Los Angeles’ Expo Line might get signal prioritization at traffic crossings

Travel times on the Expo Line could decrease by 15 percent if a new plan is approved that would give light-rail trains priority at intersections shared with vehicular traffic.

The plan, which comes in the form of a motion filed last week by Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin, notes that the train travels through 22 street-level signals on its journey from Downtown LA to Santa Monica, which can significantly delay trips for passengers. The 15-mile trip is supposed to take 47 minutes, but often takes longer.

“The success of our transit system depends on improving speed, frequency, and reliability, particularly where our rail and bus lines are affected by traffic congestion on city streets,” the motion reads.

Frequency and reliability have become an issue on the Expo Line due to service cuts that riders said have led to packed cars and long waits between trains. Metro added additional service during peak hours to address overcrowding concerns.