Saturday, May 21, 2016

Expo Line to Santa Monica

Waiting for the train to Santa Monica
The long-awaited extended Expo line lightrail, from Culver City to Santa Monica, finally opened yesterday. We, of course, had to be among the first to ride it. 

The new rail was due to open at noon, so at 11AM we walked two blocks to Sepulveda Blvd. to catch the northbound #6 Culver City bus to Pico. We arrived at the lightrail station 15 minutes later to find police cars and a line of people, of all ages and creeds, waiting to get on the train. As one seasoned passenger said, "They're here for the novelty, but will never ride it again!"

 Waiting on line

 Tim advising older riders how to get senior fares

On the platform

We were allowed onto the platform at 11:50AM. Everyone was jubilant. A trolley promptly arrived a few minutes after noon; but our cheers quickly turned to boos when we realized it wasn't in service. We waited another 10 minutes for the real first car to arrive. But again more disappointment when the doors opened and there wasn't room for even one person to get on. We ended up waiting half-an-hour, when we finally squeezed our way onto the third set of cars. By some miracle, I snagged a seat next to a young man who had never ridden the lightrail before. He was on his way to work and had no idea where to get off. After two false starts, he exited. I saw him on the platform, looking confused, as we zipped by.

 New trolley to Santa Monica--love the color!

No room for us!

 The first train to L.A.

Fun decorations

Heading north

We finally got on--Tim holding tight
We arrived in Santa Monica after about 20 minutes. Hundreds of people were waiting on the other end to catch the train to downtown L.A. We decided to eat lunch, in hopes the crowd would subside. Turns out we were overly optimistic. Still, it was worth the wait. Santa Monica may be only 8 miles from Culver City, but driving there is always a nightmare. Though not ideal, taking the trolley, from now on, will be a complete joy.

Waiting to go home

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