Service Advisory: Blue Line to run every 40 min 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.

11 replies

  1. Going from scheduled 10-minute headways to 40-minute headways really does mandate a bus bridge, Metro, if only for the capacity issues. That is 6 trains (18 carloads at 3-cars per train) per hour down to 1.33 train (4 carloads) per hour and these are going to to be packed to the gills.

  2. A lot of these problems wouldn’t exist today if Metro hadn’t been so cheap to build the Blue Line back then, many of which we demanded back then, but they never listened to. And we wouldn’t be spending all these money to fix it today either.

    It needed more than two tracks. It needed more wider and longer platforms on both sides of the track instead of being an island platform. The platforms should have been built longer so that more rail cars could have been added when demand for rail transit increases. It should not have been built at grade so that it doesn’t intersect with surface streets. It should have been built for room for expansion in mind so that station upgrades could be done more easier. It needed to start off with a fully gated system so that Metro could’ve sustained constant revenue instead of dealing with high rates of fare evasion and asking for fare hikes to cover their losses. So many things went wrong with the Blue Line. It should serve as a lesson for what not to do when constructing light rail. Unfortunately, due to the way it was designed and built, the Blue Line will always remain as a beta-test version of our Metro Rail system.

  3. My big question that I’m sure not only myself is missing but will there be some sort of bus bridge between all of this?. (Excluding the Silver Line)

    • Hi Alex,

      No, there will be no bus shuttles as the trains will still be in service and there are already existing alternative bus routes. Customers who choose alternative routes will also be issued a single-use TAP card that can be used to take both the Silver and the Green Line.

      Anna Chen
      Writer, The Source

  4. The Silver Line operates every 40 minutes at night. The departures on the Metro Center side are one minute apart from the scheduled Blue Line departure.

    So it’s not going to be much of a help. I know nobody seems to want to take a local bus (gasp!) but the 55 bus leaves at 12 past the hour from Spring and 7th all night long, coming close to most of the skipped stations from Downtown to Willowbrook/Rosa Parks.

    • Hi Calwatch,

      Thank you for bringing this to light. Extra buses are actually planned for the Silver Line so that it can run every 20 minutes after 9 p.m. this Friday night. A very important point I failed to include in this post! Will make note of it now.

      Lily Allen
      Writer, The Source

  5. Dana,

    Why can’t we do the TAP improvements now instead of doing it later when it’s going to be even more costlier?

    The fare evasion mess that we’ve had and the boatload of money now being spent to gate the entire system is the reason why we have budget problems. If we spent the money years ago when we’re building the rail system and added in gates from the start, we wouldn’t be in this mess today.

    Take the cheap way out, pay for it more later.

  6. A number of stakeholder groups are going to suggest two hours instead of 90 minutes.

    Distanced based entails improvements to TAP and additional infrastructure. Not feasible to have that part of the current fare restructuring, from my understanding. Maybe in a few years it can be part of a tweak of the fares?

  7. The more we keep hearing about maintenance delays, the more I see that this seriously needs to be brought up in the March 29 fare hike proposal meeting.

    Factoring uncontrollable delays like this or in the case of buses, street traffic, or even the weather, the 90 minute time limit is too short for transfers. This becomes more problematic for our light rail system where the point of TAP in at the validators or gates have no correlation to when the train actually pulls into the station for boarding.

    Maybe we ought to ditch the entire way of thinking and just base the factor on travel distance. Travel distance doesn’t change no matter how long it takes to get there – traveling five miles will always be five miles whether it take 10 minutes or an hour to get there.