And yes it's an occasion worth celebrating. But lost in all the hype and happiness are a few cold facts:
. It has been hyped by Expo officials that the train will take 46 minutes from Santa Monica's 4th Street station to Los Angeles. In fact it takes upwards of 55 minutes.
|on board the first train|
Only three of the seven new stations along the line have parking spaces and accommodate only a few cars.
So while it will be a boon to people who at the moment have to use the traffic-clogged 10 Freeway and make it much easier to visit popular spots like the Staples Center, Science and Natural History Museums and Colosseum, it will also bring thousands of people into already overcrowded Santa Monica.
An indication of what lies ahead was the train I took back from L.A to Santa Monica---packed with passengers, standing room only, more people squeezing on at every stop and nearly all of them bound
for the beach and Pier.
It could mean a bonanza summer for local businesses but misery for residents. Only time will tell.