The opening of the new Expo Line between Culver City and downtown Los Angeles is having an unexpected consequence far away, in the San Fernando Valley, it was reported on Sunday.
The Los Angeles Daily News reports that the new east-west light rail line is attracting noticeable numbers of north-south commuters.
San Fernando Valley residents are taking the 12-year-old Red Line into downtown L.A., then walking up a flight of stairs to transfer to the new Expo Line to get to work. The Daily News reports Valley residents are using rail to bypass the construction-clogged Sepulveda Pass route from the Valley to the Westside.
Although Metro officials do not know exactly how many Valley residents are doing that, the Daily News reporter found Valley residents on 11 of the 12 Expo Line cars he surveyed last week. Light rail ridership on the Expo Line has already grown to 14,000 per day, while the Red Line subway from North Hollywood through Hollywood and Koreatown to the Civic Center carries about 179,000 riders daily.
Some commuters are enduring 90-minute trips on several bus lines and both the Expo and Red lines to avoid the 405, the Daily News discovered. The Metro long-range transportation plan includes rapid transit between the Westside and the Valley, including a possible northern leg of the Wilshire Boulevard subway via a tunnel under Sepulveda Pass.
A feasibility study on that proposal is due this fall.