Light Rail Repair Project Falls Short of Promises in Los Angeles

The former Blue Line, now the A Line, with service from Log Beach to Los Angeles, was shut down in segments for ten months (originally scheduled for eight) for repairs. The weeks since the reopening have been marred spotty, slow service.

1 minute read

December 9, 2019, 12:00 PM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Daniel J. Macy / Shutterstock

"When Los Angeles County’s oldest rail line reopened this month after a 10-month closure, transportation officials threw three parties, including one emceed by Snoop Dogg," reports Laura Nelson.

The line in question, formerly the Blue Line, now known as the A Line, doesn't seem very improved, according to user observation and system data.

"Two hours after the celebrations ended, a signal problem near downtown L.A. triggered a series of delays. In the three weeks since, the line has seen more than two dozen delays linked to rail cars, gate crossings, overhead power lines and the signal system."

The proof of the work left to do on the A Line is apparent in travel times. "When Metro officials announced the closure, they said the improvements would shave 10 minutes from the travel time between Long Beach and Los Angeles, reducing a 58-minute trip to 48 minutes," according to Nelson. "Metro’s new schedules show a travel time of 53 minutes, five minutes faster than before — but that doesn’t always hold true, riders say. The delays and technical issues have caused unreliable travel times."

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