Throngs converge on the Atlantic Gold Line Station in East Los Angeles Sunday afternoon. The MTA said 50,000 people rode the line which was free for the day.
The people of East L.A. came out in droves to celebrate the opening of the East LA Goldline Sunday, when the MTA christened its line by offering free rides all day.
It was a unique experience. The train stations — and trains — were more crowded than the freeways. I drove the Pomona (60) Freeway and it was wide open. Even the sidestreets were not crowded with cars (Pomona, Atlantic were relatively clear).
I took the above photo Sunday around 3 p.m. and the one below but I didn’t ride. I waited in line for more than 30 minutes and estimated I still had another 15 minutes to wait just to hop a train going west toward downtown LA.
A woman from Pasadena, whom I met in line, told me that all the stations were crowded by the early afternoon. She was attempting to get back to the Soto Station where she left her car. She said the East L.A. Civic Center Station and the Mariachi Plaza station were both filled with people Sunday.
The question remains: Is this a typical show of ridership for the new, 6-mile long line? Or were people just out for a free ride? WIll people ride the new Eastside Gold Line once they have to pay the fare? And will the fares stay low enough to attract riders?