Farmers Field study will include look at public transit in the area

Click above to enlarge. The football stadium would be just west of Staples Center (the round building). The Blue Line station at Pico/Flower is noted by the blue marker in the lower center of the photo. Credit: Google Maps.

As many of you know, the City Council today approved a Memorandum of Understanding with AEG to build a new football stadium, new convention hall space and two parking garages adjacent to Staples Center.

The good news for public transportation is that if indeed the stadium gets built — and it’s contingent on an NFL team agreeing to relocate to Los Angeles — there is plenty of public transportation nearby.

The present Blue Line station at Flower and Pico is a short walk from Staples Center, L.A. Live and the proposed location for the football station. as are many bus lines, including the Silver Line. It should also be noted that the Expo Line will stop at that Blue Line station, as well as future Regional Connector trains that will make it possible to board a train there and travel to Long Beach, Santa Monica, East Los Angeles and Azusa when the Connector, Expo Line Phase II and Gold Line Foothill Extension are built.

The Red/Purple Line subway station is about a .6-mile walk, with connections to Union Station (connections with Metrolink and Amtrak), North Hollywood and — hopefully within the decade — Westwood.

Metro staffers tell me that they’re coordinating with the city of Los Angeles and the stadium sponsors in the evaluation of the project; transportation needs will be studied as part of the stadium’s environmental impact report.

23 replies

  1. I went to LA Live via the blue-line. I left the entertainment complex around 10 pm and felt safe. I would only recommend to Metro have more lighting around the Pico Station and LA Live complex.

    Even-though there are things that would like MTA to fixed in the blue-line, I recommend people to take the blue-line to LA Live or downtown LA.

  2. @Robb
    I completely agree. The pico station was built and designed at a time when there was much less activity in the area. Already there is no signal preemption there, which results in slower less efficient operations. Its about time Metro starts considering a grade separation for that station, if not all the way to Washington station, which would be ideal.

  3. I think that the more people you attract to the South Park/LA Live area, the worse street-running light rail sounds. There’s the potential of having a “critical mass” of pedestrians and cars in the area which could conceivably interfere with rail operations. Ideally, I’d like to see them move the Blue Line tracks underground, at least to Venice Blvd, and build a new Pico station with wider platforms.

  4. I wonder if anything will be done to IMPROVE BUS SERVICE IN THIS AREA (OR OTHERS!), given that the MTA is so ANTI-BUS RIDER AND ALL!

  5. Some ideas:

    In the decade from Pico Station the Regional Connector will connect the Blue Line to Union Station and Pasadena without a transfer.

    The Expo Line to Culver City, West Los Angeles, and Santa Monica will be accessible from Pico Station.

    An additional set of side platforms for event passenger loading may be necessary as proposed by the Sierra Club and The Transit Coalition.

    The LA Streetcar alternative including a loop down to Pico and on Figueroa should be adopted to pick up passengers from the Convention Center and LA Live.

    Chick Hearn Ct should be closed to through traffic and be used as a pedestrian plaza leading to the Pico light rail station including additional bike parking, shade trees, tables, chairs, and umbrellas (when retail is installed).

    When buildings are raised on the existing surface parking lots separating the LA Live and Convention Center area from the Pico Station more wayfinding signs (to Red/Blue Lines) should be installed and efforts should be made to include ground level retail in the buildings lining Chick Hearn Ct, Figueroa, Pico, and Flower St.

    Ticket vending machines and optional ticket bundling should be offerred inside of the LA Live area.

    Hourly and additional late service on at least San Bernardino and Orange County Lines in conjunction with the one-seat ride from Union Station via the Regional Connector

  6. First, we need the Regional Connector to bring people from Union Station down to Pico Station.

    We also need the Downtown Streetcar for people already staying in downtown.

    Pico Station needs some improvements, maybe even an extra track. And I like the idea of a pedestrian bridge/ promenade from the station to the stadium/ convention center.

  7. @LAOFA

    “So the discussion about a shuttle is moot as you will be replicating service on the new downtown connector rail project.”

    I totally forgot about that. So yeah shuttles would be stupid.

  8. Re: SMV

    Having the private sector build an elevated pedestrian promenade, perhaps with a plexiglass roof,all the way from the Pico Station directly to the stadium/convention center grounds across Figueroa Street might be a better and lest costly idea.

  9. You know what else would be smart? Putting in streetcars in downtown that lead to the new stadium as well. That way, people using the Gold Line from Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley could catch a streetcar to the stadium.

  10. It would be nice if the city and AEG planned from the beginning to make transit the preferred way to get to games there and restricted parking to mitigate traffic snarls around the stadium area. It would also be a great way for Metro to increase its ridership.

  11. I think Pico Sta is good enough if they’d just make some wayfinding signs and maybe build a pedestrian tunnel or something.

  12. Gosh….it’s not a long walk from 7th/Figueroa to 11th/Figueroa…it’s 4 blocks! We don’t need a spur for 4 urban blocks! How lazy can we be? Plus, for anybody coming in from Union Station, they can transfer to the NEW Blue or Gold Lines (when the Regional Connector is done in 2019) and get to Pico station with no transfers. So the discussion about a shuttle is moot as you will be replicating service on the new downtown connector rail project.

  13. This situation is similar to Manchester United Football Stadium in Old Trafford. They have a Metrolink (their Light rail system) train that is about a 10 min walk from the stadium and it gets really busy on match days. They also have a National Rail station at the stadium so that their version of Amtrak goes right there.

    I think it is good to look at a Red Line spur to serve the LA live/Staple/Megaexpensive football stadium, but with the current financial climate I hope they at least coordinate shuttles to Union Station as a minimum scenario.

  14. It’s also worth pointing out that Pico Station won’t be handling all of the transit traffic headed to the stadium. For riders arriving on the Red and Purple lines, it’d be easier to get off at 7th Street and walk to the stadium, instead of making the transfer to Pico.

  15. I’m curious to see how this may affect decisions regarding the potential LA Streetcar project. One of the alternatives (Final Alternative yet to be determined) includes a Streetcar route from Broadway to Figueroa along Pico, and another alternative includes a route from Broadway to Figueroa along 11th.

    Would be great to see the field served by the Streetcar.

  16. Metro Really needs to start planning and extending all Light Rail Platforms to accommodate 4-car trains that way the capacity difference between the Red Line and the Light Rail lines is less apparent (a single 3-car light rail train has approx. 60% of the capacity of 6-car red line train while 4-car light rail train increases the capacity to 80%.) A pico station with 4-car train capacity and wider or more platforms could better handle the passenger load of LA Live/Staples during big events.

  17. McGee has a point–perhaps a Red Line spur to the stadium/LALive area could happen–something similar to BART’s spur to SFX. Since there would be intense surges of use there, this makes sense–and LALive itself would provide a constant though lower demand for transit service.

  18. Pico platform MUST be upgraded: specifically much wider than other LRT platforms. Also, the Pico station, while providing great access to the convention center, really isn’t that convenient to LA Live and the proposed stadium. It really is too long a walk for folks who expect to be taken very close to the venue.

    Ironically, LRT is quite inadequate should we see the most optimistic of loads. LRT just can’t handle the huge numbers, and we are limited to 3 car trains at maximum. The line of people who can’t even get close to the Pico platform is outrageous and makes this usually pro-transit person want to take my car and DRIVE to avoid what should be a relatively efficient experience. Pico and the possible huge loads and LRT’s inability to handle them, just affirms to all those preferring to drive exactly why they would NEVER use public transit.

    I think, in our fantasies, at least, we need another rail line on its own, separate tracks, that directly serves the LA Live venues and other areas not currently served by rail. Now, Red and Purple lines can handle those crowds much better.

  19. Pico needs major improvements. It’s such an underused station for its location. Ironically so it used to be THE Downtown station before the Subway/7th/Metro opened. Glad to hear it will be included and used as an asset rather than pushed aside. Shows how much this city has changed.

    Wishes: Close the street next to it. 3 tracks, 2 platforms, widened. Walkways that go over.

    Reality: I don’t know, I’m gonna wait to see suggestions. I was thinking walls and sliding doors to keep people falling onto the tracks which is my main fear.

  20. While I’m not “totally psyched” for an NFL team in Los Angeles (Most fans in this city have their own teams anyway, and LA football never quite matched up.) The transit downtown is AWESOME. It would be great to go to a football game in downtown LA and know that you could ride in on the train from North Hollywood, or Long Beach.

  21. No more parking garages. We already have 20,000 spots within a 15 minute walk of LA Live! More parking garages = more convenience to drive = less need for public transit. If you make public transit just as convenient as driving, then more people will take to trains and buses.