Heading to the beach on the Expo Line? So is everyone else

Crowds of beachgoers next to the historic Santa Monica Pier.
Crowds of beachgoers next to the historic Santa Monica Pier.

If you're planning on taking the Expo Line to the beach this Labor Day weekend, you'll have plenty of company.

Officials say ridership has boomed on the extension connecting downtown L.A. to Santa Monica since it debuted in May.

Last June, 16,000 people rode the Expo Line on Sundays. In June 2016, that number jumped to 36,000 people — a 125 percent increase.

Kim Upton with Metro tells KPCC the extension's popularity has exceeded Metro's expectations.

To meet demand during Labor Day Weekend, Expo Line trains will run at their usual schedule — every 12 minutes — but an additional car will be added to each train. (Trains will run with three instead of two cars.)

"The trains will arrive every 12 minutes," Upton says. "So if a train pulls into the station and it looks crowded, patrons may decide they want to wait for the next train. But since they're arriving every 12 minutes it would be just a short wait anyway."

Upton, who says she may take the Expo Line out to the beach this weekend, advises buying both your getting-there fare and your return fare at the same time. That way, you'll avoid waiting in the long lines that sometimes build up at ticket kiosks at the beach station in the afternoons.