Monday, March 26, 2012

Why the Expo Line will hurt Blue Line riders

Los Angeles Metro is trying to get everyone excited over the opening of the new Exposition Line from Culver City to downtown L.A. in April. But one thing is receiving little attention: When the Expo Line starts running, riders on the Metro's existing Blue Line are going to suffer.

The problem is that the Blue and Expo lines will share the last mile of track to downtown Los Angeles. Currently, Blue Line trains run every six minutes during rush hour, but they will not be able to keep up that schedule once Expo lines join the mix. Some Blue Line trains will be replaced by Expo Line trains.

Couldn't the Expo trains slip in between Blue Line trains on the current schedule? No way. If you've ever watched the slow motion ballet of trains at downtown's 7th Street/Metro Center you'll realize it's impossible to send off trains more frequently that they do now. Each train has to come in, deposit passengers, pull up, shift to the other track, change directions and load up new passengers.

What I predict: Blue and Expo lines will end up alternating, which means that Blue Line passengers will only get a train every 12 minutes.

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