail.



8:40 p.m. — Nice endorsement….


8:35 p.m. — Trains are single-tracking at Expo/Sepulveda Station while a repair is being made to the overhead wires.

5:03 p.m. — Still faster than the rush hour traffic.

4:39 p.m. — The wait is over. Welcome aboard.

4:27 p.m. — Where will Expo take you? How about Fritto Misto at 6th and Colorado, a block from the DTSM station.



3:51 p.m. — Say goodbye to the 10.


3:05 p.m. — Some more photos of our riders.

2:58 p.m. — Life changer.

2:06 p.m. — Game changer.

1:42 p.m. — David Courtland carrying his folding bike on Expo:

“I’ve been living 22 years in Santa Monica and traffic has been getting worse and worse… I’m afraid if I drive I’ll lose my parking space. I used to love to drive.”

1:12 p.m. — We did it LA and bring your kids!


12:59 p.m. — Surf’s up!

12:48 p.m. — #moreexpo is all about new connections!

12:42 p.m.


12:26 p.m. — Bud Kling of Pacific Palisades says he plans to use Expo to go to Kings games.

“I drive to (the Expo station at) Robertson from the Palisades and that’s an hour. Sitting in traffic going 10 or 15 mph is numbing. This will cut half an hour or 45 minutes from my trip by taking the train from Santa Monica instead.”

12:05 p.m. — Beach City to Lob City

12:00 p.m. — Its happening!

11:50 a.m. — Love is in the air for #MoreExpo.

11:37 a.m. — Crowds are forming at Culver City station.

11:23 a.m.

11:15 a.m. — Healthy line at DTSM Station. Guys in front started getting in line after 10 a.m. No overnighters.



11:00 a.m. — FREE rides is an hour away. Catch the ride and be part of history.

10:50 a.m. — Speeches continue. There’s a video at the bottom of this post for those who want to hear them.


County Supervisor and Metro Board Member Sheila Kuehl.


10:50 a.m. — Mayor Eric Garcetti predicts a lot of people will use the train for purposes of dating and says he thinks at least one couple will fall in love on the train tonight. If you do fall in love, please tweet a pic to @metrolosangeles and a copy of your pre-nup!

10:45 a.m. — Several rider sentiments



10:33 a.m.

10:00 a.m.

9:50 a.m. — Banner has been broken. A historical moment in LA.


9:30 a.m. — Tune in to Facebook Live to see the video coverage of the banner busting. Link

9:20 a.m. — Media gaggle waiting for banner bust.


9:10 a.m.


8:00 a.m. — Some early morning photos as we get set to open the new Expo Line.

expoopen-18-2 expoopensecond-16 expoopensecond-12-editexpoopensecond-18-edit

6:55 a.m. — As would be expected, a gaggle of media has descended upon Downtown Santa Monica Station for their morning live spots.

Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.


6:30 a.m. — Our new rail map for your perusal.


10 replies

  1. I rode from APU/Citrus to Downtown Santa Monica on the opening day! It took about 2 hours total. I spent most of the time playing with my phone and listening to music… things which I would have been doing at home anyway. 🙂

    Having a train drop me off just a mall-block away from the ocean is surreal. Now I can visit the Santa Monica Pier without any driving at all.

    • Hi Woody;

      “Surreal” describes it well.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  2. I had written to Metro to put the lines that are firmly under construction on their big maps as advertising for the future. I very cheap way to advertise for the next couple years every time thousands of people look at the map on-line or in stations, But,,,,, they didn’t put the future station names on it, only grey lines of the routes ! They simply could have put “proposed opening 2019” or something similar..

  3. Hi Steve, I’m Jesse and I’m a longtime Metro since I born as Metro Blue Line opened.

    I’m big Metro fan, I go anywhere in LA County, from Antelope Valley to South Bay, from Claremont to Santa Monica.

    I love that map, the new and improved Metro Rail System map look great than previous.

    Keep it up the good work and Go Metro.

  4. I still don’t know what time the first train all the way from downtown LA to Santa Monica, open to the public, leaves from 7th/Metro. But I’m not alone. Even the Metro operators at 7th/Metro don’t know. Some say it leaves Culver City at noon, other say it leaves LA at noon. I’ll just have to wait until I see the “Santa Monica” headboard.

    • FYI: I timed it perfectly an arrived at 7th/Metro just in time for the first train from DTLA to DTSM. The train left before noon, so it wasn’t technically free, but nobody seemed to mind.
      Everything ran smoothly and according to the new schedule except that we ran “hot” from Culver City. (The schedule allows too much time WB from La Cienega to Culver City, so I expect that you’ll be getting complaints from passengers traveling WB from the Culver City and other westside Stations because trains are departing ahead of schedule. Metro should fix this part of the schedule.)
      The train had a few seats available until we reached Culver City, and it was standing room only the rest of the way into Santa Monica. Just about everybody was able to board though, and it looked like most of those left behind on the platforms were photographers and news crews.
      The only delay was when we arrived at DTSM we had to wait around five minutes for a platform to open at the station, but that just heightened the excitement.
      Of course the crowd was huge at the Santa Monica station, and it took a while to alight and exit the station, but there were still a few bikes available at the bike share station. The pedestrian Esplanade looks awesome! Too bad they haven’t completed the last block to Ocean Avenue. I rode the bike eastbound on the new bike path as far as the Sepulveda station. The bike path is very nice, but the waits at intersections are rather long. This probably won’t be a great route for serious bike riders, but it should be popular with casual bikers who want to avoid traffic as much as possible.
      All in all it was a great way to spend the afternoon.

  5. It would have been nice to know that the service would not be available for today for the morning commute. A lot of people showed up to take the train to work, and were turned away this morning.

    • That info was made available weeks ago!!

      That being said, even though I wasn’t gonna be able to ride until after 2:30pm regardless, I like how there is no reason stated as to why the past 2 rail line opening have been happening at noon instead of start of service along with the other lines.

      • Hi Dave;

        In the prior two rail openings (Eastside Gold Line and Expo Line Phase 1) the dedication ceremonies were held a day prior to service beginning. This year, the ceremonies were held the morning of opening day, thus the reason free rides began at noon. Unlike the Gold Line extension, the Expo ceremony was held on a Friday. The only station yesterday with lines was DTSM.

        Steve Hymon
        Editor, The Source