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Photos: Meet A Few Angelenos Who Will Be Using The New Expo Line Extension

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The Expo Line extension from Culver City to Santa Monica is now open, and has been operational for a few days. LAist took a ride on the train, and meet a few of the, shall we call them, early adopters of the rail line's service.

Below are some of Angelenos who we found riding the rail line:


(Photo by Annie Lesser/LAist)
Raghu Venkatapathy commutes in to Santa Monica each day from Palms. He thinks, however, he'll be able to replace the arduous drive pretty quickly through a mix of of the Expo Line and a bicycle. Venkatapathy plans on using the bike lockers at the Palms station to secure personal his bicycle before riding the train to the Expo/Bundy station.

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Once there, Venkatapathy says he'll either walk or use one of the Santa Monica Breeze Bike Share bikes to get from the Expo/Bundy station to where he works.


(Photo by Annie Lesser/LAist)
Sylvia Hoffman has lived in Los Angeles more than 50 years. She explained how she remembers often riding a Pacific Electric Red Car from her then home in Farifax to downtown Los Angeles along Third Street.

Today, she lives close to the Westwood/Rancho Park Station, and is excited for the train to eliminate her need to park in Santa Monica.

"I always get confused in Santa Monica," Hoffman explained. "All those parking structures in downtown look exactly the same. I can never remember where I put my car."

You're not alone, Sylvia.


(Photo by Annie Lesser/LAist)
Esther Sherman lives in Crenshaw. She had chosen to visit the beach with her two grandchildren for the day. If everything went well, she believed the trip would become a regular affair, far simpler than driving to the coast.


(Photo by Annie Lesser/LAist)
Eustacia Guzman is a Metro employee who usually works in Sylmar. Though she's from Palmdale, she's excited to see Los Angeles building out its rail system.

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"It's good because it will help get people out of their cars, and give them a better way to get around," she said. "But I wish we could get some more [transit] out where I live in the High Desert."


(Photo by Annie Lesser/LAist)
Jesus Torres lives in Maywood, and drove to visit the Expo Line's opening. He has family that live close to the Expo/Western station, and thinks the train will be a good option to help them visit the coast. When we met him, he was traveling out to visit Santa Monica, a place he doesn't usually frequent because of its distance from his home and the often "impossible" traffic on the way there.


(Photo by Annie Lesser/LAist)
Evelyn and David Javelosa live between the Culver City and Palms stations. Both of them regularly ride the train right now, but are very excited to enjoy the options opened up by seven new stations. When we met them, they were posted at the Expo/Sepulveda Station just taking in the view from the elevated station.

"We like the stations," said Evelyn. "The view from here is great, and something you don't always get to see in this part of the city. It's relaxing to sit and watch the city and trains roll by."


(Photo by Annie Lesser/LAist)
Monte Marable grew up in Koreatown. He says he's always been passionate about transportation and now works for Metro. Marable relies on public transportation to get around, and believes he'll make frequent use of the Expo Line extension when he needs to venture out to the Westside.


(Photo by Annie Lesser/LAist)
Neo Maruda is a street performer at the 3rd Street Promenade. For him, the Expo Line extension means significantly less time spent sitting in a bus on his lengthy commute from central Los Angeles. For Maruda, the train represents a quicker, more accessible, more reliable, and more comfortable way to get from his home to work and back.


(Photo by Annie Lesser/LAist)
Yvette Becerril (right) and Maria Cruz (left) walked to the Bergamot Station, and were planning on taking advantage of the free rides to explore stations both east and west of that particular stop. Becerril says she's planning on taking some classes at Santa Monica City College soon, and that the train line will eliminate the need to spend an extra $85 on parking each semester at the college.

"It lets me rest during my commute. I don't have to worry about driving, or parking, or any of that," Becerril said. "It's a great positive."


(Photo by Annie Lesser/LAist)
Kati and Elli live in Santa Monica, and were taking the train eastbound towards Culver City for a day visiting Sawtelle Japantown. Kati's parents added how the they're excited for the train since it will help people on the Westside get in touch with the rest of Los Angeles.

"We never visit downtown L.A. since it's so far away from where we live. We can now," Kati's father explained.