Metro Will Add More Trains To Expo Line To Cut Down On Overcrowding
Above the Expo Line's La Cienega/Jefferson station. (Photo by Steve and Julie via the LAist Feature Photos pool)
The Expo Line, which extended to Santa Monica in May, has been a smash with commuters. In August, daily ridership hovered around the 43,000 mark; nearly 70% of the daily ridership mark that planners had projected for 2030.
The popularity, though, has led to complaints of overcrowding and slower-than-expected run times. The L.A. Times noted that the trains had been running behind schedule regularly, and that the trains and platforms have been crowded with commuters.
In response to this, Metro has promised to bring more trains to the line to meet demand, reports KPCC.
"We're gonna try by December to reduce the waiting time and have more train cars," said Metro spokesman Jose Ubaldo. Metro has been getting four new light rail vehicles every month from the Kinkisharyo plant in Palmdale. These new trains are expected to double the frequency of the trains on the Expo Line.
According to KPCC, by the end of 2016 we should be seeing 18 two-car trains that will run every six minutes until 8 p.m., at which point they will run every 12 minutes.
There's also a possibility that the two-car trains will become three-car trains. But experts have warned that adding more capacity doesn't always cut down on overcrowding; it may simply lead more people taking the train, which defeats the original purpose of adding more room.
Whatever the solution, the evidence is growing that the Expo Line will need to find a way to met growing demand. After the Expo Line extension was opened, ridership for the line jumped by 42% overall, reports the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. This phenomena was most pronounced during the weekends: the line saw a 60% rise for Saturdays, and 100 % for Sundays. It was also widely reported that a good number of football fans had taken the Expo Line to attend the Rams' first home game on September 18. KPCC said that more than 20,000 fans had taken to public transit to reach the Coliseum. Here's a picture of the Rams faithful waiting for the Expo train.
In Defense Of The Expo Line