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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Metro is over-complicating how it names its rail lines

Metro Blue Line
A stalled Metro Blue Line train south of the Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: The idea of renaming the rail lines for letters instead of colors has been kicking around Metro’s upper floors for more than a decade. When I was one of Metro’s Service Council members, I was asked for input several times. Each time, apparently I was ignored.

There is no rule or policy that says the line on a system map has to be the same color as a line name. In fact, on every system map that has been produced in more than a decade, all of Metro’s local bus lines have had the same designating color (orange), and every Rapid line has similarly shared the color red. Because of this, there is a small box attached to the lines on the maps every mile or two containing the actual bus line number.

Also, Metro’s lettering scheme would make a little more sense if the agency chose letters that are relevant to each line. For example, the Blue Line could become the “L” Line (for Los Angeles to Long Beach), the Red Line could change to the “H” Line (for Hollywood), and the Purple Line could be the “W” Line (for Wilshire Boulevard or the Westside). I suggested that years ago, but apparently it made too much sense.

I predict that however Metro relabels these lines, the passengers will still call them Blue, Red, Green and so forth. After all, people were still calling the agency “RTD” more than a decade after it was folded into today’s Metro.

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Kymberleigh Richards, Van Nuys

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To the editor: I am glad to see that Metro trains will be assigned letters.

I never understood why the agency assigned two similar colors, red and purple, to trains that share six stations. When those trains roll in, trying to decipher the color of a faded sign behind dirty glass takes too much time.

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Reading the name of the line is the only way to make sure you get where you intend to go.

Eric DeWeese, Pasadena

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To the editor: The Blue Line and the Expo Line both terminate at 7th Street in downtown Los Angeles. The Expo Line uses a lighter shade of blue, and in that dark Metro station, you can’t tell by color which train is arriving or leaving. It’s very confusing.

As long as they changed the name, would it have been so hard to change the color as well?

Kitty Felde, Los Angeles


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