The Blue Line will undergo a comprehensive $350-million modernization beginning in January 2019 to improve reliability, enhance safety and improve the customer experience. Work to modernize the Blue Line — which opened in 1990 and is Metro’s oldest rail line — has been ongoing since 2014 with a series of safety and operational improvements.
The upcoming improvement project — called the New Blue — will require portions of the line to be temporarily closed for two extended four-month closures beginning in January. In addition, Blue Line service to Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station will be closed for eight months and will be rebuilt with more capacity, a new customer service center and community plaza, easier connections to local buses and surrounding communities and upgrades to safety and security systems. During the closure, Green Line service will operate normally at Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station.
Work on the Blue Line will include improvements to the signaling, tracks and the overhead wires that deliver electricity to trains. Four new crossover tracks will be built to reduce service interruptions. There will also be numerous station improvements, including new digital map cases, signage, paint and landscaping.
The closures are as follows:
•January to May 2019: Rail service will be suspended from the Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station to the Downtown Long Beach Station and replaced by Metro bus shuttles. The Blue Line will continue running between 7th St/Metro Center and 103rd St/Watts Towers Station.
•May to September 2019: Rail service will be suspended from the Willowbrook/Rosa Parks to 7th St/Metro Center and replaced by bus shuttles. The Blue Line will continue running between Compton Station and Downtown Long Beach Station. Red and Purple Line service will operate normally at 7th St/Metro Center.
•During the northern closure, Expo Line rail service will be suspended for 45 days at 7th St/Metro Center and Pico Station with train service in that segment replaced by bus shuttles. Expo Line trains will continue to run between LATTC/Ortho Institute Station and Downtown Santa Monica.
Metro will offer three types of Blue Line Bus Shuttle Service during the closures:
•Blue Line Local Bus Shuttle Service will be free, with buses serving all closed Blue Line stations. The shuttles will run the same hours as the Blue Line, seven days a week.
•Blue Line Select Bus Shuttle Service will have a $1.75 fare and serve busier stations during the morning and afternoon rush hours. Customers with a valid TAP card can transfer for free to the Blue Line or other lines within two hours of starting a trip. Select Bus Shuttles will run Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. During the closure between Downtown Long Beach and 103rd Street Station, the Select Bus Shuttles will serve the following stations: Pacific, 1st Street/Downtown Long Beach, 5th Street, Anaheim, Pacific Coast Highway, Willow, Wardlow, Willowbrook/Rosa Parks and 103rd/Watts Towers. During the closure between Compton and 7th/Metro, the Select Bus Shuttles will service 7th/Metro, Pico, Grand/LATTC, Willowbrook/Rosa Parks and Compton.
•Blue Line Express Shuttle Service will have a $1.75 fare with limited stops between Downtown Long Beach and Downtown Los Angeles during morning and afternoon rush hours. Customers with a valid TAP card can transfer for free to other lines within two hours of starting a trip. The Express Bus Service will run Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Stations served will be Pacific Ave, Downtown Long Beach/1st Street, 5th St, Anaheim St, Pacific Coast Highway, Willow St, Wardlow, LATTC/Ortho Institute, Grand/LATTC, Pico and 7th St/Metro Center.
Metro is launching a robust outreach campaign to Metro customers, cities, communities, stakeholders and the public about the New Blue. The New Blue website is at www.metro.net/newblue includes a fact sheet and map with the three bus shuttle services.