Thursday October 17, 2019
The $350-million New Blue Improvements Project will increase the reliability of Metro’s oldest light rail line with four new switches, an upgraded control system and a new overhead power system. Station upgrades include new interactive digital information screens that will help riders navigate the Metro system, new station identifiers and wayfinding signage, refreshed paint and landscaping and new digital artwork.
The rail platform for the A Line at the busy Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station will also reopen on Nov. 2 with access to the Green Line platform. The station has been closed since late January while undergoing a major renovation. Work will continue on the project after the station platform reopens.
“We are excited that Metro’s oldest light rail line will be back in service between Los Angeles and Long Beach and we want to thank our customers for their patience during the modernization work this year,” said Metro Board Chair and Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts. “The A Line is a lifeline for the many diverse communities between Los Angeles and Long Beach who rely on reliable rail service to help them reach jobs, school, family and other vital destinations in our region.”
Metro will hold three sequential community celebrations on Saturday, Nov. 2, from 10am to 1pm, with the press conference beginning at 11 a.m. at 7th St/Metro Center at The Bloc in downtown Los Angeles, followed at 11:15 a.m. adjacent to the A Line 103rd St/Watts Towers Station at Graham Avenue and 103rd Street and at 11:30 at the Promenade Square, between Downtown Long Beach and First Street stations.
The A Line is the first rail line to employ Metro’s new naming convention in which its rail and bus rapid transit lines will be designated with letters and colors. The new naming convention, approved by the Metro Board of Directors in 2018, is designed to make the agency’s growing system easier to navigate. The remainder of Metro’s rail lines and bus rapid transit lines will transition to the new naming convention when the Crenshaw/LAX Line opens.
“We believe that a greatly improved A Line will better serve existing riders and also attract new customers to the Metro system," said Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington. “Even as we work to expand our system, Metro’s State of Good Repair program is devoted to taking care of and improving what we already have and extending the lifespan of our assets. That benefits everyone -- our riders and the taxpayers who support our system."
The A Line opened in 1990 and is Metro’s oldest rail and has historically had the highest ridership of Metro’s light rail lines. Modernization of the line began in January 2019 with the closure of the southern half of the line. Work on the southern segment was completed June 1, at which time closures began on the northern half of the line. With the work now completed, rail service on the entire 22-mile A Line (Blue) between downtown Los Angeles and downtown Long Beach will now return to service.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is unique among the nation’s transportation agencies. Created in 1993, Metro is a multimodal transportation agency that transports about 1.3 million passengers daily on a fleet of 2,200 clean air buses and six rail lines. The agency also oversees bus, rail, highway and other mobility-related building projects and leads transportation planning and programming for Los Angeles County.
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