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What’s in a commute? Finding benefits in a not-so-fast Expo Line




A test train travels west of Bundy in Santa Monica along the new Expo Line extension on May 6, 2016.
A test train travels west of Bundy in Santa Monica along the new Expo Line extension on May 6, 2016.
Steve Hymon/Los Angeles Metro

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Passengers say the news Expo Line commute from Santa Monica to Downtown is no faster than driving, and a lack of station parking makes switching from road to rail impractical for a daily commute.

But others say there’s more to riding Metro than just commuting time, including a more relaxing ride and social interaction not possible from behind a steering wheel.

With voters set to decide on a $120 billion ballot measure in November to continue Metro’s expansion, is light rail worth the cost if it can’t make daily commuting faster, but maybe just a bit more convenient? Are there enough benefits to “going Metro” to outweigh a comparable commute time? And what can Metro do to shorten commute times, or make daily commuting by public transit more appealing?  

Guest:

Megan McCarty, KPCC commuting and mobility reporter