Metro staff recommends using colors with letters to designate rail and bus rapid transit lines

Metro staff are recommending changing the names of Metro Rail and Bus Rapid Transit Lines to colors with letters to accommodate a growing system and make our rail and bus rapid transit network easier to understand. Here is the new staff report.

There are several reasons why the names should change. Among them: being customer friendly and making the system easy to navigate; there are only so many distinguishable colors to go around, and; some rail lines are being joined together by new projects such as the Crenshaw/LAX Line and Regional Connector — another reason that now is a good time.

As part of the process, a team of employees at Metro evaluated four options:

•Colors with letters, which are commonly used by transit agencies around the world.

•Colors with numbers, which are also commonly used.

•Colors only.

•Some colors and some names based on areas. 

The process included getting feedback from the public in the form of focus groups and an online survey. The public made it clear the naming convention needs to be consistent and simple.

The research also found that the public — including current riders and potential riders and tourists — perceived two naming options to be easier to use: Colors & Letters and Colors & Numbers. Both help with navigation and are consistent and simple.

Why letters over numbers?

Letters are different from and minimize confusion with bus numbers and platform numbers.

Metro staff recommends a phased approach that would help save money and begin making the change as new rail lines debut. Under this plan, the renaming would begin with the Blue Line once it fully reopens after next year’s closures followed by most other lines when the Crenshaw/LAX Line opens. 

The staff recommendation will go to the Metro Board of Directors’ Executive Management Committee this Thursday (Nov. 15 ) at 11:30 a.m. with the full Board scheduled to consider the item at their Dec. 6 meeting. All Board meetings are livestreamed


Categories: Policy & Funding, Projects

3 replies

  1. Looks good. Can’t please everybody but seems reasonable. I would skip including the busway express buses. Staff probably want to make the system look more expansive but I feel it would just confuse people. Can I have one of the old signs?

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