Fresh map: the many projects near and dear to Union Station

There is a lot happening in the above map, which is new and covers the many projects happening at Union Station or in the nearby neighborhood.

Here are brief descriptions of each, along with links where you can learn more:

The West Santa Ana Branch Corridor is a light rail line that would connect downtown Los Angeles to southeast Los Angeles County, serving the Arts District, Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, Vernon, Huntington Park, Bell, Cudahy, South Gate, Downey, Paramount, Bellflower, Artesia and Cerritos. The project receives funding from both Measure R and Measure M and will soon enter the environmental review process. Four options for getting this transit line into downtown L.A. and Union Station will be analyzed and evaluated during this review process. Project website

The Los Angeles Union Station Forecourt and Esplanade Improvements Project will improve pedestrian and bike access to the Alameda Street-side of Union Station with wider sidewalks on Alameda Street and a new expanded and raised crossing on Los Angeles Street, among other upgrades. The project also includes converting the north parking lot along Alameda into a civic space. Source post. 

The Link Union Station project would allow Metrolink and Amtrak trains to enter Union Station from both the north and south to increase the station’s capacity, speed up train trips in the region and accommodate the state’s high-speed rail project and other Metro planned transit improvements. As envisioned, the project also includes an expanded concourse. The project is in the early stages of planning and the challenge will be finding the funds to build it. The Metro Board last month approved continuing an intensive environmental study of four alternatives, including the project’s staff recommended alternative (see below). The project is also considering a pedestrian bridge over the Union Station rail yard. Project website

The Patsaouras Plaza Busway Station adds a platform easily accessed from the Patsaouras Transit Plaza at Union Station that will serve the Metro Silver Line and other regional buses that use the El Monte Busway. That means no more having to schlep over to the Silver Line stop on Alameda Street. The project is under construction and expected to be complete in Oct. 2018; a nice rendering is in the project fact sheet.

The L.A. River Bike Path Gap Closure project will close the eight-mile gap in the bike path between the Elysian Valley and Vernon and adjacent Maywood. This will create a path for walkers and cyclists that stretches all the way from the San Fernando Valley to Long Beach. In downtown Los Angeles, people will be able to connect to routes to the heart of downtown and to Union Station, the region’s largest transit hub. Project Website.

The Division 20 Portal Widening and Turnback Facility will allow Red/Purple Line subway trains to turn around significantly faster at Union Station and allow trains to run every four minutes on each line (and every two minutes on their shared stretch of track through DTLA). The project is in the design phase and will be complete by the time the Purple Line Extension opens to Wilshire/La Cienega, which is scheduled for late 2023. Source post.

The Cesar Chavez Bus Stop Improvements project will replace existing bus shelters on Cesar Chavez Avenue between Alameda Street and Vignes Street and create a new transit pavilion on the southeast corner of Cesar Chavez and Vignes. The project will improve the bus ridership experience and strengthen connections to other modes of transit in the area. Design work is underway. Project website

Metro Bike Share opened in downtown Los Angeles last summer and has 61 stations throughout DTLA, with several in the Union Station area. Bike Share website, with info about how to take a Metro Bike for a spin

The California High-Speed Rail Authority is working to eventually build a bullet train between downtown San Francisco and DTLA (and eventually beyond to Anaheim and San Diego). Funding needs to be secured to get the train to Southern California, but work is underway on a first segment near Fresno. The CHSRA website is here and there is more info at the following links about the two segments on the above map: between Burbank and Union Station and between Union Station and Anaheim.

The Eastside Access Improvements at 1 st /Central project will help implement a program of streetscape, pedestrian safety and bicycle access improvements in a one-mile radius around the future Little Tokyo/Arts District Station serving those neighborhoodsProject website

The Union Station Bike Hub is a place where riders can safely park their bikes and have access to bike repair facilities and buy bike-related items. A Bike Hub is up and running at El Monte Station and two more are coming soon — one to the Expo Line’s Culver City Station and the other at the Red Line’s Hollywood/Vine Station. The Union Station Bike Hub opening is planned for Fall 2017. Bike Hub website

The Metro Emergency Security Operations Center will house security operations and radio dispatch, the emergency operations center and bus and rail operations for the agency. The projected completion date is 2021. Project website.


7 replies

  1. WOW, everyone is repeating my long hoped / posted request to ‘finish the loop’ around DTLA along Alameda Street. Originally I had promoted a Crenshaw/LAX line alternate route along Slauson and then north along the Blue Line alignment, maybe after I’m long gone :(.
    IMO Metro really missed the ball by not rerouting the existing Gold Line straight south from LAUS to a 1st Street wye with four tracks, rather than the existing, non expandable, slow S-curve onto Alameda Street. Oh well, another project for grand-nephews and nieces.

  2. WSAB has to touch both Washington/Blue Line and Little Toyko Station (once again for east/west transfers) before going on to Union Station

  3. Metro is missing a golden opportunity by not having the West Santa Ana Branch not intersecting the Blue Line at Washington Blvd before turning north to Union Station. Would create very busy transfer point. Riders from the WSB could transfer to head over towards Staples/Red/Purple line etc. Not everyone needs to go to Union Station.

  4. Please build the northern half of WSAB first or the entire line at once. An Alameda St elevated railway and upgrades to those Blue stations need to happen sooner rather than later. Options 8 or 9 are by far the best routes up to union station, especially considering that Metro is planning on extending the red/purple to 6th st. That will put stations in easy reach of most of that large district.

  5. What are the pros/cons to connecting the WSAB to the Blue Line vs. running it several blocks east?

    • Running the WSAB along the Blue Line would be great for long distance riders from points way south and transit across the region, as they would be able to transfer quickly and easily. It would also be a boon for landowners right on top of the Blue Line where the corridor would be shared. It would also allow for operational flexibility if the WSAB or Blue line need maintenance, as trains could be redirected.

      Running the WSAB east of the Blue line would be good for the area east of the Blue line, as they would then be closer to a transit station. It would probably be cheaper to build the options to the east, so everyone not using those sections would probably like to see less money invested in that area.

      Running the WSAB along the blue line increases the chance it will use Alameda through the arts district, which would be more expensive but also probably better for DTLA as a whole.