MTA bus line links El Monte to beach

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Christina Chau car-pools to work every morning to escape commuter traffic into Long Beach from the San Gabriel Valley.Today, with the addition of the new Metro Express Line 577X, she has another option.The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Auth-ority officials said they opened the new line with people like Chau in mind.“We wanted to make it easier for people to get down this clogged corridor and we feel this will be a good way to link up with the El Monte bus line and the Metro Green Line,” said Kimberly Upton, Metro spokeswoman.To celebrate the new line, Metro is offering free rides on the express line today and Tuesday.Metro also will be offering a reduced fare of $1.25 each way on the line through the end of December.Metro officials said the new line will take commuters between El Monte and Norwalk in 30 minutes and from Norwalk to Long Beach in 20 minutes, slicing travel time in half during rush hour.Dave Sotero, Metro spokesman, said they expect to gain about 2,000 new passengers riding the line within the next two years.Chau sees it as a time-saver.“I live in Monterey Park, and without traffic it takes me 35 minutes to get into Long Beach, but with traffic it’s much longer. I’ve been trying to carpool with a co-worker when I can but now I plan to take the bus,” Chau, 57, said.The new line is scheduled to make four stops beginning at the El Monte Transit Center, then will travel directly to the Norwalk Metro Green Line Station, about 30 minutes away.It will continue into Long Beach and will stop at the VA Long Beach Medical Center, where Chau works as a dental assistant, and Cal State Long Beach.“A reason for Cal State Long Beach and the VA hospital being such significant players in the decision to make stops there is because they have a lot of people coming into their facilities from all over the place, including the San Gabriel Valley,” Upton said.Officials from the VA Long Beach Medical Center said the new line will offer them a dual convenience.“Our employees come in from everywhere, and many of them will be taking this bus in,” said Richard Beam, public affairs specialist. The fare from Norwalk to either El Monte or Long Beach is $1.75 each way; the fare from El Monte to Long Beach is $2.25 each way. Two thousand free parking spaces are available at the El Monte Transit Center, and 1,700 free spaces are available at the Metro Green Line Station in Norwalk. [email protected](626) 962-8811, Ext. 2109last_img