Sixty-three years after the last Pacific Electric Red Car trolley made the trip from downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica, commuters will be able to take a train between those two locations.
Last week, the first train on the Expo Line left Santa Monica’s station and headed east along the newly extended route.
It took the train 55 minutes to reach the 7th Street Metro Center station in downtown Los Angeles.
The first real test for this line was that Monday morning’s commute. Lawrence Gilliam, a Dorsey High School alumni, took the train to work in Santa Monica. Boarding at the Crenshaw stop, he said that the total commute time was nearly the same as driving. That is taking into account the time to drive to the station, waiting for the train, and making his way from the station to his job.
Gilliam just missed one train, which added about 10 minutes to his trip. From his house to his final destination was about 45 minutes, which is similar to driving. He said that the train portion from Crenshaw to the 26th Street/Bergamot station in Santa Monica was only about 21 minutes.
“Overall experience was pleasant,” Gilliam said. “Aside from the crowded, standing-room-only portion of the trip, I enjoyed the ride. Zipping through West LA during rush hour was exciting. Also, I’m thrilled to reduce the carbon footprint in the process.”
Gilliam is planning on taking the train to work two to three times a week, and he will be able to use the commute time to read emails, opposed to sitting in traffic on the 10 freeway.
The return trip after work was quicker, as Gilliam’s commute was cut down to 35 minutes.