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Blue Line Improvements

Next Stop: A Better Blue

Major improvements are underway for Metro’s oldest and most heavily used line.

Work to modernize the Blue Line, Metro’s oldest and busiest light rail line, has been ongoing since 2014 as part of a $1.2-billion investment. Metro will embark to modernize the Blue Line through a series of construction and maintenance projects. All these projects are designed to extend the service life of the Blue Line, improve reliability and resiliency, and enhance safety. Metro will embark on the “New Blue Project” to modernize the Blue Line through a series of construction and maintenance projects to improve and upgrade the train control system, tracks, overhead power systems, and station improvements in addition to the complete renovation of the Willowbrooks/Rosa Parks Station. All these projects are designed to:

  • Extend the service life of the Blue Line
  • Improve reliability and resiliency
  • Enhance safety.

The nature of the work on the Blue Line will require portions of the line to be temporarily closed for two extended four-month closures beginning January 2019. The southern portion of the line from Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station to the Downtown Long Beach Station will be closed for four months while the northern portion of the alignment remains open.

  • Once the southern portion of the alignment is reopened, the northern portion of the alignment will be closed for four months from the Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station to the 7th St/Metro Station.
    • During the northern closure, construction on the shared track portion of Metro Blue and Expo Lines will result in a 45-day service interruption of the 7 th St/Metro Station to the Pico Station.
  • The WIllowbrook/Rosa Parks Station will be closed throughout the entire eight-month period.

During the closures, alternative bus service will be provided to customers in a variety of configurations.  This may include express services and the replacement bus plan is still being finalized.

More Information on Alternative Bus Service will be coming soon.

See how we’re transforming LA County, one project at a time at and view a full list of Metro projects.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Metro Blue Line?

The Metro Blue Line is the oldest light rail line in Los Angeles County opening on July 14, 1990. It connects Downtown Los Angeles and Downtown Long Beach along a 22-mile, 22-station corridor that includes South Los Angeles, Watts, Willowbrook and the City of Compton.

How many people use the Blue Line?

When the Blue Line first opened it accounted for an average of about 19,000 weekday boardings. Now, there are about 88,000 average weekday boardings. It is estimated that Fiscal Year 2014 will account for upwards of 28 million boardings.

What is the Blue Line’s reliability record?

For FY2013, the Blue Line had a 95.8 percent in service, on time performance record.

When does the work begin?

In some cases it already has. Since FY2007, $260 million has been spent upgrading pedestrian swing/crossing gates, there have been improvements to active warning signage, pedestrian markings, In-Roadway Warning lights, and grade crossing lighting upgrades. In addition, 19 of 20 Traction Power Substations have been replaced to improve reliability. Major work will begin in 2014 but the exact dates are not yet known because the construction contracts have not been finalized.

Will there be service disruptions?

When work begins there will be periods of service interruptions. Metro will minimize any disruptions by conducting work during off-peak hours, nights and weekends. When necessary, bus shuttles will be used to bridge gaps caused by construction activity.

How long will construction last?

Work is scheduled to be completed by FY2019.

Will there be upgrades at Blue Line station?

Painting crews are already sprucing up Blue Line station platforms and canopies with epoxy paint, which is more durable than the paint used previously. Lighting is being replaced and new message boards are being installed with LCD displays to improve customer information.

Will tracks be replaced?

Corroded tracks from Willow to Downtown Long Beach are being replaced. Improved insulation will be used to reduce future corrosion caused by moist sea air.

Will overhead power lines be upgraded?

Overhead power lines, called Catenary Lines, will be replaced in the downtown Los Angeles and downtown Long Beach areas.

How about train cars?

Upgrading is scheduled for 52 light rail cars currently in service. Some will receive a new coat of paint, new decals and a new interior, while others will be stripped down to the chassis and be completely rebuilt. Metro also will purchase 78 new light rail cars.

Will this mean that there service will be more frequent?

The Blue Line is one of the most heavily used light rail lines in the United States. Upgraded rail vehicles along with the purchase of new train cars will allow Metro to have more frequent service.

Why is all this necessary?

The Metro Blue Line is a major investment in mobility for the region and it must be maintained in top running order. The Blue Line is almost 24 years old and needs a large investment to keep up with its demanding pace.

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