Santa Monica EXPO Line Expansion

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Carly Hollas | 2016

I am proud of Santa Monica and Metro for coming together and making transportation in LA a little more pedestrian friendly! On May 20th, 2016 the Metro Rail Expo Line was expanded all the way west to Santa Monica from it’s (previously) last stop in Culver City.

I am so hyped for the purple line expansion, it will be super close to me along Wilshire Boulevard. I wonder how far west it will be going?

At first, when I heard about the expansion to Santa Monica, I had assumed it would be the Purple Line. In retrospect, it makes sense that they had to start a little further south to get homeowner approval. Wilshire cuts through Beverly Hills and Westwood on the way to Santa Monica. I could imagine residents there might put up a fuss about public transportation through THEIR neighborhoods.

The city of Santa Monica created a whole new lovely path to the beach and the pier directly from the last stop. The trail is adorn with a winding yellow brick road and delicate strings of lights that hang above. I can only imagine how fanciful it must feel at night.

There are some unfinished touches remaining. For example, when you must cross the street, there are no buttons hooked up yet to press. We can’t yet signal our presence for a protected cross. The poles have areas that will apparently hold them, but have yet to be filled.

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Carly Hollas | 2016

And what is up with the power-tripping rent-a-cops at the Downtown Santa Monica station?! Intrusive and unprofessional was the vibe I got from one that I interacted with on Father’s Day afternoon.

I was in a hurry and I kept to the right. There were three of them shoulder to shoulder blocking my exit. The fattest one had the nerve to say to me, “Louis Vuitton, what did that cost you, $1,500?” “It was my grandmother’s,” I retorted. What I WANTED to say was “it’s not like that is any of your business! Scan my tap card and get the fuck out of my way!!!” I know someone is going to say I am feeling sorry for myself, but I consider that harassment!

I was forced to interact with him because he was blocking my path to exit. I had paid my fare with my weekly Metro pass and that is the only thing he needs to know about me, ever. There was a guy that must have gotten off the train behind me because he passed by my flustered ass and said to me, “he let you go?” This is my point exactly! I did nothing wrong, yet this oaf of a man thought he could treat me like a low-life. It was completely unwarranted public interrogation.

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Carly Hollas | 2016

On a side note: I noticed a sort of colony of transients overwhelming one entire large corner facing the ocean along a newly constructed seating area. The homeless have always resided in the park there overlooking the pier, but now they have expanded. I bet some hitched a ride out of DTLA on the Metro rail, too.

Yes, the reality of improving public transportation means nice areas will be more accessible to people of ALL KINDS. And that is okay. We should rally together and do whatever it takes to get more people out of private vehicles and onto public transit. Less cars means less smog! I think we can agree that a reduction of smog and an increase of exercise is good for us all.

Yay, Santa Monica! Keep up the good work! Keep setting a great example for sustainable cities. Please disregard the disgruntled citizens that can’t seem to grasp the bigger picture as the rest of us can. Go Metro!

Thanks for reading!

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Carly Hollas | 2016

Priority check for the day:

  1. Public transportation takes a little getting used to but saves us from lots of stress in the long-run. Yes, we may be used to the comfort of personal vehicles but do we ever get used to traffic or the relentless search for parking spots? I didn’t think so. Clean air is always a good idea. 🙂

 

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