UPDATE, Saturday, 5:15 p.m.: Regular train service between downtown L.A. and downtown Long Beach resumed for the first time since January this morning after a $350-million effort to renovate Metro’s oldest rail line. Below are some pics from a press event hosted by Snoop Dogg held Saturday morning at The Bloc adjacent to 7th/Metro Station in DTLA.
After a $350-million overhaul, the A Line (formerly the Blue Line) is reopening on Saturday with regular service between downtown Los Angeles and downtown Long Beach. On behalf of Metro, we extend a huge thank you to riders for their patience with the work, which began in late January.
There will be three community celebrations from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday — at The Bloc in DTLA, next to 103rd/Watts Station in Watts and in downtown Long Beach at Promenade Square. You may have also caught the news that Long Beach-native Snoop Dogg will be hosting (but not performing) the media event at The Bloc.
Rides on the A Line will be free on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Fares still apply for all other Metro bus and rail lines.
Here is some other info on the A Line’s reopening.
What’s new on the A Line?
The project added crossover switches, new overhead power systems, some new tracks and a new train control system.
This should result in fewer service delays. It will also be easier to move trains between tracks to get around maintenance work and service issues. All in all, we think this means service on the A Line — Metro’s oldest rail line, dating to 1990 — will be much more reliable than in the past.
Some pics of the work that has been done this year:
What about station improvements?
Stations have been upgraded with new paint, new landscaping, new signs and — most notably — interactive digital screens with real-time arrival info, maps, service alerts and other info that should be helpful to riders. The screens will be added to the rest of the rail and BRT system over the next few years.
Why is it being called the A Line and not the Blue Line?
Metro is renaming its rail and bus rapid transit lines with letters and colors. Why? Because our system is growing, some lines are being combined and we think this will make it easier for riders to navigate the line in the future.
In the case of the A Line, it will still be associated with the color blue. As for the other lines, we’ll be phasing in the new names over the next few years with the goal of having the new names in place when the Regional Connector opens (the Connector is tying together the Blue, Expo and Gold Lines).
How often will the A Line run?
A Line trains will be running every six minutes during most of the peak hours beginning Monday morning — that’s the same frequency they ran prior to the New Blue work beginning in January. Trains run every 12 minutes at mid-day on weekdays and weekends. Outside of those hours, trains are mostly on an every 20 minute schedule.
Unlike the past, Blue Line trains during peak hour will be running end-to-end instead of every other train beginning/ending at Del Amo. A separate project recently completed in the city of Long Beach to improve traffic light synchronization along the A Line should also give more green lights for trains.
Here are the new A Line timetables, effective Saturday, Nov. 12:
Expo Line trains will also be running every six minutes during most of the peak hours beginning Monday. New Expo timetable is here.
Is the Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station reopening on Saturday?
The station has been closed since late January as part of a $109-million renovation; check out the renderings here. Some work will continue — the new Rosa Parks Customer Center will open December 4, for example — but riders will be able to access the A Line and Green Line.
The refurbished station will also have a new public plaza framed by new bus bays, a Metro Bike Hub with bicycle storage and vendor service, and a new pedestrian promenade between the station and Wilmington Avenue that will make it safer and more pleasant for riders to reach buses and trains..
Safety and security at the station has also been enhanced with over 150 new security cameras, an upgraded LED lighting system that provides brighter conditions for a better illumination, and a new public-address-system.
Will the express bus between Long Beach and downtown L.A. keep running?
Yes. The Line 860 was used during the A Line closures but proved very popular. So Metro is going to continue the service — renamed Line 456 — as a pilot program to see how ridership performs once trains are fully running again. Service will continue to be provided by our longer 60-foot articulated buses.
The 456 will run on weekdays with four northbound morning trips from Long Beach to downtown Los Angeles and four southbound evening trips from downtown Los Angeles to Long Beach. Departure times are from Long Beach between 6:00 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. and from 7th Street/Metro Center from 4:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. Monday to Friday. We’ll post the timetable as soon as we get it.
The regular fare for the 456 will be $2.50, which is Metro’s standard fare for freeway express lines. Regular fare passholders (1-day, 7-day, 30-day) may board with a 75 cent upcharge in cash or stored value. Reduced fare passholders (Senior/Disabled, Student, etc.) are not subject to an upcharge.