Purple Line (Los Angeles Metro)

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Metro Purple Line
LACMTA Circle Purple Line.svg
Metro Purple Line at Union Station.
Metro Purple Line at Union Station.
Overview
Owner Metro Rail
Transit type Heavy rail
Line number 805
Number of stations 8
Daily ridership 149,096 (July 2016; avg. weekday, combined with Metro Red Line)[1]
Website Purple Line
Operation
Began operation January 30, 1993; 23 years ago (January 30, 1993) (as a branch of the Red Line, renamed in 2006)
Operator(s) LAMetroLogo.svg Metro (LACMTA)
Character Subway (fully underground)
Number of vehicles Breda A650
Train length 4 cars (2 cars during off-peak hours)
Technical
System length 6.5 mi (10.5 km)[2]
No. of tracks 2
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
(standard gauge)
Electrification 750 V DC third rail
System map
Union Station  Red Line  Gold Line  Silver Line 
Metrolink, Amtrak, & FlyAway
US 101
Civic Center/Grand Park  Red Line  Silver Line 
Pershing Square Red Line  Silver Line (northbound only)
7th Street/Metro Center Red Line  Blue Line  Expo Line  Silver Line 
Metro Blue Line & Metro Expo Line
SR 110
Westlake/MacArthur Park  Red Line 
Wilshire/Vermont  Red Line 
Metro Red Line
Wilshire/Normandie
Wilshire/Western
Wilshire/La Brea (2023)
Wilshire/Fairfax (2023)
Wilshire/La Cienega (2023)
Wilshire/Rodeo (2026)
Century City (2026)
Westwood/UCLA (2035)
Westwood/VA Hospital (2035)

The Purple Line is a heavy rail subway line operating in Los Angeles, running between downtown and the Mid-Wilshire/Koreatown districts. It is one of six lines on the Metro Rail System, operated by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Inside train fleet number #530 on the Metro Purple Line.

The Metro Purple Line is one of the city's two subway lines (along with the Metro Red Line). Although they separate west of Downtown Los Angeles, the two subway lines (Purple and Red) were originally branded as two branches of the Red Line. The Purple Line was instituted as its own line, separate from the Red Line, in 2006. As of October 2013, the combined Red and Purple lines averaged 169,478 boardings per weekday.[1] Out of the eight stations served, only two of them are exclusive to the Purple Line, with the other six shared with the Red Line.

Service description[edit]

Route[edit]

The Metro Purple Line begins at Union Station. At Union Station, passengers can connect to the Metro Silver Line bus rapid transit line, and the Metro Gold Line. The Purple Line travels southwest through Downtown Los Angeles, passing the Civic Center, Pershing Square (near the Historic Core) and the Financial District. Passengers can connect to the Metro Silver Line (both directions) at Civic Center Station. At Pershing Square Station, passengers can board the northbound Metro Silver Line bus at Olive Street/5th Street. At 7th St/Metro Center Station, travelers can connect to the Metro Blue Line, Metro Expo Line and the Metro Silver 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, track is shared with the Metro Red Line: at Wilshire/Vermont, the two lines diverge. The Purple Line continues west for one additional mile, and terminates at Wilshire/Western.

Duplicate service on Wilshire[edit]

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

Hours of operation[edit]

Trains run between approximately 4:45 a.m. and 11:30 p.m. daily, with late night weekend service running until approximately 2:00 a.m.[3]

First and last train times are as follows:

To/From Wilshire/Western

Eastbound
  • First Train to Union Station: 4:41 a.m.
  • Last Train to Union Station: 11:42 p.m. (2:01 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights)
Westbound
  • First Train to Wilshire/Western: 4:56 a.m.
  • Last Train to Wilshire/Western: 11:27 p.m. (2:12 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights)

During the evenings Purple Line trains sometimes run as shuttles. Passengers must transfer to a Red Line train at Wilshire/Vermont. This will change once the Purple Line is extended to Westwood.

Headways[edit]

Trains on the Purple Line operate every ten minutes during peak hours Monday through Friday.[4] They operate every twelve minutes during the daytime weekdays and all day on the weekends after approximately 10 a.m. (with a 15-minute headway early Saturday and Sunday mornings). Night service can range between 10–20 minutes. Due to being paired with the Red Line, the headways between Union Station and Wilshire/Vermont are cut in half, so the Red/Purple Line trunk has trains running five to ten minutes throughout service times.

Ridership[edit]

The Purple Line is utilized mostly as a downtown shuttle on its shared segment with the Red Line. The stub between Vermont and Western has a very low ridership. According to Metro Service Coordinator Conan Cheung, the stub is operating 11% full during peak hours, and even lower at other times.[5]

History[edit]

The "Purple Line" was originally one of two main branches of the Red Line, which was completed in 1996 and opened as the second segment of the Red Line. It was part of a much longer Red Line plan to the Westside, until that plan was scrapped due to political opposition and geotechnical difficulties. Therefore, only one mile of this branch was ever built: a short stub connecting Wilshire/Vermont and Wilshire/Western. In 2006, the route operating between LA Union Station and Wilshire/Western Station was renamed the "Purple Line" to help distinguish it from the North Hollywood branch, which retained the name Red Line.

Current and proposed extension[edit]

Main article: Purple Line Extension

Metro is now aiming to complete the subway to the Westside. The new project is called the Purple Line Extension (the project was previously called the Westside Subway Extension) and the first phase broke ground on November 7, 2014. 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.[6]

Station listing[edit]

Metro Purple Line train at Union Station. The Metro Red and Purple lines both end at Union Station,
the eastern terminus of both lines.
Pershing Square Station is served both by the Metro Red & Purple Lines.
Metro Red & Purple 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 Blue & Expo Lines above this platform.
Westlake/Mac Arthur Park Metro Red & Purple Lines station platform.

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

Station Connections Date Opened Station Parking City/ Neighborhood
Union Station

 Red Line Metro Red Line
 Gold Line Metro Gold Line
 Silver Line Metro Silver Line

January 30, 1993 Nearby Paid Parking (Independent) Downtown
Los Angeles
Civic Center/Grand Park

 Red Line Metro Red Line
 Silver Line Metro Silver Line

  • Metro Local: 2, 4, 10, 14, 28, 30, 37, 40, 45, 48, 68, 70, 71, 76, 78, 79, 81, 83, 90, 91, 92, 94, 96, 302, 378
  • Metro Express: 442, 487, 489
  • Metro Rapid: 728, 733, 745, 770, 794
  • Antelope Valley Transit Authority: 785
  • City of Santa Clarita Transit: 799
  • Foothill Transit: Silver Streak, 493, 495 497, 498, 499, 699
  • LADOT Commuter Express: 409, 419, 422, 423, 431, 437, 438, 448, 534
  • LADOT DASH: A, B, D
  • Montebello Bus Lines: 341, 342
  • Santa Monica Big Blue Bus: Rapid 10
  • Torrance Transit: 4
Nearby Paid Parking (Independent)
Pershing Square

 Red Line Metro Red Line
 Silver Line Metro Silver Line (northbound only)

  • Metro Local: 2, 4, 10, 14, 16, 18, 28, 30, 33, 37, 38, 40, 45, 48, 53, 55, 62, 68, 70, 71, 76, 78, 79, 81, 83, 90, 91, 92, 94, 96, 302, 316, 378
  • Metro Express: 442, 487, 489
  • Metro Rapid: 728, 733, 745, 770, 794
  • Angels Flight
  • Foothill Transit: Silver Streak
  • LADOT Commuter Express: 409
  • LADOT DASH: B, D
  • Montebello Bus Lines: 40, 50, 341, 342
  • Orange County Transportation Authority: 701, 721
  • Torrance Transit: 4 (northbound only)
Nearby Paid Parking (Independent)
7th Street/Metro Center

 Red Line Metro Red Line
 Blue Line Metro Blue Line
 Expo Line Metro Expo Line
 Silver Line Metro Silver Line

  • Metro Local: 14, 16, 18, 20, 37, 51, 52, 60, 62, 66, 76, 78, 79, 81, 316, 352, 378
  • Metro Express: 442, 460, 487, 489
  • Metro Rapid: 720, 760
  • Antelope Valley Transit Authority: 785
  • City of Santa Clarita Transit: 799
  • Foothill Transit: Silver Streak, 493, 495, 497, 498, 499, 699
  • LADOT Commuter Express: 409, 422, 423, 431, 437, 438, 448, 534
  • LADOT DASH: A, B, E, F
  • Montebello Bus Lines: 40, 50, 90, 341, 342
  • Orange County Transportation Authority: 701, 721
  • Santa Monica Big Blue Bus: Rapid 10
  • Torrance Transit: 4
None
Westlake/MacArthur Park

 Red Line Metro Red Line

  • Metro Local: 18, 20, 51, 52, 200, 352, 603
  • Metro Express: 487, 489
  • Metro Rapid: 720
  • Foothill Transit: 481
  • LADOT DASH: Pico Union/Echo Park
None Westlake
Wilshire/Vermont

 Red Line Metro Red Line

  • Metro Local: 18, 20, 51, 52, 201, 204, 352
  • Metro Rapid: 720, 754
  • LADOT DASH: Wilshire Center/Koreatown
July 13, 1996 Nearby Paid Parking (Independent) Mid-Wilshire
/Koreatown
Wilshire/Normandie
  • Metro Local: 18, 20, 206
  • Metro Rapid: 720
  • Foothill Transit: 481
None
Wilshire/Western
  • Metro Local: 18, 20, 66, 207, 209
  • Metro Rapid: 710, 720, 757
  • Foothill Transit: 481
  • LADOT DASH: Hollywood/Wilshire, Wilshire Center/Koreatown
  • Santa Monica Big Blue Bus: Rapid 7
None

Operations[edit]

Maintenance[edit]

The Purple Line is operated out of the Division 20 Yard (Santa Fe Yard) located at 320 South Santa Fe Avenue Los Angeles. This yard stores the fleet used on the Red and Purple Line. It is also where heavy maintenance is done on the fleet. Subways get to this yard by continuing on after Union Station. Trains make a right turn before coming to surface level at Ducommun Street, and then travel south to 1st Street where they enter the yard.

Rolling stock[edit]

The Purple Line uses Breda A650 75-foot (23 m) electric multiple unit cars built by Breda in Italy. Trains usually run in four-car consists during peak hours and two-car consists outside of peak hours. The acceleration for cars #530 and up is similar to that of cars used by the Washington Metro because they both use General Electric traction motors.[7][8] The cars are maintained in a Metro yard on Santa Fe Drive near 4th Street alongside the Los Angeles River in Downtown Los Angeles.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Ridership Statistics - Rail Ridership Estimates". LAMetroLogo.svg Metro (LACMTA). August 20, 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-25. 
  2. ^ Simon, Richard; Rabin, Jeffrey L. (October 22, 1997). "Beleaguered MTA on Verge of Tunnel Triumph". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2014-02-27. 
  3. ^ "Red & Purple lines timetable" (PDF). LAMetroLogo.svg Metro (LACMTA). June 23, 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  4. ^ "Metro Bus & Rail System Map" (PDF). LAMetroLogo.svg Metro (LACMTA). December 2013. Retrieved 2014-01-15. 
  5. ^ Gabbard, Dana (November 23, 2010). "Metro's Conan Cheung Updates on Next 18 Months of Service Planning". Streetsblog LA. Retrieved 2016-02-01. 
  6. ^ "Purple Line Extension - Final EIR/EIS". LAMetroLogo.svg Metro (LACMTA). February 6, 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  7. ^ Red line train
  8. ^ Washington Metro train

External links[edit]

Route map: Bing / Google