Signage improvements at stations serving Expo and Blue lines

New signage at the Pico Station serving the Blue Line and Expo Line.

The Expo Line opened in late April and since then we’ve received a steady trickle of comments from Metro customers saying that it’s difficult to differentiate Expo Line and Blue Line trains at the two stations they share — 7th/Metro Center and Pico.

A few passengers have even complained of getting on the wrong train and realizing the mistake too late.

A new sign in the 7th/Metro Center station.

As some of you have likely noticed, Metro is working to improve the situation. Among the improvements being:

•Improved announcements on both trains and stations.

•Signs on trains that are more easily visible — Long Beach means it’s a Blue Line train, Culver City signifies an Expo train.

•Better signage at 7th/Metro Center showing patrons where to board Blue Line and Expo Line trains. Both trains use platform 2 on the upper level. The lower level is for Red and Purple Line subway trains.

•Maps and information are being added adjacent to platforms and an alphanumeric system — the ‘E’ — is being introduced to help distinguish the two lines.

Have you noticed any of the improvements? Are they helping? Comment please.


34 replies

  1. This is a positive step towards logical names for our expanding rail service. May I suggest the following:
    – E for Expo and East LA (after regional connection opens) – eventually switch to gold circle but keep the name as E train.
    – W for Wilshire – keep the purple circle
    – H for Hollywod – keep the red circle
    – I for Imperial – keep the green circle
    – L for Long Beach – keep the blue circle
    – F for Foothill (assuming there will be a truncated “short line” after the regional connection opens) – eventually switch the blue circle or maybe blue square to differentiate from the L train.
    – C for Crenshaw – some other color


  2. One of the things that I like about cities I visited around the world is that station names are also assigned station numbers.

    As a tourist who has a hard time remember station names (especially if it’s something like Thai!), it’s very easy to memorize stations by letters and numbers.

    Here’s how the Bangkok Metro does theirs:

    So instead of memorizing “I have to go from Nana to Silom, switch trains and go to, er what was the name again…oh yeah Krung Thong Buri,” it became “E4 to CEN, go to S7”


  3. I don’t see what’s so logical about using letters for names.

    With “the Blue Line,” the name of the train matches the color on maps and signs. “The Expo Line” reflects the name of the street that it (mostly) runs on. Change “Blue Line” to “Long Beach Line” and you would get an indication as to the ultimate destination.

    But A, B, C, D has no signifigance. Letters have no meaning.

    If I’m a tourist visiting a foreign country for the first time, maybe the names may be hard to pronounce, but tourists should recognize that foreign places are going to have foreign, “exotic” names. It’s a poor tourist who eats at McDonalds and fails to learn anything about the culture that they are visiting. Learn the names.