Are 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.
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