Nighttime pre-revenue testing underway on the Regional Connector! pic.twitter.com/O4oKn7gXlO
— Austin ???? (@multimodalLA) March 29, 2023
While there is still work to complete, we have some good news — train testing on the Regional Connector project has begun in anticipation of its opening later this year. We don’t yet have a date but this is great step forward.
There are some changes — see below — including adjustments to our A, E and L Line schedules that begin Sunday, April 9. Under the new schedules, the last trains of the night will be leaving earlier than they currently do. We don’t want anyone to miss their trains — please note this! Please scroll down for more info.
Via a new tunnel with three underground stations in downtown Los Angeles, the project is tying together the A, E and L Lines (Blue, Expo, Gold) into two new rail lines — the new A and E Lines. The new A Line will run north-south between Azusa and Long Beach, while the new E Line will run east-west between East LA and Santa Monica.
This map shows the change:
As part of the testing, trains from 7th/Metro, Pico/Aliso and Union Station will drop off riders and then travel through the three new stations without passengers. During this time, riders of the A, E and L Lines may start to see and hear updated line letters on trains and signs as we test the new service.
We promise to make the transition as smooth as possible, but you will likely see both old and new for a little while as we test the service and get ready for the opening.
What can riders expect during the testing phase?
New Schedules: We’re making changes to our A, E and L Line schedules due to Regional Connector testing beginning this Sunday, April 9.
Beginning this Sunday, the last train times EVERY NIGHT of the week:
Last A Line train departing 7th/Metro for Long Beach: 12:03 am.
Last A Line train departing Long Beach for 7th/Metro: 11:06 pm.
Last E Line train departing 7th/Metro for Santa Monica: 12:00 am.
Last E Line train departing Santa Monica for 7th/Metro: 11:14 pm.
Last L Line train departing Union Station for Azusa: 12:14 am.
Last L Line train departing Azusa for Union Station: 11:02 pm.
Last L Line train departing Pico/Aliso for Atlantic: 12:10 am.
Last L Line train departing Atlantic for Pico/Aliso: 11:37 pm.
If you do miss the last train, Metro does offer Owl bus service that runs overnight on select bus lines. To plan a transit trip, some popular options are: Google Maps, Apple Maps, the Transit app, Moovit and the trip planner on metro.net.
The new schedules are here:
Note: download the files to see higher resolution versions.
Train Signs: Destinations displayed will be correct, but line letters and colors may reflect future service — for example, you may encounter a train on the L Line that carries the A Line’s color as seen in the below pics.
Train Announcements: Destinations announced will be correct, however L Line announcements may reflect future service. For example, if you’re riding the L Line from Union Station to APU/Citrus, you might hear this announcement: “This is an A Line train to Azusa/Union Station.” Those riding from Pico/Aliso to Atlantic may hear “This is an E Line train to Union Station/East LA.” Bottom line: the trains are going where you expect them to be going.
Special note for 7th St/Metro riders: Beginning April 9, Platform 1 will be used only for arriving trains and all departing trains will leave from Platform 2.
As part of the full schedule testing phase of Regional Connector rail services, new schedules will commence April 9 for the A, E and L lines.
- Please note these schedule changes include last trains approximately an hour earlier (between 11 p.m. and 11.30 p.m. approximately) from outer terminals (Santa Monica, Long Beach, Atlantic, and APU/Citrus College).
- Downtown LA area last trip departures nightly will still be at approximately 12 a.m. for the three lines. Early morning frequencies may also vary from existing times, though first trip times will be close to the same.
- These new schedule times will be the same once the Regional Connector opens, though some refinements may be made with experience gained from the test operations commencing April 9.
Stay safe: As test trains begin to operate more frequently on 1st Street in the Boyle Heights, Arts District and Little Tokyo communities:
–Never walk on the train tracks.
–Never walk/ride a bike, scooter or skateboard in the train, on the tracks, or at the station.
–Always obey all warning signs.
–Watch for trains from both directions on both tracks.
What can riders expect once the project is complete?
A Line Riders: The A Line will run between Long Beach and Azusa, via the three new downtown LA stations.
E Line Riders: The E Line will run between Santa Monica and East LA, via three new downtown LA stations. The “E” on maps and signage will change color from light blue to gold.
L Line Riders: The part of the current L Line between Little Tokyo/Arts District and Azusa will become part of the A Line. The part of the L Line between Little Tokyo/Arts District and Atlantic will become part of the E Line. The color for this part of the line will remain gold.
And good news: once the Regional Connector opens, the L Line Shuttle will go away. The new A Line will connect Union Station and Little Tokyo/Arts District Station.
Transfers between the A and E Lines: you’ll be able to transfer between the A and E Lines at five stations in DTLA: Pico, 7th/Metro, Grand Ave Arts/Bunker Hill and Little Tokyo/Arts District. The transfer is easy: step off one train and wait for the next one on the same platform.
More about the Project: The Regional Connector is a 1.9-mile twin tunnel under downtown Los Angeles that is connecting the A, E and L Lines to make travel to and through downtown L.A. quicker with fewer transfers. The project will make traveling by transit throughout our county and region faster and more convenient.
For example, riders from Azusa and East LA will be able to travel directly into the heart of downtown L.A. without having to transfer to the B/D Line subway at Union Station. Similarly, riders on the A and E Lines will be able to reach more DTLA destinations without having to transfer to the subway at 7th/Metro.
Those who know their transit history may recall that the original L Line to Pasadena was supposed to run to 7th/Metro. Budget constraints prevented that from happening and the project was built instead between Union Station and Pasadena. The Connector, two decades later, supplies the missing link!