More of your thoughts on Union Station

With the news that Metro is purchasing Los Angeles Union Station, I asked Metro followers on Twitter and Facebook yesterday for their suggestions on how to improve the train station. Here’s the first batch that I posted yesterday and below are a bunch more:

From Twitter:

SabrinaDeep @metrolosangeles we need cabs in LA!

markvalli @metrolosangeles A green grocer and/or produce carts so union station can be a hub for healthy food

MiguelLopez @metrolosangeles A train to the Westside.

sbytof @metrolosangeles WiFi

writerLyn @Metrolink @metrolosangeles free internet would be amazing.

RedEbbm @metrolosangeles suggestion for Union Station: “nextbus” signage for the gold line in the red line & vice-versa to show us so we don’t run.

munin @Metrolink @metrolosangeles Properly maintained signage and fixing the leaks in the concourse roof

chuljin @metrolosangeles Security guards more interested in protecting paying passengers from agressive panhandlers than red curbs from pax loading.

theendLXXIV @Metrolink @metrolosangeles F units, Pullman’s and an open Harvey House.

JambaJuiceJay @metrolosangeles @metrolink union station needs working outlets for charging electronic…it could also use a ticket machine right next to the tracks,and a jamba juice would be good too.

BlazinNathan @metrolosangeles Lockers in the terminal. Cool Olvera St/Chinatown restaurants inside. Walkalators in that long hallway to the Amtrak gates

More tweets and Facebook comments, after the jump.

tombleich @metrolosangeles @homeboy19:how about opening a Homegirl Cafe/Homeboy Bakery at Union Station!

toybuilder @metrolosangeles more prominent last train departure info would be good too.

yestrask s@metrolosangeles How about a direct transfer between red and gold lines??

From Facebook:

LibrarianJennie QuinonezSkinner How about improving transit hubs in other parts of the city ? ie the valley ???

Snuffy Rin easy/direct access from Gold Line platform to the Red Line Subway?

Jason Leung … but please make sure NOT to change the vintage looking passenger lobby. I love it every time I pass through it

Josh Gofive totally agree on better access to the gold/red transfer. It’s a bit ridiculous how it’s currently set up.

Elvi Brosniev It’d be nice to see a restaurant of sorts for people who don’t have the income of 1st-class Amtrak passengers. Traxx is ridiculously overpriced and those snack carts by the fountain and waiting lobby just don’t cut it.

Kai-Hsu Wu I’d like to see people can get to union stations by taking buses/rails without too much difficult. If people have to drive to one of the Expo/Gold line stations and get to Union stations, the plan fails.

From email:

Brian Lopez: 1. Wi-fi availible (Even if its not free – like from AT&T or T-Mobile), 2. Better mobile reception (especially in the subway)., 3. More Metrolink automated machines. 4. An updated arrival/departures screen — like the ones in an airport. 5. Better chairs.

Categories: Policy & Funding

26 replies

  1. PLEASE fix the water leak near the Gold Line gate. It makes a mess every time it rains. Also, the arrival board has been broken since at least December.

  2. Please REMODEL the station’s interior! The lighting is DULL, the floor looks like vomit, and the dark brown trim everywhere gives the place the ambiance of a FUNERAL HOME! UPGRADE THE INTERIOR! PLEASE!

  3. I agree on some kind of signage between Gold Line/Red Line transfer: when the next train is leaving. Also: no changes in the look & feel of the grand lobby, or the little side garden outside the doors. It’s one of my favorite places in LA.And don’t ruin it with ugly ads or posters.

  4. Great suggestions from everyone! I’d recommend a centralized kiosk for directing passengers between all 3 transit options (Metrolink, Amtrak, Metro). Improve the drop off/ pick up area for the 10 Fwy express buses. Have Amtrak passengers line up somewhere other than in the middle of the main thoroughfare. Basically, visualize Union Station in DC, Chicago or in NYC and go!

  5. I can’t imagine why anybody would want to remodel the interior of Union Station.

    It looks like a cathedral inside. It is a grand, mission-style temple to rail transit, with modern streamlined art deco touches.

    It is an absolute icon of Los Angeles and I am glad that they were able to bring Famima!! into the station without changing the historic ambiance.

  6. (1) Borrow a bit from European train stations by modernizing arrival/departure info with digital displays. (2) Insist that restaurants on premises offer quality food.
    Have more glass and bright colors (I agree with John McCready’s comment above)and with Ulla Anobile that grand lobby and exteriors are great as is. (3) Try to make it a destination as well as a transit hub.

  7. London’s high speed rail (Eurostar) hub, St Pancras station, is a GREAT example of how to do things right. Modern, appealing renovation. Excellent selection of shops, eateries, and grocery options.

    See http://stpancras.com/

    SHOPS like:
    Body Shop
    Bureau de Change (ie, tourist services)
    Excess Baggage (storage)
    Hamleys
    Isle of Flowers
    La Senza
    Marks and Spencer (delicious to-go food & groceries)
    Thomas Pink
    Vodafone
    WHSmith (books)

    FOOD/DRINK places like:
    Costa Coffee
    Crepeaffaire
    Le Pain Quotidien
    Fine Burger Company
    Le Pain Quotidien
    Starbucks
    The Champagne Bar
    West Cornwall Pasty Company
    YO! Sushi

    I’d love to see Union Station be a destination in and of itself for downtown residents & commuters. It’d make transit use even more appealing.

  8. Some sort of eatery to hang out in if you have to wait for a train, something like panera bread would be amazing.

  9. Please do something about the customer service of the security guards between 9 pm and 6 am. They are very rude and always are arguing with passengers if they have a ticket for Amtrak and throwing those out who do not have an Amtrak ticket. What about those that are waiting for Metro Bus or Foothill Transit?

  10. Yes, fix the leaks in the main hall, everywhere.

    Also,

    Take down the old ads (last week I looked into seeing Maroon 5 at the Greek, but that was last September!)

    WiFi

    Remove Amtrak carts from hall – they are too big and fast when it is crowded

    Remove all obstructions from the Main Hall under the tracks. This includes the big moveable signs to direct Amtrak riders to lounge cars and so forth.

    Remove obstacles leading from the lounge area to the Main Hall under the tracks – too much Amtrak barricades and ropes

  11. Last, but not least…

    Add a second set of stairs to the Gold Line platform. All other trains have two ways to get to the platform from the Main Hall, why not the Gold Line?

    Or, add a second platform on the west side of the tracks…whereas passengers from Pasadena getting off can exit on either side of the train.

    Lighting…. At night, it is very dark on the east end of the Main Hall and on the way to the Red Line. It seems like a mugging environment.

    In the Main Hall it seems like some of the lighting fixtures and upper ceiling fixtures and such are falling apart. These need attention.

    Provide more staff and ticket machines. At the end of the month when people are getting their tickets, lines are too long. Those lines block passage ways to the Main Hall and to the Red Line.

    Widen stairs and provide more escalators down to the Red Line. – I like another persons idea to provide a direct connection from the Gold Line to the Red Line. Is this possible?

    The canopies over Metrolink and Amtrak should be replaced. They leak when it rains and don’t seem to provide shelter.

    Passage ways from Main Hall to Metrolink and Amtrak platforms should be widened. Honestly, should people really be required to walk single file to MASS transit lines? Or to Amtrak?

    Maybe Amtrak should be moved somewhere else, but nearby. It seems the demands and needs of such a system is incompatible to what Union Station has evolved into, which has become the heart of a commuter and urban rail mass transit system. The kitchen old and though it is nice to look at, it is time to remodel it for today’s needs. Tomorrow’s too.

  12. – Automated ticket machine at the LAX flyaway booth. The machine probably costs less than paying the hourly wages, etc. of the person sitting in the booth.

    – Consider changing the timetable of the LAX flyaway early morning bus to match first metro train arrival at Union Station.

    – Better signage on the Metrolink/Amtrak tracks. Electronic boards showing the next train and destinations.

  13. Bank ATMs. (Citi, Chase, BofA, WF) It would avoid transaction fees from non bank owned ATMs.

    Self-Serve Kiosks where customers can purchase any tickets for any transit method, (Metrolink, Amtrak, Metro). All in one!

  14. Reasonable prices food stands. A good Taco shop, a Subway or Quiznos sandwich shop, and hamburger stand. Oh, Chinese food too.

    A Trader Joe’s on the property would serve the near by apartments and daily passengers who may need to pick up a few items before going home.

  15. A US Postal Service blue mailbox somewhere between the Gold Line tracks and the corner of Vignes and Chavez. I’ve called the Terminal Annex station about this but they haven’t put one in.

  16. Increased advertisement in order to offset operating costs. Advertising media can be in the traditional form such as posters or LCD screens with alternating ads.

  17. I agree with John Andoh on his post above.

    Thanks to my connections to those at METRO and/or Catellus, I was able to get permission to stay in the lobby of LAUPT before the Gold Line East Extension left at 3:40 am in the morning over a year ago.

    I had the proper paperwork and was “checked” a couple of times.

    I spent part of the time at Denny’s across the street from the Patsouras Bus Plaza

    I don’t blame John (who I do know) for his post at all.

  18. Number one a sheltered Cycle storage/valet, taxi queue, first-class lounge, unisex accessible toilet, more ATM machines, luggage carts for hire $1, photo booth, fancy gadget vending machines, gourmet food shops, more retail, more telecommunication stores, better book kiosk or vending machine, emergency alarm button in reach for all users, better wayfinding graphics, Hairdressers, luggage storage, possibly another bar.

  19. I have taken taxis from the cab area in front of Union Station and they almost always attempt to play dumb and cheat you in the process. Replace with an honest cab company!

    Other than that I love the ambiance at the facility. This is the West! Keep it the way it is – and use the additional interior space for interesting diversions and more shops. It’s great to have a Famima! and the other merchants that are already in the station.

  20. Yes, the Starbucks will be a welcoming addition, I am off the «Cafe del la Rata» when they were closed for a while due to «deep-cleaning» – if only they can do something immediately with information kiosk in the front instead of just using it for a Downtown LA News stand.

    One thing that you can do immediately is move some of those bus/rail/train schedules to the front of the station, most people probably don’t even know about the East Portal and the Metrolink schedules are all the way by track 8B!

  21. I really would like to know , who in there right mind would let Metro purchase Union Station , if they can not run a bus and train operation how are they suppose to run a bus / train station , I am quite interested to see how this will work.

    If they want to run Union Station now , they must first clean it up , it looks like a huge mess.

    Second , they need to redo all the bathrooms inside Union Station , every time I go inside one of them late at nite , you can smell the piss on the walls and see the fecal matter on the floor.

    Third , Union Station , has 24 hours busses arriving and leaving the station , so the entire station needs to be only 24 hours just not the location by the Amtrak buses.

    Lets face it , Metro , has quite a few challenges ahead of them to improve Union Station to a first class station , I strongly do not think they can get it done.