Metro Gold Line commuter train. Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Metro Gold Line commuter train. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Hundreds of people heading downtown from the Westside for Saturday’s Women’s March stood stranded on Metro platforms unable to squeeze onto packed trains.

Spokeswoman Kim Upton said Metro had already added trains, increased their frequency and beefed up security in anticipation of heavy crowds, but trains remained jammed, particularly at the North Hollywood and Universal City Red Line stations and on the Westside, with some people waiting hours to purchase TAP cards and board the trains.

Upton suggested that one reason for the long lines might be a lot of people purchasing TAP cards for the first time, but said Metro was doing everything possible to accommodate the high number of travelers.

“The trains are running smoothly and the people on the trains are happy,” she said.

Riders carrying signs reading “bridges not walls” and wearing pink “pussy hats” crowded the Culver City Expo Line platform with their daughters and sons, including at least one toddler, in tow.

I was born for this, people,” said a woman named Liberty in response to others hoisting a sign picturing the Statue of Liberty. The volunteer at Mark Twain Middle School was headed to the march with her daughter, Saoirse, which is Irish for liberty.

Many would-be marchers ultimately crowded onto a westbound train to ride it to the end of the line and then back downtown.

As those waiting at stations farther west brainstormed alternate ways to get downtown, Uber was quoting prices in excess of $99 to deliver riders to Pershing Square.

But despite the difficulties, riders remained upbeat.

I think this is all positive,” said clinical psychologist Marilyn Ruman. It’s not a protest, it’s about doing something.”

Those gathered cited varying reasons for joining the march, including protecting Planned Parenthood and the environment. Many cited education as a priority.

We don’t have a lot of hope that he’s going to support our public schools,” Carla Winnie said, referring to President Donald Trump. Both of Winnie’s children and her two sisters are teachers.

The crowded train brought a diverse crowd together.

This was billed as a women’s march, not a people’s march,” retiree Kim Malcolm said. But there are so many men here.”

—City News Service

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