Widely regarded as “the last of the great train stations,” Los Angeles Union Station is the largest railroad passenger terminal in the Western United States. For information on station amenities, events and transportation service , visit unionstationla.com .
Built in 1939, Union Station combines Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, Mission Revival and Streamline Moderne styles. The architecture team included John and Donald Parkinson who also designed Los Angeles City Hall and other city landmarks.
Originally intended as a transcontinental terminus station for the Union Pacific, Santa Fe and Southern Pacific Railways, the station was a major hub for troop movement during World War II. With the advent of air travel, train service declined at depots across the nation – including Union Station.
The station’s historic 161,000 square foot terminal was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980 and the station was restored in 1992. Beginning in the 1970s, growing use of Amtrak and expansion of local and regional rail revitalized the station as a major transportation hub. Under the Alameda District Specific Plan adopted in 1996, the 47-acre Union Station property has six million square feet of development rights.
Metro acquired the station in 2011, managing the property that currently serves as a transportation hub for Metro, Metrolink, Amtrak and other transportation services as well an urban mixed-use development site. Adjacent downtown Los Angeles and El Pueblo, the stations’ close proximity to the Los Angeles Civic Center, Chinatown, Little Tokyo, the Arts District, Los Angeles River and Boyle Heights make it a favorite stop for Los Angeles visitors and locals alike.
Los Angeles Union Station Master Plan
Metro purchased Los Angeles Union Station (LAUS) in 2011 and shortly thereafter initiated a master planning process that established a series of short to long term goals for the station. Over a two year period, informed by extensive stakeholder engagement, the Union Station Master Plan was informed by three programmatic goals: transit optimization, creating a great destination, and improved connectivity.
In 2015, Metro released Transforming Los Angeles Union Station, a Summary Report , a synopsis of the two-year master planning process, including substantial data analysis, stakeholder engagement, key findings, alternatives analysis, and final recommendations. In November 2016, staff updated the Metro Board of Directors on implementation activities and an updated approach to redevelopment at Los Angeles Union Station.
The Link Union Station (Link US) project, formerly known as the Southern California Regional Interconnector Project (SCRIP), is a Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) project designed to meet the long-term regional rail needs at Los Angeles Union Station (LAUS) by allowing the station to function more efficiently and providing a better overall passenger experience.
Metro is preparing a Request for Interest and Qualifications (RFIQ) for a Master Commercial Developer for 12 Metro-owned sites, totaling in 9-acres at Los Angeles Union Station.
LAUS/Civic Center Exploratory Taskforce
In October 2016 and April 2017 the Metro Board of Directors and the City of Los Angeles City Council , respectively, approved actions that called for the creation of the Union Station/Civic Center Exploratory Taskforce (Taskforce). The Taskforce includes participation from Metro, the California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA), the City of Los Angeles, and the County of Los Angeles. The Taskforce will engage with stakeholders to identify and pursue broader district goals focused on equitable transit oriented communities.
Active Transportation and Connectivity
The Connect US Action Plan was developed to improve historical and cultural connections in downtown Los Angeles by enhancing pedestrian and bicycle travel options through and between communities.
The Los Angeles Union Station Forecourt Improvements (formerly the Stage One Perimeter Improvements of the Union Station Master Plan) reestablish the connection between Union Station and surrounding communities to provide a better passenger experience and connectivity for residents, visitors and workers in the Downtown LA area. Environmental Clearance is currently underway and the project’s Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) was released January 16, 2018.
The Cesar E Chavez Bus Stop Improvements project will add amenities at five locations near Union Station on Cesar E Chavez Avenue between Alameda Street and Vignes Street to help improve the ridership experience and strengthen connections to other modes of transit throughout the area. Project construction is anticipated to begin in early 2019.
The Metro Bike Hub at Union Station opened on November 15, 2017. The facility provides 24/7 secure access, customer support, bike parts and accessory sales, repair services, clinics and a self-service bike repair stand with air pump.
Launched its Downtown Los Angeles Pilot in Summer 2016 with 750 bicycles and 61 stations. One of the most actively used stations is located at Union Station .