The Expo line will officially extend to Culver City at noon Wednesday, renewing concerns about how the new rail line will affect safety at USC, especially in the fall.
One of the major concerns for the Department of Public Safety is how the rail line will operate during USC football games, DPS Capt. David Carlisle said.
“Our first concern has been for the safety of the pedestrians walking in the area of the train, particularly during home football games when thousands of fans cross Exposition Boulevard en route to and from the Coliseum,” Carlisle said. “The [Metro Transportation Authority] videotaped the game day crossing at Trousdale and Expo last year and they will have a plan in place for the safe crossing of the tracks on game days.”
Carlisle also said that with the added convenience of cheap public transportation in the area, there could potentially be increased foot traffic and criminal activity at USC’s campus.
“The new rail line will provide reasonably priced transportation to campus and the Exposition Park neighborhood from as far away as Culver City,” Carlisle said. “While most of the people coming to campus are law-abiding people, some may take the train to campus for less than honorable purposes, but that is no different than those who take other forms of public transportation such as the bus.”
Madeline Aubuchon, a sophomore majoring in computer science and business administration, said one of the major issues she foresees is the line creating a major concern for public safety when the campus is extremely busy, including on football game days.
“On game days, everyone knows students and alumni get really spirited during the walk over to the Coliseum,” Aubuchon said. “It would be really awful if someone made the poor decision to go near the metro line’s tracks and ended up getting injured.”
Despite safety concerns, many students are enthusiastic about the extension of the line because it will broaden the number of places where students can visit and work.
Katherine Lin, a sophomore majoring in business administration, said most USC students will not be affected by the new rail line, but the new addition could provide benefits for students who work in the Culver City area.
“One of the only impacts I see the new rail line having would be that it would allow students with internships near Culver City to easily travel to that area,” Lin said. “Ultimately, I don’t see USC being affected by any additional criminal activity because of the line, and I think many USC students won’t see any impact at all until the Metro line expands all the way to the beach.”
Expo line rides will be free for riders originating at the Culver City and Farmdale stations on Wednesday.