New video: Building the Regional Connector

The above video on the Regional Connector project is the second of three that we’re rolling out that highlight key Metro projects that are under construction. The Crenshaw/LAX Line video was posted last week and the Purple Line Extension video is on deck. 

The $1.756-billion Regional Connector is a pair of 1.9-mile rail transit tunnels under downtown Los Angeles that will tie together the Blue Line, Expo Line and Gold Line to provide faster trips to and through DTLA with  fewer transfers for riders. The project is currently 56 percent complete with a scheduled opening in 2022. 

To make this video, Metro worked with Heritage Tree Films, which is based in the Crenshaw Corridor. Paris McCoy, a Heritage Tree co-owner and cinematographer, is a native of our region and one of the relatively few African-American women working as a cinematographer. Heritage Tree also collaborated with Metro to produce a 360-degree video of the project, which will be released at a later date.

As for the Regional Connector, here are three basic things to know:

•Three new underground stations are being constructed. The Little Tokyo/Arts District Station will be at 1st and Central and will replace the nearby Gold Line Little Tokyo/Arts District Station. The Historic Broadway Station will be located  at 2nd/Broadway and will serve the Broadway Corridor and the L.A. Civic Center. The Grand Av Arts/Bunker Hill Station will be located at 2nd and Hope — a short stroll from Disney Concert Hall, the Broad, the Music Center, MOCA and the Colburn School, as well as many residences, offices, restaurants and other destinations. 

•When connected to the existing Gold, Blue and Expo lines, the project will create two new light rail lines — one stretching from Downtown Santa Monica to East Los Angeles and the other from Azusa to Long Beach. The lines will share five stations in DTLA, making it easy for riders to transfer between the lines. 

•The most technically complex aspect of the Regional Connector is the construction of a mined crossover cavern. The excavation of the cavern, located under 2nd Street between Spring and Main streets, was recently completed and is one of the largest tunneled excavations ever realized in Los Angeles. The crossover cavern will allow trains traveling between the future Little Tokyo/Arts District and Historic Broadway Stations to switch tracks in the event of an emergency or to perform system maintenance.

•The project home page on has a ton of great info. A gallery of construction pics is here. And here’s the project map:

Click above to see larger.

6 replies

  1. Such a wonderful and underappreciated project. This is going to make many, many lives better every day. Go Metro!

  2. Can we finally eliminate the “one tapping per line” policy? There are going to be lots of riders transferring between the A Line and the E Line in the Downtown LA stations. Metro can consider the method of single-tapping. Once a rider has tapped in the Metro Rail system, the rider can travel to any stations of any connecting lines without having to re-tap, except for going through a turnstile. A fare inspector just needs to check whether the TAP card had been validated within the past two hours.

  3. We’re going to beat the world record of longest light rail line in the world with the A Line.

    • Hi Chris —

      What is the current record? I think A Line will be about 60 miles if it runs from Montclair to Long Beach.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

      • From Wikipedia

        The Coast Tram (Dutch: Kusttram) is a public transport service connecting the cities and towns along the entire Belgian (West Flanders) coast, between De Panne near the French border and Knokke-Heist. At 68 km (42 miles) in length, it is the longest tram line in the world,[1] as well as one of the few interurban tramways in the world to remain in operation. The line is built at 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) metre gauge and fully electrified at 600 V DC.



        Looks like we may get another tourist attraction