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LA Gold Line (express LRT service)



Following is an article from LA, about the new EXPRESS Light rail service that just started on one of the LRT lines in LA.

Now I for one just want to say I do not agree with this service, as it is being done in a way that is decreasing service levels for people not getting on at the local stops. And the service is not that much faster.

But I am pointing this article out because it shows two things. One how a transit system atleast understands they have to be fast, to get riders, and atleast try new things out.


Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Supervisor Mike Antonovich, Duarte Councilman John Fasana Encourage Commuters to Try New Express Service On Metro Gold Line

Faster service between Pasadena and downtown Los Angeles provides new time-savings incentive for more Angelenos to use public transit

In an ongoing effort to help reduce traffic congestion and increase transit ridership throughout Los Angeles County, LA City Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich and other local officials today called upon Angelenos to experience the time-savings advantage of new express service on the Metro Gold Line, which makes its debut Monday morning, February 13.

Metro Gold Line Express Service will shorten end-to-end rush-hour travel times from 34 minutes to just 29 minutes, a 15 percent time savings for weekday commuters.

Mayor Villaraigosa utilizes public transit whenever possible and encourages residents to take advantage of the region’s extensive public transportation system as part of his “Go Metro with the Mayor†campaign.

“As Mayor of the City of Los Angeles, I personally use transit whenever I can, and I urge my fellow Angelenos to use it, particularly when it saves them valuable commute time,†Villaraigosa said. “Metro Gold Line Express is just such a service. It will take commuters between Pasadena and downtown LA in just under half an hour, and every minute counts when you’re commuting in LA.â€

The new service, the first of its kind on the 73-mile Metro Rail System, will stop at five of 13 Metro Gold Line stations: Union Station, Highland Park, Mission, Del Mar and Sierra Madre Villa. Metro selected station stops based on a number of criteria, including volume of passenger boardings, availability of parking facilities and presence of transit-oriented development.

Supervisor Antonovich, whose supervisorial district includes the Cities of Pasadena and South Pasadena, said the new express service will attract new riders looking for a quicker commute through the communities of Pasadena, South Pasadena and Los Angeles.

“As a Metro Board member, I initially recommended that we implement express service on the Metro Gold Line because I knew it would help invigorate ridership along this important light rail corridor,†Antonovich said. “As ridership increases, I am hopeful that support will grow for the extension of the Metro Gold Line to Claremont and the Ontario Airport.â€

Weekday-only express service will consist of six trains running every half hour in both directions during the morning and afternoon rush hour periods. Express trains will supplement Metro’s regular train service running every 15 minutes during these times. No additional fares to ride the new service will be required.

John Fasana, Duarte City Councilman and Metro Board Member, has worked on behalf of San Gabriel Valley cities to obtain Metro Gold Line service since Metro's inception. “The Metro Gold Line serves as an important lifeline for all of the residents of the San Gabriel Valley,†Fasana said. “Its success is of paramount importance. Our region needs more light rail public transit to solve its growing transportation challenges. I believe Express Service will help ensure that success by giving riders the opportunity to fast-track their weekday commutes.â€

Heading Northbound from Union Station to Sierra Madre Villa, trains are currently scheduled to operate every half hour from 5:35 a.m to 8:05 a.m. and 3:50 p.m. to 6:20 p.m. Southbound trains starting at Sierra Madre Villa to Union Station will also run every half hour from 6:05 a.m. to 8:35 a.m. and 3:50 p.m. to 6:20 p.m. Express train schedules are coordinated with the Metro Red Line at Union Station to facilitate interline connections.

Commuters who miss their express trains will still be able to catch a regularly scheduled train within a few minutes during the peak-hour periods. Alternately, passengers who board the wrong train can ride to another station and catch a regular train back to their station.

“Metro Gold Line Express Service is the most recent example of how Metro is working to achieve substantial transit time reductions across LA County,†said Roger Snoble, Metro CEO. “Two new freeway Metro Express Lines, the expanding network of Metro Rapid Lines, and the Metro Orange Line are all making a difference in the lives of our customers.â€

Commuters seeking to utilize the Metro Gold Line Express trains can park at all five of its station stops. Union Station contains 2,000 paid parking spaces. Highland Park contains a total of 76 city-owned 10-hour metered parking spaces in two lots across the street from the station. A new parking structure at the Mission Meridian Transit Village in South Pasadena will provide 140 free spaces. Del Mar Station has 600 paid spaces, and Sierra Madre Villa Station has 850 free and 100 reserved parking spaces.

Metro has taken a number of actions to help patrons identify express trains and station stops. Trains themselves will be designated by “Express†headsigns on both ends of the trains and on the sides. The inside dash of the train also will contain “Express†placards. On board, express stop service announcements will be made by train operators. The train’s automated announcement system also will advise patrons of approaching stops in English, Spanish and Cantonese.

At stations, banners will be installed to inform patrons of the new express service. As an additional safety precaution, Metro has painted yellow warning lines on all local station stops. Patrons waiting for local train service should stand behind these lines to avoid contact with passing express trains. Approaching express trains will also sound their horns to alert patrons that they will be bypassing the station.

Metro customer service ambassadors also will be available at all Metro Gold Line stations for the first week of express train service to help the public with questions and hand out timetables.

To obtain a timetable for Metro Gold Line Express Service online, visit or call 1-800-COMMUTE.



"Metro selected station stops based on a number of criteria, including volume of passenger boardings, availability of parking facilities and presence of transit-oriented development."

Considering the decision making framework of the MTA (parochial board decisions) it is very likely that politics played the deciding role as usual. Only a route with very low service frequencies could have express and local service using just two rails. After spending an enormous amount of money to build rapid transit in a relatively dense area they should spend some money on offering decent service frequencies. Instead they are going to create more ill will by having every third lrt rush by most platforms as patrons wait for the infrequent service. The express stops by coincidence are concentrated in the wealthier more anglo districts.

This would make more sense if we were talking about a commuter line, not a relatively short lrt line which runs through an area that is relatively transit-friendly. In the future if they ever plan to increase service frequencies in order to gain ridership they will have to eliminate to the express route since there are only 2 tracks. Of course this will be hard to do once certain communities have become used to this special perk, even if political representation on the MTA were to change in favour of (north) east LA.