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Project to modernize Metro’s oldest light rail line is one of the most comprehensive of agency’s State of Good Repair projects

Wednesday May 29, 2019

With an investment of $350 million, the ongoing New Blue Improvements Project to bring Metro’s oldest light rail line up to date and into a State of Good Repair is now halfway complete, the agency announced today.

Metro’s State of Good Repair initiative, under the leadership of Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington, is targeted at keeping existing and future transit assets in good working order while reducing breakdowns and mechanical issues.

“This critical project is one of the largest single investments that Metro has made as part of our State of Good Repair program,” said Metro Executive Officer for Capital Projects Tim Lindholm. “It is an investment in the future of our system that will ultimately save time for riders, improve the customer experience and save money for the agency by increasing the lifespan of our equipment and reducing costly breakdowns and delays.”

Metro is greatly expanding its transit system thanks to the M sales tax ballot measure approved by L.A. County voters in 2016. The sales tax measure also dedicates a funding stream to State of Good Repair — which is unique among the nation’s transit ballot measures.

Other examples of State of Good Repair Projects include improvements to the maintenance shops and administrative building at Metro’s Division 1 bus yard in downtown Los Angeles, adding pedestrian gates to the Blue Line corridor, replacing escalators at the busy Pershing Square subway station, converting more Metro facility lighting to LED, replacing roofs at rail yards and grouting  subway tunnels to mitigate groundwater leakage.

The Blue Line opened in July 1990 and runs for 22 miles between downtown Long Beach to downtown Los Angeles. It has historically been Metro’s busiest light rail line and averaged more than 60,000 weekday boardings in 2018.

Work to modernize the Blue Line has been ongoing since 2014 with a series of safety and operational improvements that culminated in this year’s major work requiring rail service to be suspended — first for four months on the southern section of the line and then for four months on the northern section.

The current work on the southern section of the line began in January and ends on June 1, when work on the northern section will begin. As part of the project, the Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station — the fourth busiest rail station in the Metro system — will also be closed for eight months for a complete rebuild from the ground up.

Among the Blue Line work being completed this year are:

Train control improvements

  • Addition of four crossover tracks/switches to reduce service interruptions (one in the southern and three on the northern segment).
  • Upgrading of existing train control signals system
  • Modernizing the Blue Line rail yard train control system

Track improvements

  • Replacement of rail tracks in several segments
  • Replacement of track elements at 7th St/Metro Center Station and the junction of the Blue and Expo Lines in Downtown L.A.
  • Upgrading the overhead power system for the entire 22 miles of the Blue Line

Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station Improvements

  • Blue Line platform lengthening
  • New platform canopy
  • New southern pedestrian entry to station
  • New Metro Customer Service Center
  • New Metro Bike Hub
  • Expanded Metro Transit Security Center
  • New Community Plaza
  • Renovated Park & Ride Lot
  • New pick-up and drop-off zone
  • New digital IxNTouch Information Screens
  • New station signage
  • Repainted stations
  • New landscaping

To learn more about Metro’s State of Good Repair Program, please visit

About Metro
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is unique among the nation’s transportation agencies. Created in 1993, Metro is a multimodal transportation agency that transports about 1.3 million passengers daily on a fleet of 2,200 clean air buses and six rail lines. The agency also oversees bus, rail, highway and other mobility-related building projects and leads transportation planning and programming for Los Angeles County.

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