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LA's new Expo Line trains are frequently running late

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In June, evening rush hour trains were late 35 percent of the time

Plenty of Expo Line riders have griped about crowded trains, but there’s another issue with the popular new rail line to Santa Monica: punctuality. A Los Angeles Times analysis of Metro's June data (the first full month of operation for the line, which opened in May) found that during rush hour on weekdays, more than one-third of trains arrived five minutes or more behind schedule, or what Metro considers "late."

Eastbound trains were late more often than westbound ones. Only 25 percent of trains from Santa Monica to Downtown’s 7th/Metro Center station arrive on schedule, the Times found. Trains heading to Santa Monica were more likely to be on time: 58 percent of those trains made it to the Expo’s western terminus on time or ahead of schedule.

Overall—meaning, during rush hour and every other time—about 24 percent of Expo Line trains were late in June. At evening rush hour, that number jumped to 35 percent. That's pretty bad compared to the punctuality of other Metro lines. The newspaper looked at times on The Gold Line and the Blue Line, too.

But the lateness of the Expo Line doesn’t seem to have harmed its popularity one bit: Ridership during the week has risen 40 percent, and the number of riders taking weekend trips has jumped more than 50 percent.