Metro riders traveling from Long Beach to downtown Los Angeles — and vice versa — have, since January, faced freeway traffic aboard shuttle buses while the agency’s oldest light-rail line, the Blue Line, has undergone renovation work.
But that’s set to change next month, when the new and improved line will fully reopen to the public.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced Tuesday, Sept. 10, the 22-mile line will open in “late October,” after the nine-month, $350-million project is completed. A specific date will be announced “following train testing,” a Metro statement said.
When the route reopens, it will be dubbed the “A Line,” as part of a system-wide move from color designations to letters.
“We would like to sincerely thank the public for its patience,” Metro CEO Phillip Washington said in a statement, “during our construction work to improve one of our nation’s busiest light rail lines.”
The Blue Line, which first opened in 1990, was in sore need of a revamp, Metro officials said before the work began.
“What we are trying to do with the Blue Line,” Ted Lindholm, executive officer of capital projects for Metro, said last year, “is take a 28-year-old workhorse and improve it, turn it into a good state of repair.”
The project required a shutdown of the southern half from January through May followed by a five-month shuttering of the northern half.
The revamp included installing four additional crossover tracks to reduce interruptions, upgrading the control-signal system and replacing certain segments of the tracks.