Metro Unveils Station Design for Regional Connector

What entrances to the Regional Connector could look like. Lots more images after the jump...

(Public meetings for the connector continue today at the Central Library, 630 W. Fifth St.; 1 to 3 p.m., Aug. 28, at the Colburn School, 200 S. Grand Ave.; and 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Aug. 29, at the Japanese American National Museum, 369 E. First St. Project information is at

At last night’s outreach meeting for the Regional Connector, Metro finally released its station drawings for the four new train stations that will be built as part of the Connector project. Looking at the renderings, it’s hard to see what exactly about these drawings required such secrecy that Metro refused to show them to press even after a briefing for Metro Board Members.

Before analyzing the station design, we should note that this is not the final design, but just the most recent thoughts on how the stations could and should look. Opportunities exist for artists to personalize the stations somewhat, as we’ve seen with both the Expo Line Stations and the Orange Line Extension Stations are also forthcoming.

After the jump, we’ll look at each station, starting with the Little Tokyo Station and provide some basic thoughts.

Little Tokyo Station (1st and Central)

No matter how many times I look at this, I get distracted by the blue sky.
Looks pretty standard, not anything surprising.
From the other angle
Ground level platform location overhead shot.
Entrance location on the platform.

Bunker Hill Station (2nd and Hope)

The 2nd and Hope Street Station is also known as the Bunker Hill Station in some environmental documents.
The station will serve many trip generators as well as provide connections to those seeking rail to more far flung places.
The station platform has a pretty standard design with stairways or elevators needed to access to the entire station.
No surprise, plans for the station have access from the street down escalators to the platform area. Looks like the plan is to have the TAP machines before the escalators.

Broadway Station, aka “Historic Core” (2nd and Broadway), “Single Entrance”

From The Source: This station will have a station entrance at the intersection of 2nd and Broadway. The site consists of only a parking lot adjacent to the Los Angeles Times building and is possibly available for a new development. An entirely new secondary station entrance could easily be incorporated into any future building designs on the Spring Street side of the station. The block between Broadway and Spring streets is about 400 feet long — a very short walk.

Maybe this will get more Times employees to Go Metro?
From a different angle...
Aerial View of 2nd and Broadway Surface Station
Above ground layout within the above ground platform
The layout going down
The alternate angle

Broadway Station 2nd Entrance

The view looking down...
How a two entrance station would get people to the right tracks.
Overhead look at how the 2nd entrance could look.
  • Jaxson

    The unidentified first rendering has too many 90° turns and a corner cluster of TVM. Ick.

  • Robb

    Is it just my imagination, or do the elevators at the 2nd/Broadway station bypass the turnstiles? 

  • Robb

    Oh wait, I think I see now… the elevators seem to have their own turnstiles.

  • Ubrayj02

    Where are the bathrooms, bike parking, and vendor stalls?

  • Erik Griswold

    Yup, a separate  bank of turnstiles so that if a user goes past them to get to the elevator, and finds that the elevator does not work, they then have to pay another fare, or wait the 60(?) minutes until they can use their pass again at the same station, to enter at the “regular turnstiles”. 

    Behold the magic of un-attended, unstaffed stations!!!

    Effing brilliant, no?

  • Erik Griswold

    I’m wondering how long the Cubic TVMs, turnstiles and cameras will survive in the open air as planned.  It rains in Los Angeles, the sun can be very strong, and there are occasionally heatwaves.  Given the failures that MUNI has experienced with their Cubic fare collection equipment (all underground, but still attended by staff) I wonder if the architects need to consult with an independent hardware engineer, as would have been beneficial to the design of the Subway stations now getting canopies over their escalators.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah. Is it supposed to be a drawing of 2nd and Broadway? The configuration doesn’t seem to match any of the other renderings.

  • Anonymous

    Exactly. I know Metro doesn’t want to be a developer. But how hard would it be to tack a couple hundred sqft of commercial slots onto the sides of these designs? They need to trim entrances off the designs to keep costs down, but don’t even bother to think of simple, cheap additions that would create constant revenue streams while making the station more useful, attractive to foot traffic, and integrate it better into the area.

  • Anonymous

    Both the stations that are looking to get one entrance instead of two seem to suffer from the entrance designs being better suited to dual entrance layout. Rather than a more open layout that allows for entrance from more than a single direction for foot traffic, they force many riders to walk around the entire structure to get to the single point of entry. This may have made sense when they were originally planned to be part of a pair of entrances that drew from different directions. But as stand alone, the layout forces longer, more complex entrance paths that may the stations harder to access and will likely create more congestion and choke points as people try to enter and leave the station.

  • Agreed, I don’t care for the fencing or wall it seems to show around the station entrances. The red line entrances are right open onto the street, and it seems a little crazy to restrict them on the street level like this.

  • Robb

    Ever been to the Del Mar Gold Line Station? Hit it in late afternoon (when the sun is low in the west and is directly hitting the west-facing TVMs) and you can’t read the screens on the TVMs without holding your hand over it and pushing your face to it.

  • Illithid Dude

    These are just terrible. The perfect subway entrance is two sets of elevators/escalators, each on the opposite side of the street, not these huge monstrosities that Metro is planning. Ugh.

  • 2nd/Hope I believe… head over to where you can see the full presentation for each station. It’s the last rendering in the Hope station packet.

  • Dennis Hindman

    There has to be stair channels or ramps for people to roll their bicycles when walking up or down stairs according to number 9 on the list of 10 directives for bicycling that was passed by the Metro Board:

  • Davistrain

    Some of the comments above seem to confirm the accusation that most Metro employees and design engineers seldom, if ever ride public transit.  Regarding the lack of restrooms–this was brought up 20 years ago when the first segment of the Red Line subway was opened.  The answer was that subway station restrooms are a maintenance headache,
     and RTD/Metro didn’t want to have to hire “latrine orderlies.”  The idea of adding small retail establishments has been rejected because of supposed problems with littering–LA is not like some cities in other parts of the world where A) people are better behaved with regards to placing trash in proper containers (and where the containers are emptied frequently) or B) litter laws and other public behavior laws are aggressively enforced.

  • One way or another

    How and where is the gold line going underground near 1st and Alameda?

  • Jim61773

    I always thought that the Red Line station entrances were big, but compared to these, the Red Line street level is compact.

    All of the ticket machines and station gates could be put underground.  These stations should have more mezzanine space and less of a “ground floor.”

  • lt resident

    I really wish MTA would do more to integrate their station designs with the surrounding urban environment. Instead of taking up half a city block to put in a concrete plaza, why not have space for a pocket park or retail? This is especially true in Little Tokyo where there will be plenty of foot traffic from tourists, visitors, and workers. Why not put small retail space for increased revenue and convenience for train users? Why not create a community garden area? It’s a missed opportunity.

  • calwatch

    Yeah, this is really stupid. The mezzanines should be used for fare transactions. What ends up happening half the time at most rail stations is that the emergency exit is used for people leaving – at most of the rail stations, I push the handle all the time, and there is no beeping. The most they can do is yell at you over the intercom anyway.

  • Fester

    Wow, who would have guessed that those in charge of running a monopoly on public transportation think that the people in LA County are horrible, shitty, people?

    I have ridden the Metro in Paris, the Chunnel to London, the underground in London and on trains to the countryside in England. I have been in New York’s subway many times. I rode the trains of NJ Transit out to Newark from NY a bunch of times. I’ve been on Boston’s urban rail.

    Somehow, the people of LA don’t seem all that shitty, dirty, or horrible when stacked against any large group of modern humans using public transportation.

    Problems with managing toilets? When has anyone built a system for humans that don’t poop and pee? All transit systems have had to deal with this issue.

    Problems with trash in the stations? Wow, that is a new one. I am sure nobody has figured that one out yet.

    How about this problem: Metro designs unofficial pissoirs at all of its stations. Unfortunately, these aren’t provided with a proper sewer connection so they reek of human piss and require expensive police patrols to keep users away.

    How about another problem: Metro has subsidized overblown stucco and cinder block monstrosities that will never be able to cover their own maintenance. We need to design these stations to do more than move people. Yes! Transportation money should create real, on the ground, value – immediately.

    Over 70% of Metro’s money from government sources comes from sales tax, yet nobody at Metro can show us that their projects generate any sales tax revenues to help cover their own costs of maintenance and construction. Their project planners are revenue-stream blind, and in many cases design streets and stations in a way that destroys the ability to collect sales tax revenues from local businesses by ruining their prospects. The agency is mostly hostile to local advertisers. They are hostile to local vendors. They are hostile to their own riders – with fare gates and ticket policing that costs them more than it “saves” in fare dodging.Hey, I have a hypothesis! The people running Metro can be shitty, horrible, people too. So why don’t we bury the bias and get down to business already? Making money back on these big investments is something that should be deep in the DNA of Metro, not a sideline project. Riders pay for this agency to exist every time they pay sales tax. The poor are taxed disproportionately. Treat your constituency with respect, and they might surprise you.

  • Fester

    Ah, I see you found the mugging area. Kindly report any muggers who do not pay full fare to ride the train to the LA County Sheriff’s Deputies waiting in their air conditioned car parked illegally across the street from any of the fine Metro stations you may find yourself in.

  • Fester

    Hey, anything to fight the terrorists.

  • Fester

    The Metro staff, with all the blind curves and shiny metal surfaces, have revealed their true design inspiration: the hug-box lady.

    Je te’presente:

  • Anonymous

    In South Korea, I have seen photographs of platform book lending shelves. While you wait for your train, you can browse an assortment of books on the honor system. The platforms also have mini-convenience stores. 

    The United State’s cultural framework does not allow that. We are very suspicious of others and we understand that we cannot have nice things due to the behavior of the few. This partially explains the public support for turnstiles. There is a belief that everyone else is cheating the fare and they must be stopped, and they chose the most expensive, least efficient way to enforce that.

  • Anonymous


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