New 'under construction' map for Metro Rail debuts

Click above to see larger.

Click above to see larger.

This is the latest “under construction” map produced by Metro. As you can see, there are five rail projects shown that aren’t on the usual day-to-day rail map: the second phase of the Expo Line, the Gold Line Foothill Extension, the Crenshaw/LAX Line, the Regional Connector and Purple Line Extension of the subway.

The first two of those are under construction while utility relocations are underway on the other three.

It’s pretty impressive, given that prior to July 1990 — when the Blue Line opened — there was no Metro Rail. Check out this interactive map that shows how the system has grown in the past 23 years. 

Metro Rail today has 87 miles of track and 80 stations and, of course, the system is set to expand beyond what’s shown above when other Measure R second and third decade projects are considered: the Eastside Gold Line Extension, the South Bay Green Line Extension, the Airport Metro Connector, the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor, the West Santa Ana Branch Corridor and the Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor. 

49 replies

  1. I agree with Sam Huddy above… I can see why they did it the way they did (they’re already pressed for space in the Downtown area as it is) but the 2nd/Hope station really should be north of the Red/Purple Line. Otherwise, it’s just confusing.

  2. One question I always have on the Metro Map: Why does it show the Union Station to LAX Flyaway and not the Van Nuys to LAX Flyaway? If it is going to show one Flyaway, shouldn’t it show them all?

  3. 2nd/Hope is on the “wrong side” of Pershing Square station…

    Also, I thought parking was eliminated at the Rancho Park station? The Westwood/Rancho Park name is pretty awful… should be just Rancho Park.

  4. Really need a 405 Line or some sort that connects SFV to Westside, LAX, and down to South Bay.

  5. +1 for Irwin’s concern about the Westwood/Rancho Park wording. On this map, the term “Westwood” sometimes refers to the Westwood neighborhood and sometimes refers to Westwood Blvd, making its use confusing across the board. Thankfully the names are probably not yet locked down, but I’d recommend adding “Blvd” (or “Bl”…ugh) where appropriate so as to minimize confusion.

    At least the “Downtown Santa Monica” station is now *correctly* named on the map! 🙂

  6. “As you can see, there are five rail projects shown that aren’t on the usual day-to-day rail map”

    Here’s a question to Metro: Why not show under construction AND planned improvements on the day-to-day map? These bits of information are a very important part of public information/education campaigns about what to expect and get excited about in public transit improvements. Here’s why these should be shown day-to-day:
    1. Encourages public support for planned improvements
    2. This is commonly the case in many cities within the US (e.g. when riding the Washington DC Metro for many years I often would look at the map in the train car and notice the “coming soon” or “planned” stations and lines)
    3. This is also true internationally (e.g. Beijing subway)
    4. Los Angeles residents were accustomed to this for years during the construction of the area’s freeways. I’m not talking about internal CalTrans documents – these were widespread and repeatedly shown. See any AAA map from previous years (e.g. 105 planned construction). If CalTrans can do it, why not Metro?
    5. Increased awareness of upcoming/planned routes by those outside of the transit advocacy community and even outside the transit using community only helps to refocus attitudes about LA’s transit options and garner future support for accelerating / increasing funding for improvements (e.g. a potential 2014/2016 county measure).

    I could easily come up with 5 more reasons – but my point having been made, why not show this “complete” map of current and future improvements in full size in every Metro station, on every train or BRT line, and at major Bus transit stations?

  7. I agree with “Explorer” There should definitely be a Heavy Rail Rapid line alongside the busy always packed 405 freeway from the Valley to LAX!! If Metro is building an East -West line the Expo Line from Downtown LA to the Santa Monica Pier then there should also be a North-South Line built to LAX International Airport Terminals 1-7, take the BART in San Francisco as an example.

    The Crenshaw/LAX line in my opinion is a good idea but really starts no where and goes no where… The names of the stations on Expo Phase 2 should also change Westwood/ Rancho Park to just “Rancho Park”, Expo/Sepulveda to “West LA station”, Expo/Bundy to just Bundy 26th/Bergamot to either 26th St station or just Bergamot Station, 17th/SMC to just 17th St station this station is 1 mile away from SMC and downtown SM to “Santa Monica Pier terminal station”… I hope to build and improve the future of Rapid Public Transport here in LA!! We can’t be stuck in traffic forever…

    • I believe a line across the Sepulveda Pass is planned as part of a corridor in that area, but the specific form (above ground, tunnel) is undetermine, nor would construction start until I’m a very old man (read “at least 2040”) nor is there funding for it (unlike the other lines shown). Even in the days of showing potential freeway lines, the only ones of interest were those with “routing determined” or “under construction”, and this line doesn’t even have that status yet. It’s too early to show such a line, although such a line would be great (says a 405 vanpooler).

      That said, that is one reason why the Van Nuys Flyaway omission is so glaring (and it also highlights why the Flyaway route should be modified to pick up at the Orange Line/Woodley station before getting on the freeway).

  8. The map is great but is 2 dimensional and not layered. Maybe someday it will show freeways and bus transfers. Downtown LA needs to show the Regional Connector and be geographically accurate. And estimated completion dates should be indicated. 2035 for the Purple Line may wake up the constituency for Villaraigosa’s accelerated construction funding.

  9. There needs to be direct link to LA’s Rapid Transport System from LAX International Airport… The Metro Green Line’s LAX station stops 3 miles away from LAX Terminals 1-7!! If other modern world-class cities such as San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney and Hong Kong all have direct links to their airports I think that LA deserves a direct Rapid Line to LAX!! Its 2013 already I would like to see this direct Rapid Line from the Valley to LAX Airport to be built in 7 years and be open for service by 2020…

  10. The map should include upcoming projects per @Jeremy Cogan.

    The Metro Creative Services staff should began a new map to better reflect geography downtown which would be a particular boon to visitors and those new to LA.

    Why not include Angels Flight?

  11. Lance Mako Linden,

    No, with the way Metro works, all those stations will be renamed after obscure local politicians like Expo/Sepulveda/Bill Rosendahl Station and 17th/SMC/Zev Yaroslavsky Station.

    Remember, it’s the folks working at Metro who decided it was a BRILLIANT idea to go with Wilshire/Western/Alfred Hoyun Song Station rather than something that makes sense like Koreatown Central/Wiltern Theater.

  12. Lance:
    It would not surprise me in the slightest if I were to learn of people who profit from the Flyaway Bus going to great lengths to prevent development of a direct, all-rail, single-seat route from Union Station to LAX.

    Regarding the “Crenshaw-LAX Line,” given that it doesn’t make it any closer to LAX than the Green Line does, I submit that it’s misnamed. And given that as currently planned, it never reaches downtown, either, and neither does it reduce the number of transfers needed to get between (almost) LAX and Union Station by rail, I submit that the best possible name for it would be, “The Trolley to Nowhere.”

    What I’d like to see would be for the Purple Line to turn South at the VA Hospital Station, and run all the way to LAX, and to have one car per train outfitted with luggage racks.

    I’ve ridden Boston’s Blue Line between Logan and Downtown. It’s good (connecting directly to the terminal circulator bus, but for most downtown destinations, you do have to transfer at least once (twice if your destination is on the Red Line). In Seattle, I have the good fortune that my hotel is within walking distance of a Sounder station, which provides a direct connection to the SeaTac’s parking structure (but a long walk, with luggage, at either end). Surely, we can do better.

  13. I agree with Jeremy Cogan.

    Furthermore, why not open up the stations as they get built? Why wait for the rest of the stations to be built?

    Instead of waiting for all the Expo Phase II stations to be built, just extend it once the Palms Station is ready. Then extend the service when Westwood/Rancho Park open, so on and so forth.

    Build them by each station, open it up as they are ready, and extend the service to that station as they get built. This would provide better public support that things are getting done quicker and more destinations are opening up faster rather than waiting for years looking at the completely built but yet empty and un-serviced station because the other stations aren’t ready yet. When people look at that, they see a big tax waste.

  14. James Lampert,

    FlyAway doesn’t make any profit. FlyAway is a shuttle bus provided by Los Angeles World Airports which is another local taxpayer funded government agency.

    Our tax dollars fund LAWA which is the government agency that is in charge of operating LAX, LAWA in turn pays Coach America with our tax money so they can provide the FlyAway services.

    Speaking financially, FlyAway makes no money and this can be viewed on LAWA’s BOAC FlyAway update presentations.

    At the present moment, it costs LA taxpayers $4,000,000 each year to run FlyAway which includes the Van Nuys facility and adding the ridership volume and everything, we keep losing money year after year trying to operate it. In 2012, FlyAway had a net loss of close to $3,000,000. So basically, there’s no profit in running FlyAway, just loss year after year with taxpayers paying for it.
    http://www.lawa.org/uploadedFiles/board_agenda/ManagementReports/boac120917yFlyAway%20Update.pdf

  15. While we’re discussing wishlist items, why is there NO discussion of a West Hollywood line? There is a glaring omission from Hollywood/Highland west and south to Wilshire/Fairfax or Wilshire/La Cienega. Also the Crenshaw line should be extended north to the Red Line.

    Why was the Regional Connector prioritized above potential projects to extend rail to more areas? It’s basically a very expensive convenience option which serves no new residents.

  16. Why can’t this put be put up NOW in all stations so people will know what the next lines and stations are ? As long as the under construction sections are clearly marked “opening 2015” etc, this would give Metro 2-3 years of essentially free advertising BEFORE the lines open rather than waiting until AFTER they open. This allows people to think about where their next job, school or residence could be. I wrote to Metro about this couple months ago and no response so far 🙁

  17. Yes, these maps need to be on the trains and stations. The “under construction” lines give perspective to the system, and after all, us the taxpayers are paying for it anyway.

    I once had a conversation with a rider on the Expo Line who had *no* idea that the line is not only being extended, but going to Santa Monica, in a couple years.

    The general public needs to know that lines are being planned and built, not just transit geeks and readers of this website.

  18. “Furthermore, why not open up the stations as they get built? Why wait for the rest of the stations to be built?”

    Daryl L: This is not how light rail projects are built, It may not make sense to you, but there are contractors and sub-contractors who are building the line both in increments and also simultaneously. They don’t just build stations, but the rails, the electric power lines, the signals and the landscaping. Also, there needs to be a testing phase for the line once completed. In actuality, if things were done how you want them to open, the line would take a few more years to build and woud be much more costly.

    It might make more sense to do that for Metrolink, which already has most of the rails and signaling in place — that is built on an existing infrastructure, which is the reason why you can have such a large system for a relatively low cost. But the Expo Line involves removing old tracks and putting tracks on the street, which is a more complex project. It’s basically building a line out of scratch.

  19. Downtown looks goofy. Doesn’t the future Blue and Expo lines cross north of the Res and Purple lines at 7th/Metro? Heck, it does now.

    Will the Regional Connector go east along 7th Street?

  20. What? The Crenshaw Line will stop at the Green Line Aviation Station on the I105? I thought it was going to go to Redondo Beach?

  21. Now that Metro has the Silver Line between Harbor Gateway and El Monte with stops in Downtown LA; I never ride take Metrorail from the South Bay any longer. When I went on Metrorail; I had to take the Green Line to the Blue Line to the Red or Purple Line. The Silver Line is much faster to get to Downtown LA and I do not have to transfer or deal with the vendors who constantly plague the Blue Line.

  22. Actually, the LACTC Blue Line opened for operation terminating at the originally planned terminus of Flower & Pico (Pico/Chic Hern station). Special RTD buses ferried passengers between the area of 6th and Flower to the Pico station for, I’m not certain for precisely how long, but almost a year or so while the hastily planned extension of Blue line to 7th street Red Line station was under construction. It would be great of the video reflected this as it is a matter of correct history and demonstrates in spite of “the war” between LACTC and SCRTD the resulted in NO CONNECTION of the two lines at 7th Street, the people and politicians of LA demanded and funded the logical connection of the two lines after a Times article exposed this terrible consequence of two transportation agencies despising each other and not cooperating. Thankfully, that is history.

  23. R Camino: It’s LAWA (Los Angeles World Airports) money that funds Flyaway service; not a penny from LA City General fund nor LACMTA. All the money that is LAWA is either Federal for all manor of operations, improvements, etc. or generated by operations at the airports, and after all expenses, LAWA still have plenty of money left over. The point being that LAWA and other semi-independent departments of the City of Los Angeles are required to be “profit” or self-sustaining operations, and as such, never require a penny of City of LA General Fund nor LACMTA funds. This means that LAWA is able to fund or subside programs such as Flyaway without impacting the “tax payers” in any direct manner, which means LAWA can afford to subsidize it. Remember, freeways, tollways, all public transit all over the world is subsidized and operated at a “loss.” That’s why the private companies got OUT of the public transit and commuter rail business decades ago (Japan is an extreme exception, but EVERYBODY in TOKYO takes trains), yet people don’t whine about that subsidy nor about the subsidies the airports get from the Feds.

    Further, the vast majority of LAWA money can only be used for airport operations, maintenance or airport related projects, like Flyaway, by Federal law, nor does Federal law allow most of LAWA money to be transferred to the City of LA General or other Funds. Even at the LA City Charter prescribed maximum transfer amount of 11% of revenue to LA City General or other Funds, LAWA money allowed to be transferred would be far less because of Federal law. So, if the tons of LAWA money isn’t spent on something useful to at least some people like Flyaway, we would see more mult-million dollar light columns decorating LAX, VNY, ONT, and Palmdale. Otherwise, the banks get richer with all that money just sitting in accounts :).

    The real problem is that LAWA doesn’t spend MORE money on other useful things, like at least PART of any proposed transit to LAX. It would be a hopscotch of funding NOT to break Federal law, but it could be done. Only recently has LAWA seemed willing to pay for what it legally can for proposed transit alternatives.

  24. Rick Beaver: is not the Silver Line bus more expensive than fare on rail most other MTA buses? That’s the only reason I don’t or can’t use it along the El Monte busway. I just don’t buy any of the excuses for premium pricing of fares that are MTA Express bus services nor the even higher Silver line. More people would take it if it were the same base fare as all the other bus and rail services. Express step-up really chaps my hyde :).

  25. James Lampert: I think you meant to say Sound Transit’s Central Link line to SEA. Sound Transit’s Sounder is their commuter rail service, like Metrolink. I know. Transit names and services all seem to be a mush of too many similar names. People here often confuse Metro and Metrolink.

  26. I would live to see Pasadena connected to noho, stopping at the metrolink station in downtown Burbank.

  27. Aren’t the Orange and Silver rapid buses and not rail. They should be on the rapid bus map and not rail. Naming a bus route with a color is the essence of the saying “putting lipstick on a pig.”

  28. Not to be too much of a planning nerd – but isn’t the Regional Connector line off on the map? I think that the Second/Hope station is in the wrong location.

  29. Yes, it’s a nice video but not completely accurate. When the Blue Line opened it initially ran only from Pico to Anaheim Street. The Long Beach loop and Downtown LA tunnel portions were not yet done when the line opened. Also, the “Purple Line” didn’t open in 1996: it was still considered part of the “Red Line”, until it was renamed “Purple Line” in 2006.

    Yes, nitpicking…but that what we do best! Overall, a good video.

  30. Wait!!! Why hasn’t metro changed the names of the Slauson station? There are currently 2 stations which are named the same. The Slauson blue line station and the slauson silver line station.

  31. HarryKerryJr.

    You have many “facts” wrong here.

    “All the money that is LAWA is either Federal…”

    Still taxes. Federal, state, local, what ever the source it still means it’s run with taxes. LAWA is a government agency run with tax dollars. If LAWA is profitable, it can privatize like most major airports in the world have gone that route.

    “Remember, freeways, tollways, all public transit all over the world is subsidized and operated at a “loss.” That’s why the private companies got OUT of the public transit and commuter rail business decades ago (Japan is an extreme exception)”

    In that past, that rebuttal may have flown. Now, the more knowledgeable folks here have shown us enough evidence that in addition to Japan, there’s also Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore which are also profitable and run as a private enterprise. So clearly, that’s not just “Japan as a sole exception.” Google up the facts and we see that what we’ve been lead to believe is a total lie; there are plenty of profitable transit systems all over the world. Somehow, American transit operators just don’t want to admit that these places exist.

    “but EVERYBODY in TOKYO takes trains”

    So there are no cars, buses, and taxis in Tokyo? Or how about elsewhere in Japan? Do not the Japanese build cars? Why do they have automobile manufacturers like Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi, and Honda then? For export? Or because there’s demand within Japan too? Outside of Tokyo a car is needed in rural areas. Yet JR, private company, makes profit all over Japan even where cars are the norm. Why?

    I can already see your rebuttal. Oh but Japan has high registration rates, has toll roads, high gas tax so to make car ownership unfeasible and make more people take trains. Yes, they do. But yet, when you look at the tsunami footage, you saw a whole bunch of cars being washed away. So clearly car ownership in Japan is high despite all this. So that means high registration, toll roads and gas doesn’t mean 100% of them forego the car to mass transit. If no one rides a car, how are they going to get the funds then?

    The reality is that their mass transit are private corporations that do multiple things in conjunction with running mass transit. Mass transit is a small part of their operations. Their mass transit companies are also real estate developers. They make huge money from their real estate business and ventures and use profits from that to run mass transit. This is something that the US has yet to figure out how to do. It’s called job diversification.

  32. A train going down Crenshaw Bl is going “nowhere?” I agree that the Crenshaw line (like many of our regional rail projects) is cut short and could be improved. But to suggest that this area of LA has nothing to offer is pure racism in action. Check the racial/ethnic census data of areas you deem to be valuable and areas that you consider “nowhere.”

  33. Please remember, that this portion of the Crenshaw line is the center/middle segment. Once its extended north to the Purple/Wilshire & Red/Hollywood on the north and then Torrance and Long Beach on the south end, it will be the second north/south main, with a bonus of serving an major airport. Another line with major ridership potential.

  34. With potentially 5 lines under contraction this time next year, of the remaining lines on Prop R, which would you think would be built next? ELA/605, SoBay/Green, WSAB, ESFV,405/Sep pass?

  35. I think the Crenshaw/LAX line is just pointless. Just make faster bus lines service there. The purple line extension should be attended to first because it is long overdue. Green line to Torrance would be nice.