Blue Line south closure to begin Saturday, Jan. 26

Some of the bus shuttles are not stopping at the rail stations — rather, they are nearby. On this map please the location of the bus shuttle stops for each rail station is listed below the station name. It will speed up your trips if you go directly to the bus stops.

The Blue Line will undergo a comprehensive $350-million modernization beginning Jan. 26 to improve reliability, enhance safety and improve the customer experience.

From Jan. 26 to late May, Blue Line rail service will be suspended from Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station to 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.

In addition, beginning Jan. 26 Blue Line service to Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station will be closed for eight months — until September. That will allow the station to 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.

Metro will offer three types of Blue Line Bus Shuttle Service during the closures. Not all the bus stops are at the rail stations — please see the above map that has the bus stop location listed under each station. There will be signage at rail stations showing the way to the bus stops and Metro staff on hand. It will speed your trips to go directly to the bus stop.

• 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. Timetable here

• 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 5:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.  Timetable here

• 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 5:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Timetable here. Please note that the end-to-end trip will take about 75 minutes.

Two other key dates:

• Late May through 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. We will have exact date and time as we get closer to the northern closure.

Work on the Blue Line will include improvements to the signaling system, 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 displays, signage, paint and a refresh of the current landscaping. The Blue Line opened in 1990 and is Metro’s oldest rail line — modernization work has been ongoing since 2014 with a series of safety and operational improvements.

For the New Blue project fact sheet and project team contact info, check There is also a Frequently Asked Questions section that may be helpful.


19 replies

  1. For 3 months we will need to take a bus between 103rd and Willowbrook to connect Green line to Blue line? That segment should be fixed first.

  2. This report on the blue line shuttles replacing trains next year seems to be incomplete. I thought the mid-year reports of this upgrade were poor and uninformative but to read this now still leaves riders with concerns and questions. The graphics and key legends are confusing and unclear. There are no timetables. This proposed express is not express. Why not couple stations, ie, Wardlow & Willow and Artesia & Compton, etc as shuttle stations during the upgrades? Also, there should be direct shuttle service between DTLB and DTLA, like there should be direct train service between these start/end stations at the end of 2019. On related concerns, do these upgrades encompass the demand and service Metro will provide for the 2028 Olympics or is Metro shortsighted (again) of this potential need 10 years from now? Why does Metro continue to use colors to designate lines when it’s supposed be transitioning to letters? Why not slowly begin the transition to letters now.

    Moreover, slightly off topic but tangentially relevant, Metro board members should be persuaded to ride the trains, and make blue line rides mandatory, prior to their appointments and monitored on a regular basis. There could only be positive results if these desired and required functions were in place.

  3. I want to know if Metro has plans to increase Silver Line (910/950) bus service during this time period. Every time there are problems with the Blue Line, the Silver Line becomes an unbearable nightmare. I may go back to driving to work.

  4. I would’ve liked to have read that metro was planning new grade separations for the blue line and the eastern section of the expo line. We certainly don’t need to make it a full L system, but there are intersections where our light rail would benefit from interacting less with cars.

  5. To start of with , the Blue Line wasn’t built with Standard Gauge Track but instead a gauge not usually seen in the United States. They are now attempting to fix their huge mistake. This is why the Blue Line has never received new equipment as seen on the other lines. What we see on MTA rail lines was never experienced when both the Pacific Electric and the L. A. Railway ran their systems in Los Angeles. As an example of their incompetence, it took the LACTC , a MTA predecessor, approx. three years to build the Blue Line. By comparison it took the P.E. six months to build their system over the same right of way to Long Beach using three crews instead of one in the process.

    They will offer every excuse possible but the bottom line is they don’t know what they are doing in running both rail and bus service. Most of those with experience were either terminated or have retired and replaced with TEXT Book bureaucrats lacking any real transit experience.

  6. For more than 100 years, subway riders in New York haven’t had to experience these types of closures because their system has three or more tracks for each line. This permits express service and – more importantly in this case – allows construction crews to work on a set of tracks while the others are still usable. LA Metro never learned the lesson of building only two tracks with the Blue Line — and continues to build new light rail and subway lines with only two tracks as well. Disappointing that “cheap” takes the place of “reliability” so often with LA Metro. Had there been three or four tracks, this closure would have never been needed.

    • Only New York City, Chicago, & Philadelphia’s rapid transit systems have express tracks, and those were built a century ago, express tracks are cost-prohibitive in modern systems. Recent rapid transit systems built after the 1970s like BART, WMATA, MARTA, Baltimore, & Miami lack express tracks; L.A. is in the same league. Some modern light rail systems like Sacramento RT, Santa Clara VTA, & San Diego MTS get by with single-tracked segments. New York City’s Second Avenue Subway, for its first phase is only 2 miles, has only 2 tracks (no express tracks), 3 stations, no platform screen doors (initially it was slated to have them but never implemented due to expense), took 10 years to build, and costs $4 billion.

    • The L Train from Manhattan to Brooklyn will be shut down for 15 months starting in April. The number of tracks is just one consideration. When you are replacing signaling and rebuilding stations, they would still need a shutdown even if multiple tracks were in operation.

    • Welp, that’s not true.

      We’re about to endure the 15 month shutdown of the L train between Brooklyn and Manhattan – a two-track line that carries 225,000 people per day.

      Until August or September, the 2/3 trains didn’t go to Brooklyn on weekends for 8 months – also a two-track line between Chambers Street and Nevins Street.

      Then two years ago, the G train only ran in Brooklyn because the tunnel to Queens was being reconstructed – another two-track line.

      Then right now, the J and M trains don’t go to Downtown Manhattan on weekends – that’s a three-track section, but…

      Oh, and then for much of last year and until September, the M only went to three stations in South Queens and North Brooklyn – they were rebuilding a bridge, so bus bridges to the part of the line where the J and M were running. (Two-track line.)

      Not to mention that where there are multiple tracks, we still have bus bridges and reduced service because trains don’t stop. And going back to when I was a kid visiting from California 20 years ago, I’ve never seen a weekend when the subway didn’t have reroutes or bus bridges.

      (Matter fact, when they close four-track sections, service gets worse because multiple routes conga line and get stuck waiting for the few switches in place to switch.)

      Then there’s those days where the system collapses because someone was sick or a train’s doors won’t close or the roof falls onto the platform. Those multi-tracks don’t help us then.

      So even with the redundancies you’re mentioning, it still fails. But LA MTA is doing smart by closing down the line at once to rebuild instead of following NY MTA’s example of drawing things out for years and having to redo what was done again because the next phase needs this or that removed from the previous phase.

      Short term inconvenience > long term aggravation.

      (And in case you didn’t know, you’re paying $1.75, while we’re staring down $3 fares. NY MTA should not be your yardstick for how LA MTA should run, since Angelenos have a well-functioning transit system, while we NYers can’t be sure that our bus is going to show up (since they don’t replace drivers who call out or go on vacation) or that the train is going to leave the station.)

  7. I am generally a fan of Metro’s graphics. But I have to say: these maps are extremely confusing, more confusing than necessary. ESPECIALLY the choice to use aqua, green and gold for the colors (which are the colors of other light-rail lines).

    Anyway, here are some practical questions. How will riders find the shuttle buses if the stations are closed? How will riders transfer to/from the Green Line if that station is closed? Will station closures affect parking?