Metro to Purchase Los Angeles Union Station

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) today announced that it has successfully negotiated the purchase of Los Angeles Union Station from Catellus Operating Limited Partnership for $75 million, a move that sets the stage for future expansion of the “last of the great railway stations” built in North America.

The direct purchase includes 38 acres of land and 5.9 million square-feet of entitlements that provide Metro the right to build on the property and draw lease revenues from both transit operators and businesses. Currently, the station is home to Amtrak, Metrolink, Metro Red and Purple Lines, Metro Gold Line, L.A. FlyAway and numerous Metro and municipal bus lines serving Los Angeles County and beyond. The station is also home to several new retail businesses.

The purchase enables Metro to better meet the station’s current and future transportation needs. Union Station has experienced a boom in the number of transit patrons and others who travel through it on a daily basis. Use of the station is expected to experience strong growth through a combination of factors, including planned construction of the Regional Connector transit project through downtown, the future Metro Silver Line express bus station on Patsaouras Transit Plaza, a growing retail presence and future high speed rail plans for Los Angeles.

“As Southern California’s largest public transportation hub, Los Angeles Union Station is absolutely critical to the current and future mobility of our region,” said  Supervisor Don Knabe, Chairman of the Metro Board of Directors. “Our purchase of this historic station will enable us to make the needed investments to enable this facility to accommodate greater increases in transit ridership resulting from Measure R transit projects and anticipated future arrival of high speed rail. We now have the ability to retain the historic nature of Union Station and prepare it to serve as a world-class 21st century transportation hub.”

Metro’s negotiations with the seller began in November 2010. In the seller’s interest to conduct an expedited sale, Metro will purchase the station independently. The California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) has indicated an interest in partial ownership of the station as it continues efforts to bring high speed rail service to the region.

The income generated from the deal supports a substantial portion of the station’s purchase price. Metro already owns Union Station’s East Portal, the adjacent Metro Headquarters building and Patsaouras Transit Plaza. Not included in the purchase agreement are Axis Union Station Apartments, the Metropolitan Water District Headquarters building or the office building in front Union Station on Alameda Street.

Following an expected April 2011 closing, Metro will review the station premises and plan for future transportation and development needs. Metro will evaluate, among others, potential efforts to add and improve pedestrian flow through Union Station, parking, and bus capacity issues on Patsarouas Transit Plaza.

Due to the size of the property and accompanying entitlements, the purchase also presents new opportunities for joint development on the station’s 38 acres, which increases the potential for Metro to generate additional revenues on the developed property.

Built in 1939, Union Station is a nationally registered historic landmark.

For additional information about Metro, visit

Go Metro to NBA All-Star Jam This Weekend

Go Metro to meet and collect autographs of your favorite NBA players and legends at the NBA All-Star Jam Session Feb. 18 – 21 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. You’ll save $3 on admission at the same time you save on gas and parking and avoid the traffic hassle of downtown Los Angeles.

The Metro Blue Line Pico/Chick Hearn Station is just one block away from the L.A. Convention Center.

Metro customers will be able to save $3 only on Friday and Monday. To obtain the discount visit until Feb. 16 and use the promotional code METROA to save on adult tickets and METROC to save on children’s tickets. The limit is four tickets per transaction while supplies last.

The jam session will feature more than 450,000 square feet of nonstop basketball action for fans to shoot, slam, dribble and drive all day, to compete against their friends in skills, challenges or score game-changing basketball tips from NBA pros.

For complete information on the Metro system schedules and detours visit and to plan your trip go the Trip Planner or call 323.GO.METRO (323) 466-3876) and enjoy riding on Metro.

Metro Bids Farewell to Last Diesel Bus

At a ceremony this morning, the last diesel bus in Metro’s fleet was retired, making Metro the first major transit agency in the world to operate only alternative clean fueled buses.

“Today is a great day for Metro and the people of L.A. County because it’s an excellent day for our region’s air quality” said Supervisor and Metro Chair Don Knabe. “With today’s retirement, Metro becomes the first major transit system in the world to run entirely on clean alternative fuels.  We’ve been working toward this day since 1993 and now just one look at our sky helps tell the story.  The air is getting cleaner, in part because Metro is getting greener.”

Metro directors in 1993 decided to only order clean air vehicles, an action that paved the way for other transit agencies across the U.S. to opt for greener vehicles. After experimenting with methanol and ethanol buses that proved too corrosive for bus engines, Metro, ultimately, went with compressed natural gas (CNG) engines and today has 2,221 CNG buses.

The clean air bus fleet is just one aspect of Metro’s green program which also includes widespread use of solar panels at bus maintenance facilities and other energy saving devices to cut energy costs, recycling, and building and retrofitting new transit facilities with sustainable materials and practices.

FTA Gives Go Ahead on Westside Subway Extension and Regional Connector

Metro Chair Don Knabe announced the great news that the Federal Transit Administration has given formal approval for preliminary engineering work to begin on the Westside Subway Extension and the Regional Connector, moving both projects a step closer to actual construction.

The Regional Connector underground light rail like will connect the metro Gold, Blue and future Expo lines, making it easier for passengers to reach their destinations without having to transfer to a bus or another train.

The notification by the FTA means that federal funding for both projects could be included in next year’s federal budget.  The FTA has also given strong indications that they support Metro’s efforts to build more quickly than originally planned. 

The people of this region have, time and again, shown their desire for public transport options – taxing themselves THREE times in the last three decades, desperate for relief from traffic and smog.  The latest was two years ago with Measure R, which will allow Metro to accelerate its transportation plans through the 30/10 initiative, speeding up execution – and allowing projects to get built faster and at a lower cost. 

Competition for federal rail project grants is extremely competitive.  The FTA’s actions underscore their confidence in Metro’s ability to deliver public transit in LA County, on-time and on-budget. 

For more information, go to

Metro Offers Free Fare for Holidays

Leave the Driving to Metro — To promote a safe holiday season, Metro will offer a special holiday free fare program for all Metro Bus and Metro Rail lines operating on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

The free fare program will be in effect between the hours of 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. on the nights and early mornings hours of December 24-25 and December 31-January 1.

Patrons boarding a Metro Bus, including the Metro Orange Line, or the Metro Red, Purple, Blue, Green or Gold rail lines during the hours designated will receive a free ride to their destination.

Metro is reminding the public that it is an option for people attending holiday parties so they don’t have to drive. Metro’s fleet of more than 2,200 buses, the Metro Orange Line, a dedicated bus transitway in the San Fernando Valley, and Metro Rail lines offer patrons alternatives to driving solo in their vehicles with convenient travel opportunities throughout the region.

The Metro Purple Line operates from Union Station in downtown Los Angeles to Wilshire/Western and the Metro Red Line from Union Station to North Hollywood in the San Fernando Valley via Hollywood. The Metro Blue Line operates from Long Beach to downtown Los Angeles; the Metro Green Line runs between Norwalk and El Segundo, and the Metro Gold Line operates between Pasadena and East Los Angeles.

Metro Bus Service Changes to be Implemented

Effective Sunday, December 12, Metro is making bus service changes to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Metro system through better use of resources. Four local lines are set to be discontinued and five Metro Rapid lines will be canceled with service reallocated to limited and local service operating along those corridors. In addition some Saturday and Sunday service will be canceled with some of the service being augmented by local service on the weekends.

The bus service changes are being made to reduce unproductive service, reduce duplication of service along key travel corridors and to rightsize the Metro Rapid Corridor service. Metro staff looked at several Metro Rapid corridors where the average passengers trip length on the service were not much longer or faster than the local service currently being provided. For these specific corridors, Metro Rapid service (Lines 711, 714, 715, 753 & 920) will be discontinued and replaced with additional trips on the Local/Limited service (Lines 311, 14, 115, 53 & 720) as warranted to meet demand.
Below is a complete list of the Metro Bus service changes to be implemented on Sunday, December 12.

42/42A–LAX City Bus Center to Downtown LA/Union Station via La Tijera Bl, Stocker St, ML King Bl. Operate as a branch of Line 40 (refer to Line 40 timetable). Line 42A via La Cienega Bl operates evenings/nights only.

68/287– Monterey Park via Cesar E Chavez Av/El Monte-Indiana Gold Line Station via Garvey Ave. Discontinue Line 287 service between The Shops at Montebello & Indiana Gold Line Station. Extend selected trips on Line 68 to replace service between Atlantic Bl & The Shops at Montebello.

71–Los Angeles – Cal State LA via Wabash Av & City Terrace Dr. Discontinue portion of route to Outpatient Clinic behind the hospital. Route will serve hospital on Marengo Ave. only.

121– Imperial/Wilmington Station-Whitwood Mall via Imperial Hwy, Telegraph Rd & Santa Gertrudes Ave. Operate as a branch of Line 120 (refer to Line 120 timetable).

165– West Hills-Burbank Station via Vanowen St. Discontinue route deviation from Empire Av to Thornton Av & Hollywood Wy near Bob Hope Airport. Service will remain on Empire Av.

168– Chatsworth Station- via Lassen St & Paxton St. Discontinue service. Alternate service available on Lines 158, 167 and a portion of Lines 233, 761 and 902.

177– La Canada-Sierra Madre Villa Gold Line Station via 1-210 & California Bl & Walnut St.
Retain AM and PM peak hour service only and reduce the number of trips.

202– Willowbrook-Compton-Wilmington. Reduce service to every 60 minutes between Willowbrook through Compton to Wilmington.

206– Athens-Hollywood via Normandie Ave. Change turnaround loop in Hollywood. Board southbound buses on Vermont Av at Sunset Bl facing north or on westbound Hollywood Bl at New Hampshire Ave.

214– Artesia Transit Center-Broadway/Main St Loop-Harbor Freeway Station.
Discontinue service. Alternate service provided on Lines 45, 52 and Torrance Transit 1.

220– Beverly Center-Culver City via Robertson Bl. Discontinue Saturday service. Alternative service provided on Line 105 and Big Blue Bus 12.

212/312– Hawthorne-Hollywood via La Brea Av Local/Limited. Operate Line 312 limited stop service in peak hours only, northbound in the AM and southbound in the PM (discontinue midday limited stop service).

256– Commerce – Altadena via Eastern Av & Hill Ave. Modify route at Hill Av & Washington Bl. Route travels via Washington Bl & Lake Av to current terminal at Lake Av & Mendocino St. Discontinue segment north of Washington Bl on Hill Av, Holliston Av and Mendocino St.

311– LAX City Bus Center-Norwalk Green Line Station via Florence Ave. New limited stop service replaces discontinued Line 711.

439– Culver City Transit Center/Fox Hills-Downtown LA/Union Station via La Cienega & Santa Monica Fwy. Retain weekday AM and PM peak period service only and operate all trips via Green Valley Circle. Discontinue segment on Sepulveda Bl south of Culver City Transit Center/Fox Hills Mall. Service on Sepulveda Bl provided by Culver City Line 6 and Rapid 6.

607– Inglewood-Windsor Hills-Inglewood. Discontinue counter clockwise service, maintain clockwise service.

608– Crenshaw Connection. Discontinue service.

620– Boyle Heights via Cesar Chavez Av & State St. Reduce service to 60-minute frequency.

625/626– Green Line-World Way West via Imperial Hwy (625), LAX City Bus Center-Green Line (626). Discontinue Line 626 and extend select Line 625 trips to Superior Court.

711– Inglewood TC-Bell Gardens via Florence Ave. Discontinue service and replace with enhancements to Line 111 service and with a new Line 311 limited stop service.

714– Downtown LA-Beverly Hills via Beverly Bl. Discontinue service and replace with enhancements to Line 14 service.

715– LAX City Bus Center-Downey via Manchester Av, Firestone Bl. Discontinue service and replace with enhancements to Line 115 service.

750– Warner Center Transit Hub-Universal City Station via Ventura Bl. Discontinue weekend service and replace with enhancements to Line 150 service.

753– Downtown LA-Imperial/Wilmington Station via Central Ave. Discontinue service and replace with enhancements to Line 53 service.

762– Pasadena-Artesia Blue Line Station via Fair Oaks Av & Atlantic Bl. Discontinue Saturday service and replace with enhancements to Line 260 service.

780–Pasadena-Washington/Fairfax Transit Hub via Colorado Bl & Hollywood Bl & Fairfax Ave.
Discontinue weekend service and replace with enhancements to Line 180 service.

920– Wilshire Rapid Express. Discontinue service and replace with enhancements to Line 720 service.

In addition, minor changes will be made to all other bus schedules with the exception of Lines 125, 128, 265, 442 and 450. Please check for revised timetables on, or on board buses. For specific bus route information call 323.GO.METRO, (323) 466-3876.

Metro Implements New Transit Information Number

The well-known telephone number 1.800.COMMUTE, funded by Caltrans for transportation information in Los Angeles County is being discontinued.

Metro will now provide bus and rail information through a new easy-to-remember number 323.GO.METRO.

While the phone number is changing, the service remains the same. Metro’s Customer Information agents will continue to handle approximately 50,000 calls a week from riders seeking assistance with bus and rail trip planning.

Other travel, traffic and commuter/rideshare information, which was also provided through 1.800.COMUTE, can now be accessed by calling 511.

Metro customers will see a direct benefit when dialing the new 323.GO.METRO number as calls will go directly to Metro’s Telephone Information Center, where an agent will assist the public with fares, routes, schedules and trip planning requests. Metro customers will not have to navigate a  “phone tree” to reach a live telephone information agent.

Due to state budget constraints and the recent emergence of the 511 phone number, which provides similar access, Caltrans opted to discontinue the 1.800.COMMUTE number. The cost of operating 1.800.COMMUTE is approximately $800,000 annually. Metro’s cost for maintaining the 323.GO.METRO number is estimated at $12,000 annually.

In mid-November, Caltrans will place a message on 1.800. COMMUTE announcing to callers that the number will be discontinued. The message will instruct them to start using 323.GO.METRO  (323.466-3876). In addition, Metro is mounting an extensive outreach campaign to inform customers of the change.

While 323.GO.METRO is not a toll-free number, calling the number from most areas of Los Angeles County will not result in a toll charge to the caller. In addition, Customer Relations finds that most callers now use cell phones, which generally do not incur toll charges.

Expo Light Rail Construction to Cause Blue Line Delays

Metro Blue Line passengers will experience travel delays of up to 40 minutes for the next three weekends beginning tonight, November 5, due to construction of the Expo light rail line, which will connect with the Metro Blue Line in downtown Los Angeles.

Metro will provide bus shuttle service between the Washington Station and the 7th St./Metro Center Station.

Work will begin at 9 p.m. on Friday and continue until Monday early morning, November 8. Metro expects to have the Metro Blue Line service restored on Monday before rush hours between Washington and 7th St/Metro Center Stations. Should any unforeseen delay occur, the bus shuttle service will continue in operation with buses running between Washington and 7th St./Metro Center stations.

The same plan also is schedule for the weekends of November 12 and November 19 and will continuing until the early hours of Monday, November 15 and November 22.

The Metro Blue stations affected will be San Pedro, Grand Avenue, Pico/Chick Hearn and 7th/Metro Center. Rail service from Washington Station to Long Beach Transit Mall will not be affected. There also will be Metro personnel at Washington and 7th/Metro Center stations to help direct patrons.

The bus shuttle service will operate every 15 to 20 minutes on Friday night. On Saturday and Sunday buses will run every 5 to 10 minutes and after 8 p.m. every 15 to 20 minutes.

The temporary bus stops will be located near the stations. Those passengers coming from Long Beach to downtown Los Angeles will have to transfer from the train to the bus at the Washington Station, on Long Beach Avenue just south of Washington Boulevard. The buses will have stops at San Pedro Station on Washington Boulevard just east of San Pedro Street, at Grand Avenue Station on Washington Boulevard east of Olive Avenue, at Pico/ Chick Hearn Station on Pico Boulevard, east of Flower Street and at 7th/Metro Center at the Figueroa Street entrance to the Metro Rail station.

Metro Blue Line customers traveling to Long Beach can board buses at the Hope Street entrance to the 7th St./Metro Center. Buses will make stops at Pico/Chick Hearn station on Pico Boulevard, east of Flower Street, at Grand Avenue Station on Washington Boulevard east of Grand Avenue, at San Pedro Station on Washington Boulevard just east of San Pedro Street, and at  Washington Station will be on Washington Boulevard just east of Long Beach Boulevard.

Metro patrons are advised to allow extra time for their trips and check television monitors in train stations or call Metro’s hot line number 213- 922-4999 for the latest information on the construction work and service impacts or go online to All work is subject to weather delays.

Metro apologizes for this inconvenience and appreciates the public understanding and cooperation during this construction period. For schedule information, contact Metro Customer Relations at (213) 922-6235.

The Expo Line is a new 8.5 mile light rail line under construction from downtown Los Angeles to Culver City. It will share tracks and two stations with the Metro Blue Line along the Flower Street portion of the alignment. For Expo Line Construction information contact (213) 922-3976.

Metro Board Votes on Routes for Westside Subway Extension and Regional Connector Projects

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Board of Directors today approved the Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Report (EIS/R) for the Westside Subway Extension and Regional Connector projects, clearing the way for both projects to enter final environmental review and preliminary engineering.

In approving the environmental drafts, the Board also approved Metro staff recommendations for the Locally Preferred Alternatives (LPA) – the routes the projects would take through their respective project areas. For the Westside Subway Project, the recommended route is a subway extension running between the Wilshire/Western Metro Purple Line Terminus to Westwood/VA Hospital, a distance of approximately nine miles.  For the Regional Connector Project, the recommended route is a nearly two-mile, fully underground light rail line connecting the Metro Gold Line, Metro Blue Line, and future Expo Line through Downtown Los Angeles.  The LPA recommendation to eliminate the 5th/Flower Station was approved.  The Board, however, requested Metro staff to report back at the December Board meeting whether there was private sector interest in funding a further study of the 5th/Flower Station.

In the Final EIS/R phase, agency planners will further analyze environmental issues for route and station options that were carried forward from the draft.  At the end of the approximately one-year final environmental review process, the Metro Board will decide the project that will ultimately be built utilizing local Measure R transportation sales tax monies.  Metro is also currently seeking matching funds through the federal New Starts Program for these projects.

Both projects are expected to fill two major gaps in the Los Angeles area rail system, providing faster, more reliable travel times for transit commuters while increasing project trips throughout the Metro Rail system.

“Today’s Board decision to move both of these projects forward simultaneously is a major milestone in the history of transit in Los Angeles County,” said L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board Chair Don Knabe.   “What’s more, the Board’s action is a vote of confidence that these projects will best compete for immediate federal funding as our agency moves aggressively to fulfill the promise of Measure R and the accelerated timeline of 30/10.”

Click here to learn more about the Westside Subway Extension and the Regional Connector Transit Corridor

Metro to hold community meetings on the South Bay Metro Green Line Extension Project

Metro will hold four community meetings beginning Wednesday, October 20, to update the public on the South Bay Metro Green Line Extension project. The purpose of these meetings is to seek public comments and input as the environmental process continues for extending rail service farther into the South Bay to improve mobility in southwest Los Angeles County.

Metro is currently preparing a Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (DEIS/DEIR) to identify transit improvements that would provide an alternative to the I-405 corridor by accessing the regional rail network through connections to the proposed Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor, currently under environmental review.

As part of the Draft EIS/EIR, Metro will assess existing conditions in the study area, further refine the project alternatives, assess their potential impacts and identify possible and reasonable mitigation measures.

Two ‘build’ alternatives are being considered in the DEIS/DEIR. The Light Rail Alterative will evaluate extending the Metro Green Line from its current terminus at the Redondo Beach Station to the proposed Torrance Regional Transit Center (RTC).

The freight track alternative will evaluate operating self propelled rail transit vehicles on the Harbor Subdivision right-of-way using upgraded rail tracks from the El Segundo/LAX area to the proposed Torrance RTC. In addition the Draft EIS/EIR will evaluate the No Build and Transportation Systems Management alternatives.

The public is encouraged to attend the community meetings and provide their input. Discussed at the meetings will be a project overview and update, a recap of the Scoping Meetings that took place earlier this year and a progress report on the project alternatives and proposed station locations.

The following is a list of upcoming meetings:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010 (6-8 p.m.) Nakano Theater, 3330 Civic Center Drive, Torrance.

Thursday, October 21, 2010 (6-8 p.m.) Lawndale Christian Church, 4234 W. 147th Street, Lawndale.

Monday, October 25, 2010 (6-8 p.m.) North Redondo Senior Center, Perry Park, 2308 Rockefeller Lane, Redondo Beach.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010 (6-8 p.m.) Flight Path Learning Center, 6661 West Imperial Highway, Los Angeles.

Click Here for more information about the South Bay Metro Green Line Extension Project