They say it never rains in Southern California and this year that has sometimes been the case. But we can hope for more rain and snow next winter and by then, several Metro subway escalators will be better protected from the elements.
To keep the escalators running more reliably — as well as to protect those of us riding them — Metro is beginning the process of adding canopies over stations along the Red and Purple lines.
The first one should be complete this summer at the Westlake/MacArthur Park Station, where construction is beginning on the support rails that will hold up the pretty canopy umbrella. (See rendering.) If you use that station, you may have noticed construction folks working around holes in the pavement where the three supports will be anchored. The umbrella itself will be added when the supports are secured.
Next up will be umbrellas at Civic Center Station in downtown L.A. Those two escalators were recently replaced — a costly and time consuming effort — and it’s hoped that the new canopies will extend the shelf life of the new escalators and others along the subway, which really would do better were they sheltered from the storms.
The two escalators at Pershing Square Station will be the last to be covered by this umbrella design. That project will be completed after the first of the year in time for what we hope will be next winter’s very rainy season. But six more Red Line stations exposed to the elements will follow. (A few stations, including Hollywood/Highland, Hollywood/Vine and 7th St/Metro Center – are covered by existing structures so don’t need further protection.) No schedule for the next set of canopies has been set.