Update on Green Line South Bay extension to Torrance

Planning work continues on a key Metro Rail project to extend the Green Line from its current terminus at Redondo Beach Station to a new transit center in Torrance.

I encourage everyone to peruse through the above Metro staff presentation, which dives deeper into the proposed routes. The project homepage is here.

Some of the project basics:

•There are four rail alternatives being studied. Two would follow the rail right-of-way that Metro already owns (known as the Harbor Subdivision) and that the Green Line large follows in El Segundo and Redondo Beach. The other two would run along Hawthorne Boulevard for part of the way to Torrance. Here’s a map:

•The first two alternatives would follow the existing rail right-of-way through Redondo Beach and Lawndale en route to Torrance. The primary difference between the two alternatives is that one would have an aerial station over Manhattan Beach Boulevard while the other would run under the road with a station below street level.

•The third alternative would largely be at street level along Hawthorne Boulevard with aerial segments connecting the tracks to the existing rail right-of-way. An additional analysis will be required of a potential overpass for the train at  Redondo Beach and Artesia boulevards.

•The fourth alternative would also serve some of Hawthorne Boulevard and would be entirely aerial.

•Here’s a map that gives a good idea of the different routes and destinations they would serve:

 •Metro staff plans to recommend a route or routes to the Metro Board of Directors this summer. This will be then followed by a resumption of the project’s environmental studies in early 2019. 

•Under the Measure M spending plan, the project is scheduled to break ground in 2026 and be completed in the 2030-33 timeframe. The project has $891 million in funding between Measure M, Measure R and other sources. One of the criteria for staff in selecting a route will be that the project fits within available funding.
•The project was included in the Twenty-Eight by ’28 Plan to complete 28 major projects by the 2028 Summer Olympics and Paralympics that will take place in the L.A. area. The Metro Board is scheduled to consider that plan at this month’s Board meeting.
•One other item to keep in mind. This project will allow riders at the new Green Line stations to travel east toward Norwalk via the existing Green Line and to travel north to LAX, Inglewood, the Crenshaw Corridor and the Expo Line via the Crenshaw/LAX Line (scheduled to open in 2019).


16 replies

  1. The ROW makes sense. It goes to the transit center. What’s the point of a transit center if the trains don’t go there? Having to walk .3 miles to catch a bus isn’t practical.

  2. Stick to the ROW. This is going to be a long line since its going to be through routed up Crenshaw to Expo and one day to Wilshire and on to Hollywood on the North End. On the south end, needs to get to Long Beach. So keep it simple, keep it as straight and fast as possible. If money can be found for a few grade separations, great.


    As a frequent Metro Blue Line rider, I can tell you that you will regret putting the track down the middle of a busy street. See Washington Boulevard, for example. The train will run slowly, and nothing can be done to speed it up once it’s there.

    The ROW is a blessing. It is already built-in, requiring the least amount of disruption in the community.

    Look, I get the argument that you want to help local businesses with this train. But Hawthorne Blvd is a short, five-minute walk from the ROW. And with good land-use planning, you could extend the business district to the ROW, making for a pleasant and seamless connection.

    But even more importantly: this is not a local streetcar, but an essential link in our mass transit system. If people cannot from home to major job centers quickly using transit, they won’t use transit. It’s as simple as that.

  4. While an extension to Torrance (agree that it should be Del Amo Fashion Center) is valuable, the more important link for Green is east to Norwalk Metrolink.

  5. How far apart is the Metro ROW from Hawthorne Blvd. at its maximum? On the above diagrams, I see a “person walking” between the Redondo Beach Transit Center and the South Bay Galleria!

    • Hi Morris,

      .3 miles if walking straight down Artesia Blvd, according to Google maps.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  6. I think Metro should just stick with the first routing over and near the freight line. Spending hundreds of millions for an s couple hundred extra riders in a fairly low transit ridership area is not justifiable. Unless the municipalities along the route commit to some sort of upzoning and affordable housing, the other alternatives won’t really pass muster.

  7. For option #2, would there be an opportunity to put freight in the trench as well as a single project and eliminate those grade crossings? Where would funds for a wider trench need to come from? How many freight trains go through that area each day?

  8. Interesting dilemma: alternative 3 would provide easy access to more businesses along the Hawthorne Blvd corridor, and potentially higher ridership, but using the ROW for 1 or 2 would likely be logistically easier to build and less costly.

    The proposed Redondo Beach Transit Center isn’t in the best location, either, with a park to the south, a cemetery to the west, and only residential areas beyond either one. Maybe it’s better than not having a transit center at all, but it seems like it would be more of a transfer point than a destination.

  9. Use the existing right-of-way… then continue along the same right-of-way through Carson and Wilmington to Long Beach, creating connections with the Silver and Blue lines.

  10. 2 things

    1 – Can Metro just tell us it’s going to cost $1 billion and possibly a bit more already. After what’s going on with Foothill Extension Phase 2B, Are we really expecting this project to meet the current budget “forecast?”

    2 – So I take it that by calling this a “Green Line Extension” it means the LAX Line won’t serve the Torrence area as well?

    3 – Just curious, why is the presentation behind a paywall?

    • Hi Dave —

      Answer to second question: the operations plan for Crenshaw/LAX Line and Green Line is still being worked out. There will be rail service between Torrance and the airport stations. To be determined is whether a transfer will be needed.

      Answer to third question: my bad. I accidentally made the presentation “private” on Scribd, which we use to embed docs in blog posts. It’s now fixed. My apologies!

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  11. Yes the location of the Torrance Transit Center really makes little sense. A connection to the Del amo Mall makes great sense. Street level just slows the system down, and as we know has caused many accidents, unfortunatel.

  12. They need to get rid of the Torrance transit center, its in a bad location for future development. instead the green line should go to the Del Amo Fashion center.

  13. Metro should use the existing right-of-way they already own, and used the money saved for grade separations at each rail/road intersection. Having to negotiate train vs. car traffic with at grade crossings completely defeats the concept of rapid transit. Who wants to ride a train whose door-to-door trip (that includes walking to/from each station) takes longer than driving?