Just in time for summer, Metro is temporarily shutting down two Downtown LA stops on its popular Expo Line train to Santa Monica.
The closure will start Saturday and last two months. During that time, rail service will be down for both the Expo and Blue lines at the 7th Street/Metro Center Station in the Financial District and the Pico Station near LA Live.
Rail service will continue on the rest of the route, but passengers boarding westbound trains will have to get on at the LATTC/Ortho Institute Station, just south of Downtown.
Shuttle buses will be on-hand to carry riders to and from the closed stations. Metro this month unveiled a temporary bus-only lane on Flower Street to ensure speedy service for shuttles serving Expo and Blue line riders.
Passengers traveling to and from the Pico and 7th Street/Metro Center stops can hop aboard the 856, 864, 863, and 860 buses to complete journeys in and out of Downtown LA. Those heading north will board at 23rd and Flower, with the bus then traveling up Figueroa Street. Southbound passengers can wait at the intersection of Hope and Seventh streets, as well as Pico and Flower.
Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus system will also offer a shuttle between the LATTC/Ortho Institute Station and the 7th Street/Metro Center Station, so that’s another option for riders who aren’t connecting at Pico Station.
The station closures will allow Metro to lay new track and make repairs necessary to complete a $350 million project aimed at speeding up service on the Blue Line, which has been partially closed since January. The agency’s contractors wrapped up work on the southern half of the light rail line last month and in June began replacing track and overhead cables along the route’s northern section.
The Blue Line won’t fully reopen until September, but all Expo Line stations will be up-and-running in late August.
Once work is complete, Metro expects to shave about 10 minutes off the time of an end-to-end trip on the Blue Line. Expo Line riders should also benefit from track replacement in the 7th Street/Metro Center tunnel and along Washington Boulevard. The work is aimed at ensuring trains move more smoothly through the segments shared by the Expo and Blue lines, reducing backups and making service more reliable.