Ridership on the new Expo Line light rail is growing at a steady clip, even with track issues at its Downtown junction with the Blue Line and light synchronization issues on Flower Street. According to numbers from Metro, daily ridership on the Culver City-to-DTLA line in June was 16,569, up from about 11,000 in May, a 50 percent increase. Expo opened its Culver City and Farmdale stations on June 20, which likely provided a bit of a boost. But as evident with the other rail lines, it takes a while for Angelenos to realize trains run through their city. Meanwhile, all the other rail lines posted ridership increases or records last month, which speaks to the idea that adding more lines boosts the entire system--the Daily News recently reported that some Valleyites are taking Expo to get to the Westside, going southeast on the Red Line and then west on Expo to avoid the 405. Ridership should only get better for Expo as the academic year begins next month at USC--the university has three stops on the line.
The main gripe about Expo is that, while the train moves quite fast between Culver City and USC (where it's elevated for many stretches), it hits too many traffic lights when moving at street-level on Flower Street near South Park. Bart Reed, the head of the Transit Coalition, which advocates for better public transportation, had some good news to report last week. Writing on the Transit Coalition's comment boards, he said "I had breakfast with Frank Alejandro, Metro Executive Officer, Transit Operations. His next meeting of the day was with LA Dept. of Transportation to attempt to identify how Metro and the City of LA can work together to speed up Expo. The results from this meeting may take a couple of months, but it is amazing that both sides are working to identify fixes to speed up the line."
· Ridership Statistics [Metro]
· Expo Line Archives [Curbed LA]