The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) Blue Line is undergoing a $1.2-billion overhaul replacing power stations, overhead power lines, tracks, rail cars and improvements to station platforms in a multiyear investment to bolster reliability, comfort and safety.
Some of the work on the Blue Line, which has linked Los Angeles and Long Beach and all the communities in between for 23 years, has already begun while other upgrades and improvements will be completed over the next six years.
“Even as we move forward on new transit projects, we are committed to maintaining the world-class transportation system we’ve already built,” said LACMTA Board Chair Diane DuBois. “The LACMTA Board commits to our customers and taxpayers a long term investment to keep the Blue Line in top form.”
“In the past seven years, we have spent $260 million improving grade crossings, replacing street lights and upgrading vehicle lights to improve safety,” said LACMTA Chief Executive Officer Art Leahy. “We are in the midst of painting and replacing worn parts and fixtures at Blue Line stations. Next, patrons will see brand new trains and some refurbished rail cars.”
Nearly $739 million is earmarked to purchase 78 new light-rail vehicles plus $130 million to repair and upgrade 52 light-rail cars now in service.
To improve reliability and performance, $82 million is being invested to replace all 20 traction power substations with 19 already completed. Overhead power lines in downtown Los Angeles and Long Beach are being upgraded at a cost of nearly $13 million. Another $13 million is being spent to replace rail track in Long Beach that was degraded by moist sea air with completion expected in 2019.