The following story appeared first at Streetsblog L.A.
The wait will soon be over. This week, Metro announced that its new Regional Connector subway will open on Friday, June 16. Metro will offer free transit rides that Father’s Day weekend.
The $1.8 billion 1.9-mile light rail subway ties together three Metro lines – the A (Blue) Line, E (Expo) Line and L (Gold) Line. The project includes three new stations:
- Little Tokyo/Arts District Station – at 1st Street and Central Avenue, across from the Japanese American National Museum
- Historic Broadway Station – at 2nd Street and Broadway, behind the historic L.A. Times building
- Grand Avenue Arts/Bunker Hill Station – located at 2nd Place and Hope Street, behind the Broad Museum
It feels like the project has been a mainstay at Streetsblog. SBLA founder Damien Newton covered lots of early project planning negotiations. The project broke ground back in 2014, the first year current Streetsblog Editor Joe Linton took the reins. Back then, the project had been anticipated to cost $1.5 billion and to open in 2020.
SBLA has been there for the cost overruns due to construction hiccups, tunnel boring machine launch and breakthrough and retirement, the end of the old Little Tokyo Station, Grand Avenue Station bridge approval and emergence, connecting walk/bike facilities, a test ride, plenty of construction updates.
Soon, the Regional Connector Project will essentially go away.
Nobody will say “take the Regional Connector to Little Tokyo” or “meet me at the Regional Connector station.” The new stations will just be a part of the A and E Lines. The L Line disappears for now.
In a few years riders won’t remember that there ever was a Regional Connector, but they will appreciate, or maybe even just take for granted, the mobility, convenience, and connectivity that the project provides.
Kudos to Metro – the agency’s leadership, project staff and contractors – for completing such an important connection. And thanks to the project’s neighbors for putting up with construction impacts.
Who’s excited about the Regional Connector opening?!?