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Light rail to Long Beach will reopen soon — but it won’t be called the Blue Line

Metro Blue Line
The Metro Blue Line pulls into the Compton station last year. Metro is preparing to complete a $350-million overhaul of the line that will include a name change.
(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

The oldest light-rail line in Los Angeles County will reopen next month with a new look and a new name.

Portions of the 22-mile Blue Line have been closed since the end of January, when the Metropolitan Transportation Authority began a $350-million renovation.

When the train between Long Beach and downtown L.A. reopens Nov. 2, it will be called the A Line — the first of Metro’s rail routes to be rechristened under a naming policy approved last year.

With eight major bus and rail projects scheduled to open over the next decade, Metro officials said they were rapidly running out of colors that looked distinct. For example, on a sun-bleached transit map, lines that are pink and red, or lime and green, could be easily confused.

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New signage will show the letter “A” within a royal blue circle, the line’s traditional color. The route will still be shown as blue on system maps.

Metro’s subway and three other light-rail lines will be renamed when the $2-billion Crenshaw Line opens, scheduled for next year. Under the new naming convention, each line will keep its current color and will receive an added letter name.

During the overhaul, which took about a month longer than planned, Metro crews added four crossover tracks, which can help reduce delays along the 22-mile line by providing more places for trains to pass each other.

Crews also upgraded the signal system, portions of worn-out track and the overhead wires that powered the trains. Stations will get new lighting and paint.

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The work included a complete renovation of the Willowbrook/Rosa Parks station, where the Blue and Green lines meet. The station, one of the busiest in the system, will have longer platforms, better lighting and a new security center, Metro said.

Metro will offer three free days of rides on the line, Nov. 2, 3 and 4, to celebrate the reopening.


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