Where will the station entrances be for the Westside Subway Extension?

A rendering of the staff recommended entrance at the Wilshire/Fairfax station on the northwest corner of the intersection.

The Westside Subway Extension on Monday released its Final Environmental Impact Statement/Report. The study is filled with many goodies, including these three renderings of what future station entrances might look like. It is important to note that these are the entrances recommended by Metro staff in the FEIS/R; the Metro Board of Directors will make the final decision.

It’s also worth noting that these images show the potential entrances without any future development. Given Westside real estate values, and Metro’s joint development policies, these areas are likely to be developed eventually.

The renderings and maps are all from chapter two of the FEIS/R [both pdfs].

The staff recommended entrance for the Wilshire/La Cienega station on the northeast corner of the intersection; that's La Cienega at left.

The staff recommended entrance to the Wilshire/Rodeo station at the southeast corner of Wilshire and Reeves Drive.

Maps of the entrances recommended by Metro staff for the Extension’s seven stations, as well as the proposed construction staging areas for each station, are posted after the jump.




One Source reader asked this question: why only one entrance at most of the stations? Here’s the answer from subway planning staff:

The actual number of subway station entrances is determined based on ridership forecasts.  Most Metro subway stations on the Red and Purple Lines have one entrance; however, a few in the Downtown area have two entrances.  For the Westside Subway Extension we will provide two entrances at the Westwood/UCLA Station and one entrance at each of the other six stations. All stations are designed with “knock out panels” which allow for future additional entrances to be added when ridership warrants or when an opportunity arises with adjacent property developments to add an additional entrance and if additional financial resources can be found for this purpose.

The subway is being built in one of the more expensive real estate areas of Los Angeles and the station entrances will need to fit into existing built areas.  The only station entrance where Metro owns property is at Wilshire/La Brea.  At every other location, Metro will need to negotiate and purchase property or an easement for the station entrances or work with adjacent properties if they are willing to provide easements for these entrances. We will monitor ridership after the line opens for service and look for opportunities with adjacent property owners in the meantime to develop additional entrances where possible.


More coverage of the FEIS/R:

Travel times to Westwood/UCLA station via the Westside Subway Extension

New FAQ on the Westside Subway Extension

Highlights from the Westside Subway Extension’s final environmental study

Metro releases final environmental study for Westside Subway Extension


18 replies

  1. I agree with most of the comments posted on the station renderings. Who within the MTA subway planning department are planning these station entrances? The fact that so many only have one entrance is pretty ludicrous (regardless of ridership projections). It’s Wilshire Blvd. Multiple entrances is always warranted. Also, I agree that these detached designs that don’t integrate with the surrounding streets are a step in the wrong direction. LAMTA is still stuck in the past where they were designing entrances to be art pieces taking up an entire city lots. The best non-downtown subway entrance the MTA has is at Normandie/Irolo. Just put a few escalator on multiple corners of the sidewalk and an elevator on another. Stations do not have to be the cavernous unique wastes of space like on the Hollywood extension.

  2. Great to see renderings, feels like a step closer…. although the path is long.

  3. Random trivia question… where does the purple line tunnel presently end? I know the last station is at Western but the excavation has to at least go as far as the Farmer’s Market, right? Or did they seal all of that after the mishap and these stations are on a completely new alignment?

    • Jamie,

      The furthest west that subway tunneling was done for the initial Purple Line segment was just barely beyond the Western Station. There were never any tunnels dug beyond that, let alone to Fairfax. If you are referring to the methane gas explosion in the 1980s, that was completely unrelated to subway tunneling.

      Please see this 1985 LA Times article for more info.


      Hope that clarifies,

      Carter Rubin
      Contributor, The Source

  4. Are those escalators open to the sky? Does that actually work anywhere? In Washington and Dallas at least the exposed escalators are chronically out of order.

  5. The Westside subway extension is a good idea. However, the Red Liine should be extended north into the valley, as this area needs more transit on the Lankershim corredor.
    LA with its expansion of Metrorail is truly becoming a world-class city. I’ve traveled to many nations and our Metrorail compares favorably to all of them.
    The only improvement I see needing to be done is to the escalators in the system. In some nations of Europe, the escalators stop until a customer approaches it. There is some kind of electric eye that senses the approach of a passenger. This saves lots of money for electrical and maintenance costs.

  6. More unitasker stations that only serve one purpose, being a station and nothing else.

  7. I think the VA hospital station should have a second entrance closer to Federal/San Vicente on Wilshire so that there can be much easier walkable access from points west of this station. I know this may be difficult though due to current land use limitations. But the area just west of the VA hospital is very dense with both commercial and residential development. This built-up area really should have better access to this station (since it is the end of the line at least in the interim) which would most likely boost ridership and naturally serve as a large catchment for folks traveling east from here. The current station entrance seems to exclusively cater to the VA hospital without much consideration of the urban area just to the west and quite frankly, I see this as an issue with the VA hospital station in general. Its just close enough to be a logical catchment for the that area, but just far enough away for many non-hospital patrons not to use it due its relative detachment from the adjacent urbanized area.

  8. I think this is a little ridiculous. These station portal designs feel detached, windswepts, and generally suburban. Look at any other subway line in any other major city. Not only do you see that there are almost always more then one entrances, but you see that the entrances are integrated into the streetscape. These are neither of those. And frankly, the Century City entrance is one of the worst entrances I have seen. This is a hugely dense area and you choose to put only one entrance on an odd corner. At least put one next to the mall, which is arguably the biggest single draw of the Century City area. Ugh. And for some reason, you put too many entrances on the Wilshire/Westwood station. I like the two next to Westwood Blvd, but the one next to Gayley just seems weird. It’s out of place, on the edge of the office building part of the street, and in the middle of a huge parking lot. It just seems odd that this station has three portals, especially considering that so many other stations need more portals then proposed. Why not take out this odd duck portal and put the money towards a second portal to a more deserving station? Just me two cents…

  9. Maybe the MTA could also approach the private donors, who recently contributed some $10 million for LACMA’s “Levitated Mass,” to donate several million dollars more for a really spiffy, extravagant NE museum entrance to the Fairfax/Wilshire Station?!

  10. This is a strange world in the U.S. In Asia, the property owners would pay for the cost of building transit stations under their properties to increase property value. Why the property owners here won’t even allow any easements on their properties with no cost to the owners?

  11. I think it is a fair compromise to leave the option of more entrances (knock out panels) in place. If property owners want to enhance their property value, they would be wise to work with Metro to get the portals opened up to the basement of their buildings.

  12. I have to say I was really rooting for the “inside LACMA West” station entrance at Fairfax.

    Too many of the station entrances are giant holes in the ground. There’s no sense of linking the subway stations with any of the surrounding development. There’s no sense of belonging or blending in with the neighborhood.

    I realize that it is possible, indeed quite likely, that a station entrance on Wilshire is going to be developed into something more than just a hole. However, it should be possible to have a station entrance which leads directly into a building from the very beginning.

    Public transit involvement with private development is not a bad thing. I think most developers would be willing to provide subway access if Metro negotiated with them.

  13. Is the Wilshire/Fairfax entrance recommended on the northwest or southeast side of the street? The rendering (and what I had heard yesterday) shows it next to Johnnie’s on the northwest corner. The map, however, shows it on the southeast side of the street, a block over at Orange Grove.

    • The recommended entrance is on the NW corner of the intersection. I posted the map of one of the other possible entrances. The correct map is now with the post.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source