Riding on the Expo


The Expo Line opened this past weekend, and while I didn’t get back in town in time for the opening celebrations (or free fares!) I did get to ride it as part of a press preview a few weeks back. Here are some of my favorite photos, as well as links to two articles I wrote about it. Over at the LA Weekly (the issue currently on newsstands), I preview the line from the rider’s perspective, rating everything from the station design to dining options. And at The Architect’s Newspaper, I review the line as part of what I think is LA’s new transit era. You guys, we’re finally on our way to becoming a world-class transit city. Again.

Lots more photos here, and for those of you who haven’t hopped on LA’s newest light rail line yet, here’s a timetable for regular service. See you on the train!

At the station

Something about this line just feels so… civilized. When I stood at the stations I would never have guessed it was in Los Angeles. And then I’d look up and see those signs: “to Downtown LA.”

Expo Line Canopies

The canopies are really nice, these pretty zig-zagging lines that float above you. The seemingly-random perforations in the metal are actually photos of the surrounding neighborhoods.


And the canopies create nice patterns on the ground as well, where pavers show illustrations and quotes about the last transit system to travel here.

Expo La Brea

At the elevated stations, the views are pretty amazing.

View from up here

Except for all these billboards. Which I’m sure won’t be empty for long.

Art at La Cienega

I liked how they did the art at each station. These panels chronicle the history of the Ballona Creek, a few blocks away.

So much great stuff

But even more than the art, I loved the little vignettes of LA life that appear all along the route.

Going fast

I spotted some real gems as I rode the line. I can’t wait to do it again soon.

More Expo Line photos.

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  • http://twitter.com/cmonstah Carolina A. Miranda

    the billboard’s not empty… it’s half full, with graffiti….

  • Alissa

    Yes! In that case, I think they should turn it over to local artists instead of advertisers. I like this look! They even got the color scheme right!

  • http://pasadenaadjacent.com/ Pasadena Adjacent

    The woodcut panels are very nice. This seems to be the station featured in the media. Are there others?

  • Alissa

    They’re actually linoleum, how cool is that? I think that’s the station that most people are focusing on because it’s the furthest west. But here are photos of all the stations: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gelatobaby/sets/72157629933289191/

  • runesmom

    I grew up in LA. We went everywhere on weekends by freeway. At the time there weren’t as many sound walls and you could see the neighborhoods as you drove by. Now you get to see them again on the metro. Cool!

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  • Maido

    Going by the perforated wavey canopy it must never rain or got too hot in LA?

  • Alissa

    There are parts of the canopy that are covered for rain, but it does a great job with shade. And no, it rarely rains and it rarely gets very hot! Just sunny.

  • Davistrain

    I rode Expo on April 30, which was the first day of “revenue service” (railway talk for “you have to have a valid ticket or pass).  Although I was traveling on a day pass, I bought a ticket at La Cienega as a first day souvenir (being a senior citizen, I qualified for the 25-cents off -peak fare).   Among the things I noticed: The mosque at Vermont Ave., something that would have been beyond imagining when the last Red Car went by there in 1953.  The rose garden, so handy to the USC station (my wife loves roses but can’t do too much walking.  The view from the La Cienega “elevated” station, one can see Century City, which will someday get its own rail service.   The pavement on McClintock Ave. in the USC campus, where pavement cracks show the route of the Los Angeles Railway “U” streetcar line, abandoned around 1947.