Eyes on the Street: Riders Line Up for ‘New Blue’ Express Shuttle Bus
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.
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.
During the current southern Blue Line closure, there are a series of shuttle bus lines that stand in for Blue Line service.
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.
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.