The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Regional Connector Transit Project has now reached an important construction phase: connecting the L Line (Gold) tracks in Little Tokyo/Arts District to the new 1.9-mile twin rail tunnels under downtown Los Angeles that will ultimately tie together the A (Blue), E (Expo) and L Lines.
Completing this important work will require a 22-month service interruption for the L Line (Gold) that is anticipated to begin at the start of service on Saturday, Oct. 24. To accommodate rail service during construction:
• The Little Tokyo Arts District Station will be closed.
• L Line trains will only run between Azusa and Union Station and between Pico/Aliso Station and Atlantic Station.
• A free bus shuttle will run between Union Station, Little Tokyo, the Arts District and Pico/Aliso stations.
• In addition to the free bus shuttle, alternative travel options include: Line 40, Dash D, Line 30 (Union Station) and Metro Bike Share at Union Station, Pico/Aliso Station and in the Little Tokyo area.
The free bus shuttle will depart from Bay 5 at Union Station’s Patsaouras Plaza and will make the following stops: First Street/San Pedro Street, First Street/Vignes Street and First Street/G.G.Marquez. Buses will run on the same schedule as trains — every 12 minutes during the day and every 20 minutes in the early morning and late evening.
A six-month street closure of Temple Street east of Alameda Street is also planned to allow for the construction of the Temple Street portal to the rail tunnel and the underground tunnel box. Lane reductions on Alameda Street are also planned. Metro will do its best to minimize any inconvenience to riders and motorists.
This is the final push for Regional Connector construction. As part of the construction, the tracks from East Los Angeles and Azusa will both be connected to the tunnel. The current Little Tokyo/Arts District street-level station will also be demolished and replaced by a new state-of-the-art underground station at First Street and Central Avenue that will be a more convenient location for many riders. The A, E and L Lines are scheduled to begin using the new tunnels in late 2022.
For L Line riders, trains from both Azusa and East Los Angeles will travel directly into the heart of downtown L.A., thereby eliminating the time-consuming need to transfer to the Red/Purple Line subway at Union Station. That will represent a huge benefit for riders coming from East Los Angeles who presently have to ride north on the L Line before switching to the subway to ride back south.
Metro’s Construction Relations team has been in the community since last spring informing stakeholders of the upcoming work and free bus shuttle service. Public service announcements, ads and Metro’s social media streams will be providing more information to the public throughout the closure. A 24/7 assistance project hotline can be reached at (213) 922-7277 to address concerns. Metro’s Trip Planner and 323-Go-Metro will also be ready to assist riders with their trip planning needs.
The public is encouraged to plan ahead and allow for extra time when commuting into the Little Tokyo/Arts District area during this 22-month closure. Signage and Metro staff will be at Union Station to direct riders to the bus shuttle options available at Patsaouras Plaza to take them where they need to go to complete their trip.
The Regional Connector Transit Project is a 1.9-mile underground light-rail extension that will connect the A Line (Blue), the E Line (Expo) and the L Line (Gold) in downtown Los Angeles and will include three new stations at First Street/Central Avenue, Second Street/Broadway and Second Place/Hope Street. The rail line is expected to serve 88,000 riders daily – including 17,000 new riders – and save commuters up to 20 minutes by reducing the need to transfer for those riding to and through downtown L.A.
The new Metro rail extension will offer an alternative transportation option to congested roadways, provide significant environmental benefits and spur economic development throughout L.A. County. Through improved connectivity, riders will be better able to use the entire Metro Rail system, municipal bus lines and other regional transportation services.
For more information on the Regional Connector Transit Project and construction updates, go to www.metro.net/regionalconnector.