Train whizzes by

Train whizzes by

The Eastside Extension of the Gold Line opened on Sunday, and it is simply glorious. I'm really excited that this extension has opened, since it will make it a lot easier for people to get in and out of East LA. [And one day, in 2036, when the Wilshire subway extension opens, it will take an hour - instead of 2.5 hours - to get from East LA to Westwood.]

I must confess - I've already gone to check it out twice. On Sunday, I insisted to Juan that we head out east to check out the festivities, which included several block parties at four stations. And on Monday, I went back again the next day for a "VIP" tour through WTS, a professional association for people in the transportation industry.

It is my hope that the launch of this extension is successful and that everyone rides safely.

More pictures after the jump.

(Many thanks to Eric Shen, the director of planning for the Port of Long Beach, who took these pictures.)
How to check out the Eastside Extension from UCLA/Westside
1) Get thee to Union Station
From Santa Monica, I took the Big Blue Bus's Freeway Express bus (Line 10); it's free with a Flash Pass, or 25 cents with your BruinCard. Alternatively, you could drive to one of the many surface lots in Chinatown, just east of Broadway, and walk the five minutes to Union Station.
2) Wear comfortable walking shoes
Juan and I are firm believers of function trumping fashion during urban adventures. He likes Eccos, while I stick to my Asics running shoes.
3) Buy a $5 Metro Day Pass if you don't have a quarterly GoMetro Pass
Each leg is $1.25 and surely you'll want to keep hopping on and off the train.
4) Do some reconnaissance on your dining options before leaving.
There is delicious food to sample in all price points throughout the route in restaurants, hole-in-the-walls, and even taco trucks. This LA Times article is a good start. Here's another.