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Southeast Gateway Line (former West Santa Ana Branch)

Help Metro Rename the Future West Santa Ana Branch Rail Line

The future 19-mile rail line will serve Artesia, Bell, Bellflower, Cerritos, Cudahy, Downey, Florence-Firestone, Huntington Park, L.A., Paramount, South Gate, and Vernon

West Santa Ana Branch rail right-of-way in Artesia. Photo by Joe Linton/Streetsblog

Today, Metro announced a new online poll to rename its future rail line in Southeast L.A. County. Currently the project is known as the West Santa Ana Branch line, but that name is going away.

Metro West Santa Ana Branch project map

The future 19-mile rail line will travel from downtown L.A. to the city of Artesia, serving the cities of Cerritos, Bellflower, Paramount, Downey, South Gate, Cudahy, Bell, Huntington Park, Vernon and unincorporated Florence-Firestone.


In 2022, Metro decided to proceed initially with just the lower 15 miles of the project (from the A/Blue Line to Artesia) due to concerns over cost and complexity. Even that partial project has proved difficult to fully fund.

Some Metro leaders are hoping that a new name can help solve an apparent identify crisis for the line. Why is it called "Santa Ana" when it doesn't even leave L.A. County?

Metro's website acknowledges the history behind the West Santa Ana Branch name:

One of those rail corridors, named the Pacific Electric Right‐of‐Way (ROW)/West Santa Ana Branch Corridor, provided passenger service from downtown LA, along the alignment currently used by the Metro A Line (Blue), to Watts Station where the line turned southeast to travel along the ROW to a terminal station in the City of Santa Ana in Orange County. Passenger service to Santa Ana ceased in 1950 and to Bellflower in 1955. This ROW has been primarily unused since Pacific Electric service ended in 1961. The portion of this rail corridor within LA County limits is known as the “West Santa Ana Branch.”

A press release from County Supervisor Janice Hahn explains the twelve top names people can select from:

  • Calafia: the mythical queen after which California—first thought to be the “Island of California”—is named.
  • Esperanza: “Hope” in Spanish. This project represents the aspirations of 1.4 million residents for improved mobility, better opportunities, and an enhanced quality of life.
  • Gateway Cities: This line will serve most of the Gateway Cities, making these communities more accessible to the rest of LA County and helping unify a regional identity.
  • Los Angeles Gateway: The Gateway Cities region will finally have a direct transit connection to the heart of Los Angeles.
  • Los Rios: This line will run along and cross our major rivers, including the San Gabriel River, the Los Angeles River and its Rio Hondo tributary.
  • Pioneer: Pioneer Blvd. runs through the heart of Artesia, the line’s terminus. This project also represents a new frontier for the communities it will serve.
  • Pórtico: A portico is a door, a gateway to something new. This line will offer the Gateway Cities a portal to a brighter future.
  • Ruta Segura: “Safe Route” in Spanish. This project will give many new public transit users the confidence to travel on the Metro system.
  • Southeast: This line will serve not only Southeast Los Angeles but also most of Southeast Los Angeles County. Check the compass at Union Station; this line goes due Southeast.
  • Southeast Gateway: The communities of SELA and the Southeast LA County region—also known as the Gateway Cities—will have a gateway to DTLA.
  • The Heartland Connection: This line will provide a connection to the heart of the Metro system for the millions of residents of the Southeast Los Angeles County communities.
  • Tongva: The Tongva—whose name means “People of the Earth"—are the original inhabitants of the land that today is Southeast Los Angeles County.

Metro states that the name will go with the project until it opens to the public, when a line letter will go into effect.

Take the very short survey - it takes under a minute. You'll be asked to pick up to three names that are your favorites. Responses are due by Sunday, December 17, 2023. Metro anticipates announcing the new name in early 2024.

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