Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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.
For FY2013, the Blue Line had a 95.8 percent in service, on time performance record.
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.
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.
Work is scheduled to be completed by FY2019.
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.
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.
Overhead power lines, called Catenary Lines, will be replaced in the downtown Los Angeles and downtown Long Beach areas.
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.
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.
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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