Metro Board members seek master plan for Union Station

I know there was a lot of reader interest — understandably — in the recent news that Metro intends to purchase Union Station. Many readers were pleased with the news, saying the station needs more amenities as the number of rail users increases.

The deal is scheduled to close shortly and in the meantime three members of the Metro Board — Richard Katz, Supervisor Gloria Molina and L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa — have written a motion asking Metro to draw up a master plan for Union Station. The motion asks that Metro hold a design competition leading to conceptual plans for a “world class Union Station inter-modal station.”

The motion will be heard at the Board’s Executive Management & Audit Committee meeting on Thursday and then, presumably, at the full Board meeting on March 24.

The full motion is posted after the jump.

Click above to see a larger image.

20 replies

  1. I like Alex’s notion of opening up the front of Union Station to pedestrian traffic. By connecting it better with the Olvera St. plaza, a wonderfully fluid public meeting space would be created.


  2. I say start with the simple things like clean the bathrooms. I hop off the gold line to take a leak and the stalls look like the bathroom in “trainspotting”. Might as well use the fountain outside!


  3. I think the building is fine but I do think there needs to be better pedestrian access and many more amenities. Also the metro customer center needs to be open on weekends and for longer hours because it can often be confusing for people on where things are and how they connect especially regarding the buses. Oh and the gold line transfer really needs to be streamlined somehow, because its really quite cumbersome at the moment with all the long walks and sets of stairs and elevators, and the trains don’t seem to be coordinated with each other.


  4. Bring Greyhound to Union Sta.

    A 7-Eleven or Famima! would be nice; lots of transit oriented cities have convenience stores within the train station compounds. It’ll also be a good testing ground to start using TAP’s cash-purse option for making purchases there too.

    Starbucks, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, etc. as well.

    Franchised food from the best restaurants in LA, similar to how Pinky’s opened up their shop at LAX. Ask around in Chinatown, Little Tokyo and Koreatown for any Asian restaurants to be built directly at Union Sta.; they are the experts in doing those in their country anyway, it’d be nice to see noodle shops and such at the train station.

    Frankly, LA Metro board members should just visit Tokyo Sta. or Shinjuku Sta. in Japan and see how train stations in Japan are operated like.


  5. @y fukuzawa

    There already is a Famima, subway and wetzles pretzels in union station and I think I saw see’s candy too.


  6. Starbucks is going to open next week (March 25, the sign on the door said…)

    Since the beginning of this year, LAUS has added four stores/restaurants (Wetzels, Famima, and Subway….with Starbucks in the wings) I say things are pretty good.

    I’d like them to do something with the old Harvey restaurant in the courtyard. And I agree, clean up the bathrooms, both in the station, and at the Pat Plaza end.

    There also needs to be a proper lounge area for the long-distance sleeper passengers.


  7. Please, if you do buy the building, gut out the restrooms and build new ones. It’s unbelievable the filth and smell in there, and this is right next to Famima where I’m supposed to get food in the morning. Otherwise the building is an architectural and historical landmark, and should not be modified structurally.
    I’m almost glad you are buying it because the station gets huge traffic due to the gold and red line, and metrolink. If you’re a metrolink rider waiting for your metro connection after 10pm you get kicked out of the waiting hall like a bum by security; supposedly, you have to present an Amtrak ticket. What’s up with that? These imbeciles the current owner calls security don’t even know that a Metrolink monthly pass is valid on Amtrak trains between LAUS and Burbank Airport (rail to rail program) which I ride every day. You always have to fight with them to be able to sit in the waiting hall for some miserable 20 mins while it’s raining outside. At $150 for a pass/month, 20 mins in the waiting hall between connections is not that much to ask considering I end up buy food there which is good for business.


  8. Please, just don’t turn it into another mall. With all of these stores, that can easily be found in any and every shopping center/district, there will be no sense of identity. Just more of the same thing you get when you leave the station.


  9. I definitely agree with what Cameron said. Although a few “everywhere” places won’t be too bad so long as they don’t become the dominant type of amenity.