D Line (Los Angeles Metro)

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D Line
LACMTA Circle D Line.svg
Purple Line train on Wilshire-Western line.jpg
D Line train at Union Station
Other name(s)Red Line (1993–2006)
Purple Line (2006–2020)
OwnerLos Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Line number804
Stations8 (7 more under construction)
TypeRapid transit
SystemLos Angeles Metro Rail
Depot(s)Division 20 (Los Angeles)
Rolling stockBreda A650 running in 4 or 6 car consists
Ridership21,398,104[a] (2021) Decrease -6.1%
OpenedJanuary 30, 1993; 30 years ago (1993-01-30)
Line length6.4 miles (10.3 km)[1]
Number of tracks2
CharacterFully underground (except yard)
Track gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
ElectrificationThird rail750 V DC
Operating speed55 mph (89 km/h) (max.)
29.5 mph (47.5 km/h) (avg.)
Route map

B Line 
Division 20 yard
Union Station
AmtrakMetrolink (California)FlyAway (bus)B Line J Line L Line 
Civic Center/Grand Park
B Line J Line 
Pershing Square
B Line J Line 
7th Street/Metro Center
A Line B Line E Line J Line 
Westlake/​MacArthur Park
B Line 
B Line 
D Line Extension
(under construction)
D Line Extension
(under construction)
Wilshire/La Brea
Wilshire/La Cienega
↑ opening 2023
↓ opening 2025
Century City/Constellation
↑ opening 2025
↓ opening 2027
California 2.svg SR 2 / Santa Monica Boulevard
Westwood/VA Hospital
Handicapped/disabled access All stations are accessible.

The D Line (formerly Red Line from 1993–2006 and Purple Line from 2006–2020) is a fully underground 6.4-mile (10.3 km) rapid transit line operating in Los Angeles, running between Downtown Los Angeles and Koreatown district. It is one of seven lines on the Metro Rail system, operated by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The D Line is one of the city's two fully underground lines (along with the B Line). The two lines share tracks through Downtown Los Angeles before separating in Koreatown. As of 2019, the combined B and D lines averaged 133,413 boardings per weekday.[2]

In 2020, Metro renamed all of its lines using letters and colors, with the Purple Line becoming the D Line (retaining the purple color in its service bullet) and the Red Line becoming the B Line.

Construction is underway for a major extension of the line to the Mid-Wilshire district, Beverly Hills, Century City, and Westwood, which will add 7 stations and 9 miles of track to the line. The extension is expected to open in phases from 2024 to 2027.[3]

Service description[edit]


Inside train fleet number #530 on the Metro D Line

The Metro D Line is a 6.4-mile (10.3 km) line[1] that begins at Union Station. At Union Station, passengers can connect to the Metro J Line bus rapid transit line, the Metro L Line, and long-distance Amtrak and Metrolink trains. The D Line travels southwest through Downtown Los Angeles, passing through the Civic Center, Pershing Square (near the Historic Core), and the Fashion District. Passengers can connect to the Metro J Line (both directions) at Civic Center Station. At Pershing Square Station, passengers can transfer to the northbound Metro J Line bus at Olive Street/5th Street. At 7th St/Metro Center Station, travelers can connect to the Metro A Line, Metro E Line and the Metro J Line. From here, the train travels between 7th Street and Wilshire Boulevard (and briefly Ingraham Street) west through Pico-Union and Westlake, arriving at Wilshire/Vermont in the city's Mid-Wilshire/Koreatown district. Up to this point, the track is shared with the Metro B Line: at Wilshire/Vermont, the two lines diverge. The D Line continues west for one additional mile through Koreatown and terminates at Wilshire/Western.

Duplicate service on Wilshire[edit]

The D Line runs below Wilshire Boulevard, which is served on the surface by the Metro Local Route 20 and Metro Rapid Route 720 bus lines. Despite the same service, Metro considers the redundant bus service justified because both routes frequently run from Downtown Los Angeles. Unlike the D Line, these bus routes run along the entire Wilshire corridor, west to Beverly Hills, Westwood, and Santa Monica.

Hours and frequency of service[edit]

D Line trains run between approximately 5 a.m. and midnight daily.

The first westbound train of the day to Wilshire/Western departs Union Station at 5:01 a.m. and the last westbound train departs at 12:11 a.m. The first eastbound train of the day to Union Station departs Wilshire/Western at 4:40 a.m. and the last westbound train departs at 12:08 a.m.

Trains operate every ten minutes during peak hours Monday through Friday, every twelve minutes during the daytime on weekdays, and all day on the weekends after approximately 10 a.m. (with a 15-minute headway early Saturday and Sunday mornings). Night service is every 20 minutes.[4]


The D Line is utilized mainly as a downtown shuttle on its shared segment with the B Line. The stub between Vermont and Western has very low ridership. According to Metro, the stub is operating 11% complete during peak hours and even lower at other times.[5]


The current D Line is the product of a long-term plan to connect Downtown Los Angeles to central and western portions of the city with a subway system. Original proposals in the 1980s had the subway line running down Wilshire Boulevard to Fairfax Avenue and then north to the San Fernando Valley. Residents in some parts of the city bitterly opposed the subway. A 1985 methane explosion at a Ross Dress for Less clothing store near Fairfax gave Rep. Henry Waxman, who represented the Fairfax District, a reason to derail the project that was opposed by his constituents by prohibiting tunneling in an alleged "methane zone" west of Western on Wilshire.[6]

The groundbreaking for the first segment of the subway was held on September 29, 1986, on the site of the future Civic Center/Grand Park station.[7] Today's D Line was built in two minimum operating segments:

The Hollywood branch (MOS-2B) began service in 1999. Initially, both branches were designated as part of the Red Line, but in 2006 trains traveling between Union Station and Wilshire/Western were rebranded to the Purple Line for greater clarity.

Future expansion[edit]

Extension to Westwood[edit]

Metro is constructing a major extension of the D line to Mid-Wilshire, Beverly Hills, Century City, and Westwood. The new project is called the Purple Line Extension (formerly the Westside Subway Extension), and the first phase broke ground on November 7, 2014.[3] Metro released the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) on March 19, 2012, and the first phase of the project (to Wilshire/La Cienega) was approved by Metro's Board of Directors on April 26, 2012.[10] Notice to proceed was issued to Tutor Perini on April 26, 2017 for phase two from Wilshire/La Cienega Station to Century City/Constellation Station. Construction is now underway for all three phases of the extension, which is expected to open in segments between 2024 and 2027.[11]

In Beverly Hills, there was public opposition to the D Line Extension, led by school board president Lisa Korbatov. The opposition existed because of the subway tunnel's route beneath Beverly Hills High School, and Korbatov and Beverly Hills residents were concerned about student safety issues posed by such a tunnel. Korbatov gathered over 5,300 signed petitions to send to President Donald Trump, urging him and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to withhold federal funding from the project. Metro ultimately won in court, but Korbatov and the school district sued in state and federal court over environmental concerns for the project.[12][13]

Proposed Arts District Extension[edit]

Metro officials have proposed extending service on the eastern side of the D Line, allowing subway cars to continue past Union Station to service the Arts District neighborhood east of Downtown Los Angeles. D Line trains pass through Union Station, exit through a portal at Ducommun Street, and stop in the Arts District when they go to and from the Division 20 yard for maintenance and storage. Proposals have included either station at 6th Street or two stations, one at 6th Street and one at 1st Street. In 2018, the Metro board approved a $500,000 expense to undertake pre-design activities, prepare an Environmental Impact Report and conduct public engagement for a potential station at 6th Street.[14] However, it is unclear whether Metro can raise the millions of dollars of funding needed to build the proposed station.[15] One possible solution is a new tax district implemented by the City of Los Angeles that would tax a portion of property value increases in the downtown area and transfer those funds to Metro to help build the station.[16] A draft environmental impact report for the extension and station at 6th Street was undertaken beginning in March 2021.[17]

Station listing[edit]

Metro D Line train at Union Station. The Metro B and D lines both end at Union Station, the eastern terminus of both lines.
Metro B & D Lines platform at 7th Street/Metro Center Station. At this transfer station, passengers can connect to the Metro Silver Line at the street level or the Metro A & E Lines above this platform.
Westlake/MacArthur Park Metro B & D Lines station platform.

The following table lists the stations of the D Line, from east to west:

Station Date Opened City/Neighborhood Major connections and notes[18][19]
Union Station January 30, 1993 Downtown Los Angeles B Line J Line L Line 
AmtrakAmtrak, FlyAway (bus) LAX FlyAway and Metrolink (California) Metrolink
Paid parking: 3,000 spaces
Civic Center/Grand Park B Line J Line 
Pershing Square B Line J Line 
7th Street/Metro Center A Line B Line E Line J Line 
Westlake/MacArthur Park Westlake B Line 
Park and ride: 6 spaces
Wilshire/Vermont July 13, 1996 Mid-Wilshire / Koreatown B Line 
Wilshire/La Brea 2024 Miracle Mile
Wilshire/Fairfax Beverly Grove
Wilshire/La Cienega station Beverly Hills
Wilshire/Rodeo 2025
Century City/Constellation Westwood
Westwood/UCLA 2027
Westwood/VA Hospital



The D Line operates from the Division 20 Yard (Santa Fe Yard) located in the Arts District at 320 South Santa Fe Avenue, Los Angeles. This yard stores train cars and equipment used on the B and D Lines. It is also where heavy maintenance is performed on the fleet. Subway trains access this yard by continuing eastward after ending their revenue service at Union Station, exiting tunnels through a portal at Ducommun Street, and then traveling south to the yard's entrance at 1st Street.

Rolling stock[edit]

The D Line uses A650 75-foot (23 m) electric multiple unit cars built by Breda in Italy; these trains are based on similar vehicles that were built by the Budd Company for the Baltimore and Miami rapid transit systems between 1983 and 1986. Trains usually run in four-car during peak hours and two-car outside of peak hours. The cars are maintained in a Metro yard on Santa Fe Drive near 4th Street alongside the Los Angeles River in Downtown Los Angeles.

In March 2017, Metro ordered new CRRC MA HR4000 railcars, some of which will operate on the D Line when the D Line Extension is completed.[20]


  1. ^ Ridership is for B and D Line combined.
  1. ^ a b "Regional Connector Transit Corridor Project Contract No. E0119 – Operations and Maintenance Plan (Final)" (PDF). 2.1 Metro Light Rail Overview. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority. September 10, 2013. pp. 2–1. Archived (PDF) from the original on May 2, 2019. Retrieved May 19, 2017. The Red Line operates 16.4 miles between Union Station in downtown Los Angeles and North Hollywood.
  2. ^ "Interactive Estimated Ridership Stats". Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority. January 1, 2020. Archived from the original on November 20, 2020. Retrieved February 10, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Purple Line Extension". www.metro.net. Archived from the original on September 29, 2019. Retrieved March 2, 2020.
  4. ^ "Metro D Line schedule". September 12, 2021. Archived from the original on November 14, 2021. Retrieved November 13, 2021.
  5. ^ Gabbard, Dana (November 23, 2010). "Metro's Conan Cheung Updates on Next 18 Months of Service Planning". Streetsblog LA. Archived from the original on July 24, 2011. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
  6. ^ Reft, Ryan (January 28, 2015). "Building Subways in the Post World War II World: Los Angeles and Washington D.C." Tropics of Meta. Archived from the original on November 14, 2021. Retrieved November 14, 2021.
  7. ^ "25 Years Ago Today: Los Angeles' Red Line Subway Breaks Ground". Dorothy Peyton Gray Transportation Library and Archive. September 29, 2011. Archived from the original on November 14, 2021. Retrieved November 14, 2021.
  8. ^ Katches, Mark (January 31, 1993). "Red Line Rolls to Raves – It's Smooth Railing As L.A. Subway Opens". Los Angeles Daily News.
  9. ^ Bloom, David (May 22, 1996). "MTA Unveils New Downtown Line". Los Angeles Daily News.
  10. ^ "Purple Line Extension – Final EIR/EIS". Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority. February 6, 2013. Archived from the original on October 11, 2015. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  11. ^ "Purple Line Extension Section 1 Quarterly Construction Update" (PDF). Metro Los Angeles. January 16, 2020. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 6, 2020. Retrieved February 11, 2020.
  12. ^ "Force behind the campaign against Metro's Purple Line may have a Trump card". The Real Deal Los Angeles. July 9, 2018. Archived from the original on May 7, 2019. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
  13. ^ "The ultimate test of Trump's local cronyism is playing out in Beverly Hills". Reveal. January 9, 2019. Archived from the original on May 7, 2019. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
  14. ^ "Project 2018-0360". Metro Board. Archived from the original on July 8, 2022. Retrieved February 11, 2020.
  15. ^ Chiland, Elijah (January 16, 2018). "Downtowners not giving up on Arts District Metro station". Curbed LA. Archived from the original on September 23, 2020. Retrieved February 11, 2020.
  16. ^ Frazier, Scott (February 24, 2018). "City Wants to Fund Flower Street, Arts District Rail Projects". Red Line Reader. Archived from the original on September 29, 2020. Retrieved February 11, 2020.
  17. ^ Hymon, Steve (March 30, 2021). "Scoping meetings in April for upcoming Arts District Station environmental report". The Source. LACMTA. Archived from the original on March 30, 2021. Retrieved March 30, 2021.
  18. ^ "Metro D Line (Purple)". www.metro.net. Archived from the original on July 24, 2020. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  19. ^ "Metro Parking Lots by Line". www.metro.net. Archived from the original on August 10, 2020. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  20. ^ "L.A. Metro inks pact with CRRC for up to 282 new rail cars". Progressive Railroading. March 24, 2017. Archived from the original on March 24, 2017. Retrieved March 24, 2017.

External links[edit]

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata