Less sitting, more standing on the Gold Line

gold lineAre you spending more time standing than sitting on the Gold Line? You might have to get used to it. A posting on The Source, which is sponsored by Metro, explores complaints about crowding on the Gold Line since the rail line was extended from Pasadena to Azusa early last month (problems on the soon-to-be expanded Expo line are also discussed).

The conditions stem from Metro’s decision to extend the Gold and Expo lines before the transportation agency received all of the 78 new rail cars it had purchased, according to The Source. Some new cars have been delivered but won’t have an immediate impact. Says The Source:

“Through late March, Metro has received 23 new rail cars and a new rail car are expected to be delivered roughly every week. But new rail cars do not go directly into service. It takes time for Metro to ensure the cars are up to spec and break them in. To be blunt: Metro’s fleet of light rail vehicles is stretched very thin at this time with most trains running with two cars. Trains on the Gold are running every 12 minutes between Sierra Madre Villa and Azusa and Expo Line trains will run every 12 minutes between downtown L.A. and Santa Monica.

And that, as some of you have noticed, has led to some trains being more crowded than in the past.”

But even after those new rail cars are put in service, it does not mean that Gold Line trains will get longer to carry more passengers and ease crowding. In fact, the agency’s goal is not provide a seat to all of its passengers, says The Source. “We want a train that carries more people than just the number of seats.”

The crowding on the Gold Line is nowhere near as bad as on the trains in Tokyo, Shanghai and other major urban centers.  But it seems like Gold Line passengers will have to get used to standing instead of sitting on future trips.  Says The Source:

“Does this make some people unhappy? Sure, especially if they were used to sitting. But we need to get used to this new reality. If you’re going to ride at peak hours or other busy times, you may have to stand, and you may even have to stand close to someone else.

The Eastsider’s Daily email digest includes all new content published on The Eastsider during the last 24 hours. Expect the digest to land in your in email in box around 7 p.m. It’s free to sign up!

Once you submit your information, please check your email box to confirm your subscription.


  1. People don’t mind Standing but being able to get in the trains to get to work in the morning rush hours!

    Last week, I had to run 4 trains to make it in because they were filled to capacity, and people could not move to make room for more riders by the time it got to Lincoln/Cypress Park.

  2. That the trains are packed sounds like a story of success to me. What metro really needs to follow through with is extending the orange line through Burbank and Eagle Rock to connect to the gold line in Pasadena so that there is a completed loop.

    • Actually, it shows that Metro underestimated the number of riders who would take the Gold Line Extension. Instead of adding more trains and/or more frequent service, Metro is making to easier for people to get in their cars and make the drive!

      • Did you read the part about the delay on the train cars that were ordered years ago? Did you read anything other than the headline?

        • I hope they can sort it out before expo opens to the beach in May… that line’s gonna be packed to the gills this summer.

    • The 501 bus now connects the Gold Line and Orange Line

  3. I rode it east from Pasadena to do an errand at REI. It was a pleasure to sit down and whizz past the stop-and-go traffic on the 210. Also, we see you texting while driving.

  4. I ride the goldline in the morning from Highland Park to Koreatown and it sure beats sitting in traffic. I don’t mind standing, but I’m shocked at how folks don’t give up their seats for elderly people. It bothers me that older folks do t have a seat.

    • So true… I think a lot of Angelenos are just oblivious to basic transit etiquette (saving the front seats for the elderly, pregnant women and those with disabilities; moving towards the back of a crowded bus to make room; standing on the right of the escalator if you’re not in a hurry; one butt one seat; etc.)

      I think maybe this whole “city” thing is new to some people. A lot of us grew up in car-oriented neighborhoods, with very little experience sharing tight public spaces with strangers.

      But LA’s slowly evolving into a more conventional big city, and that’s changing. Metro could certainly do a bit more to educate folks… friendly reminder messages in between stops couldn’t hurt.

  5. Wait for the Expo line when it finally connects Downtown L.A. to Santa Monica. Metro better prepare because it’s going to be mobbed. I’m a freelance designer who lives near downtown and I’m without a car. I’ve turned down plenty of work in S.M. because of the economics of transportation (4 hours round-trip on the bus – not worth it). All that is going to change – very soon. For me and many others like me.

    Last I read it was opening in late May…


  6. Richard Sequeira

    Los Angeles Metro needs to have the Gold Line go ALL the way to Azusa, it is ridiculous that Azusa bound commuters get treated like second class citizens, no more of the nonsense “Sierra Madre Villa Station” trains.

Post a Comment

Please keep your comments civil and on topic and refrain from personal attacks. The moderator reserves the right to edit or delete any comments. The Eastsider's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy apply to comments submitted by readers. Required fields are marked *