A Better Blue Line: Blue Line to run every 40 minutes between DTLA and Willowbrook tonight

Essential track maintenance will continue on a key crossover of the Metro Blue Line tonight. 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.

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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.

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Service Advisory: Blue Line to run every 40 mins between DTLA-Willowbrook tonight

We wish we could say you read that wrong, Blue Line customers…

Unfortunately, due to essential track maintenance, Blue Line will run every 40 minutes between 7th Street/Metro Center and Willowbrook Station tonight after 8 p.m. Trains will serve the remainder of the Blue Line, between Willowbrook and Long Beach, every 20 minutes after 8 p.m. This means every other northbound train will turn around at Willowbrook Station, and its destination sign will either display “Willowbrook” or “Imperial.” Customers should expect all trains continuing to 7th Street/Metro Center 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 Blue Line trains between DTLA and Willowbrook? It has to do with the location of the required maintenance. Typically, when work is being done on one track, trains will use switch points–or crossovers–to access the opposite track and navigate around work crews. Friday night’s maintenance is unique because it is actually being performed on one of these switch points, meaning trains traveling in both directions must take turns sharing a significantly larger segment of track than they would during routine maintenance.

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 slight work-related delays.

If you arrive at 7th Street/Metro Center or Willowbrook with 40 minutes until the next train, consider using the Metro Silver and Green Lines as a travel alternative. Additional buses will run on the Silver Line after 9 p.m., Friday night, increasing the level of service to every 20 minutes (as opposed to the usual 40). 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 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, Harbor Freeway (Green/Silver Line), and Willowbrook (Blue/Green Line) 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.

What’s the connection between Ice Age creatures and the Metro Purple Line?

Metro’s popular quarterly cable television show this winter tackles the often asked question: What does the Metro Purple Line have in common with Ice Age mammoths? Hint: Location. Location. Location.

We meet a woman who wrote a book about a formerly forgotten Hollywood star … while commuting to work on the Red Line. And she tells us “how to.”

We learn where the traffic hot spots are in our region and what Metro is doing to make them better.

We pedal through downtown Los Angeles on a scary/busy week day to explore some of the best and safest bike routes and how they connect with beautiful Union Station, L.A’s transit hub. While we’re in the neighborhood, we stop to energize at a few bike-friendly locales … one of which uses pedal power to create its food.

We dine on a delicious and discounted breakfast before we hop on the Blue Line to Long Beach for a visit to the Aquarium of the Pacific (discounted) and to a historic (and discounted) dining spot. Did we mention that everything is discounted for Metro patrons?

Metro Motion runs quarterly on cable stations throughout Los Angeles County. It is co-produced by Santa Monica City TV.

No Blue Line or Expo Line service Sunday night in downtown Los Angeles due to overhead wire issue

Damaged overhead wires. Photo by Metro.

Damaged overhead wires. Photo by Metro.

Here is the explanation from Metro for tonight’s disruption to Blue Line and Expo Line service in downtown Los Angeles:

At 4:54 pm, the Overhead Catenary System (OCS) on the Blue and Expo lines just south of downtown was damaged. Currently, the lines are hanging low and there is no rail service on the Blue Line from 7th/Metro to Grand and on the Expo Line from 7th/Metro to 23rd Street. It is believed that the pantograph from a passing train damaged the OCS.

Work is ongoing to repair the OCS and it may take until the morning hours of Monday to complete the job.

The best way to get up-to-the-minute updates is the service alerts tab on the right side of metro.net’s home page or Metro’s Twitter feed.

Downtown Long Beach Station signage to change by end of September

The Metro Blue Line Transit Mall Station in Long Beach was renamed Downtown Long Beach Station to more clearly reflect the location. The name change was approved by the Metro Board of Directors at their last meeting in July.

Revisions will be made to the station’s overhead displays, as well as its map case signs and Braille/raised-letter signs located on the station platform. Revisions also will be made to onboard audio announcements reflecting the new station name.

The revisions to fixed signage are anticipated to be completed and installed by the end of September, so keep an eye out! Revisions to maps, brochures and other printed materials that are updated periodically will be made as each item is reprinted.

Get funky for 4th of July and save on souvenirs with Metro

Funky fun from last year's Funk Fest! Photo via Long Beach Funk Fest

Funky fun from last year’s Funk Fest! Photo via Long Beach Funk Fest Facebook

Celebrate the 4th of July the funky way! This 4th of July weekend, the Fifth Annual Long Beach Funk Fest on Saturday July 6th is ready to keep the funk alive right off the Metro Blue Line.

Starting at noon, the Funk of July will include a full day’s worth of memorable funk performances on two stages, several DJs, dancers, beverages from Beachwood Brewing and Congregation Ale House and a variety of on-site activities and vendors. Some funk artists include Charles Wright and the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band, Blackbyrds, Bernie Worrell Orchestra, and more.

Also, this year will feature the first ever Freedom of Funk Fireworks Show presented by CityPlace and Farmers & Merchants Bank at 9:20pm.

Pre-Sale Funk Fest tickets are now on sale for a discounted price of $15 per ticket, and $20 at the door.

If you want a souvenir from the festival, show your valid TAP card, Metro employee ID, or LA County employee ID at the Funk Fest merchandise booth and save 10% on festival merchandise.

The Long Beach Funk Fest is located on the intersection of Pine Avenue and E. Broadway in Downtown Long Beach. Take the Metro Blue Line to Long Beach Transit Mall Station. For your best route, use the Trip Planner.

Limited service on Blue Line from Willowbrook to Long Beach Friday, June 21

Willowbrook-LBTM (30 Mins) by sourcemetro

Due to urgent track repair work must be completed on the Metro Blue Line, there will be limited train service between Willowbrook Station and Long Beach Transit Mall this Friday, June 21.

Starting at 9 p.m. until close of service, trains will only run every 30 minutes between Willowbrook Station and Long Beach Transit Mall. Announcements will be made at Blue Line stations, you can also follow real time alerts on Twitter or check Metro’s Service Advisories page. Please plan ahead and expect extended wait times if you need to travel that segment Friday night.

Regular Friday evening service will run between 7th/Metro and Willowbrook.

Limited service on Blue Line from Willowbrook to Long Beach on Friday, May 17

Willowbrook-LBTM (30 Mins)

Due to urgent track switch maintenance that must be completed on the Metro Blue Line, there will be limited train service between Willowbrook Station and Long Beach Transit Mall this Friday, May 17.

Starting at 9 p.m. until close of service, trains will only run every 30 minutes between Willowbrook Station and Long Beach Transit Mall. Announcements will be made at Blue Line stations, you can also follow real time alerts on Twitter or check Metro’s Service Advisories page. Please plan ahead and expect extended wait times if you need to travel that segment Friday night.

Regular Friday evening service will run between 7th/Metro and Willowbrook.

Meet Me @Metro IV: Bringing it Home to Watts

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The fourth annual Meet Me @Metro, an event that combines public transit with theatre, will be heading back to the Metro Blue Line on Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26. Join the Watts Village Theater Company for theatrical presentations of original poetry exploring the subjective theme of “home” with musical accompaniment.

“Scattered Joy” will be performed at 103rd Street Station and “Under the 105” will be performed at Willowbrook Station. Both shows will take place simultaneously at 12 p.m. and 1 p.m., allowing audiences to see both performance pieces. The shows will range in length from 25 to 30 minutes, and there will be a 30-minute window afterward to allow for travel between venues. Guests can hop on the Blue Line or walk between stations. Audiodescription and interpretation will be provided for the Sunday performances.

Tickets are $25 for the performances on Saturday and pay-what-you-will on Sunday. Children of all ages are welcome to attend. To find more routes and connections to the event, use Trip Planner.