Eyes on the Street: Riders Line Up for ‘New Blue’ Express Shuttle Bus

Riders lining up for the 860 express bus - at 3 p.m. at Flower and 7th in downtown L.A. Photo by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.
Riders lining up for the 860 express bus - at 3 p.m. at Flower and 7th in downtown L.A. Photo by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.
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In case readers haven’t heard, the lower half of the Metro Blue Line is temporarily closed. The closure is part of Metro’s “New Blue” improvements to refurbish and repair the nearly 30-year-old light rail line, as well as upgrading Rosa Parks Station where the Blue and Green Lines intersect. All stations from the Green Line south to Long Beach are currently closed.

The current southern New Blue closure got underway in late January and is projected to last through late May.

Lower Blue Line closure map - via Metro
Lower Blue Line closure map – via Metro

Starting in late May, the northern portion of the Blue Line will undergo a similar closure. That one will impact the Expo Line where it shares tracks with the Blue Line.

New Blue closures anticipated in mid-2019. Map via Metro
New Blue closures anticipated in mid-2019 – via Metro

During the current southern Blue Line closure, there are a series of shuttle bus lines that stand in for Blue Line service.

Blue Line closure transit service – via Metro

The 860 Express bus is serving as the workhorse during the closure. The express makes a half-dozen stops each in Long Beach and in downtown Los Angeles. It currently runs every 6-10 minutes during rush hours – from 5-10 a.m. and 3-8 p.m.

These Express buses fill up, so riders line up on Flower at 7th and Metro staff manage boarding.

NewBlueExpress1
Metro’s 860 Express has about a dozen stops, half in DTLA and half in Long Beach. Photo by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

As of early March, Metro will be adding more service, running the 860 Express mid-day (every 20 minutes) and on weekends.

Metro is also exploring operating evening peak-hour bus-only lanes on Flower Street in downtown Los Angeles. There were plans for temporary bus-only lanes during the second phase of New Blue closures starting in late May, but the evening BOLs may come sooner if Metro and LADOT make it happen.

For the latest information on the New Blue Metro closures and shuttle buses, see the Metro New Blue web page – or share your experiences via the L.A. Metro Blue Line Riders Facebook group.

Metro Blue Line refurbishment construction in Long Beach - via Metro
Metro Blue Line refurbishment construction in downtown Long Beach – via Metro

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