The future of Union Station — take Metro’s online survey!

Photo by Pedro Szekely, via Flickr creative commons

One of the more exciting things going on is Metro’s purchase of Union Station in April 2011. With this purchase, Metro kicked off an effort to develop a Master Plan to make it a 21st century transit station.

Metro is giving you the chance to chime in on this effort through an online survey available now through February 4th. TODAY IS THE LAST DAY!!!

A few fun facts for you to consider:

•Union Station opened in 1939.

•About 6,000 people used the station on a daily basis during its rookie year.

•Roughly 60,000 people pass through Union Station each day in 2013.

•In 2020, that’s projected to rise to 100,000 people a day with the completion of the Gold Line Foothill Extension to Azusa, the Expo Line to Santa Moncia and the Regional Connector that will tie together the Gold, Blue and Expo lines. There remains the possibility that high-speed rail one day might arrive at Union Station.

What should be done to ensure that Union Station has an appropriate mix of options onsite while also providing an excellent transit experience? It only takes a minute or two to fill out the survey to include your “vision” for the West’s classiest train station!

If you’re around Union Station, you may also see people with paper surveys available.

12 replies

  1. You need a place to get food at the east end of the station near Gateway Center and the Metro Customer Service where people in that area can get something to eat. Also, it would be nice to put a restaurant or something in the old restaurant area in Union Station that has been sitting empty for decades. Surely that area could be upgraded and used for some commercial use.

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  2. Not a good survey as there was no place for comments, so I didn’t fill it in. My comments: the last two times I took the elevator up to the Gold Line its windows were disgustingly dirty. So please clean them before you work on the rest of Union Station. I would rather that you don’t touch the old station. Leave it as it is as a period piece but put the restaurant back in operation. It is fun walking through the old station as it takes one back in time. We don’t have that much old in So. Calif. so we need reminders of how things looked in the past.

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  3. Let’s make the main pedestrian tunnel more enjoyable and memorable. Right now it’s supremely functional but not pleasant … like a freeway for people. The main thing I remember nowadays is plastic underneath the ceiling so seepage doesn’t drip on people. How about some classy light fixtures and updated ceiling/wall decor. The concrete floor could use an upgrade, too. All in the art deco style, natch.

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    • I agree with bzzzt. I noticed how uninteresting the tunnel was when I last walked through it. How about mosaic murals on the walls as they have in some of the Tokyo stations–here in the art deco style of course? Classy light fixtures as in the Moscow subways? Also, why not stands where musicians can play–not so off the wall as one of the treats of being in the Paris stations is the musicians playing in the walkways. Take the best from the stations throughout the world and bring it to LA! People will travel to Union Station just to see it.

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  4. No free-form comment area in the survey, so I’ll comment here:
    (1) Amtrak needs a First Class Lounge.
    (2) More restaurant space. Including a breakfast option.
    (3) Maintain and fix the old decorations and fittings; they’re beautiful.

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    • Yes, the old tiles are truly beautiful and must not be touched. Metro: If you want to continue the tile motif, there are places in L.A. where you can get tiles remade that are very similar to those already there. You can also find old light fixtures in architectural salvage stores. You will need to hire someone who is familiar with restoration–not someone who thinks they know what they are doing. For the hallways from the Gold Line, etc., it might be nice if you gave memory somewhere that the land Union Station is located used to be Chinatown. A display of photos of old LA might be something to consider.

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  5. 1) Make the tunnel more interesting like photos of Los Angeles
    2) The east end of the station needs a cafe
    3) Maintain the main station area. It’s BEAUTIFUL and should not be changed
    4) Open the closed off areas like the old ticketing area and get the old restaurant across the courtyard fully up and running
    5) Make the bar more fun, but keep the historic vibe
    6) AMTRAK needs to really update their lounge area
    7) Most importantly you need station agents, not just those silly tap gates that never work. In fact you need station agents throughout the system. You can’t claim to have a “world class” system without paying close attention to public safety. You need agents at every station.

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  6. I agree with bzzzt.

    I’m not a Metrolink or Amtrak user right now, but I often see their riders lost in the main tunnel. Not the regulars. These are intermittent and weekend riders. They are always asking others where do they go to catch the train to x y or z. People are helpful, but the occurence is far to frequent to let it continue without doing anything. The main hall needs improved signage. And, a waiting area by the entrances to Metrolink platforms, but not in the main hall. Could be underneath existing track or platform areas… Like a mezzanine area.

    The Gold Line entrance needs to be bigger. It is far too crowded between the elevators and ticketing machines. Could an additional platform and hallway entrance be constructed on the west side of the current one so that riders can exit either side? Also, a new direct hallway entrance from the Gold Line entrance area to the Red Line entrance could dramatically cut down on walking time between the two. Why do people need to walk by a pretzel stand or really… To the extreme ends of the Red Line platforms? Couldn’t there be a mid-station entrance to the Red?

    Personally, I hate the east end of the tunnel. Specifically, by the fish tanks. The ceiling is too low. Looks dark and dank. Not welcoming. Could the floor be blown out to sink that area lower and made more welcoming. It currently looks like only parking is beneath that area. No one will cry if a few parking spaces are lost. Further, maybe some eatery could be created there. Or, maybe a waiting area like on the west end.

    At night, the area on the east end by the high ceiling… Far too dark. Was the area designed with night-time riders in mind? That area needs a lot more lighting.

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  7. Was the last major train station built in The U.S. from nothing. As Art Leahy is oft to remind us, the station was quiet and empty before 1992.

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