After spending nearly six months in increasingly cramped quarters, relief is finally in sight for passengers on Metro's Expo Line.
According to a new timetable, the light rail line between Downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica will begin running with six-minute headways effective Sunday, October 23. The Expo Line currently operates on a 12-minute timetable, as it has since it first opened to the Westside in 2012.
Metro will be able to run trains more frequently due to the delivery of its new Kinki Sharyo P3010 light rail vehicles, which were first introduced into service earlier this year. The agency has now placed enough of the vehicles into operation that it is able to run two-car sets at six-minute intervals between 7th Street/Metro Center Station and Downtown Santa Monica Station.
Though increased frequency will help to resolve croweded platforms at the Expo Line's 19 stations, other obstacles remain for nearly a half-year after its extension to Santa Monica. An August analysis by the Los Angeles Times found that Expo Line trains ran behind schedule more often than those on Metro's other light rail lines. The lack of timeliness is frequently attributed to a street-running segment on the eastern end of the route, where both Expo and Blue Line trains compete with pedestrian and automobile traffic.
A petition was circulated earlier this year calling on the Los Angeles Department of Transportation to grant signal preemption to Expo Line trains on its approach to Downtown Los Angeles.