Ridership Continues to Increase on Expo Line

Waiting. The Red/Purple Line stop at the 7th St. Metro Center. Sahra Sulaiman/LA Streetsblog

Ridership on the Expo Line continues to be “on a roll,” touts Zev Yaroslavsky in his blog.

With the opening of the Culver City and Farmdale stations in late June and the reconfiguration of some bus lines to make connections easier, ridership jumped by more than 175,000 passengers, an increase of 55%, between May and July.

Specifically, he writes, ridership went from 320,627 boardings in May to 497,449 in July:

Ridership on the line rose across the board—on Saturdays, Sundays and weekdays. Weekday ridership was up more than 60%, with 18,181 boardings last month, compared to 11,347 in May.

The Reason Foundation published two articles on Expo’s ridership shortly after the line opened. The Libertarian think-tank has argued against rail expansion in Los Angeles and crowed when early ridership figures showed 11,000 riders per weekday. Metro estimates that 27,000 people will ride Expo Phase I on an average weekday, and the new ridership numbers show a strong move in that direction.

Some of the jump is apparently also due to the popularity of the new line with Valley commuters who are looking to avoid the 405, according to the Daily News. While the commuters were not able to get to their destinations any faster than they could via car, they did appreciate that their daily trek was less stressful. Minus the general annoyance at the “crawl” the Expo Line does through parts of downtown, that is.

No word yet on wider ridership numbers for the late-night weekend service. I’m curious to know what the numbers will be. The handful of times I’ve been on the last Blue Line train of the night into downtown (prior to the new service), it has been packed and a few folks were always desperate to know whether the Red Line was still running. Have you ridden Metro after midnight? What was your experience?