A better Blue Line: 30-day closure of four Blue Line stations in Long Beach to begin Sept. 20

The track switch near Downtown Long Beach Station will be moved so trains can run more reliably. Photo: Anna Chen/Metro

The track switch near Downtown Long Beach Station will be moved and renewed so trains can run more reliable service. Photo: Anna Chen/Metro

Heads up, Blue Line commuters: Metro will start work on station and rail improvements in Long Beach on Saturday, September 20. The work will require a 30-day closure of four Blue Line stations in downtown Long Beach: Downtown Long Beach Station, Pacific Street Station, 1st Street Station and 5th Street Station. Metro will operate free bus shuttles in place of rail service in the Long Beach Loop during the closure.

Customers will be able to ride the bus shuttles from Anaheim Street Station to the four stations listed above at no charge. Shuttles will run at the same Blue Line service levels and will be scheduled to meet trains for transfers. At Anaheim Street Station, regular train service will continue northward to Los Angeles.

Work at the four Long Beach stations will include installing new tile, lighting, paint and extending station canopies. Other work will involve replacing a switch between tracks near Downtown Long Beach Station and rail inspection and replacement.

The work is part of the $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 underway. Metro will make every effort to minimize disruptions to service while work is being done, but in this case, some disruption is inevitable. While dealing with any kind of service disruption can be a huge headache, please keep in mind that when the work is completed, the Blue Line should have more reliable service.

Buses in Long Beach will be detouring off 1st Street to Ocean Avenue during the closure. First Street will be closed from Long Beach Boulevard to Pacific Avenue during construction. Pedestrian and bicycle access on 1st Street will remain open.

We will continue to 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.

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26 replies

      • And this is why nothing ever gets done. It takes months and months to perform a study on whether we should make people pay to ride a train.

      • And if you look at that pdf that Steve linked, Metro wasted thousands of dollars in taxpayer money to do studies for something obvious as adding gates, only to come up with an answer “no it can’t be done.” No wonder we’re going broke. The whole bureaucracy is complete joke.

      • What are the determining factors in deciding whether a given at-station will have a center or side platform? Which configuration is generally preferred?

      • Well, 5th, 1st and Pacific are just one track and one platform, though in the middle of a two-way street.

        I never understood why Long Beach was built as a loop rather than a stub end.

  1. They should rather just consolidate some or all of those four Long Beach terminus into one station.

    • That’s a good suggestion. The Blue Line loop provides more coverage to downtown Long Beach than in any other area served by Metro Rail, with four stations spaced one-quarter mile apart. By comparison, downtown LA (which is obviously much denser than downtown Long Beach) has stations spaced one-half mile apart, and this spacing won’t improve much with the regional connector.
      Most (75-80 percent) of the Blue line riders on the Long Beach loop use either the 5th Street or Long Beach Transit Mall station. They could close the 1st Street and Pacific stations and most passenger would still be within walking distance (at most an extra 5 minute walk for a healthy adult) and they would be able to trim a couple minutes off of the run time.
      Of course I wouldn’t want to be the person who had to show up at the public meeting and tell the riders that I was going to close their station!

      • Blueline has to stop at 1st St. traffic light regardless if there is no station before making the 45 degree turn into the Transit Mall so eliminating the stop would not reduce run time, which is moot given the layover at the Transit Mall. Regarding the Pacific Station, if you live 2+ blocks west of Pacific, it would become a considerable walk to get the Transit Mall if eliminated The loop is not going anywhere so what benefit is there in eliminating existing stops? None and the effect on run time is minimal at best. BTW, the primary effect to run time between Willow and the Transit Mall are the traffic lights, however with so many feeders to and from the 710, giving priority to the B.line would great a traffic nightmare.

      • If you think that’s stupid, look at the stations proposed in the Crenshaw Line. Aviation/Century and Aviation/96th is only 1400 feet apart.

        Total waste of money when they can be built into one giant station instead. Wasting money is an addiction with our government.

  2. I hope they have a chance to clean the blue line trains, that’s one way to make it better, the trains on the gold line and green line are always clean but the blue line always has the dirtiest trains but I will have to say its been a very long time since I have seen a trashy bus, I think our system is now one of the newest and cleanest in the country.

  3. One day (in my lifetime), I would LOVE to see the Long Beach Loop replaced with a two-way tunnel under Pine Avenue, with two stops: an underground stop at Pine/Ocean, and an above-ground (or elevated) terminus at Pine/Shoreline (at the Long Beach Convention Center).

    Ah, one can dream…

  4. > Wow, it’s just like the Summer of 1990 again!
    I remember that period: the Blue Line initially ran from Anaheim to Pico, while the Long Beach Loop and the 7th/Metro station (and the subway leading thereto) were being built. And I was there when the free rides were being given out. Nearly a quarter-century of riding MetroRail, and there’s been exactly one occasion when I felt my life was in danger. (I get that every other month, driving the freeways!)

  5. Will there be any impact on normal bus service (Long Beach Transit, LADOT, Metro 232, Torrance Transit) in the area such as detours, or will the work be strictly limited to the tracks and not on any of the streets?

    • Hi John,

      Buses that usually travel along 1st Street will be detoured to Ocean Avenue. First Street will be closed between Long Beach Boulevard and Pacific Avenue. Signage will be posted directing riders to the detour stops.

      Anna Chen
      Writer, The Source

  6. What the blue line needs is major improvements. First of all, the line has delays everyday due to “maintenance” and disable trains. None of the other lines have numerous delays like the Blue line. And what about landscaping and updating station signage?

  7. Will the routes and stops for the Blue Line Shuttle be published online so those of us who would normally use the Metro Blue Line have a idea where to go to meet the shuttles?

    TiA

    • Hi Steven,

      Yes, we’ll be sharing that information as soon as it’s finalized and will make sure to publicize as we get closer to the closure date.

      Anna Chen
      Writer, The Source

  8. Can we take the time and funds currently planned for making the stations look prettier and put it towards syncing up the Blue Line with traffic lights instead? Maybe station some officers at these stations and in the trains to prevent people from, say, smoking marijuana or panhandling on the platforms and in the train cars?

    • Joe,
      I believe traffic signals are operated and managed by LADOT so Metro would have to work with them in order sync the traffic signals. Secondly, if LADOT isn’t interested changing the timing for affected intersections then no amount of money or pleading from Metro is going get the traffic signals synced. I believe that there’s an issue with the Metro Orange Busway where LADOT won’t give the buses signal priority.