Metro Board approves renaming of three Metro Rail stations

Metro’s Board of Directors approved the name changes of three Metro Rail subway stations during the Thursday, Jan. 24 Board Meeting.

The Metro Red Line Civic Center Station will now be the “Civic Center/Grand Park/Tom Bradley Station” in honor of the recently opened Grand Park, which is served by this station, and the former City of Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley.

The Metro Red Line Universal City Station will now be known as “Universal City/Studio City Station” to reflect the station’s location in Studio City. Metro Bus lines 150, 155, 224, 240 and Metro Rapid 750 connect this station with the rest of Studio City and San Fernando Valley.

The Metro Purple Line Wilshire/Western Station will now be known as the “Wilshire/Western/Alfred Hoyun Song Station” in honor of Alfred Hoyun Song, former Mayor of Monterey Park and the first Asian American legislator elected to the California State Assembly in 1962. He was also the first Korean American to be elected to the California State Senate, where he distinguished himself as chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

42 replies

    • Hi Jonathan,

      The approved implementation plan is expected to be completed by June 30, 2013.

      Anna Chen
      The Source, Contributor

  1. I think we ought to spend tax payer dollars to where they are need than renaming stations. Now all the signs have to be replaced and this is going to cost how much to taxpayers?

  2. Apparently just calling it “Koreatown Station” for Wilshire/Western made too much sense that they went for a more complicated name. LOL

  3. What a complete waste. Instead of naming stations after the neighborhoods they are in, Metro is naming them after politicians. This city has the worst station names of any transit system I’ve used. It’s just a bunch of intersections. Here’s how the Red Line stops should be named between Hollywood and downtown: Thai Town, Medical Center/Los Feliz, East Hollywood/LACC, Koreatown/Wilshire Center.

  4. Does this mean that the 3 purple line stations from western to vermont will have purple signs for the station?

  5. Oren… Phoenix is worse.

    But I agree though.. these station names in LA are crazy. Too many names, too confusing and too political.. Studio City wah wahs because the station is named Universal City despite the station being more centric to Universal Studios than it is to Studio City (a la Laurel Canyon & Ventura).

    Keep it simple.

  6. I want to go to Koreatown. Which line should I take and which station should I get off at? Hmm…let me refer to the Metro system map.

    Oh, it’s plainly obvious that Koreatown is in Wilshire/Western/Alfred Hoyun Song Station! How obvious! Anyone could understand that!

    Pfft. Politicians! They can’t do anything right.

  7. Seems like people just don’t like the idea of commemorating people who helped shape this city, state and nation. 🙁
    I like it. My favorite is Willowbrook/Rosa Parks.

  8. You know, it’s nice of you to honor all these people, but it’s quite a mouthful. If you want the names of stations to stick in people’s minds — to ensure the system is easier to navigate — you need something short. Adding “Grand Park” and “Studio City” is fine, but people’s names? Three names per station! Why do you need to make everything so unwieldy? Why not concentrate on names that really need to be changed, like Oren suggests? Pico on the Blue and Expo Lines, for instance, is not a good name because Pico, as you may know, is one long boulevard. Why not just call that station “Staples Center” or “Convention Center” — or even both — so that everyone will immediately know the station serve these landmarks? Or take Memorial Park; why not just call it “Old Town Pasadena,” given that district’s popularity and name recognition? Why not have a station called “Koreatown”? Where is common sense in all this? I’m very disappointed that the MTA should spend money on things that make the system actually a bit worse — and more ridiculous — than it already is.

  9. @LAX Frequent Flyer
    The system map and the rail map both show that the Purple Line runs to Koreatown.
    NYMTA, MBTA and CTA do the same thing, naming stations by intersections, due to some neighborhoods having multiple stations inside them, as well as just for simplicity.
    @Stephanie S.
    There are three stops in Koreatown, it wouldn’t make sense to name any of them Koreatown station.

  10. Why doesn’t Metro involve the community in naming stations? Ask people walking around the neighborhood what they call the area. Ask business owners. Ask tourism bureaus what they would like to highlight. Ask neighborhood councils. I understand that many stations aren’t going to have “neighborhood” names (e.g. Expo/La Brea), but it would be nice if the goal of naming stations was to actually help people find their way around the city and to create a sense of place. The fact that most of our stations are named after streets shows the car-oriented mindset of the people naming them.

  11. zigazgman1,

    Commemoration is fine. Just do it with a plaque or statue with private donors.

    But when it comes to using tax dollars, it’s different. Changing station names and spending tax dollars to change the signs to something so long and confusing for people, especially for out-of-towners is too much.

    Who the heck is going to equate Wilshire/Western/Wilshire/Western/Alfred Hoyun Song Station with Koreatown?

    What’s next? Should we change the name of Hollywood to Arnold Schwarzeneggerland? City of Los Angeles to Thomas J. Bradley City?

    Keep it simple.

  12. Jonathan C.

    So how hard is it to call them “West Koreatown” “Central Koreatown” and “East Koreatown?” Or is that too obvious?

    No, “East Koreatown” is too confusing. Who’s going to equate that as the eastern part of Koreatown? Nah, Wilshire/Vermont is makes much more sense.

  13. Will these new names last as long at the Ed Roybal name on the Gold Line Extension to East L.A. did?

  14. For bragging rights:

    Can anyone tell me the locations of the stations named for Chick Hearn and Julian Dixon?

  15. @LAX Frequent Flyer
    I rather call it by street name, which would be easier for the people who live there to get to where they want.
    Maybe I’m just selfish, but I rather have Normandie/Wilshire be called that, because I live a block east of Normandie. Besides, no other major transit system names their station that way.
    Also, there is no way tourists would know that the Wiltern would be on either Koreatown station. Which is why the PA tells you. Wilshire and Western = Wil/Tern.

    On the naming side of stations for commemoration, it’s been done to 7th/Metro/Julian Dixon, the PA doesn’t usually call it out. (Unless it’s the Blue Line.)

    @Whoever put that Pico named to Staples Center/Convention Center Station, I have to agree Pico is very long stretch of road, and with a single station in the neighborhood (South Park,) a name change might not be so bad.

  16. Jonathan C.

    “Besides, no other major transit system names their station that way.”

    Correction. “No other major transit system in the US.”

    Perhaps you should focus your attention outside of the US once in a while? They all have better transit systems than us, you’d think they know a lot more about mass transit than we do.

    The rest of the world does in fact, name their stations by district or distinctive area.

    Here’s London’s Tube Map:

    If you were a tourist to London, isn’t it much more easier to see that “Westminster Station” hmm, I bet that’s where Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, and Parliament is going to be instead of Victoria/Bridge St.?

  17. @LAX Frequent Flyer
    Well, seeing that London’s transit system has reached 150 years, I would agree that it is far more complex, but I would have no idea where some places would be at, regardless of where they are named. I would need a visitor’s map. Names would be arbitrary in this case.

    Also, that’s quite a beauty of a system map. About 270 stations… just wow.

  18. Jonathan C.

    Really? I’m pretty sure most tourists and Londoners alike won’t be confused to assume London Bridge Station is probably the place where London Bridge is going to be at or Tower Gateway Station will probably be the place where the Tower of London and Tower Bridge will be at. LOL

    Going back to the Koreatown West/Central/East example, you can see similar to that on the London Tube map. They have South Kensington and West Kensington. They have Hounslow West, Hounslow Central, and Hounslow East. Clapham North, Common, and South.

    Far simpler than Wilshire/Western/Alfred Hoyun Song Station I say.

    OTOH, we do have others in our system that are named after districts or local. The Gold Line’s Little Tokyo Station for example. Why is this one called Little Tokyo instead of 1st/Alameda?

    I think it stands that we do need some sort of standardization to how station names are decided upon.

  19. Will Metro finally change the Purple Line stations’ pylons to their respective colors? This is long overdue, considering the Purple Line is now under construction!

  20. Okay, well Metro NEEDS TO FIX THE Silver Line Stations on the 1-110 freeway station. For example, the current station at 37th St should be renamed to 1-110/USC. 37th street is not a interesting name to have. According to the go metro map, Slauson station may refer to Slauson Metro Blue Line Station, or Slauson Metro Silver Line Station. The silver line station should be renamed to 1-110/Slauson to end the confusion. HAS ANYONE ELSE NOTICED THAT ON THE GO METRO MAP?????????? You have 2 stations which are both named the SAME… The Manchester silver line station needs to be renamed to 1-110/Manchester, and finally the Rosecrans station should be renamed to 1-110/Rosecrans station. We need metro pylon signs at ALL Silver Line stations…………. The silver line stations do not look similar to the Orange Line stations… Please bring these suggestions to the board.

    We need the Purple line stations to have the purple colored metro pylon signs and not red.

  21. Boston’s MBTA also uses district names and landmarks instead of street intersections.

    Pretty obvious to anyone that a station named Kendall/MIT is where MIT is at and that Fenway Station is where Fenway Park is at. It’s also far easier for Bostonians and out of towners to know that Hynes Convention Center Station is likely where Hynes Convention Center is than Massachusetts St./Newbury St.

  22. So, dear MTA, you’ve heard what most of us think. Most of us do not want to see the names of our stations encumbered by the names of politicians. Most of us also want names that really reflect the landmarks and neighborhoods in our city, not the car-oriented and cold names of streets if it can be avoided. Will you please present to the powers-that-be the notion that a committee composed at least partially of regular citizens should be formed to look at the names of old and new stations as the system expands? This is serious, and we don’t think you’re really doing a good job. This is our transit system, we’re paying for it, and we want to have a say in its future.

  23. “Fenway” station is actually not where Fenway Park is; “Kenmore” is the station most use to access the stadium. And if you take the T commuter rail to Fenway Park, you go to “Yawkey.” See, even systems with simple names are confusing.

    I’m most familiar with New York, where the naming system is notoriously simple but strange (for instance, there are five 23rd Street stations in Manhattan, one in Queens, and one more on the way if the 2nd Ave Subway is ever completed). Most lines run under major streets for a large part of their route, so the names are usually the cross street that intersects with the major street the line is under (or over, in some places). See, if you’re on the 4 train, you’re supposed to know that you are on the Lexington Avenue Express, and thus 125th Street on the 4 is at 125th and Lexington. Major destinations are named with the cross street (i.e. 42nd Street-Grand Central, 161st St-Yankee Stadium). By this logic, all stations on the Expo Line would lose the superfluous “Expo” and would simply be Vermont Ave, Western Ave, Crenshaw Blvd, etc. and I guess Pico would be Pico Blvd-Staples Center.

    Outside Manhattan, this naming works the same way, though the lines are named based on the Manhattan trunk lines. If you want the corner of Fordham Road and Grand Concourse in the Bronx, you better know the D train runs on the IND Concourse Line in the Bronx, even if it’s called the 6th Avenue Express.

    New York has been on a tear lately making names less confusing, especially stations that are part of a complex. Broadway/Nassau in lower Manhattan is now officially Fulton Street, and the wonderfully named Atlantic Ave-Pacific St is now part of the Atlantic Ave-Barclays Center complex.

    The point is, it’s very easy and yet still confusing at times. The official word from the MTA is, I believe, “Tough. If you don’t get it, use a map.” Any naming scheme is going to run into problems, but at least New York’s is easy enough for locals, while also naming the big attractions so the millions of tourists can still try to use the subway. Naming stations after people, companies (as Philadelphia has done with AT&T Station), or a combination of non-major locations (like on the Washington Metro) will just confuse people, while at the same time longer names will also make the system map a complete mess, and thus, cause even more confusion.

  24. Boy MTA has nothing better to do with money but to rename stations and put up new signs. I remember the Kenneth Hahn station on the Blue Line which was changed to Watts; then we had the Imperial/Wilmington Station on the Blue and Green Lines which was changed to Rosa Parks Station and then changed again to Willowbrook Station. Why don’t you make up your minds what to call stations instead of wasting so much money changing station signs?

  25. Here is a great article on the subject:

    Money quotes:

    “You might think that, like in London or Paris or New York or San Francisco, the names of stations would generally be reserved for labels that help riders figure things out geographically. Well, not so much in LA going forward. […] So in a few years, the entire city will be clogged up with names of hundreds of elected officials and other quasi-notables not from the sweep of Los Angeles experience, but from a very narrow band of time in the personal memory of current politicians.”

  26. This is the dumbest idea ever. But it makes sense that our craven and useless LA politicians would want to curry favor with other politicos and pressure groups and scratch each others’ backs.

    Hopefully Metro will realize how completely ridiculous this is and stop.

  27. This is an absolute ridicule! Doesn’t Metro have anything better to do than wasting tax dollars in renaming stations after politicians?

    Keep it up like this, next thing you know they’ll be renaming the lines after politicians!

    “Take the President Ronald Reagan Line from Mayor Sam Yorty Station to Governor Gray Davis Station and you’ll be at Governor Arnold Schwarzeneggerland! See isn’t that simple?”

  28. Why stop there? Why not just rename the Red line the “Zev Yaraslowsky/Henry Waxman” Line; the Blue line the “Magic Johnson/Kenneth Hahn” line….Such ridiculousness.

    Keep it simple. Stations are locations not political remembrances.

  29. Disgusting. Who gave these people the authority to rename stations with their political and lobby buddies’ names?

    They do not care about public or neighborhood input on what the names should be. Instead they think they’re entitled to rename the stations after their friends and buddies, continuously wasting our tax dollars changing signs over and over again.

    As with someone said, if these politicians want to remember someone, they can do it with private donors and sponsors to set up a discreet plaque or memorial, not waste public funds in renaming station names.

  30. I would also like to add that I favor LAX’s idea of keeping station names simple.

    Changing Wilshire/Western to Koreatown West, Wilshire/Normandie to Koreatown Central, and Wilshire/Vermont to Koreatown East makes a lot more sense that fits to the geography and the culture of that area than bland street intersection names or with politicians’ names.

    It seems such an idea makes too much common sense that they rather waste tax dollars in altering names even more confusing to remember politicians instead.

  31. I think the argument that intersection-based station names are auto centric is not well founded. Pedestrian activity takes place on streets and businesses and attractions have street addresses. Intersection station names are good for corridor routes that run along the same street most the way and go through so many districts and by so many landmarks/attractions it would be arduous to fit everything into a station name. In any case, intersections are objective and simple.

  32. I’d like to add to my earlier comment on intersection-based names. It doesn’t always make sense to name after intersections, especially when stations aren’t placed on a major thoroughfare. For example, Memorial Park station is two blocks off of Colorado. I guess what it comes down to is- is this station serving a place/district or is it one of a series of stations serving a corridor?

  33. really stupid and self-serving, metro. station names are used as wayfinding information. “take the roybal line to tom bradley” is actually how you want people using the system?

  34. There are so many Metro Rail stations that ACTUALLY warrant renaming. Currently:

    “Artesia” Station is actually in Compton
    “Long Beach” Station is in Lynwood
    “Anaheim” Station is in Long Beach, in a completely different County than O.C..
    “San Pedro” Station is nowhere near San Pedro

    While it is not entirely wrong to use a nearby street to name a station, there are alternatives that make more sense, especially for new riders and tourists.

    Last year’s renaming of Mission Station to South Pasadena Station ….. THAT was the kind of renaming that makes sense.

  35. I think there should be a more democratic way of naming stations and lines.

    How about divide the process into two steps? Step one, let everyone in the local vicinity of a new line or station pitch in their ideas for a line or station names. Step two, tally up three of the most popular names and pick one out of the three.

    That would be a far democratic process to choose a line or station name then letting politicians or Metro choose one on their own on a whim.

  36. Metro spends a lot on abstract art, why not spend some of it on commemorating these politicians? Metro board members can also add these politicians’ names to their internal documents if they like making things more complicated for themselves, but the actual names used at the stations should reflect the locations of the stations. I believe using intersections as station names is fine, but for those stations that use only one street in its station name (ex. Anaheim Station, San Pedro Station) please put in the Blvd or St or Ave so we know it is not the city of Anaheim. Finally, I believe having residents who live around that station propose names is the best idea. If we are going to be spending the resources on renaming so many stations, I believe these resources should be spent on asking nearby residents, employees, and other stakeholders for their input.

  37. […] The Metro Purple Line Wilshire/Western Station will now be known as the “Wilshire/Western/Alfred Hoyun Song Station” in honor of Alfred Hoyun Song, former Mayor of Monterey Park and the first Asian American legislator elected to the California State Assembly in 1962. He was also the first Korean American to be elected to the California State Senate, where he distinguished himself as chairman of the Judiciary Committee. {…} […]