Metro Rail (Los Angeles County)
|Los Angeles County Metro Rail|
|Locale||Los Angeles County, California|
|Transit type||Rapid transit (heavy rail and light rail)|
|Number of lines||6|
|Number of stations||80 (13 under construction)|
|Daily ridership||362,904 (June 2012)|
|Operator(s)||Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA)|
|System length||87.8 mi (141.3 km)|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) (standard gauge)|
Metro Rail is the rapid transit rail system consisting of six separate lines (the Blue, Red, Purple, Green, Gold and Expo lines) serving 80 stations in the Los Angeles County, California area. It connects with the Metro Liner bus rapid transit system (the Orange Line and Silver Line) and also with the Metrolink commuter rail systems. The system, which has an average daily weekday ridership of 362,904 as of June 2012[update], is owned and operated by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) and started service in 1990. It has been extended significantly since that time and several further extensions are either in the works or being considered.
Current system 
In Los Angeles Metro terminology, a line is a named service, defined by a route and set of stations served by trains on that route. (The word does not refer to a physical rail corridor, as it does in New York City Subway nomenclature.) Metro Rail lines are currently named after colors (with the exception of the Expo Line), and these colors are used to distinguish the lines on Metro's maps. However, Metro also uses colors for its Metro Liner services (which are actually bus services operating in transitways). Some future Metro Rail lines (in particular, the Crenshaw Line) have no colors assigned to them yet.
Six Metro Rail lines currently operate in Los Angeles County:
- The Metro Red Line is a heavy rail subway line that connects Downtown Los Angeles to North Hollywood, passing through several neighborhoods in Hollywood and Mid-Wilshire.
- The Metro Purple Line is a heavy rail subway line running between Downtown Los Angeles and Koreatown/Mid-Wilshire.
- The Metro Blue Line is a light rail line running between Downtown Los Angeles' Financial District and Downtown Long Beach. In between, the line serves several neighborhoods and cities in the county's south-central region, including Huntington Park, South Gate, Willowbrook and Compton.
- The Metro Green Line is a fully elevated light rail line running between Redondo Beach and Norwalk. In between, the line serves several neighborhoods and cities, including El Segundo, Hawthorne, and Downey. It offers indirect access to Los Angeles International Airport via a shuttle bus from the Aviation/LAX station.
- The Metro Gold Line is a light rail line running between East Los Angeles and Pasadena, passing through Boyle Heights, Little Tokyo, Downtown Los Angeles, Highland Park and South Pasadena.
The Red and Purple Lines follow a fully underground route (subway), and the Green Line follows a fully elevated route. The Blue, Expo and Gold Line routes run in a mix of environments, including at-grade street running, at-grade ROW, elevated, and underground.
The two heavy-rail lines (Red and Purple) share right-of-way between Union Station and Wilshire/Vermont, while the two light-rail lines (Blue and Expo) share right-of-way between 7th St/Metro Center and Pico, since they use compatible technologies. Future system expansions are expected to utilize shared light-rail rights-of-way.
Hours of operation 
All Metro Rail lines run regularly between 5am and midnight, seven days a week. Limited service on particular segments is provided after midnight and before 5am. There is no rail service between 2am and 3:30am. Service operates every 5–10 minutes during the peak period, every 10–15 minutes during middays and during the day on weekends, and every 20 minutes during the evening until the close of service. Exact times vary from route to route.
Fares and fare collection 
The standard Metro base fare applies for all trips. Transfers between lines are not yet free: each line still requires a separate fare.
The following table shows Metro fares, effective August 1, 2011 (in US dollars):
|Base Fare||$1.50||$0.25 off-peak
|Metro Day Pass||$5||$1.80|
|Student Fare Card (with monthly stamp)||$24|
|College/Vocational (with monthly stamp)||$36|
|Regional EZ Pass||$84||$35|
Fare collection is based on a proof of payment system. At least two fare machines are located outside each station. Fare inspectors and deputy sheriffs police the system and cite individuals without fares.
Transit Access Pass (TAP) and fare gates 
Metro is moving toward a new system of electronic fare collection using a stored value smartcard called the Transit Access Pass (or TAP Card). This card, similar in technology to London's popular Oyster card, was intended to simplify fare collection and reduce costs. In 2012, paper monthly passes were phased out, and replaced with the TAP Card. As of April 2013, first-time Metro riders must deposit an additional $2 on top of their first fare payment in order to obtain a re-loadable TAP Card.
In addition, Metro began installing fare gates in 2008, at all heavy rail stations, select light rail stations, and all future stations. It was estimated that LA Metro lost $5.5 million a year because of poor fare enforcement. The station gates are intended to reduce these losses and free riding. In addition, the fare gates improve security at all the stations, providing more accurate ridership statistics and allow the ability to eventually have zone fares.
Implementation of both programs (the TAP Card and the fare gate program) has turned out to be expensive ($154 million in total, so far) and problematic.
As of September 2010, the combined Metro Red and Purple lines averaged a weekday ridership of 148,214, making it the ninth busiest heavy rail rapid transit system in the United States. Taking overall track length into consideration, Metro Rail's heavy rail lines transport 9,348 passengers per route mile, making this the ninth busiest system per length. This is still far lower ridership than transit systems of New York City, Boston, and the Washington Metro.
Metro's light rail system is the second busiest LRT system in the United States and largest in California by ridership, with 167,500 average weekday boardings during Q1 2012. Additionally, the Blue Line is the second largest light rail line by ridership in the United States with an average weekday ridership of 82,840, after the Boston Green Line's daily ridership of 235,300, though the Boston Green Line has four outbound termini, so that its 25 miles (40 km) of track service a larger lateral area than the Blue Line's 22 miles (35 km), but a shorter length.
The unmanned stations include at least two ticket machines, wayfinding displays, and bench seating. Surface stations are designed with shade canopies. Many suburban stations also have free or reserved parking available and some have bike storage available. Metro Rail stations are not staffed and do not yet have operating fare gates. The majority of stations are either at ground level or elevated, but a significant number of them are located underground. Each station has a unique design with an interior design reflecting local culture and/or the function of transit in society. Both subway stations and tunnels are designed to resist earthquakes of up to magnitude 7.5.
Over five decades Southern California had an extensive privately owned rail transit network with over 1,000 miles (1,600 km) of track - operated by Pacific Electric (Red Cars) and Los Angeles Railway (Yellow Cars). However, from 1927 revenue shortfall caused Pacific Electric to begin replacing lightly used rail lines with buses.
In World War II, the system briefly returned to profitability due to gas rationing and troop movement, but after the war Pacific Electric once again maintained an operating deficit and the rail system was slowly dismantled in what became known as the Great American streetcar scandal. In 1958 the remnants of the privately owned rail and bus systems were consolidated into a government agency known as the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority or MTA.
The final removal of the system continued, and by 1963 the remaining rail lines were completely removed and replaced with bus service. In the decades that followed, with growing traffic congestion, public support for the return of rail transit increased.
Beginning in the 1970s, a variety of factors, including environmental concerns, an increasing population and the price of gasoline led to calls for mass transit other than buses. In 1976, the State of California formed the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission to coordinate the SCRTD's efforts with those of various municipal transit systems in the area and to take over planning of countywide transportation systems. The SCRTD continued planning of the Metrorail Subway (the Red Line), while the LACTC developed plans for the light rail system. After decades, the wheels of government began to move forward, and construction began on the Los Angeles County Metro Rail system in 1985. In 1988, the two agencies formed a third entity under which all rail construction would be consolidated. In 1993, the SCRTD and the LACTC were finally merged into the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA, now known as Metro).
The LACMTA began construction of the initial lines throughout the 1980s using revenues from a voter-approved increase in sales tax.
The Blue line finally opened on 14 July 1990, some 27 years after the final streetcar line closed. Since that date, the system has been developed to its current size. The following table shows the timeline of this expansion:
|Segment description||Date opened||Line(s)||Endpoints||# of new
|Blue Line Initial Segment||July 14, 1990||Blue||Pico to Anaheim Street||17||19.1|
|Blue Line Long Beach Loop||September 1, 1990||Blue||Anaheim Street to Pacific||4||2.2|
|Blue Line To Financial District||February 15, 1991||Blue||Pico to 7th St/Metro Center||1||0.7|
|Red Line MOS-1||January 30, 1993||Red, Purple1||Union Station to Westlake/MacArthur Park||42||4.4|
|Green Line||August 12, 1995||Green||Redondo Beach to Norwalk||132||20.0|
|Red Line MOS-2 West||May 26, 1996||Red, Purple1||Westlake/MacArthur Park to Wilshire/Western||3||2.0|
|Red Line MOS-2 North||June 12, 1999||Red||Wilshire/Vermont to Hollywood/Vine||5||4.7|
|Red Line MOS-3||June 24, 2000||Red||Hollywood/Vine to North Hollywood||3||6.3|
|Gold Line To Pasadena||July 27, 2003||Gold||Union Station to Sierra Madre Villa||122||13.7|
|Gold Line Eastside Extension||November 15, 2009||Gold||Union Station to Atlantic||8||6.0|
|Expo Line Initial Segment||April 28, 2012||Expo||Flower/Washington to La Cienega/Jefferson||8||7.7|
|Expo Line Culver City Extension||June 20, 2012||Expo||La Cienega/Jefferson to Culver City||23||1.0|
Metro has worked over the past several years to plan and prioritize project funding and implementation. Metro's 2009 Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) was developed to provide a long-term vision of transportation system development for the next 30 years. Measure R, a countywide incrememental sales tax increase passed by voters in 2008, provides funding for many of the highest priority projects in the LRTP. Measure J, a proposed extension of the Measure R sales tax for an additional 30 years that would have allowed for acceleration of the construction timeline for many of the LRTP projects appeared on the November, 6th 2012 ballot in Los Angeles County.  However, Measure J did not succeed, garnering 66.11% of the vote, just short of the 2/3 majority needed to pass. The result has prompted some to reconsider the utility of a 2/3 vote threshold for passage of transit taxes.  
Current and priority projects 
Measure R Funds
|Gold Line Foothill Extension Phase 2a||Extends the Metro Gold Line light rail corridor from its current terminus in East Pasadena to the eastern edge of Azusa across from Citrus College in Glendora.||2010-12||November 2016||Under Construction|
|Expo Line Phase 2||Extends the Metro Expo Line light rail corridor westward from Culver City to Santa Monica.||2010-12||November 2016||Under construction|
|Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor||Creates a new light-rail route to be used by the Metro Crenshaw Line, from Crenshaw/Expo (Metro Expo Line) to Aviation/Imperial (Metro Green Line).||2010-12||June 2019||Pre-Construction|
|Regional Connector||Creates a new subway route through Downtown Los Angeles, linking the Metro Blue Line, Gold Line and Expo Line.||2014-16||May 2020||Pre-Construction|
|Westside Subway Extension||Extends the Metro Purple Line west along Wilshire to Westwood.||2013-15||December 2022||Pre-Construction|
|Gold Line Eastside Phase 2 Corridor||Extends the Metro Gold Line from its current Eastside terminus eastward.||2025||2035||Draft EIR in progress|
|Green Line Extension to South Bay||Extends the Metro Green Line from its current terminus in Redondo Beach toward the South Bay.||2026||2035||Draft EIR in progress|
|West Santa Ana Branch Corridor||Creates a new mass transit route connecting the Gateway Cities to Orange County.||2017||2024||alternatives analysis in progress|
|Green Line Extension to LAX||Extends the Metro Green Line northwest to LAX.||2020||2028||alternatives analysis in progress|
|Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor||Creates a new rapid-transit route connecting the west San Fernando Valley to the Westside.||2028||2039||scoping in progress|
Other expansion concepts 
The following proposed line/system expansions do not currently have funding or high priority in Metro's long-range plans. (More information on each project can be found in the references.)
|Pink Line (Originally HRT)||Create a new LRT line connecting the Metro Red Line's Hollywood/Highland station to the Metro Purple Line, via Santa Monica Boulevard and West Hollywood. Possible future extension south of Wilshire on San Vicente Boulevard, connecting to a future Crenshaw Line that would run north of Exposition Boulevard.||Metro's Westside Subway Extension meetings.|
|Gold Line Ontario Extension||Further extend the Metro Gold Line eastward to L.A./Ontario International Airport, via Upland.||Metro Gold Line Foothill Construction Authority, GoldLine2Ontario.com|
|Red Line Eastern Extension||Extend the Metro Red Line (or Purple Line) from eastern terminus, south along the river to either Arts District or the future "Cleantech" corridor, and possibly across the river along Whittier Blvd. to the Eastside.|
|Red Line To Burbank Airport||Extend the Metro Red Line 3.2 miles (5.1 km) from its northwestern terminus to Burbank Airport.|
|Lincoln Blvd Line||Extend the Green Line northwest to Westchester, Marina Del Rey or Santa Monica.|
|Green Line To Norwalk Metrolink||Extend the Green Line east to Norwalk/Santa Fe Springs (Metrolink station).|
|Vermont Corridor Subway||Create a new subway down Vermont Avenue, connecting the Metro Red Line and Purple Line to the Metro Expo Line and Green Line.|
|"Silver Line" (former name)||New light-rail line planned to connect El Monte to Hollywood, via Valley Blvd corridor and Santa Monica Boulevard.||Silver Line website (archived), The Transit Coalition website|
|Yellow Line||North Hollywood to Downtown L.A. Planned to use former Pacific Electric "Belmont Tunnel." Tunnel can no longer be used due to recent construction now blocking tunnel portal.|
|Harbor Line||Light rail line to connect harbor area (San Pedro) to Metro Blue Line or Green Line.||Citizens for a Harbor Line (blog)|
|Get LA Moving||Detailed comprehensive plan of regional mass transit, including new lines and extensions to existing lines.||Get L.A. Moving Plan|
|LAX Express||Limited stop line connecting Union Station to Los Angeles International Airport, mainly via rail right-of-way along Slauson Avenue.|
Rolling stock 
Metro Rail maintains two distinct systems of rail: a light rail system and a heavy rail system. The heavy rail and light rail systems are incompatible with each other even if they both use standard gauge track (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) between rails). Metro's heavy rail lines are powered by third rail, whereas its light rail lines are powered by overhead catenary lines. Also, the widths of the cars are different, and platforms are designed to match the separate car widths.
Security and safety 
Metro Rail's trains and stations are patrolled by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, and are monitored by security personnel via closed-circuit television cameras in Metro Rail stations and subway cars.
See also 
- Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
- Los Angeles Metro Rail rolling stock
- Transportation in Los Angeles
- List of rapid transit systems
- List of United States rapid transit systems by ridership
- Measure R
- Breda A-650 Metro Red Line Railcar
- "Facts At A Glance". Metro. January 28, 2011. Retrieved January 28, 2010.
- "Metro Rail ridership surges in June". Metro. July 18, 2012. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
- Taplin, Michael (1991). "City of the Automobile: Los Angeles looks to Light Rail London: Platform 5 Publishing/Light Rail Transit Association". Light Rail Review 2. pp. 27–30. ISBN 1-872524-23-0.
- "Fares". Metro.net. Retrieved September 30, 2010.
- "MTA's $46M system of locking turnstiles sits unused, waiting for fare cards to be adopted - LA Daily News". Dailynews.com. August 21, 2010. Retrieved September 30, 2010.
- American Public Transportation Association, Light Rail Transit Ridership Report, Second Quarter 2007.
- "Plans". Metro.net. Retrieved September 30, 2010.
- "Measure R". Metro.net. Retrieved September 30, 2010.
- "Measure J". Metro.net. Retrieved October 21, 2012.
- "Measure J Fails". County of Los Angeles Registrar-Recorder. Retrieved January 12, 2013.
- "Transit Backers Seek to Change State Law". latimes.com. Retrieved January 12, 2013.
- Metro Gold Line Foothill Construction Authority. "Metro Gold Line Foothill Construction Authority (project website)". Retrieved August 21, 2010.
- "Gold Line Foothill Extension". Metro.net. Retrieved September 30, 2010.
- "Metro Rail Expo Corridor, Phase 2 to Santa Monica". Metro.net. Retrieved September 30, 2010.
- "Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor". Metro.net. Retrieved September 30, 2010.
- "Regional Connector Transit Corridor". Metro.net. Retrieved September 30, 2010.
- Metro. "Westside Subway Extension (project website)". Retrieved August 21, 2010.
- "Eastside Transit Corridor Phase 2". Metro.net. Retrieved September 30, 2010.
- "South Bay Metro Green Line Extension". Metro.net. Retrieved September 30, 2010.
- "West Santa Ana Transit Corridor". Metro.net. Retrieved September 30, 2010.
- "Home". pacificelectriccorridor.com. Retrieved September 30, 2010.
- "Green Line LAX Extension". Metro.net. Retrieved September 30, 2010.
- "Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor". Metro.net. Retrieved September 30, 2010.
- "Serv-U from RhinoSoft.com". Goldline2ontario.com. Retrieved September 30, 2010.
- "Los Angeles Downtown News and Information". Ladowntownnews.com. May 27, 2010. Retrieved September 30, 2010.
- "Security". Metro.net. July 23, 2009. Retrieved September 30, 2010.
- "Riders with Other Forms of Transport Switching to Metro". www.metro.net. September 13, 2006. Retrieved May 15, 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: LACMTA Metro Rail|
- Official website
- Gold Line - Foothill Extension — Construction Authority website
- History of the Metro Rail System
- The Transit Coalition
- Network map (to-scale)
- Los Angeles Metro System on Google Maps
- Google map of Metro Rail Stations