All Gold Line trains will serve Foothill Extension stations beginning Sunday

All Gold Line trains will run from Azusa to East Los Angeles beginning Sunday with frequencies of every seven minutes during peak hours starting on Monday.

To put it lightly, Foothill Extension riders have been requesting this change. Gold Line trains currently run every six minutes between East L.A. and Pasadena during the rush hours but every 12 minutes to the new stations in Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte, Irwindale and Azusa. That often meant longer waits and more crowded trains for Foothill Extension riders.

The 11.5-mile Gold Line Foothill Extension opened in early March and ridership has exceeded Metro’s expectations. The change means that service levels will match demand along the entire 31-mile Gold Line. The change is a one-year pilot program, allowing Metro monitor ridership, on-time performance of trains and customer satisfaction to determine if the change should be made permanent.

The Gold Line crossing the San Gabriel River in Irwindale. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

The Gold Line crossing the San Gabriel River in Irwindale. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

Metro staff see the revised schedule as a win-win for customers and operations staff. Among the benefits:

•The schedule will be easier to read and all trains will stop at all stations.

•Passenger loads should be more consistent from train to train and wait times at Union Station will be reduced for Foothill riders.

•No more waiting at the Sierra Madre Villa platform, which sits in the middle of the not unquiet 210 freeway.

•Going from six minute to seven minute headways does not significantly increase the wait time for passengers.

•As more rail cars are delivered, a greater percentage of trains will be longer.

Here’s the news release. And here’s the new timetable:

 

What do you think, riders? A good change? Comment please.

114 replies

  1. I think that this is awesome.. now, if they can get the signs at the stations to actually show accurate arrival times, that would be even better.. to me, it’s worse to have incorrect data displayed there than none at all.. I already posted a comment about that on the Metro website.

  2. Thanks Steve, having all trains span the full length of the Gold Line is a big plus and a no brainer. I am a bit surprised that it took Metro so long to see that it was necessary.

    I keep hearing reports stating that the majority of the Gold Line extension riders exit in Pasadena, (http://thesource.metro.net/2016/04/14/ridership-powerpoint-gold-line-foothill-extensions-first-month-of-service/) I still fail to see how this is possible. When we get to Union Station it is standing room only, every work day. I hope Metro does another survey of ridership soon, this time perhaps actually sending a few of their people on the trains for a few days so that they can see what is actually going on.

    • Anna and I ride the Gold Line to and from work on most days — so we’re seeing what is happening and frequently share our experiences with colleagues — many of whom also ride the Gold Line.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

    • They didn’t have the trains to do this until now is why. Also, that post concerned riders getting on the new stations of the Gold Line. That doesn’t mean that a bunch of riders don’t get on in Pasadena, South Pasadena, and Highland Park too to go Downtown.

  3. This is great, I hike these trails all the time, and having access to the Gold Line will really help me out.

  4. 7 minute headway to Azusa.. Hmm.. we’ll see how long that will last. If we go back to short line trains down the road, then it would make sense to assign longer train sets to the Azusa trips.

  5. This is great news! I look forward to the positive change. With regards to the train lengths increasing with the delivery of additional rail cars, riders will have a more comfortable ride and spread the positive news to and ridership will further increase. Next step is to keep looking for ways to increase parking capacity at both Azusa stations. I know many people in Glendora who would ride if they could arrive and find parking after 6 am.

  6. Do we know when Metro is expected to get the remainder of the new rail cars? I agree it was a good decision not to delay the openings of the new lines, but it is really putting a damper on it all not having the additional needed cars…

    • They don’t come in all at once — as they are assembled, they are being delivered and then broken in. Anna will have a post up about that very soonish.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  7. This is great news. I look forward to the new schedule. And Chuck McDaniels is right–the incorrect arrival times on the screens maddening. While I’d like to say I’ve stopped checking the screens, they’re so prominent that you can’t help but see them. Why are they so far off?

  8. Great change! May I suggest providing more parking on extensions and more cities offering shuttle services. Maybe shuttles from carpool commuter parking along the free way exits

    • Great suggestion, I am currently skipping APU/Citrus and Azusa Stations, to park at Irwindale. Even though APU/Citrus is only about 2 miles from my house. On a positive note, I may start cycling to APU if they ever finish the entrance on Citrus.

  9. I don’t have an issue with this, as it will make connections to transit on the east end a lot easier since you don’t have to schedule around a 12 minute headway bus. If you miss a train, another is only minutes away. This will hopefully spur more shuttles to operate from the eastern stations to places like San Dimas, Pomona, and Claremont until the Gold Line Foothill Extension is completed to Montclair.

  10. Why doesn’t Metro care as much about the the Metro passengers stuck with jammed train cars on the Blue Line? (Could it have something to do with the different predominant ethnicities and socio-economic class of Blue-Line riders, versus those of Gold-Line riders?)

    Why doesn’t Metro have the courtesy to tell riders of its trains when enough new train cars will be delivered to accommodate the “old” demand BEFORE the opening of the Gold-Line and Expo-Line extensions?

    Instead, Metro keeps trying to cram more and more new riders into already jammed cars on existing lines and at the old stations.

    Why should we vote for more tax money for Metro when its service on its “old” bus and train lines keeps getting worse?

    Surely, nobody at Metro could have been surprised that opening the new/extended Gold & Expo light-rail lines this year would require a very large number of new railcars.

    It’s time for Metro to begin treating its riders like adults, and keep us informed of Metro’s plans–and its mistakes and how it intends to correct them.

    • Well, why not BLAME Metro’s board for delaying the ordering of the new Rail Cars for about three years! Both the Gold Line Foothill Extension and Even Expo openings were delayed about a year. Watching the construction one could see the slowdown in what was being done so Metro would not look worse than it does today with packed trains and not enough cars!

      The Blue Line is running three car trains as close as they can now.

  11. When will Metro and Foothill Transit match their connection buses with the train schedule especially during rush hour? Ridership will not be increase magically without adding additional parking spaces and frequency of the connecting bus routes.

  12. Yay for us! However, drivers in Duarte and Monrovia will not be pleased. Although the signals are much more efficient now, there have been a lot of complaints with trains every 12 minutes.

  13. That’s great, thanks for listening, now how about shuttle service to 530 am closed citrus station, 7 am closed Azusa and 705 am closed irwindale parking . How is increasing times gonna help when lots are full for 8-9 hours. Need Shuttles now, how did you not see this coming? And keeping a entire floor unavailable because of 3 hour parking restriction, that stays empty? You can open these for more parking temp, till you build the shipping, it’s still dirt. Wth? LISTEN? Is anyone listening? Do you care? ACT! And ten years to build the rest? You can do it in 3… Because in ten ppl will get disgusted with metro. And the lots will be full at 3 am , go figure.

    • Hi Sandra;

      Metro is working with the city of Azusa on possibly opening up some of their spaces. The Foothill Transit spaces can be used by Metro customers after mid-morning.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  14. This change is AWESOME!! I travel from south pasadena to Azusa Downtown fairly often and this will definitely help with waiting times 🙂

  15. Is this arrangement also applying for evening and weekend services? It seems that infrequency service during evening (between 8-11pm) is quite common on gold line foothill extension. I don’t mind you run single car train during evening, but increase the frequency to every 12mins is much better than 20mins. Weekend schedule should run every 12mins all day except early morning and late night period. But overall I appreciate that you are making an improvement on gold line, and I wish you will do the same thing on expo line soon.

    • Hi–

      Yes, all Gold Line trains will be going to all stations with a couple minor exceptions for trains coming/going to rail yard.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

    • Yeah, I’m also trying to figure out who in their right mind thought it was a smart idea to run single car trains for 31 miles?? You know what I currently do whenever I see a single car train coming from Azusa arrives at SMV?? I skip it and wait for the Short Line that for some reason is 2-cars and stays empty.

      So here’s the thing, why are Single cars trains traveling between Azusa and LAUS but the current Short Line trains run 2-cars?? Shouldn’t it be Vice-Versa??

      Oh well, I guess it won’t make a difference in a few weeks.

  16. Thank you, thank you, thank you for listening to our suggestions (complaints)! This will make life easier for Metro riders going east of Sierra Madre Villa.

  17. […] Los Angeles County Metro announced on Thursday that service will be increased to the Foothill Gold Line stations from Pasadena to Azusa starting June 27, ending the current condition of every other train not traveling east of Sierra Madre Villa Station during peak periods. Metro will be changing service on the entire Gold Line to accommodate this improved service for the Foothill Gold Line stations. The change will be implemented starting June 27. Read more: http://thesource.metro.net/2016/05/26/all-gold-line-trails-will-serve-foothill-extension-stations-be… […]

    • Not out yet. Will post next month when it’s available.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

    • 7:15? Last Friday, the lot at the APU/Citrus College station was full at 5:45 am.

  18. “There were an estimated 50,219 boardings on the entire Gold this past April compared to 41,962 boardings in April 2015.”
    Are those numbers right? They seem quite low (less than 300 additional boardings per day in 2016 vs. 2015).

    • Good catch. That should read an average weekday estimate of 50,219…etc. I’ll fix. Thanks for bringing to my attention!

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

    • APU/Citrus is full by 5:45am, DT Azusa by 6:20-6:25 – DT Azusa will probably get worse as the FT permit parking spots which were occupied by Metro commuters will no longer be accessible by end of this month, unless they open up the 3 hour spots

  19. Was the decision to run the trains from Azusa to Pasadena due to a shortage of train cars or another reason? Why did metro decide to have the line from Azusa to Pasadena only?

    • Shortage of rail cars and to preserve the six-minute frequencies on the rest of the Gold Line. By going to seven-minute headways, we can now run all trains to all stations. Pretty reasonable compromise that has some benefits for many other passengers, we think.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

      • Seriously? The decision to turn every other train around at Sierra Madre was in order to keep the time between service at 6-minutes instead of 7 minutes? Frankly I find that decision quite ridiculous.

        Very few passengers would have cared even if the “headway” had been increased to 10-12 minutes as long as every train went out to Azusa, because that’s exactly the situation that was created by only running half the trains to Sierra Madre. Many riders either passed on the Pasadena/Sierra Madre train and waited at Union Station for the APU train, OR they got off at SIerra Madre and waited there for the APU train. During rush hour, the APU train is often crowded to standing room only with people having to forcibly push in past other passengers when boarding at Sierra Madre. It’s so ridiculous that rather than riding to Sierra Madre and changing, passengers on the Pasadena Line have even taken to getting off at Memorial Park, or earlier, and waiting there for the next train.

        All this inconvenience was for the sake of saving 1-minute? Incredible!

      • John P: The one minute difference in the headway may sound trivial and ridiculous, but the effect on the rider experience is substantial. By running two-car trains on the Gold Line with six-minute headways, Metro can run ten trains per hour, or 20 rail cars with a peak capacity of approximately 1,400 seats. By coincidence, the peak ridership on the Gold Line is approximately 1,400 riders during the peak hours at the peak load point (between Pasadena and Union Station). Therefore, the existing service is designed to serve the existing peak demand. (Of course, in reality ridership loads aren’t constant between trains, so some trains experience greater loads than others, but on average the supply is close to the demand for seats.)
        By changing to seven-minute headways, while still operating two car trains, The Gold Line will have a peak capacity of fewer than 1,200 seats. Therefore, many more riders will be required to stand for a portion of the journey between Pasadena and Union Station. Metro has decided that it is more important to improve the riding experience for the small number of riders who use the Foothill Extension (approximately 20 percent of the total ridership on the Gold Line), at the expense of comfort for the much larger number of riders between Pasadena and Union Station (approximately 50 percent of all Gold Line riders).

      • Steve: What do you disagree with: the statistics that I used or my analysis of the riding experience? If you have additional ridership data I’d like to see it.
        I don’t disagree with any of the statements in the post. I agree that the passenger loads will be more consistent, but I also believe that the average passenger loads on the core segment of the route (between Pasadena and Union Station) will increase by around 15 percent. That’s simple math, if you decrease the number of trains, you increase the number of people that you squeeze onto each train. As for longer trains, I wouldn’t count on them arriving for quite some time.

        • The extremely often-expressed view of yours that Foothill lacks ridership, etc. We hear you loud and clear.

          Steve Hymon
          Editor, The Source

      • Steve: Okay, that’s clear.
        FWIW I never said the Foothill extension “lacks ridership”, I simply pointed out that the ridership on the Foothill extension is significantly lower than the ridership on the core section of the route (between Pasadena and Union Station). The only ridership data that I’ve seen for the Gold Line Foothill Extension is the data in the PowerPoint that you distributed on April 14, which showed approximately 5,000 daily taps at the new stations. If we make a liberal assumption that each tap accounts for a westbound trip, and that each westbound trip represents an additional eastbound return trips, this means that there were approximately 10,000 daily rides on the Foothill Extension in the first month of service. As I noted, those 10,000 daily riders account for approximately 20 percent of the total ridership on the Gold Line (50,219 in April).
        Compare that ridership to the Gold Line ridership between Pasadena and Union Station, which accounted for over 22,000 passengers in 2015, or 50 percent of the total ridership. With the ridership growth on the Gold Line in the year before the Foothill extension opened, plus riders from the Foothill extension to Union Station, I estimate that there are currently approximately 25,000 daily riders at the peak load point. Therefore, the passenger loads on the Foothill Extension are approximately 40 percent of the passenger loads on the core section of the route.
        As you know, it’s quite common for transit operators to operate short-line services on routes where the ridership demand isn’t constant along the alignment. For example, the Blue Line has been operating a short line to the Willow Station for years. Riders between downtown LA and Willow get six-minute peak headways, and riders south of Willow get 12-minute peak headways. This operating plan is justified due to the much lower passenger loads south of Willow, approximately 40 percent of the peak passenger loads between downtown LA and Willow.
        In the long run it makes sense for Metro to operate short line services to minimize costs while maintaining ridership standards.

  20. While this is great news for the Gold Line riders, it’s a horrible decision in terms of fairness between the light rail lines. Would somebody at Metro please take a look at the ridership numbers before you finalize this decision? If you won’t, I’ll do the math for you. Spoiler alert, Expo has significantly higher peak ridership than the Gold Line Foothill Extension, but already receives less service. This planned service change will only amplify that disparity.
    According to last year’s ridership data the peak load point on the Gold Line (between Chinatown and Union Station) carries 22,000 daily riders. The peak load on the Eastside extension (between Union Station and Little Tokyo) carries 11,000 daily riders. If, as you say, “The peak hour ridership on the Foothill Extension is already the same as Union Station to East L.A. segment” then the Foothill segment also carries 11,000 to 12,000 daily riders. Assuming a ten percent peak hour factor and 75% directionality factor, the peak hour carries approximately 900 peak hour riders in the peak direction. The Foothill segment is already served by 5 trains in each direction.
    By comparison, the peak load point on the Expo Line (near USC) carried 17,500 daily riders. With the opening of the extension to Santa Monica, those loads have increased substantially. From my observations, ridership on the commute to and from downtown LA has increased by 10-20 percent on this segment. I also observe that the “reverse commute”, i.e. the commute to and from Santa Monica, now carries ridership loads that are at least as large. My estimate is that the peak loads on the Expo Line are at least 22-24,000 daily riders. Assuming a ten percent peak hour factor and 50% directionality factor, the peak hour carries approximately 1,100-1,200 peak hour riders in the peak direction. The Expo Line is served by 5 trains in each direction, the same as the existing service on the Gold Line Foothill extension.
    As you can see, the peak loads on the Expo Line are approximately 25 percent higher than the peak loads on the Gold Line Foothill Extension. (Please note that my assumptions of the directionality factors are very conservative and favorable to the Gold Line, so that actual disparity may be even greater.) Based on the ridership analysis, a peak period, peak direction train on the Gold Line Foothill Extension carries an average of 180 passengers, and a peak period, peak direction train on the Expo Line carries an average of 220-240 passengers per train. And that’s during the first week of service on Expo Phase 2, which is bound to increase dramatically over the next few months.
    (For Blue Line riders: a similar analysis results in a peak period, peak direction train on the Blue Line carrying an average of 230 passengers per train, almost identical to the current demand on the Expo Line.)
    Based on all of the ridership data that you have available, it’s clear that the peak demand on the Expo Line is significantly greater than the peak demand on the Gold Line Foothill Extension. In spite of that, the Gold Line Foothill Extension has more service than the Expo Line, and now you’re proposing to increase that disparity in service?
    I know from observations that fewer than half of the peak period trains on the Expo Line are served by three-car consists. I also know from observations that most (but not all) peak period Blue Line trains are served by three-car consists. How many cars are used on trains that serve the Gold Line Foothill Extension? I know that you started with two-car consists, and immediately added three-car consists after complaints in the first week of service.
    Well, if its complaints that you need to get any action, here’s mine: Do your due diligence and be fair! Count the ridership loads at peak load points on all of your light rail lines to confirm the facts. Then allocate your limited resources fairly according to the empirical evidence! Don’t cave to interest groups or political pressure, do what’s right and do what’s fair.

    • Nobody promised somebody’s interpret ration of fair. Buy a train if you want your definition of fair.
      Let the planners work to satisfy to best of their capabilities a profitable line so it doesn’t have to be subsidized by taxpayers not using it.

  21. These new cars will help, but ridership on the GoldLine extension is, unfortunately, artificially limited by parking availability. The sparsity of first mile transit options in the East San Gabriel Valley compared to Mid-City and the Westside means that, for the vast majority of potential users, the only practical way to get to the stations on the Gold Line extension is by car, and if there is no parking available, the option is unavailable.

    I propose an experiment for the Metro to gauge demand, which shouldn’t cost huge amounts of money. There is a large vacant field immediately adjacent to the parking structure at the APU/Citrus station. Lease this field, and put down an inexpensive asphalt parking lot. I mean something that is not intended to last decades, but which could easily be torn up, when this station is not the end-of-the-line. The APU/Citrus parking structure is filling between 5:45 and 6:15 am every morning. (In fact, typically, parking at 5 of the 6 new stations on the extension is at capacity by 8:00-8:30 am every weekday.)

    This would be a win/win. It lets Metro test demand, without building some big permanent parking structure, and every car parked there isn’t driving down the massively overloaded 210 Freeway.

  22. Yes I would love to see more cars added.. With two cars running from LAUS to APU it’s killer waiting for a seat.. Especially during rush hour..

  23. Upon closer inspection I’ve changed my mind: on the basis of fairness between light rail lines this schedule change is fair and reasonable. I now realize that the fleet requirement to serve the new operating plan (seven minute headways along the entire alignment) is practically identical to the existing service (12 minute headways on the Foothill extension and 6 minute headways west of Sierra Madre Villa), i.e. 22-23 trains are required to serve the operating plans during rush hour under either operating plan. Assuming that all Gold Line trains will be served by two-car consists, this means that the extra cars that have been used on the trains that serve the Foothill Extension will no longer be necessary, therefore those extra cars will be available to serve the higher passenger loads on the Expo and Blue Lines.
    For Gold Line patrons there is one impact that Steve didn’t mention in his summary: average ridership loads on the Gold Line between Pasadena and Union Station will be significantly higher. The current operating plan allocates 10 trains and between 20 and 25 rail cars (depending on the number of three-car consists) between Pasadena and Union Station. The new operating plan will allocates 8.5 trains and 17 rail cars along the entire alignment. Therefore the peak passenger loads (between Highland Park and Union Station) which currently average between 60 and 70 passengers per rail car, will increase to more than 80 passengers per rail car with the 7 minute headways. However, as Steve notes, these passenger loads will be more consistent from train to train, since the Foothill passengers will be spread to all trains.
    These average peak passenger loads on the Gold Line (80 passengers per rail car) are consistent with the peak loads that will exist on the Expo and Blue Lines once those lines are served by three-car trains throughout the peak periods.

  24. The Expo line needs way more cars and more frequent service! I commute from South Pas to Santa Monica and it’s always standing room-only, and worse — people on the platform can’t even get on because the cars are so packed!

  25. We spoke and you listened? . Well listen to n this. Get rid of ALL the 3 hr parking spots. No one uses them

  26. Steve and Ana, thanks for bringing us the frequent updates and for putting up with the many short (angry) replies as well as the long winded, incomprehensible rants. Things are improving.

  27. Definitely a welcome change, the best part of the gold line is that i can literally just wrap up and leave work in DTLA and know that there will be a train within a few minutes 🙂 7 minutes is even better.

    Now hopefully the parking situation is addressed soon at APU / DT Azusa…with FT spots as well as street parking being taken away soon in DT Azusa and the APU connector not scheduled to open until August, its all the more critical to provide alternatives…just do away or limit the 3 hour constraints to start with.

  28. Love this but…all trains are running about 12 minutes apart now. Not 6 minutes, not 7 minutes. I have rarely seen the Gold Line run with the promised frequency since the extension opened. Any idea when we will have regular service routinely?

  29. I take the Gold line at Azusa every day and they do not run every six minutes. It is more or less every 12 minutes and sometimes they get there early and leave right away.
    Thank you for making this change but i wish metro would consider adding express trains in the am and pm commute as so many of us go straight to Union Station. This is how it used to be about 9 years ago when there were less riders so why not do that now?

    • Trains run every 6 min during peak hours between East LA and East Pasadena (SMV), trains run every 12 minutes throughout the entire route, regardless of time of day. The 12 min service to Azusa and outside of peak hours is the routine frequency, check the current timetable.

      • What are peak hours? I get to Azusa at around 7:05 am every day and the next train gets there either at 7:15 7:16 and or 7:17 and after that there is one at 7:30 am. That isnt every 6 mins. Is it?

        • Hi Diana;

          I think peak hours on the Gold Line are currently about 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and about 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Generally the morning and afternoon rush hours.

          The trains should be departing Azusa every 12 minute during peak hours at the moment. That’s the scheduled time. The actual time may be different.

          Under the new plan, trains will be scheduled to depart Azusa every seven minutes during the morning and afternoon peak hours.

          Steve Hymon
          Editor, The Source

  30. Wonderful improvement! I ride from Azusa Downtown and sometimes the morning trains are standing room only because of the 12 min delay and if the trains are running off-schedule it’s even worse. Now if we can just fix parking that would be a big win (I know you are working on it).

    • How can you make longer trains when you don’t have enough cars? Ordering LRV is not like going to an auto dealership and driving home the same day. The Source did give a good explanation of what is required to bring new cars into service. Even as they are delivered, There was a delay in ordering the cars to begin with that has caused a delay in opening the lines and the shortage we see today. I’m sure we will see improvements in headways and train lengths as additional cars arrive.

      Note, some systems like NYC have seats along the side to have more standing room to carry more people per car.

  31. Thank you, Metro! Sometime on or soon after June 27, I will give the extension another try. The delays and platform crowds at SMV Station got me off of the train and back on the road soon after the extension opened.

  32. I am excited of the improvement. I do not have to wait for more minutes to catch the Goldline to Azusa. Also, the trains will not be so crowded if the schedule is every 7 minutes. I do not have to see my iphone app just to see what time is the train coming. Wish that the Goldline will speed up in constracting more stations to Glendora, and add more parking spaces.

  33. Much more parking and longer trains are required along the extension segment. Eliminate ALL 3 hr. parking which is sub-utilized at all times.

  34. This is a welcome change!

    FYI: Regarding complaints about parking, parking is controlled by the cities, not Metro. Please your city council know about your concerns and issues. And no, I do not work for Metro, just sharing knowledge.

    • Hi Trey;

      In some cases. Metro does control parking in the lots and garages that it owns or co-owns.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

      • Thanks for the clarification. I live within walking distance of the Azusa Downtown station, so the parking is not an issue for me, but I hear fellow riders complaining. I was told by a Metro employee that I know that parking garages in Azusa were city controlled.

        • Hi Trey;

          Metro controls the APU/Citrus garage and partially controls some of the spaces at the Downtown Azusa garage.

          Steve Hymon
          Editor, The Source

  35. Really hard to find parking spot at APU and Azusa stations and they are all full in the very early morning at 5:30am and 6:30am. Agree to eliminate the 3-hour parking inside the metro structure as they are idled all the time

  36. You say, “As more rail cars are delivered, a greater percentage of trains will be longer,” but failed to mention in the story if the trains will still be two cars after the switch, or if they’re planning to pair them all down to one car and only add additional cars as they are delivered sometime in the future.

    I’m hoping they remain as 2-car trains at least, otherwise it will defeat the purpose.

    • Greg,

      I am sure that after Metro has the entire initial (70-odd) car delivery from K-S you will see 3- and 2-car trains during the day and 2- or 1- cars at night, based on ridership number. Right now, Metro is running everything they can, except at night when it is priudently running some one-car trains.

  37. This is a great improvement. However, we will really need more cars or the majority of people who get on the train from the later stations are always going to be standing in a crowded train for more than 40 minutes.

  38. Metro has enough LRT cars to operate two-car trains on the Gold Line. They need 46 cars to operate 23 two-car trains during the peak service with 7-minute headways. Metro is currently using 50 LRT cars to serve the Gold Line.
    The “extra” four cars should be moved to the Expo Line to allow Expo to operate with three-car consists on all 9 trains providing 12-minute peak period service. Keeping the “extra” four cars on the Gold Line won’t help the ridership experience for Gold line riders.
    When vehicles of different lengths are operated on the same transit line the operations don’t work properly and vehicles end up bunching. What’s worse, the first train in the bunch is always the shortest train. The longer three-car trains run faster than the two-car trains because of the increased dwell times required to operate the overloaded two-car trains. As a result, the three car trains quickly bunch up behind the two-car trains. I see this happening every day on the Expo Line, and I’m sure you Gold Line riders see the same thing. As a result, when you arrive at a station in the middle of the route, the next train to arrive is almost always a two-car train, which of course is overloaded. If you waited a few minutes there might be a three-car train following right behind (and practically empty), but who’s patient enough to do that?

    • That won’t work. You need spare cars to maintain the cars properly as they are oftentimes disabled or need work. Right now many of the new cars are out of service as they have a lot of problems.

      • My analysis accounts for spares. The fleet that I’m describing is the peak in-service fleet, as documented on Metro’s “Facts at a Glance” page.

      • Facts at a Glance is not up to date. Metro has not updated the Expo Line that opened over a month ago. Before the opening, I’ve heard that at least four K-S cars have been moved to Expo that was an expensive move.

        Both lines are hurting with packed trains. Both lines can use the cars that have several checks and tests before they can be put into revenue service. It is more complex that going to the local Light Rail Dealer and drive away with a new car that evening.

    • ExpoRider obviously knows how to run the agency better than any of the METRO chiefs. Just hire him already, perhaps then these diatribes can be kept from the public eye.

      • I think I know who ExpoRider is… he is “Gokhan” over at Transit Coalition. The dude is way too obsessed about shilling the Expo and bashing the Foothill Extension, even over at the TC board.

    • Your suggestion would work, except….

      AnsaldoBreda trains on the Gold Line is overweight and incompatible with other lines.

  39. Are you referring to the 50 AnsaldoBreda cars? They really can’t move over to the other LRT lines for logistical issues (parts, maintenance).

    As for the K-S cars, I’ll leave it up to the writers of this blog as to why some are over on the Gold Line and others are on the Expo/(Blue) side. The regional connector can’t come soon enough!

    • No, I’m talking about the total fleet in service for each line, regardless of manufacturer. K-S cars are being added to both the Gold and Expo lines.

      • Do you know how many additional KS will be added to gold line? I know that there are only 10 set of new trains in gold line, while Metro mentioned that Gold line will receive 15 cars. Will they add 5 additional KS trains or even more to the Gold line?

      • There are only 50 AnsaldoBreda LRT cars and they are all on the Gold Line. So assuming 10% are in the shop, that’s 45 cars. Then add the K-S cars to this.

  40. I guess the assumption is trains run on time which any regular Gold Line Rider will tell you is not the case.

    • Ehh, unlike the Expo Line (ugh!), the Gold Line definitely has a better on-time performance IMO. Sure, there are delays at times, but I’ve experience days on the Gold Line without having any sort of delay.

  41. Can we also stop with the single car operations after 8pm, especially if service will only be operating every 20 min??

    I fail to understand why there are 2-car train sets between Pasadena and East LA but only single-car set between Azusa and East LA. I’m just better off waiting for a 2-car train that is going to guaranteed be empty at SMV instead of being packed like a sardine from a train that just came from Azusa.

    Really, single car operation only make sense after midnight when ridership is lower than at 8p or 9p.