Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority Thursday announced it has implemented short-term solutions to reports of overcrowding on its Expo Line.
“We’ve heard from the public about Expo Line overcrowding, and we’re working aggressively to identify remedies to help alleviate this situation,” Metro CEO Phillip Washington said. “We appreciate our customers’ patience as we work to correct this issue as quickly as possible.”
In the short-term, Metro has added two Expo Line westbound trains to run from about 6:30-7:30 a.m. and 5:45-6:30 p.m. as well as two eastbound trains to run from about 6-7 a.m. and 5-6 p.m.
A third train has been added into the rotation to increase capacity during the line’s busiest times, Metro officials said.
In the near-term, Metro is evaluating how to return Expo Line service to its prior 6-minute headways when the agency reopens a part of the Metro Blue Line in late October. Both line schedules must be coordinated to reduce train congestion delays along their shared operating segment in downtown, officials said.
Metro transitioned the Expo Line from 6-minute to 8-minute peak service headways earlier this year to improve service reliability and train congestion.
The Los Angeles Times reported the change eliminated two trains per hour during peak periods on the line, which carries 60,000 daily riders between downtown and Santa Monica.
“I am hearing from some very disgruntled people who feel like they’re sardines,” Los Angeles City Councilman and Metro board member Mike Bonin said at a Metro committee meeting last week, urging officials to restore more service, according to the Times.
Complaints about hot, crowded, smelly commutes flooded social media, the Times reported. Some Expo Line trains were crammed to the point that passengers with bicycles, wheelchairs and strollers were stranded on platforms.
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