Metro’s Regional Connector Transit Project has reached an important phase: connecting the L Line (Gold) tracks in Little Tokyo/Arts District to the new 1.9-mile twin rail tunnels under downtown L.A. that will ultimately tie together the A (Blue), E (Expo) and L Lines.
Completing that work will require a 22-month service interruption for the L Line beginning with the start of service on Saturday, October 24. During construction:
•L Line trains will run between Azusa and Union Station.
•L Line trains will run between Pico/Aliso Station and Atlantic Station.
•A bus shuttle will run between Union Station, Little Tokyo, the Arts District and Pico/Aliso stations.
The bus shuttle will depart from Bay 5 at Union Station’s Patsaouras Plaza and make the following stops: 1st St/San Pedro St, 1st St/Vignes St and 1st St/G.G.Marquez. Buses will run on the same schedule as trains — every 12 minutes during the day and every 20 minutes in the early morning and late evening.
Metro will do its best to minimize any inconvenience to riders and we’ll do our best to apply lessons learned during last year’s A Line closures and 2016’s three-month closure of the L Line in Little Tokyo and the Arts District to build temporary tracks on 1st Street.
This is the final push for Regional Connector construction. As part of the construction, the tracks from East L.A. and Azusa will both be connected to the tunnel. The current Little Tokyo/Arts District street-level station will also be demolished and replaced by a new underground station that will be on the other (south/west) side of Alameda Street. That is a more convenient location for many riders.
The A, E and L Lines are scheduled to begin using the new tunnels in late 2022.
The Regional Connector will make rides on Metro’s light rail system to and through downtown L.A. more convenient and either eliminate or minimize the need to transfer for many riders.
As the map at right shows, under the operating plan that Metro staff recommends, the A, E and L Lines will essentially merge together to become two lines.
One would run between East Los Angeles and Santa Monica. The other would run between Azusa and Long Beach. Riders will be able to transfer between the two lines at three new underground stations in downtown L.A. as well as the existing 7th/Metro Center and Pico stations in DTLA.
For L Line riders, there’s also this benefit: trains from both Azusa and East L.A. will travel directly into the heart of downtown L.A., thereby eliminating the time-munching need to transfer to the Red/Purple Line subway at Union Station. That’s a huge plus for riders coming from East L.A. who presently have to ride north on the L Line before switching to the subway to ride back south.
Metro’s Construction Relations team has been out in the community this summer informing stakeholders of the upcoming work and bus shuttles. Public service announcements, ads and Metro’s social media streams will be providing more info to the public in the coming weeks and months. We’ll also be pushing informational items such as construction notices, fact sheets and mailers that will be available in multiple languages, including English, Spanish, Korean and Japanese. Notifications in Chinese will also be included.
A 24/7 in-language assistance project hotline can be reached at 213-922-7277 to address concerns. Metro’s Trip Planner and 323-Go-Metro will also be ready to assist riders with their trip planning needs.