The Metropolitan Transportation Authority kicked off major upgrades to the Blue Line’s Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station. The $109-million project will radically transform the fourth-busiest station in the Metro Rail system by improving access, expanding capacity, adding community space, and better connecting the station to the surrounding neighborhood.
Metro Board Member and Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas at the press conference to launch the Rosa Parks/Willowbrook Station improvement project. Photo by Diandra Jay/Board of Supervisors.
“The entire Metro system will benefit from the complete transformation of this highly utilized station,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, a member of the Metro Board of Directors. “These long overdue improvements will increase safety, accessibility and mobility for current and future riders, and further solidifies the Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station as the linchpin of transit-oriented development for the Willowbrook community.”
Among other improvements, the station will have a new Customer Service Center, Transit Security Center, Bike Hub and self-cleaning, automated public restrooms for patrons. The open-air plaza has also been designed as a public resource to be used for community events, special exhibits, celebrations and movie nights. The improvement project is funded by a combination of local money and state and federal grants.
Early construction work will take place over the rest of 2018. In early January, the station will close for eight to nine months as part of the New Blue project to modernize the Blue Line, which opened in 1990 and is Metro’s oldest light rail line. During the closure, rail service to the station will be replaced by bus shuttles.
“The Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station has been used by millions of people over the years and it’s time to prepare the station for many more decades of heavy use,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, who chairs the Metro Board. “The community deserves a better station and I’m pleased to see this very important work finally getting underway.”
“The Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station Improvement Project is a welcome addition to the Willowbrook community and a positive step toward a more equitable transportation system. Safe, reliable, and affordable public transportation helps families better connect to education and job opportunities. My constituents throughout the 44th Congressional District will benefit greatly,” said U.S. Congressmember Nanette Diaz Barragán.
Improvements to the station include:
• expansion of the Blue Line platform to reduce crowding, along with an overhead canopy to protect passengers from the sun and rain;
• the creation of a new pedestrian crossing and entrance on the south side of the extended Blue Line platform;
• upgrades to the elevators, escalators, stairs and the mezzanine between the Blue Line and Green Line platforms;
• consolidation and upgrades to the bus bays to provide a safer and more comfortable area for riders; and
• new site-specific artwork by artists Jamex, Einar de la Torre and George Evans.
The Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station will remain open until January 2019, when it is expected to close until September 2019. Rail service closures during that time will be as follows:
• January to May 2019: Rail service will be suspended from the Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station to the Downtown Long Beach Station and replaced by Metro bus shuttles. The Blue Line will continue running between 7th St/Metro Center and 103rd St/Watts Towers Station.
• May to September 2019: Rail service will be suspended from the Willowbrook/Rosa Parks to 7th St/Metro Center and replaced by bus shuttles. The Blue Line will continue running between Compton Station and Downtown Long Beach Station. Red and Purple Line service will operate normally at 7th St/Metro Center.
• During the northern closure, Expo Line rail service will be suspended for 45 days at 7th Street/Metro Center Station and Pico Station with train service in that segment replaced by bus shuttles. Expo Line trains will continue to run between LATTC/Ortho Institute Station and Downtown Santa Monica.
“The transformation of the Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station into a modern transit hub is being made possible by our local, state and federal funding partners,” said Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington. “In addition to providing a better mobility experience for our customers, this crucial work will improve the quality of life for the Willowbrook community.”
For more information, including a fact sheet and renderings, visit https://www.metro.net/projects/blue-line-willowbrook/.