A pleasant surprise, though not exactly surprising. The thing with light (commuter) rail versus buses when it comes to new riders is that the light rail stations are placed near generalized origin/destination points that are higher trafficked than in-between points. I can recall doing bus passenger surveys where many minor stops failed to record passenger counts or over a day very few people entered/exited. You could not eliminate the stops because it’s too inconvenient (stops are spread out just too far). Per the article, the ridership increase is new riders, not trip shifting. If one is going from Culver City (a significant jobs market in itself) to The Coliseum, USC, or Downtown Los Angeles and nowhere in-between, the Expo Line would be a much greater ride than the crowded in both directions Santa Monica Freeway. Combined with the eventual Downtown Connector, the Expo Line can and will send commuters from DTLA and points east to CC in the reverse commute. Then the sky’s the limit for the Expo Line ridership.
LA Expo Line Riders Appear to be New Transit Riders