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A new survey of Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) riders found that 70 percent of people using the agency's Expo Line Extension to Santa Monica, Calif., are new riders.Of those new riders, 44 percent used to drive, while 23 percent used to take the bus, Metro officials said in a press release.Since the Expo Line Extension's opening in May, overall ridership on the line has grown to nearly 45,000 average weekday boardings, with about 20,000 attributed to the new Culver City to Santa Monica segment.By 2030, the light-rail line is expected to serve 64,000 average weekday riders.To conduct the survey, Metro interviewed 1,000 Expo Line riders between June 7 and 12 at the seven new stations and the existing Culver City station. The results of the survey will help the agency "understand ridership trends and compare Expo rider habits before and after the extension opened," Metro officials said.The survey also showed that 50 percent of riders walk, bike or skate to reach stations."It's worth keeping in mind that only three of the seven new stations have parking, thus the reason that most people aren't driving to stations," wrote Steve Hymon, editor of the agency's blog. "It also helps that many of the new stations are a pretty easy walk from nearby neighborhoods."The 6.6-mile Expo Line Extension runs from the Culver City station to Santa Monica and has seven stops. The extension was funded largely by a sales tax increase approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2008.
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