A Better Blue Line: major track improvement work on Blue Line set to start

A southbound Blue Line train approaching the Vernon station. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

A southbound Blue Line train approaching the Vernon station. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

A few months ago, Metro announced a $1.2 billion overhaul taking place on the Metro Blue Line. Some of the updates have already been completed, and many others–including major track improvement work–are now getting underway. Metro will make every effort to minimize disruptions to service while work is being done, but as you may have noticed, it’s inevitable some service will be affected.

While dealing with any kind of service disruption is a huge pain in the rear, please keep in mind that once the project is finished, the Blue Line will be better than ever. The end goal is more reliable, frequent service.

We will continually update The Source with more information on the project as it progresses. You can also check the Blue Line Upgrades page for rail alerts or follow Metro on Twitter @metrolosangeles or @metrolaalerts to get service advisories.

Keep reading after the jump to get an idea of what’s being improved.

  • rail replacement from Willow to Downtown Long Beach 
  • improved insulation of rail
  • addition of pedestrian gates and warning devices at crossings
  • replacement and upgrading of overhead catenary system (overhead wires) in downtown Los Angeles and downtown Long Beach areas, improvements will also support future Regional Connector
  • refurbishment of stations, including platforms and canopies
  • replacement of station lighting with more reliable, efficient LEDs
  • replacement of train control system
  • addition of four new crossovers (signals system)
  • replacement of message boards with LCD displays

6 replies

  1. Where is this funding coming from? $1.2B is a large chunk of change to just dig out of the couch cushions at Metro.

    These are all great improvements, but it is a shame that there are no plans to build express tracks. This line is waaaaaaay too slow to be usable for the full trip between downtown LA and downtown LB. I have done it once and never again.

  2. Many Blue Line stations desperately need an upgrade and overhaul. The platforms are too narrow to put any turnstiles. There needs to be more space dedicated for retail.

  3. Metro,

    It says above that “refurbishment of stations, including platforms and canopies,” don’t you think it would be wise enough to add retail space while at it?

    Do it right at the same time. You add retail space, you can rent that space out to merchants and retailers, you can gain additional revenue.

    It’s not going to cover the entire cost of running Metro, but it’ll help. Bringing in an extra thousands of bucks month by collecting rent from merchants is a lot better than zero.

    And think of the sales taxes that will be generated from legalized vendors in the system. Illegal vendors don’t contribute anything to society. They don’t collect sales taxes. Adding in a 7-Eleven to a station, they do!

  4. I concur that some of the money should be made as direct investment to secure more capital for Metro operations. Some of the grant funds could also be used to convert free parking spaces on the Blue Line into paid lots. Parking fees can go a long way in providing Metro with much needed capital. Adding more room to install turnstiles and gates is a no brainer because everyone has to pay into the system. Renting out retail space is another option Metro should seriously consider. Metro should use the money wisely because now they have the money to undo some of the mistakes of the past and is should spend money now to make money and constant revenues down the road. It’s the basic principle of economics.