Tuesday, August 09, 2016
Hello, Expo Line: We Finally Make the Trip to Santa Monica
No, New York Times, it is NOT the "Subway to the Sea." It's not a subway, first off. (The Metro Purple Line, which could be the "Subway to the Sea" one day, is so far only scheduled to reach as far as Westwood. The NYT hasn't issued a correction yet.)
But the Metro Expo Line DOES reach the sea, and that's been one of the big game changers this year when it comes to public transportation in Los Angeles. We recently finally rode the length of the Expo line, from 7th Street downtown, all the way to the ocean.
A few snap observations: As the Metro itself has admitted, the Expo Line needs more train cars, at least on the weekend. Apparently the additional train cars have been ordered... but for now, the trains are crowded. And on the weekend, people are mostly heading to the very end -- meaning the train gets busier and busier up until the end of the line.
Thankfully, having started at the beginning of the line, we had seats.
Next: Keep your fingers crossed you get a newer train car. On the way down, we road in an older train, built in the late 1980s and probably been in use since the Blue Line first opened in 1990. The air conditioning was not existent, making the car hotter and hotter as more people climbed on board. (We had a newer train on the way back, and it was cool riding.)
The ride itself is very pleasant, and offers interesting views of the city -- including Exposition Park and its museums, and a great view of the Hollywood Hills (including the Hollywood sign) during the elevated sections.
Things get pretty crowded at the end of the line, as crowds disembark and wander every which way into Santa Monica. But to be so close to the ocean, it's a dream come true -- our TRAIN to the sea has arrived!
Most importantly, the Expo Line has now CHANGED THE GAME when it comes to the Great Los Angeles Walk! For the first time this year, there will be an easy rail option to get to and from the start and finish lines!