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12,000 People Rode the Expo Line Extension Monday

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Metro has revealed ridership numbers for the newly extended Expo Line's first full business day

Metro's newly extended Expo Line had a slightly tumultuous first Monday, with a train breaking down and a car ending up on the tracks early in the morning. Still, even with these delays, the seven stops along the 6.6 miles of new track saw plenty of riders pass through. As KPCC reports, more than 12,000 people swiped their TAP cards at those stations over the course of the day. That number suggests that a sizable number of Westside commuters are willing to give the train a shot. By comparison, the Gold Line Foothill Extension has added about 8,000 new rides per day with six new stops extending to Azusa.

By far, the most popular new station on the Expo Line was the Downtown Santa Monica stop—the western terminus of the line. Almost half of all riders boarded at that station, while the stops at 17th Street/Santa Monica College, Expo/Bundy, Expo/Sepulveda, and Palms all saw more than 1,000 people pass through. It's not clear how many of these people are new to the Expo Line; Metro hasn't yet released ridership data for the whole line. This would also give an idea of how many new riders might be using the train to commute to the Westside. Prior to the completion of the extension, the Expo Line gave about 29,000 rides per day.

The patience of new commuters is certainly being tested this week. On Wednesday afternoon (and Tuesday night), power issues caused delays of up to 15 minutes as trains were forced to share a track near the LA Trade Technical College. Still, Metro isn't expecting the extension to be an overnight success. The transit agency hopes to double ridership by 2030; that should give commuters plenty of time to forget about a few early delays.