Metro to add some Expo Line trains during peak hours to address crowding

Thank you Expo Line customers for your feedback. Beginning tomorrow — Friday, September 13 — Metro will be increasing Expo Line peak frequencies from every eight minutes to every six minutes to address crowding during the height of peak hours.

Under the new schedules:

•Westbound trains leaving 7th/Metro Station will run every six minutes from about 6:38 a.m. to 7:33 a.m. and from about 5:48 p.m. to 6:36 p.m.

•Eastbound trains leaving Expo/Bundy will run every six minutes from about 6:03 a.m. to 6:51 a.m. and departing Downtown Santa Monica every six minutes from about 5:04 p.m. to 5:52 p.m.

Outside of these times, trains will continue to run every eight minutes during the remainder of the morning and afternoon peak hours. We still might make some adjustments to these times. 

Why are we doing this? Metro changed some of its peak hour rail schedules earlier in the summer to improve reliability. While the Expo Line has been performing well as expected overall under the current schedule, we have observed specific instances of crowding during peak hours — especially between Expo/Vermont and Expo/Sepulveda on westbound trains in the morning and eastbound trains in the afternoon.

We have also been monitoring feedback from Expo Line riders to Metro’s Customer Care department and social media posts from riders. 

Metro will continue to closely watch for instances of crowding and welcomes continuous customer feedback to improve your trip. Please leave a comment on this blog, follow us on Twitter or use Metro’s Customer Care online form.

As a friendly reminder, Metro recommends that riders place bicycles, strollers and luggage in the designated areas on board trains — see the yellow line markings on the floor — and to keep the doorways clear by moving to the center of the car. That allows other riders to more quickly board and exit trains at each station. 

Thank you for going Metro.

23 replies

  1. This adjustment covers less than an hour of each rush hour period! I commute westbound during the 8-9 a.m. hour and trains are almost always packed. Increasing headways from 6:38-7:33 would do nothing to help.

  2. If/when Metro ever finally achieves the completion of its much delayed refurbishment of the Blue Line (now apparently postponed for yet another month), it will be interesting and revelatory to see if Metro management demonstrates as much solicitude for the “customer care” of the comfort of Blue Line passengers (whose demographics are much more “minority” and also poorer and more transit-dependent than is typical of those on the Expo Line) as Metro management has shown for the much “better heeled” and typically whiter Expo riders.

    Hint to Blue Line passengers: Don’t hold your breath expecting treatment equivalent to that accorded to riders of the Expo and Gold Lines. Metro doesn’t care as much about Blue-Line passengers as it does about rail-transit riders from the Westside, Pasadena, or the San Fernando Valley.

    • By refurbishing the stations, improving track conditions and a goal of cutting travel time from Long Beach to DTLA, Metro appears to be showing plenty of attention to the Blue Line. Can you provide specifics on what exact treatment you’re looking for?

      • We’ve heard this before, yet somehow this will miraculously change but: (1) Addressing riders’ safety concerns on trains and at stations; (2) When there are delays making sure those without data devices have audio/visual info available (many of us cannot afford it); (3) Ghosting on Fridays (no security/cops after lunch); (4) etc…

    • If you have actually rode on the expo line during peak hours, you would have noticed that the PM Eastbound and AM Westbound trains are the most crowded. Those trains typically serve all types of workers working in the Westside, including the grassroot ones.

    • Nice trolling, especially considering the Blue Line was the first rail line to open after a 3 decade hiatus, providing true alternative transportation to those that actually needed it the most, going through 9 month refurbishment period, may actually cut down travel down without the need for Express trains, and providing 3 different temporary bus lines (at the expense of other west side lines) while said refurbishment is taking place.

      Exactly what is it that you are looking for?

      You honestly think the Expo Line only serves White riders, cause I plenty of Black and Latinos riders on it as well, so not sure what point you were trying make here.

    • I agree, and I was not happy to hear about the delay. I was looking forward to not having to get on that 863 (or spend the equivalent of my commute waiting for it).

  3. I suspect this is not ‘enough’: But is better than nothing.
    As the other person indicated concern about when the Blue Line opens will Metro be paying attention to ridership levels enough to adjust them sooner rather than later?
    Also, are they really thinking about keeping the 860 running?
    Especially if they run the Blue Line at 8 minute intervals the 860 would be helpful.
    If the 860 is faster than the Blue Line it would seem that it would help people who already ride it
    to keep on riding if loads are crushing people.

    • I agree with you. There is no express service available for the Blue Line as on other metropolitan systems. Please keep the 860 running. 860 forever!

      • For those hoping for the 860 after the BL reopens, you must know it won’t cost $1.75 to ride each way. Express buses running on the Fwy require an ‘up charge’, which could be more than 1 Zone. A one-way trip could cost more than $3.

  4. How about just going back to the old frequencies? This is such a minor adjustment (and still a service cut) just to provide some PR cover to Metro. Why would you cut service on one of your best performing lines? We want an answer to that.

    • They did answer that question: While they’ll give you a run of the mill PR response, here’s the translation of that: “We messed up so bad by tying the Blue and Expo Line at-grade, mixed with cars, that it is now becoming impossible for us to keep these trains hitting this intersection every 3 min during rush-hour, and still sticking to the schedule. So a solution to the problem is lowering the frequency down to 8 min (4 min combined) throughout the entire system for better performance enhancements.”

      The thing is, while on the surface a 1 min difference during rush MAY (yeah not will, but may) actually improve overall performance, the reality is it was going to be a disaster for riders to begin with. Metro is putting a band-aid to a problem that requires surgery (rebuild the entire junction underground!!!!)

      • This must be a joke, friend. Look at the cost and length of time for the regional connector. Your translation may be spot on but do you really think it’s realistic to completely shut down the blue line & expo downtown access for years to underground those lines?

  5. Steve, do you know when the new Expo line schedules are likely to be posted on the website? As of today, all I can find are the August schedules.

      • Steve, it’s now September 18th and still no response. The timetables on the Metro website STILL have the old schedule. When will riders be able to see proof of this 6-minute service??

        • Hi Transit Rider;

          I’ll ask about the timetables. Outside of the usual twice-a-year service changes, it might take a while to get the timetable updated.

          Steve Hymon
          Editor, The Source

  6. Please increase the frequency to every 10 minutes on ALL Metro rail between AM peak and PM peak, while every 5 – 7 mins during peak periods. I am pretty sure the Expo line is not the only rail that is overcrowding, but also red line, gold line etc. Also looks like you do not understand there are still number of people getting off work late nowadays, therefore it is important to bring back the 12 mins service level after PM peak hours to until 10pm, and those who works late or hangout late can get to home more easily. The 950 to/from San Pedro indeed needs to have some level of evening service before 10pm on weekdays, perhaps you can launch a pilot program to evaluate evening service.

    • As much as I want more regular service you must know that late night on the green line has *very* few riders. No, I don’t want to wait 20 minutes but if running at 10 minute headways means fewer buses or less consustent service then I’ll make due standing in literal the middle of the loud and polluted 105 freeway for 20 minutes.

      But I also expect more trains during peak hours and staff to not let the red line be a homeless shelter when it gets cold. Please.

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