This Friday night, April 18, essential track maintenance will continue on a key crossover of the Metro Blue Line. After 8 p.m., trains will again run every 40 minutes between 7th Street/Metro Center and Willowbrook Station, and will serve the remainder of the Blue Line, between Willowbrook and Long Beach, every 20 minutes.
This means every other northbound train will turn around at Willowbrook Station, and its destination sign departing Downtown Long Beach will read either “Willowbrook” or “Imperial.” Customers should expect all trains to arrive on the Downtown L.A.-bound track between Vernon and Willowbrook stations. Expo Line will be unaffected by the track work and will follow a regular Friday evening schedule, departing every 10 minutes.
Why the exceptionally long wait for trains between 7th Street/Metro Center and Willowbrook? As we mentioned earlier, the maintenance is taking place on a crossover–or switch point–which trains use to move from one track to the other. When work occurs directly on a crossover, trains traveling in both directions must take turns sharing a significantly larger segment of track than they would during routine maintenance. (For more on this, and other track improvement work planned for the Blue Line in the near future, see the last two paragraphs of this post.)
For Blue Line departure times from 7th Street/Metro Center and Downtown Long Beach Station, please refer to Metro’s Service Advisories page. Please note these times may be subject to work-related delays.
If you arrive at 7th Street/Metro Center or Willowbrook with 40 minutes until the next train, consider the Metro Silver and Green Lines as an alternative. Extra buses will run on the Silver Line after 9 p.m., Friday night, increasing the level of service to every 20 minutes. The Green Line will follow a regular Friday evening schedule, with trains departing every 20 minutes.
Metro customer service agents at 7th Street/Metro Center and Willowbrook Station will be providing single-use, polka-dot TAP cards that customers can use to take both the Silver and the Green Line for the price of a one-way Blue Line fare ($1.50). Customers using these temporary cards should TAP when entering the Green Line, and show them to their bus operator when boarding the Silver Line.
Metro customer service agents will be on hand at 7th/Metro and Willowbrook to assist riders from 8 p.m. to close of service. Please note, these temporary TAP cards will only function this Friday evening, and are only for travel between 7th Street/Metro Center and Willowbrook Station. Additionally, if tapped on a Silver Line bus validator, the cards will have no loaded value to open the Green Line turnstiles at Harbor Freeway Station–so remember: all that’s needed on Silver Line is a quick visual inspection by your bus operator and you’re good to go!
The Metro Blue Line is the second busiest light rail line in the United States, averaging over 84,000 weekday boardings. The work this Friday night and for two more Friday nights over the couple of months is related to rehabilitation of the train control/signaling system to ensure reliable performance over the next 25 years. To complete this task, old sections of rail containing embedded components will be replaced with new sections of rail with updated components. The first of four sections was installed Friday night, March 28.
The process normally takes 6 to 8 hours for each rail, so we work from 9pm Friday night until the first scheduled train on Saturday morning. However, as with any complex project, there is a chance that the next day’s service will be impacted. This is why we do this type of work on Friday or Saturday nights (instead of Sunday night or other weeknights), so any unforeseen work delays not impact a weekday morning commute, which is significantly heavier than weekend ridership.
Thank you for your understanding as we work to improve the Metro Blue Line.