LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Transportation officials are preparing for the hundreds of thousands of people who will descend on downtown Los Angeles Saturday morning for the second annual Women’s March.
The rally, which is expected to attract upwards of 200,000, will begin at 8:30 a.m. near Pershing Square. The march gets underway at 10 a.m. and run to City Hall and Grand Park. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., there will be a series of programs on a main stage on Spring Street.
L.A. is one of dozens of U.S. cities hosting marches Saturday. The theme of this year’s Women’s March is “Hear our Vote,” emphasizing the importance of the midterm elections.
“It was hear our voice, now it’s hear our vote, power to the polls, focusing on the power of the vote,” organizer Emiliana Guereca said.
Viola Davis, Natalie Portman and Sen. Kamala Harris are among the many celebrities and politicians expected to take part.
People are not advised to drive to the event. During last year’s march, Metro saw a surge in ridership that caused major congestion, reporting that approximately 592,000 passengers using its trains that day. Platforms on the Westside were crammed with riders and some packed trains were halted or delayed. Some people reported waiting hours to purchase TAP cards – which are required to board a Metro bus or train.
This year, Metro has implemented some changes in an attempt to handle the large crowds. Extra trains will be running from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Trains on the Red, Blue and Expo lines will be running every six minutes. Gold Line trains every seven minutes and Purple and Green lines every 12 minutes.
Metro is advising riders to buy a TAP card prior to Saturday and load it with fare. A TAP card is $1 and a round-trip fare is $3.50. To find out where to purchase a TAP card, click here.
West Hollywood will have free shuttles to the Red Line’s Hollywood/Highland Station between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m.
There will also be extra buses running for Orange, Silver and 720 lines. However, buses will be on detour routes do to downtown street closures. Riders are advised to get off the bus before hitting the downtown area.
Metrolink will also be adding extra trains on its San Bernardino, Antelope Valley and Ventura County lines. Metrolink riders will be able to transfer to Metro Red and Purple subway lines for free at L.A. Union Station.