Long Beach, News

The line between cities: from Blue Line to A Line

The Blue Line, renamed A Line, was temporarily closed in areas between Downtown Los Angeles and Long Beach for the past nine months as a $350 million construction project took place. The upgrades include new tracks, upgrades to the control-signal system and new touch screen monitors that passengers can use to view metro maps and schedules. The line was renamed because city officials said they were going to run out of distinct colors on the map. 

The A Line is Los Angeles’s oldest light rail line. It first began operation in 1990 and hasn’t had any major upgrades until this year. It celebrated its grand reopening Saturday, Nov. 2.

Because of the grand reopening (and mostly because it was free), I decided that I would take the train all the way to Downtown LA and back to see what it was like. Just like most Californians, I have never been on a train while I have been in California, so I brought my camera and tried to find something interesting at every station on the A Line.

Pacific Avenue

Downtown Long Beach

First Street

Fifth Street

Anaheim Street

Richard Grant / Daily Forty-Niner

Most of the train stations have some sort of artwork in or near the platforms. At the Anaheim stop, riders can see Terry Braunstein’s 1994 mural “Local Odysseys” at the top of the pedestals.

Pacific Coast Highway

Willow Street

Wardlow

Del Amo

Artesia

Compton

Richard Grant / Daily Forty-Niner

Compton is the second largest station on the A line, second to Seventh Street Metro Center. Compton hosts the bus transfer station.

Willowbrook/Rosa Parks

Firestone

Florence

Richard Grant / Daily Forty-Niner

A man looks out the window of the train at the Florence Station. Riders can see a large mural with Yoda on it from here.

Slauson

Vernon

Washington

San Pedro Street

Grand/Los Angeles Trade Technical College

Pico

Seventh Street/Metro Center

Richard Grant / Daily Forty-Niner

The A Line ends here. Metro Center is not as large as Union Station, but it is in the heart of Downtown LA.

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