Metro Board to consider changing official names of two rail stations

I know readers are always interested in station naming news — and there are two station naming motions before the Metro Board of Directors this month:

•To rename the Gold Line’s East Los Angeles Civic Center Station the East Los Angeles Civic Center/Gloria Molina Station.

•To rename the Red Line’s North Hollywood Station the North Hollywood/Zev Yaroslavsky Station.

The motions are posted above. They were authored by Metro Board Members Ara Najarian and Pam O’Connor. The Board’s Construction Committee approved the motions this morning and the full Board will consider them at its Oct. 2 meeting.

Here is Metro’s property naming policy. It’s worth noting that even when station names are named after people, the geographic names are the ones commonly used in announcements on buses and trains and on maps and agency literature.

72 replies

  1. Not only is this obscenely vain, it is wasteful, and will not be useful for riders of the system who may rely on the station names to help them understand where the station is located. I vehemently oppose this idea!

  2. “They were authored by Metro Board Members Ara Najarian and Pam O’Connor.”

    Typical “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” play by politicians. You all know who’s going to have their stations named after next. We’ll have an Ara Najarian Station and a Pam O’ Connor Station, and those motions will be then be authored by Gloria Molina and Zev Yaroslavsky.

    I agree with one of the posters here who said there are far better and more worthy people who should be memorialized than politicians.

    There are 136 Medal of Honor recipients in CA, many of them from Southern California who all should be worthy of their respect for their extreme gallantry and ultimate sacrifice to this country:

    All of them listed there, our own Californians, our own Angelenos, are better candidates for station names than Metro Board members.

  3. Steve/Source writers, do you guys ever give feedback to your bosses/superiors? You know, actually do something to help transit in LA by letting them know what the taxpaying public is saying to you? you JUST raised the fares and now you come out with this ridiculous motion that only wastes time and money and does absolutely NOTHING for transit in LA. Nothing at all. Steve, do you notice how this post has received so many angry comments? You should at least hint at this to your superiors at Metro and the Board of Directors, so that they realize how insulting this motion is to the taxpayers/riders.

    • Yes, I do try to inform others at Metro about the feedback we receive on the blog and social media.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  4. Did you know that Zev Yaroslavsky was anti-subway? It’s crazy to honor his name on subway station!

    • Yes, all Metro Board meetings are open to the public. Items are either voted on together as the consent part of the agenda or discussed and voted on individually. I don’t know which it will be yet — the agenda has not yet been posted. Even if it is considered with other items, the public can speak on the item during general public testimony. You are, of course, always free to contact the Board and/or Board Members before the vote on this or any other item or issue.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  5. Renaming stations for the benefit of a few well placed politicians is a waster of man power, money and energy. The funds used for renaming the stations are better used to improve conditions of the Metro system vs. using them to glorify the few when thousands have worked behind the scenes to make Metro what it is today.

  6. Personally, I think Metro needs some citizen input on it’s board. They waste so much money that could be used for necessary things. For one thing you need to get rid of the Sheriff’s Dept. They are a complete waste of money, they do not do anything and I see no improvement having them as part of the Metro system. And to name stations after politicians that serve on the board is plan ridiculous! I do not care how long they have been elected or even serve on the MTA board; I think it is self-serving; why should they have their names on signs, while you are at it, you may as well name stations after Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck; that is how foolish you are acting by naming rail stations, portions of freeways and freeway interchanges after people. Most people in the public do not care. Is naming stations for these two people going to increase ridership? I think not.

  7. Both Gloria and Zev have already been sufficiently honored by the mere fact they hold office and were granted political power by the voters. They do not need to be permanently “deified” with a station named after them.

    The majority of passengers from LA have probably never heard of them, and to visiting tourists they will be a complete mystery.

    Renaming these two stations serves no transportation purpose, if anything, it will confuse riders. I say NO to this! As others have said, if the person is still alive, don’t name anything after them.

  8. Let’s see what Metro has done:

    1. Gave us a fare hike and likely will not be the last of it
    2. The fare system is more confusing as ever with all these transfer rules and exceptions
    3. Fare evasion is still out of control
    4. The TAP website is still outdated
    5. The stations are still dirty
    6. The rail line is still broken down with maintenance issues
    6. Criminals roam around the system like they own the place
    7. Yes, let’s rename our stations to politicians serving on the Metro Board!

    Got it. Makes perfect logic on how our tax dollars are used.

  9. Tell the Board to please stop this self serving insanity. No facility should be named for a living politician, it is garishly unseamly.

  10. Metro just had a fare INCREASE!
    Is this what we want to spend $$ on?
    Metro has been thru this before-remember Tom Bradley Civic Center Station?

  11. Should get all of the review advisory committee that work on the Gold Line to the East Side. .To come up with Names..I was on that committee. I have also had requested that the Names of the Board membe’s be put on the Indiana st Station since that is what decides City & County.

  12. I don’t usually mind station renamings, but this one is just self-aggrandizing, plain and simple. In essence, the MTA directors are considering naming these stations after themselves. In years past, it more-or-less made sense to put Tom Bradley’s name on the Civic Center station, since Bradley was such an iconic mayor and was integral in building the Metro. Putting Julian Dixon’s name on the 7th Street/Metro station was a little silly, considering most riders have never heard of Dixon. Name-dropping Gloria Molina and Zev Yaroslavsky is downright absurd.

  13. Hope these 2 motions fail. It’s absurd to be naming stations after politicians who don’t even take public transit on a daily basis.

  14. I don’t see the San Francisco Muni or the New York Metro to jump into the band wagon by name Robin William and Joan Rivers at their transit facilities. Because those agencies are not wasting their precious resources.

  15. I do not think that the names of any rail stations should be named after people no matter who they are and these two people don’t sound any more important to me than others who had done more and don’t have anything named after them. It is a waste
    of time and a waste of taxpayer dollars. I also feel that the motion made by Directors Pam O’Connor and Ara Najarian should be rescinded and if they don’t have anything better to do with their time that they should be removed or asked to resign from the Metro Board.

  16. Sure you guys don’t like it.

    How many of you actually go out a vote?


    Thought so.

    • At least it would be at the one where he forced riders to transfer from a modern high-capacity rail transit underground to a glorified bus. There is no doubt that without the personal interference of Yaroslavsky, (and Waxman and Robbins) the Red Line would be serving Van Nuys Civic Center today.

  17. “How about renaming the Maravilla Station the “King Taco” Station? ”

    The best suggestion so far! But only if King Taco pays for the rights.

    Really, how about giving businesses “naming” rights to bus and rail lines and stations like sports stadiums are now named after corporations. As an example, the Las Vegas Monorail names its stations after the casino/hotel adjoining each station with the sole exceptions of the Las Vegas Convention Center Station which isn’t a casino and the station to the defunct Sahara Hotel whch is now named after the street it stops on. Metro needs the money. Naming rights should not be given away to politicians who will be forgotten in two years like generous donors to a medical center or concert hall.

    At least with donor names on medical buildings and concert halls, the donor’s own money did change hands to get the property developed. Naming stations after Metro Board members suggests that the money came from them and not the Los Angeles County taxpayers or rather it suggests the taxpayers money is THEIR money not the taxpayers. How about a station named after each proposition, and one for “Los Angeles County Taxpayer”.


  18. If they’re going to name a station after someone, at least be this native Angeleno who has done a lot more sacrifice worthy of being a station named after him than anyone serving on the Metro Board today:

    “Eugene Arnold Obregon (November 12, 1930 – September 26, 1950) was a United States Marine who was posthumously awarded the United States’ highest military decoration for valor — the Medal of Honor — for sacrificing his life to save that of a wounded comrade during the Second Battle of Seoul. On September 26, 1950, Private First Class Obregon was fatally wounded by enemy machine gun fire while using his body to shield a wounded fellow Marine.

    Born November 12, 1930
    Los Angeles, California”

    Obregon Station. Now that’s a name worthy of respect and honor!

  19. I think we should permanently remove the Metro Board’s powers to name stations and give that right to neighborhood councils. The residents and business owners should be the one to choose what they want their station names to be, not political hacks with self-esteem issues that they want their legacy to be remembered with a station named after them.

  20. Thank heavens the Metro Board has the time and energy to devote to this crazy proposal. That’s all that’s left to do, right? The transit system is complete, the stations have all the amenities they need, and there are ample buses and trains for the County. NOW we can FINALLY focus on the important things: naming the existing stations after ourselves. Good to know the Board has its priorities straight. Thanks for improving transit in LA by re-naming things after yourselves!

  21. So are Gloria and Zev going to pay for these changes and their personal “memorials” that they insist on having? Or is that left to us taxpayers? Taxpayers who want a clean, efficient and RELIABLE transit system with passenger amenities and real-time info, NOT ridiculous plaques and commemorative stones honoring politicians. These vanity items do absolutely NOTHING to improve transit service or the transit system whatsoever. They offer NOTHING for the rider. How about spending the money on cheap items like more benches and trash cans, that actually get USED by the public/transit riders??

  22. Silly and wasteful indeed. Transit stations should be named after places, not people. So nice to know that the board has time and resources to pursue such matters. How about making the ticket machines work in some sort of logical manner?

  23. Metro sinks to a new low. This is really getting embarassing. Transit stations are supposed to be based on know, WHERE it’s located. The names should be as short and simple as possible. Why does the Metro Board insist on this ridiculous memorializing of themselves? Do Gloria and Zev know how bad this makes them, and Metro, look to the public? At a time when we’re trying to IMPROVE Metro’s image and get more people to ride transit. I hope Gloria realizes how many votes she’s going to lose over this. Get back to work, instead of naming things after yourself!

    • Hi Transit Rider & others;

      One point I want to emphasize from the original post: the full Board votes on this Oct. 2 and in terms of maps and announcements, geographic names are the ones used. That said, I do understand — as many readers have pointed out — there are other issues involved.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

      • That’s not the issue, Steve. The issue is that these “memorials” cost taxpayer money. Money that can be used to provide useful station amenities, like benches, canopies, trash cans, etc. Money that can be used for, you know..actual TRANSIT. This is a complete waste of money just so a politician can have their name on a plaque in a station. The public gets no USE from these plaques. They would, however, definitely use the amenities I mentioned above.

        • Read what I wrote again. I acknowledged there are other issues.

          Steve Hymon
          Editor, The Source

      • Money or not, having these name changes, which aren’t geographically relevant or useful to riders, on the agenda in the first place is a complete waste of time and it makes Metro look ridiculous… It would go a long way if the board does not pass these motions or strikes them down for the very reasons that have been mentioned in the comments section of this article.

    • Gloria and Zev are termed out. They’re not up for re-election. They could care less.

      OTOH, this could also come back to haunt Metro when they ask voters for more money in Measure R2.

      “Please give us more money, we need it”
      “What, to name more stations after politicians? No thanks.”

      • Gloria is running for LA City Council.

        Also, I’d like to point out this re-naming does NOT conform to Metro’s station naming policy. The major goals, according to the policy, are to make the names user-friendly, identifying the intersection of that station, as well as major destinations. Nowhere in Metro’s station naming policy is there a goal of “memorializing politicians’ names”

  24. Very unpleasant choice. I guessthere is really no artists in LA to honor? I already thought LAX Tom Bradley terminal was unappealing. Bad choices.

  25. I’m not worried about the new station names confusing people… But I’m annoyed that members of the Metro Board are trying to name stations after themselves, when I’d rather see them put more effort into building, maintaining and growing our Metro Rail and Bus system. Where is the money for all the new plaques, documents, maps etc for the name changes coming from? And why isn’t it being spent on something that’s actually useful. Even if the board members are paying out of their own personal pockets for the new materials (and I’m sure they aren’t), the energy and time used for this should be shifted to something that actually serves the people who ride public transit in Los Angeles.

    • Well said. It’s a waste of taxpayers’ money and time to even have this on the agenda. These politicians aren’t being paid by us to discuss about having their names memorialized on a station.

  26. Enough is is enough!! This is such a complete embarrassment. Have these people no shame? They do so little already and now they have to plaster their name on things. Most cities are reducing station name length for rider ease of use. I love Metro but… NO! NO! NO!


    “A cult of personality arises when an individual uses mass media, propaganda, or other methods, to create an idealized, heroic, and at times, worshipful image, often through unquestioning flattery and praise. Sociologist Max Weber developed a tripartite classification of authority; the cult of personality holds parallels with what Weber defined as “charismatic authority”. A cult of personality is similar to hero worship, except that it is established by mass media and propaganda usually by the state, especially in totalitarian states.”

    Prominent examples include: Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, Ayatollah Khomeini, Hafez al-Assad, Josef Stalin, Mao Zedong, Nicolae Ceaușescu, Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il, Saparmurat Niyazov, Hugo Chavez, Mobutu Sésé Seko, Juan Domingo Perón, Rafael Trujillo, François Duvalier, and Ferdinand Marcos.

    Sorry, we don’t want that here. This is still the United States of America, no matter how much the Democrat regime controls California politics.

  28. Oy vey.

    Keep it up like this sooner we’ll have station names like East Los Angeles Civic Center/Gloria Molina Station sponsored by Coca Cola or North Hollywood/Zev Yaroslavsky Station sponsored by Warner Bros. Pictures.

    What ever happened to the good old saying “KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID.”

  29. A station name for any elected official or appointed official should not be holding any political office for a minimum of SIX years to see if the public still remembers him.

  30. Naming public facilities after living politicians is evil and self-serving. They do that kind of stuff in 3rd world dictatorships all the time.

    If you MUST name something after an elected official, do it after they die. That’s the U.S. Postal Service’s policy on stamps an post offices, and it makes perfect sense.

  31. I agree, keeping it simple and geographically informing should be the key. A tourist would NOT know where they are if they named all the stations after politicians or other people.

  32. Why is Metro wasting money on making station names longer? Why are these politicians so vain? Please stop this nonsense. Stations should be named after landmarks and local, significant institutions, not hacks

  33. Sad to see so much politicial pandering. In seveal years no one will know who these too
    Politicians were. Both Supervisors were contensious and divisive on the Board. Are MTA
    Stations going to become Political Memorials for has been politicians.?

    • That is all that this really is. For instance, the Pico Station is really the Chick Hearn Pico Station, but there is only a plague for Chick. The North Hollywood Station will still be the North Hollywood Station and just have a plague for Zev where it will say Zev/North Hollywood Station. However, the maps and signs will just say North Hollywood Station. Everyone is getting worked up over nothing.

  34. Nope…. lame… I know that both Zev and Gloria are champions of transit, but it is stupid to name stations after people. Zev has done great work at a LA County Supervisor as well but he can be memorialized in a different way. Ms. Molina also was trying to have the Gold Line named in Spanish as part of its official name. Please less vanity. Can we just call all Measure R project station names end in Villaraigosa? lol

  35. This is ridiculous Metro. You should be looking for ways to simplify the station names using neighborhoods or landmarks as names, not creating names too long to use in conversation with someone or in giving directions. Do these elected officials really need the kind of enduring fame you get from having a station named after you? I think not. Let these officials be known for their actions, not for making it mandatory to speak their name every time ask for a pickup or give directions. Seriously, give us a break.

  36. I feel that it is completely inappropriate to name Metro stations in honor of Metro Board members. At a minimum, the public is likely to perceive this as a conflict of interest (the Board naming stations after themselves) at a time when public support for Metro is sorely needed.

    Having names of politicians attached to stations does not add value to Metro’s services, which is really the only criterion of relevance. This practice reflects poorly on the Metro Board, and it’s a bit of an embarrassment that it has even been proposed.

  37. How about the Antonio Villaraigosa (Tony Villar) station instead of Union Station?. How about renaming the Maravilla Station the “King Taco” Station? How about the Barack Obama station instead of Compton station? How about the “Who knows, who cares” station?

  38. East Los Angeles Civic Center/Gloria Molina Station.
    North Hollywood/Zev Yaroslavsky Station.

    When I read that, I thought I was going to puke. This has to be a bad joke right? Is it April Fool’s Day already?

    Stop with these station renamings after politicians (now instead of dead politicians, they’re doing living politicians now?) so they can leave their ever lasting legacy. Talk about a cult of personality issues these politicians have!

    Maybe we can rename the month of September to Garcettiber.