D Line (Los Angeles Metro)

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D Line
LACMTA Circle D Line.svg
Union Station Metro Red & Purple Lines Station 2.JPG
Other name(s)Red Line (1993–2006)
Purple Line (2006–2020)
Owner Metro (LACMTA)
Line number805
TerminiUnion Station
Stations8 (7 under construction)
TypeRapid transit
SystemLos Angeles Metro Rail
Rolling stockBreda A650 operating in 4 or 6 car consists
Daily ridership133,413 (2019; avg. weekday, combined with B Line (Red))[1]
OpenedJanuary 30, 1993; 28 years ago (1993-01-30)
(as a branch of the Red Line, renamed in 2006)
Line length6.4 mi (10.3 km)[2][3]
Number of tracks2
CharacterFully underground (except yard)
Track gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Electrification750 V DC from third rail
Operating speed55 mph (89 km/h)
Route map

Handicapped/disabled access All stations are accessible

Division 20 yard
Union Station
 J Line L Line FlyAway BusAmtrakMetrolink (California)
Civic Center/Grand Park
J Line 
Pershing Square
J Line 
7th Street/Metro Center
 A Line E Line J Line 
Westlake/​MacArthur Park
Purple Line Extension
(under construction)
Purple Line Extension
(under construction)
Wilshire/La Brea
Wilshire/La Cienega
↑ opening 2023
↓ opening 2025
Century City/Constellation
↑ opening 2025
↓ opening 2027
Westwood/VA Hospital

The D Line (formerly the Purple Line) is a heavy rail subway line operating in Los Angeles, running between Downtown Los Angeles and the Koreatown district. It is one of six lines on the Metro Rail System, operated by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The Metro D Line is one of the city's two fully-underground subway lines (along with the B Line). Although they separate in Koreatown, the two subway lines (B and D) share tracks through Downtown Los Angeles. As of 2019, the combined B and D lines averaged 133,413 boardings per weekday.[1]

Construction is underway for a major extension of the line to Mid-Wilshire, 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 2023 to 2027.[4]

The D Line was originally branded as the Wilshire branch of the Red Line (with the other branch being today's B Line). In 2006, the Purple Line was instituted as its own line, separate from the Red Line. In 2020, the Purple Line was renamed to the D Line while retaining the color purple in its circle icon as part of a change in naming for all LACMTA lines.[5]

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[2] 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, 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 duplicate service, Metro considers the redundant bus service justified because both bus routes run frequently 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 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.[6]

First and last train times are as follows:

To/From Wilshire/Western

  • 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)
  • 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, D Line trains sometimes run as shuttles. Passengers must transfer to a B Line train at Wilshire/Vermont to continue on to Downtown Los Angeles or Hollywood.


Trains on the D Line operate every ten minutes during peak hours Monday through Friday.[7] 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 20–30 minutes.


The D Line is utilized mostly as a downtown shuttle on its shared segment with the B 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.[8]


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 heavy rail subway system. Originally planned in the 1980s to travel west down Wilshire Boulevard to Fairfax Avenue and then north to the San Fernando Valley, a methane explosion at a Ross Dress for Less clothing store near Fairfax in 1985, just as construction got underway, led to a legal prohibition on tunnelling in a large part of Mid-Wilshire. Instead, after some political wrangling, a new route was chosen up Vermont Avenue to Hollywood Boulevard. However, a short one-mile branch down Wilshire from Vermont to Western was allowed to remain in the system.

The service currently designated as the D Line opened in two minimum operating segments:

The Vermont branch began service in 1999. Initially, both branches were designated as part of the Red Line, but in 2006 trains travelling between Union Station and Wilshire/Western were rebranded 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.[4] 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.[11] 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 2023 and 2027.[12]

In Beverly Hills, there was public opposition to the Purple Line Extension project, led by school board president Lisa Korbatov. The opposition existed because of the subway tunnel's route beneath Beverly Hills High School, and Korbatov, along with 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 both state and federal court over environmental concerns for the project.[13][14]

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 already pass through Union Station, exit through a portal at Ducommun Street and stop in the Arts District when they are going 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.[15] However, it is unclear whether Metro can raise the millions of dollars of funding needed to build the proposed station.[16] 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.[17] A draft environmental impact report for the extension and station at 6th Street was undertaken beginning in March 2021.[18]

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[19][20]
Union Station January 30, 1993 Downtown Los Angeles  B Line,  J Line,  L Line, AmtrakAmtrak, LAX FlyAway and Metrolink (California) Metrolink
Paid parking: 3,000 stalls
Civic Center/Grand Park  B Line and  J Line
Pershing Square  B Line and  J Line
7th Street/Metro Center  A Line,  B Line,  E Line and  J Line
Westlake/MacArthur Park Westlake  B Line
Park and ride: 19 stalls
Wilshire/Vermont July 13, 1996 Mid-Wilshire / Koreatown  B Line
Wilshire/La Brea 2023 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 and exiting tunnels through a portal at Ducommun Street, then traveling south to the yard's entrance at 1st Street.

Rolling stock[edit]

The D Line uses Breda 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 consists during peak hours and two-car consists outside of peak hours. The acceleration for cars #531 and up is similar to that of cars used by the Washington Metro because they both use General Electric traction motors.[21][22] 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 Purple Line Extension is completed.[23]


  1. ^ a b "Interactive Estimated Ridership Stats". Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority. January 1, 2020. Retrieved February 10, 2020.
  2. ^ 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. p. 2-1. Retrieved May 19, 2017. The Purple Line operates 6.4 miles between Union Station in downtown Los Angeles and Wilshire/Western Station in Koreatown...
  3. ^ Simon, Richard; Rabin, Jeffrey L. (October 22, 1997). "Beleaguered MTA on Verge of Tunnel Triumph". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Purple Line Extension". www.metro.net. Retrieved March 2, 2020.
  5. ^ "New letter names unveiled for all Los Angeles train lines". December 7, 2018.
  6. ^ "Red & Purple lines timetable" (PDF). Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority. June 23, 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 24, 2013. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  7. ^ "Metro Bus & Rail System Map" (PDF). Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority. December 2013. Retrieved January 15, 2014.
  8. ^ Gabbard, Dana (November 23, 2010). "Metro's Conan Cheung Updates on Next 18 Months of Service Planning". Streetsblog LA. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
  9. ^ Katches, Mark (January 31, 1993). "Red Line Rolls to Raves – It's Smooth Railing As L.A. Subway Opens". Los Angeles Daily News.
  10. ^ Bloom, David (May 22, 1996). "MTA Unveils New Downtown Line". Los Angeles Daily News.
  11. ^ "Purple Line Extension – Final EIR/EIS". Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority. February 6, 2013. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  12. ^ "Purple Line Extension Section 1 Quarterly Construction Update" (PDF). Metro Los Angeles. January 16, 2020.
  13. ^ "Force behind campaign against Metro's Purple Line may have a Trump card". The Real Deal Los Angeles. July 9, 2018. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
  14. ^ "The ultimate test of Trump's local cronyism is playing out in Beverly Hills". Reveal. January 9, 2019. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
  15. ^ "Project 2018-0360". Metro Board. Retrieved February 11, 2020.
  16. ^ Chiland, Elijah (January 16, 2018). "Downtowners not giving up on Arts District Metro station". Curbed LA. Retrieved February 11, 2020.
  17. ^ Frazier, Scott (February 24, 2018). "City Wants to Fund Flower Street, Arts District Rail Projects". Red Line Reader. Retrieved February 11, 2020.
  18. ^ Hymon, Steve (March 30, 2021). "Scoping meetings in April for upcoming Arts District Station environmental report". The Source. LACMTA. Retrieved March 30, 2021.
  19. ^ "Metro D Line (Purple)". www.metro.net. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  20. ^ "Metro Parking Lots by Line". www.metro.net. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  21. ^ Red line train
  22. ^ Washington Metro train
  23. ^ "L.A. Metro inks pact with CRRC for up to 282 new rail cars". Progressive Railroading. March 24, 2017. Retrieved March 24, 2017.

External links[edit]

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata