The first segment of the Red Line subway opened Jan. 29, 1993 — 25 years ago today. Metro held a media event at Union Station this morning to celebrate and debuted a new commemorative TAP card (see the image at the top) that will be available at TAP vending machines at all Red/Purple Line stations.
Over the last 25 years, the Red Line has carried an estimated 817 million passengers while traveling approximately 3.6 billion miles, according to Metro.
Groundbreaking for the Metro Red Line occurred in September 1986 near the future home of the Civic Center Station. The first 4.4-mile segment opened in 1993 and included five stations between Union Station and MacArthur Park, as well as a rail maintenance yard and shop.
In July 1996, the line was extended from MacArthur Park to Wilshire/Western. In December 1999, the next segment opened from Wilshire/Vermont to Hollywood/Vine. The final three stations opened in June 2000, pushing the subway to Hollywood/Highland and Universal City and North Hollywood in the San Fernando Valley. In 2006, the Wilshire “spur” portion of the Red Line from Union Station to Wilshire/Western was renamed the Purple Line.
The Purple Line is currently being extended for nine miles to the Westwood VA Hospital. The first segment between Wilshire/Western, Wilshire/La Brea, Wilshire/Fairfax and Wilshire/La Cienega is under construction and heavy construction on the second section to downtown Beverly Hills and Century City will soon be underway. The third section includes stations at Wilshire and Westwood boulevards and the Westwood VA Hospital.