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Nope, the Expo Line doesn't beat a car or bike in a race




KPCC's Leo Duran did a rematch of the Great Race, this time taking Metro's new Expo Line reaching to downtown Santa Monica.
KPCC's Leo Duran did a rematch of the Great Race, this time taking Metro's new Expo Line reaching to downtown Santa Monica.
Leo Duran

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KPCC held a race from Union Station to the Santa Monica pier several months ago, and bicyclist Jacob Margolis won over driver Sue Carpenter and me (the bus rider).

But a new challenger has entered the game: the Expo Line extension, which now goes from downtown L.A. to the pier. Could it have won?

I took Jacob's time of 65 minutes as the one to beat and did a solo-race on the debut weekend of the new Expo stops.

Sorry to be a complete failure, but no, I didn't win. The only person I beat was myself, besting my bus time of 94 minutes. By just 4 minutes.

TL;DR Delays and mechanical issues happen. Transfers are a time-suck, too.

Here's a break-down and the math of what happened:

There we have my 90 minute race time.

If you do the math, I still would have come in last even if there weren't mechanical issues, traffic congestion or safety slowdowns: transfer times and running to places all pile up.

Best case scenario is I would've clocked in at 74 minutes.

The only possible way I could have won would be if at each transfer point, my train was ready to go with no waiting (which never happens in real life, people. Living in New York has taught me trains seemingly take forever to arrive, or those train doors will close just as you get there.)

So here are the revised times for KPCC's Great Race:

1st – Bicyclist Jacob Margolis, 65 minutes

2nd – Car driver Sue Carpenter, 70 minutes

3rd – Expo line train rider Leo Duran, 90 minutes (sorry)

4th – Santa Monica Big Blue Bus rider Leo Duran, 94 minutes

Bonus race: I lost that one too

I inadvertently ran past KPCC reporter Meghan McCarty while racing, so when we were both done with work I proposed we do an impromptu race.

She would drive from downtown Santa Monica and take the 10 back home to Pasadena in rush hour.

I would be on the Expo Line train back to my home in DTLA.

Whoever got to downtown first would win. We agreed that for her, that's at least to the 110 interchange. For me, that would be to the 7th/Metro stop.

Meghan texted me first.

Screenshot of Leo Duran's phone for who lost in a race to DTLA between him on the Expo Line and Meghan McCarty driving
Screenshot of Leo Duran's phone for who lost in a race to DTLA between him on the Expo Line and Meghan McCarty driving
Leo Duran