Opinion: Has the Expo Line already gone off-track?

Riders crowd into the Metro Expo Line, which runs between downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Are negatives the only way one can sell newspapers today? The fact that, according to your article, “During evening rush hour, more than one-third of trains arrived at least five minutes behind schedule” is positively amazing! (Expo trains often late, Aug. 28)

Anytime many of us try to navigate West L.A. traffic during rush hour, we are always 15 to 20 minutes early (because we needed to leave our original location 35 minutes ahead) or we are still 5 to 10 minutes late because the evening rush is so frustratingly undependable.

Sure sounds to us like the Expo Line is the fastest and most dependable form of locomotion during rush-hour traffic.

Marcy Bregman, Agoura Hills



To the editor: I have regularly ridden Expo since it opened and eagerly looked forward to Phase 2 as there are two stations within walking distance of my house. Now I think twice about whether to take it.

In my experience, trains are rarely on time. Conditions are usually uncomfortably crowded. The TV monitors don’t agree with the platform matrix readouts in announcing approaching trains. I’ve ridden standing for an hour (of jerking and lunging due to a poor driver) with strollers, baby carriers and bicycles all being shuffled into passengers due to said jerking.

It’s not safe for anyone. Metro needs to raise the competence of some of its drivers, make a stronger commitment to on-time reliable performance, and make all trains four cars long.

The need for mass transit on the Westside is great. Unfortunately, Metro appears to have aimed too low in meeting that need.

Peter Rutenberg, Los Angeles


To the editor: I use the Expo Line trains eight to 10 times a month in both directions from the Culver City Station. And I would ride a horse-drawn hay wagon to avoid the traffic quagmires of the L.A. freeways.


OK, sometimes the trains are five or six minutes late from their “advertised” arrival times. And yes, depending on the time of day, eastbound trains seem to poke along.

But I understand that we don’t live in a perfect world. Considering that I can take a smooth, relaxing train ride from Santa Monica to Azusa with just two easy transfers in less than two hours, I am the last person to complain about a train that is five minutes late.

The Expo Line is the best thing to happen on the Westside since the last run of the Venice Short Line trains in 1950.

Ralph Cantos, Los Angeles



To the editor: News that only a quarter of Expo trains make it from Santa Monica to downtown Los Angeles on time comes as no surprise to anyone watching the comedy of errors at Metro, Santa Monica and the city of L.A.

Trains routinely grind to a stop at the Santa Monica maintenance yard, apparently to pick up or drop off a Metro train driver rather than make the poor Metro worker walk all of two blocks to the nearby Bergamont station.

Rather than leave Santa Monica when the crowds have squashed the measly two cars to capacity, the trains do not leave, but sit and wait for a scheduled departure.


Am I going to vote for the “Son of R”? Nope. They wasted our trust on the sales-tax- increase-to-fund-transit Measure R.

Hans Laetz, Malibu

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