Newly Opened Regional Connector Redefines Light Rail Transit in Los Angeles

Three rail lines have become two rail lines in Los Angeles, providing one-seat rides from four corners of Los Angeles County.

1 minute read

June 21, 2023, 12:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


A map of the construction project to build two new rail transit routes through Downtown Los Angeles.

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Regional Connector Transit Project map.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) opened the long-awaited Regional Connector to the public on June 16, completely redrawing Metro’s rail service map in the process.

“The 1.9 miles of new track laid allows light-rail trains to travel between Union Station and the busy 7th St./Metro Center Station in downtown LA’s Financial District,” according to an article by Brandon Lewis for Mass Transit magazine. “Bridging the gap allows L.A. Metro to merge the hook-shaped L (Gold) line with the A (Blue) and E (Expo) lines, creating two serpent-like train lines where there were once three.”

In effect, the two newly formed lines allow one-seat light rail rides from Azusa to Long Beach on the A Line, and East L.A. to Santa Monica on the E Line. The project overcame delays in 2019 and a lawsuit in 2012 to come to fruition.

The new project also delivered three new underground stations to serve the newly formed A and B lines in downtown—the Little Tokyo/Arts District Station, the Historic Broadway Station, and the Grand Avenue/Bunker Hill Station.  

Local coverage of the Regional Connector’s contribution to transit in Los Angeles is available from L.A. Taco and the Los Angeles Times [paywall]. See also Metro’s Regional Connector Transit Project page for more information.

The official map of Metro L.A. rail and busway maps as of June 2023.
The official map of Metro L.A. rail and busway maps as of June 2023. (Image courtesy of Metro)

 

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