It’s become easier to get around L.A. County with the long-awaited completion of a new Metro project.
The L.A. Metro Connector opened Friday, connecting Azusa to Long Beach and East Los Angeles to Santa Monica on a single line, respectively. It integrates the L Line — also known as the Gold Line — into the A and E Lines with new stations in the Downtown area.
These renewed A and E Lines — referred to as the Blue Line and Expo Line respectively — have entirely replaced the L Line, with the Blue Line connecting to the former Gold Line’s track to Azusa and the Expo Line meeting with the route the former line used to connect to East Los Angeles.
To facilitate this connection, several stations have been added along a new route for the A and E Lines — which converge at the 7th Street and Metro Center station — to allow them to seamlessly connect in the Downtown area. The lines now continue along Flower past the 7th Street/Metro Center station to its first new stop at the Grand Avenue Arts/Bunker Hill station located at West 2nd Street and Hope Street.
Continuing down 2nd Street, the second new stop is the Historic Broadway station, located at 2nd Street and South Broadway and the final is a relocation of the Little Tokyo/Arts District Station to 1st Street and Central Avenue.
Both revamped routes connect to the former L Line at the Little Tokyo/Arts District station, with the A Line integrating L Line stops from Little Tokyo/Arts District to APU/Citrus College and the E Line covering L Line stops from Little Tokyo/Arts District to Atlantic Station.
The project has been almost a decade and approximately $1.8 Billion in the making, with plans for connecting the L Line to Long Beach having roots in the 1990s. However, finding the funding for the project was not possible until several sources of tax revenue became available years later. Construction initially started in 2014, and original plans had the connector opening in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic caused substantial delays to the project.