Take our new survey on the C and K Line operating plan!

As many of you know, we opened the first segment of the K Line last fall between Expo/Crenshaw Station and the Westchester/Veterans Station.

But there’s a lot more K Line goodness ahead as we look forward to opening the K Line segment between Westchester/Veterans and the C Line in 2024. We haven’t opened that segment yet because we’re constructing the LAX/Metro Transit Center station near Aviation Boulevard and 96th Street. The work involves the train tracks, meaning we can’t presently run trains through the area.

That’s the frame of the LAX/Metro Transit Center Station at right with the K Line trains running to the north. Photo: LA Metro.

When complete, the LAX/Metro Transit Center station will be the future transfer point between Metro Rail, buses and the LAX  People Mover train serving airport terminals. We’re excited to both open that station and finally connect the C and K Lines with each other and a convenient link to LAX.

Here’s the thing: once the C and K Lines are connected, we need to figure out how to best operate trains on the two lines. Long-time readers and riders know this is not the first time Metro has pondered the topic of an operating plan for the two lines — this topic was much discussed in 2018. A lot has changed since — and we’ve decided to take a fresh look at our options. And we want the public’s input via this new online survey available in English and Spanish

Participants can sign up to be eligible to win a free Metro 30-day pass.

Here are three options we ask those to take the survey to consider along with the impacts to service:

  • Provides direct connection to LAX/Metro Transit Center from all C and K Line Stations
  • Riders from Norwalk segment of the existing C Line will get direct access to all K Line stations including Expo/Crenshaw connection to the the E Line
  • Riders traveling to/from the Redondo Beach segment of the existing C Line will need to change trains at Aviation/Century Station to reach the Norwalk segment
  • Riders from the Redondo Beach segment of the existing C Line will need to change trains at LAX/Metro Transit Center to reach K Line stations north of there, including Expo/Crenshaw connection to the E Line

  • Provides direct connection to LAX/Metro Transit Center from all C and K Line Stations
  • Riders from the Redondo Beach segment of the existing C Line will get direct access to all K Line stations including Expo/Crenshaw connection to the E Line
  • Riders traveling from the Norwalk segment of the existing C Line to the Redondo Beach segment of the C Line will need to change trains at Aviation/Century Station
  • Riders from the Norwalk segment of the existing C Line will need to change trains at LAX/Metro Transit Center to reach K Line stations north of there, including Expo/Crenshaw connection to the E Line

  • Provides direct connection to LAX/Metro Transit Center from all K Line Stations and the Norwalk segment of the existing C Line
  • No direct connection to LAX/Metro Transit Center from the Redondo Beach segment of the existing C Line
  • Riders from Norwalk segment of the existing C Line will get direct access to all K Line stations, including Expo/Crenshaw connection to the E Line
  • Riders traveling from existing C Line stations between Willowbrook/Rosa Parks and Aviation/LAX will have a direct connection to the Redondo Beach segment of the existing C Line
  • Riders traveling from Norwalk, Lakewood Bl and Long Beach Bl stations will need to change trains at Aviation/LAX Station to reach the Redondo Beach segment of the existing C Line

Thank you again for taking the survey. And we’re hoping many of you will comment on which plan you think is best. This input will help Metro’s Board as they consider this matter again in mid-2023. Below is a pic of the K Line tracks headed toward the junction with the C Line tracks just south of LAX.

Photo: LA Metro.

32 replies

  1. I think this survey’s hiding the ball in not mentioning the Option 3 would hurt frequencies both on the K line and the C line past Willowbrook. Lower frequencies on the Crenshaw line would really hurt regional transit as a whole—it connects to higher-ridership bus lines, goes through walkable neighborhoods, has a direct connection to the high-ridership E Line which is similarly important Metro’s rail and bus network as a whole. By hurting the Crenshaw line you’re basically sandbagging your new, expensive investments in regional transit.

    Splitting the K Line doesn’t work so well either. People won’t sit at park-and-rides twice as long for a one-seat ride to El Segundo—why sit in your car to wait longer for a train when you can just take the 105! It also just increases wait times for people who use transit the whole way.

    A transfer between two more frequent lines at Aviation/Century and LAX is better for the region than forcing both lines to be less frequent. So *please* don’t go for Option 3—it might look nice to people on paper but in practice it just makes everyone’s trips longer and results large chunks of the K and C Lines working under-capacity while introducing a new bottleneck at Willowbrook. I understand the political reasons for not offering this option but it’s malpractice to not explain the operational issues with it.

  2. Option 2 makes the most sense here. It will keep the K as primarily a north-south line and the C primarily an east-west, especially with the extensions planned to the north and south. I would never ride Metro from LAX to DTLA because of the two seat ride. Both Willowbrook and Expo/Crenshaw are not exactly safe places. Metro should have either (1) built a connector to the Expo at Crenshaw and ran a reduced headway into DTLA or (2) built rail on the Slauson alignment to provide a one seat ride from the city center to the airport (like many major world cities do). If I need to go from LAX to DTLA, it’s the Flyaway for me.

  3. Option 3. From Redondo Beach, one track takes us to Norwalk, while the other track takes us to Expo/Crenshaw.

  4. Option 3 would be strongly better than other alternatives with modifications that the C Line would still run between Norwalk and Redondo Beach, the K line would run between Expo/Crenshaw and Norwalk, and a new Olive Line(whatever that new line letter is) would run between Expo/Crenshaw and Redondo Beach so that riders can potentially avoid transfers at Aviation/LAX(later renamed as Aviation/Imperial) and Aviation/Century just to save more journey time and providing a better one seat ride

  5. I pick option 2 would better alternative optional but I am fine for netural with options 1 and 3.

  6. I suggest a modified Option 1 where the C line service also operates to Expo/Crenshaw. While this will cost more, it shouldn’t be too much more than Option 3 (which also has redundant service) but would increase service on the primary route from LAX to downtown (and to most of the rest of the transit network). It would also increase service along the Crenshaw line’s denser areas, including future connectivity at Inglewood while also preserving a one-transfer ride to downtown LA from the Redondo Beach segment. After so much capital investment there really needs to be sufficient investment in service to provide capacity and attract riders.

  7. I like the idea of a three-line service. As a San Diego based transit nerd, I notice when looking at cities with older and more extensive transit routes often have two lines that share the same route up to a certain point before branching off into their respective destinations. I think that’s something LA should always especially since they short sidedly did not make a Vermont avenue spur for the red and purple lines. Because as Steve H. editor said, ‘In the future things will change.

  8. Option 4 finals will take C Line From Norwalk to Redondo Beach and K Line Expo/Crenshaw E Line Station to Norwalk for make planning by 2024 for final planning.

  9. #2 would make it a bit faster for most people west of DTLA to get to the Redondo Beach area – and eventually Torrance, with the extension.

    I don’t know what the ridership predictions might be, but option 3 could possibly result in overcrowding at the Willowbrook/Rosa Parks station, as well as on A Line trains accepting the additional transfers.

  10. Option 2 but extend the K line all the way to Expo/Crenshaw to increase the frequency for north/south.

  11. Will TAP validators be needed for transfers between the K and C lines?

    • All of these alternatives are contingent on the caveat that you ensure the safety of the riders. I ride from Hyde Park (k) to DTLA (expo) 4 days a week. I’d love a direct connection to redondo beach.

      There are still way to many incidents of threats, borderline violence, obvious drug use, people smoking, people passed out, homeless sleeping on the seats, etc on all of these lines. I have recently noticed an increased police presence, which I think is helping. But it’s still scaring people away.

  12. What would the proposed frequencies look like with the interlining?

  13. Option 3 would be better compromise to go to Redondo from Norwalk from using the existing route for Line C, Greenline. You can switch trains from Aviation/LAX instead of going further up to Aviation/Century.

  14. Option 3 maintains the current operation of the “C” line while extending the ” K” east along the majority of the ” C” line right of way. In addition it allows the Redondo Beach segment to also be tied into the northbound “K” line in the future. This is an excellent advantage to prove the MTA is a professional operating agency and not the amitours they have proved to be currently.

  15. I thought the Westchester/Veterans station was going to open in Fall 2023 (per kline.metro.net) — has the opening been delayed to 2024 or is that a typo? If not, please update your site, the inconsistancy in messaging is frustrating.

  16. Option 2 – The Crenshaw Line was sold as a North-South Line, so I expect that to continue as a North-South Line from Hollywood (Possibly Sylmar via Valley connection to Van Nuys Line) to Torrance. The Green Line was also sold as an eventual Santa Monica extension. Option 2 will allow for such an extension to become a reality.

    Ehh, I’ll be out of LA before any of that is ever a reality.

    Still, option 2

    • Badly needed transportation expansions due to forever worsening freeway congestion. The Pacific Electric should have never been discontinued and should have had a transit agency funding source.

  17. My choices in order would be #2, #1 , then #3
    If the K line finally gets to Torrance and then the northern end gets to Wilshire, and ultimately Hollywood, it would create another major north/south line to connect all the east west lines we have (Green, Expo, Wilshire)
    I believe more people will go to LAX than Torrance on the C line (heavily employees of the airport). The folks that still need to go Redondo will still have to transfer at Century which is ok as I don’t think that station will be as busy as say making the transfer at LAX transfer station

  18. There should be a fourth alternative: a 3-line service Norwalk-Expo/Crenshaw, Norwalk-Redondo Beach, and Expo/Crenshaw-Redondo Beach. This would provide balanced headways and give all riders access to all stations on a 1-seat ride.

    • That would make too much sense! Unfortunately Metro did not design the ROW to accommodate the frequencies necessary to interline two services between LAX and Expo/Crenshaw, so per tradition, we get to choose between several inferior alternatives.

    • I also wish this was possible. But power constraints cancelled this possibility.

  19. Isn’t the E Line supposed to say East LA as it’s destination & have it’s symbol colored gold instead of the current aqua color?

    • Hi Justin;

      The map is the current color/route — but you’re right, in the future it will change.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  20. Option 1 or 2 would work well. The new LAX/Transit Center Station is being built with 3 platforms and spur tracks, which is ideal for the C Line to turn back to Norwalk (Option) or Redondo Beach (Option 1). It would also give travelers up to 3 direct no-transfer destinations to choose from.

    • Option 2. Once the green line is extended further south from its current terminus, there will be more ridership demand and it will be important to have a more north / south oriented line running from the south bay to mid city and Hollywood. The current C line would be the east / west service which connects the north / south lines and metrolink (whenever its extended to norwalk / santa fe springs station) though ideally there should be all 3 directions as another commenter pointed out. But for now, given the proposals, option 2 makes the most sense from a route layout and transit grid perspective. Also, this allows the current C line to continue northwest potentially as a line along Lincoln Blvd. towards Santa Monica if the BRT plans are ever converted to LRT. So LAX transit centre would become the key transfer point between the northwest / east line and the north / south line per se.

      • Whoops, that wasn’t meant to be a reply to that comment in particular but rather a general comment.