To the surprise of some transportation experts, the new Expo Line is drawing a healthy number of riders who use it to commute from the San Fernando Valley. They take the Red Line subway to the 7th Street station in downtown, then jump on the Expo Line heading toward USC then west to Culver City. From Dakota Smith in the Daily News:
Their hustle underscores a growing frustration with the traffic-clogged San Diego (405) Freeway, and the jammed-up canyon roads that connect the Valley with the Westside.
Faced with no other ways to get over the hill, the new Expo Line line is drawing Valley residents, some of whom are commuting by public transportation for the first time....
Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials don't have figures on how many of the 14,000 daily Expo Line boardings are Valley residents.
But in an email, Metro manager and analyst R. Scott Page, wrote that staff "observations at 7th/Metro show that trains coming from North Hollywood deposit a large number of patrons at this station who are seen moving upstairs to the Metro Blue and Expo Lines platform."
And Valley residents were found on 11 out of 12 Expo Line trips taken by a Daily News reporter last week.
The trains into town from the Valley get pretty crowded on weekdays and weekends, but Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky says in the story that the Valley presence on the Expo Line is surprising. "I wish I could say I planned this....It is unanticipated," Yaroslavsky said.
"It's a reflection of how screwed up traffic is in this city that commuters are doing this circuitous route."
LA Observed photo: Pershing Square station on the Red Line subway