Weekend Gold Line closure in Little Tokyo begins Friday night

shoefly regional little tokyo

The closures are being done to move the existing tracks in the middle of 1st Street to the north side of the street (left in photo above) in order to build a new tunnel entrance in the middle of the street.

The closures are being done to move the existing tracks in the middle of 1st Street to the north side of the street (left in photo above) in order to build a new tunnel entrance in the middle of the street.

The shuttle bus will run from Patsaouras Bus Plaza at Union Station to 1st/Judge John Aliso and then to the Pico/Aliso Station.

Bus shuttles will run from Patsaouras Bus Plaza at Union Station to 1st/Judge John Aliso and then to the Pico/Aliso Station.

Major track relocation work will be taking place on the Gold Line in the Little Tokyo area as tunneling work begins for the Regional Connector project. The Gold Line tracks must be moved from the middle of 1st Street to the north side in order to build the new tunnel entrance for the tracks in the middle of the street.

The Regional Connector will be a 1.9-mile underground light rail line that will connect the Blue, Expo and Gold Line. Once the work is completed in February 2016, Gold Line train service will be restored to normal operation with a modified south entrance to the Little Tokyo Station.

•From Friday, Nov. 20 starting at 9 p.m. through the end of service Sunday, Nov. 22: Bus shuttles will replace Gold Line train service between Union Station and Pico/Aliso Station. Bus shuttles will operate every 10 minutes. The trip between Union Station and Pico Aliso Station is expected to take about 15 minutes. There will be Metro staff on hand to help customers navigate shuttles as well as station signage in place.

•From Friday, Dec. 4 starting at 9 p.m. through February 2016: bus shuttles will replace Gold Line train service between Union Station and Pico/Aliso Station. Bus shuttles will operate every six minutes during weekday peak periods and every 10 minutes midday, evening, nights and weekends. The trip between Union Station and Pico Aliso Station is expected to take about 15 minutes. There will be Metro staff on hand to help customers navigate the shuttle as well as station signage in place.

•If you do not want to deal with the bus shuttles, please consider using the Metro Local Bus 30, which runs between the Gold Line’s Indiana Station in Boyle Heights and downtown Los Angeles.

•During both closures: Gold Line service will operate between Pico/Aliso Station and Atlantic Station in East L.A. every 10 minutes during peak hours. Service between Union Station and Sierra Madre Villa in East Pasadena will continue to run its regular schedule.

Vehicle traffic will also be impacted by the closures. Specifically:

–One lane will remain open on Alameda Street between Temple Street and 2nd Street.

–Westbound 1st Street will be closed between Alameda Street and Vignes Street from Dec. 4, 2015 through February 2016.

–One lane on eastbound 1st Street will remain open between Alameda Street and Vignes Street.

–Full closures of 1st Street between Central Avenue and Alameda Street will also take place intermittently with detours around the work area.

Here’s the construction notice.

The Regional Connector will include three new underground stations at 1st Street/Central Avenue (which will replace the street level Little Tokyo Station), 2nd Street/Broadway and 2nd Place/Hope Street in downtown Los Angeles. The rail line, expected to be completed in 2020, is projected to attract 17,000 new daily riders and save up to 20 minutes off commuting times by reducing the need to transfer for those traveling on the Blue, Expo and Gold Lines to and through downtown L.A.

The Connector will allow Metro to operate an east-west light rail line between downtown Santa Monica and East Los Angeles and a north-south line between Azusa and Long Beach. Riders can transfer from one line to the other at any of five downtown L.A. stations (Pico, 7th/Metro, 2nd/Hope, 2nd/Broadway and 1st/Central). The Connector will also allow more frequent service light rail service. 

map_corridor_reg_conn_eng

For more information about the Regional Connector and for construction updates, visit metro.net/regionalconnector.

15 replies

  1. The illustration you’ve posted seems to be in error. It shows the Gold Line traveling to Santa Monica on Expo tracks, instead of Blue Line trackage to Long Beach as the route has been designed to do. What’s correct? Thanks.

    • Hi Joseph;

      It’s not the clearest illustration. To try to put in plain English: one set of trains will run between downtown Santa Monica and East L.A. The other set will run between Azusa and Long Beach. That means the Gold Line won’t run between East L.A. and Pasadena. Hope that helps,

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

    • Joseph R. Cota,

      One of the components of the Regional Connector segment is a rail way re-alignment of the Gold, Expo, and Blue Lines that you know of today.

      The Gold Line that you know of today (the “C” shape soute from Sierra Madre Villa to Atlantic) will be different from the Gold Line of the future. The Gold Line of the future will become a West-to-East line from Santa Monica to East LA (towards El Monte or Whittier).

      The Blue Line that you know of today (the inverted “?” mark route from Long Beach to 7th Metro) will be different from the Blue Line of the future. The Blue Line of the future will become a North-to-South line from Long Beach to Azusa.

      This map would be helpful for you to visualize it (look at “A” and “E” lines)
      http://i.imgur.com/MtLj0r4.jpg

      • Thanks for the more clarifying illustration shown. Now it’s much clearer to me, what they’re going to look like as to direction and purpose.

      • Can you really call that a “North-South” line when it’s extending to Azusa and beyond? I’ve always found that terminology strange because ultimately, from Downtown, you’ll have one segment heading south, one heading west, and two heading east.

        What it really comes down to is whether Blue or Expo deserves the direct connection to Union Station. I’m not convinced that the Expo Line shouldn’t have that direct connection. The routing should be decided based on anticipated ridership, not based on which arrows look prettier on a map.

      • In the LA, it’s the common to use cardinal directions on freeways and trains, even though it maybe headed in a different direction.

        For example, if you’re driving a car and if you’re in Studio City and going to Ventura, you go on US-101 “North” despite that it’s heading west, because overall, US-101 is a north-to-south route that goes from LA to Olympia, WA.

        If you’re in Azusa and you’re heading to Pasadena, you’ll be taking the “southbound” Blue Line train heading towards Long Beach because overall, the train route is heading southwards to LB, despite you’re actually going westward from Azusa to Pasadena.

        But, this can also be different from location to location as well as countries.

        In New York, most locals refer to “uptown” and “downtown” while London, Hong Kong and Tokyo uses the simpler term “up” and “down.” And they don’t follow a convention that heading towards the city or heading north is “up” or heading away from the city or going south is “down” either. For example the meaning of “up” is switched from London (heading towards London’s city center) and Hong Kong (heading away from Hong Kong’s city center). And in France they use “even” and “odd” to refer to directions of the train. And when you have a circular loop line, they usually refer it to “inner” and “outer.”

  2. How will New Year’s Eve service be affected? I know the Gold Line is traditionally run 24 hours on New Year’s Eve to accommodate for partiers and Rose Parade spectators. Will it still run 24 hours between Pico/Aliso and Atlantic, and will the bus bridge also be in effect all night?

    • Elson:

      Good question. I think — and will check to be certain — that the bus bridge will remain in effect over the holidays. This is a big deal and involves actually moving the existing track and re-working the turn into Little Tokyo Station.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

    • Hi Elson,

      Currently that is indeed the plan: shuttles will be running, 24 hours. We’ll be able to update details as we get a little bit closer to holidays.

      Thanks!

      Anna Chen
      Writer, The Source

  3. Steve,

    I believe that the future Central/1st Street station, will be the most shallow in depth, and thus,the only station of the Regional Connector WITHOUT A MEZZANINE? Is this a good or bad thing from any standpoint?

  4. If you look at Page ES-16 in the executive summary of the Final EIS/EIR for the Regional Connector project, there is a figure that shows how it will eventually work in this area (http://media.metro.net/projects_studies/connector/images/Final_EIR/executive_summary_part2_of_3.pdf). Westbound trains will enter a tunnel just before the intersection of 1st Street and Alameda St. Northbound trains will exit a tunnel just north of the intersection of 1st and Temple. I’m still a little fuzzy on how it will work during the construction phase. It seems like there will be significant disruptions in Gold Line service for a few years (since the existing Little Tokyo station will eventually get demolished, right?), but it’ll be awesome once it’s done.

    • Does that mean that the Gold Line (though it will technically be part of the Blue Line) will still get stopped at Temple St to let cross-traffic go? That really bugs me and I would hope that with the regional connector that the train would not get stopped at Alameda/Temple like it does today.

  5. Gold Line ridership on the East L.A. side will drop for several years during the construction. It won’t make a big difference, because we like our cars on this side of the river !