The Expo Line Extension’s Parking Situation

Spaces will be at a premium when the light rail opens in eight months

Some Expo Line commuters freaked out recently when they heard a proposed mixed-used development will eventually replace a large park-and-ride lot at the Culver City station. With ample free parking, it was easy to ditch the car and ride the train to the Galen Center or L.A. Live. The good parking news is that the development will include 300 subterranean spaces for Metro riders; the bad news is that amount of spaces is about half of what the Culver City lot offered.

Metro is most likely counting on the coming extension to Santa Monica to help absorb the difference. Stretching 6.6 miles through West L.A. and Santa Monica, the new addition will mean less people driving to Culver City since they can hop on the train at the seven new stations. With construction wrapping, and an opening tentatively planned for March, many Westsiders have noticed the new line also includes some parking of its own.

The station at Expo and Sepulveda (just south of Pico) will offer the most spaces, with a 260-car garage a few steps from the station. At Expo and Bundy (closer to Olympic), surface parking for 250 cars on Exposition Boulevard will be included. Finally, at the SMC/17th Street station on Colorado Boulevard, a small, 70-spot surface lot will be a stone’s throw away. All in all, that’s 580 spaces.

For now, parking at Metro stations is free, though the transit agency is in the midst of rethinking that policy and may start charging by the time the extension opens next year.