Why isn't there a Red Line station at the Hollywood Bowl?

Hollywood Bowl station design, 1983

It’s a valid question.  After all, the Red Line runs right underneath the Cahuenga Pass adjacent to the Bowl.

With thousands of Angelenos and others making their way to performances throughout much of the calendar year, why wasn’t a subway stop constructed at one of Southern California’s leading attractions?

The Metro Transportation Library and Archive periodically dives into the history behind “future stations of the past” for a closer look at transit stops that were planned but never built.

This week: The story behind the on-again, off-again plans for a Metro Rail station for the Hollywood Bowl can be found on the Library’s Primary Resources blog. Hint: it wasn’t just a money issue.

Question for Source readers: do you consider the Hollywood & Highland station a viable option for getting to the Bowl? It’s about a .8-mile walk.


17 replies

  1. Bowl events happen 6 nights a week all summer long, but that’s probably not enough to justify a stop 0.8 miles closer that would essentially be useless at any other time. The bowl shuttle got a lot worse this year, since it now heads east through congestion on Hollywood to Highland, instead of directly up to Franklin as it used to. That one block seems to take 10 minutes some nights. On the way back, the crowds are too large for the buses to handle, so walking is generally the best option.


  2. Maybe a Pedestrian Tunnel linking the Hollywood Bowl with the Hollywood and Highland Station might be a good idea here. Have the tunnel open only during Hollywood Bowl events. A flat .8 mile walk is not nearly as bad as hilly one and the experience might be more pleasant as pedestrians will not have to interact with the automobile congestion after Bowl events.


  3. I remember the press reports and politicians and SCRTD board members saying at the time that the primary reason the Hollywood Bowl station was dropped was due to . . .
    “the placement of a station at Hollywood / Highland precluded, from an engineering standpoint, a station at the Hollywood Bowl. Placement of the east-west subway leg in Hollywood Boulevard rather than one block south on Selma Avenue, plus the more westerly location of Highland Avenue precluded the ability to turn toward a Hollywood Bowl Station within the predetermined minimum turning radius.”

    That was the “killer” and basically the SCRTD was told by engineers that could could have one or the other, but not both. It was decided that H&H would have heavy year round use, while the Bowl would have use mostly during concerts, and there are more events the the LA Phil at the Bowl.

    Fine. But what really gets me ticked is that after all this time we have no “people mover” type system serving as a rail shuttle to the Bowl and H&H station. And.8 miles is out of the question for many older people who are willing to take transit, but need to be dropped off much closer to the gates.

    People on this forum sound VERY much of agism. Sad.


  4. My family used to take the Bowl park-n-ride bus; I would daresay that for a lot of riders, that was the ONLY Metro bus that they ever took.

    I don’t know if the Bowl needs its own “event-only” subway station, but I do think that better access from Hollywood/Highland couldn’t hurt. I like the idea of a pedestrian tunnel.

    Also, I think you have to take into consider the average age of Bowl ticket holders AND the likelihood of carrying picnic/ bento dinners to your seat.


  5. Yes, James Fujita, my family too took those Bowl Park and Rides nearby , and I, too took those Bowl Park and Rides from as far as Fullerton, and ironically, they work VERY well, much more attractive than an EXPENSIVE crime potential UNDERUSED pedestrian tunnel, as the buses dropped you off right at the ticket area and just a short walk down to the staging area on Highland after the concert. Those buses are superior to just about any suggestion made on this thread so far.

    The only ATTRACTIVE solution is some type of rail shuttle, something like the Seattle monorail that connects Westfield Shopping Center with Seattle Center, only NOT monorail, but something smoother and nicer. This would also make the Hollywood Bowl Museum accessible during the off-season, and restaurants, even a models retail area featuring restaurants ought to be encouraged to create off-season traffic and good use of the rail shuttle.