Red Line (Los Angeles Metro)

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Metro Red Line
Red Line 
Ansaldobreda A650.jpg
Other name(s)B Line (beginning 2019)
TypeRapid transit
SystemLos Angeles Metro Rail
TerminiUnion Station
North Hollywood
Daily ridership149,096 (July 2016; avg. weekday, combined with Metro Purple Line)[1][2]
Line number802
WebsiteRed Line
OpenedJanuary 30, 1993; 26 years ago (1993-01-30)
OwnerLAMetroLogo.svg Metro (LACMTA)
CharacterFully underground (except for yard)
Rolling stockBreda A650
(Base and option models; trains run in 4-6 car consists)
Line length16.4 mi (26.4 km)[3]
Number of tracks2
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
(standard gauge)
Electrification750 V DC third rail
Operating speed70 mph (110 km/h)
Route map

North Hollywood
Orange Line Parking
Universal City/Studio City
FlyAway Bus
Vermont/Santa Monica
Purple Line 
Westlake/​MacArthur Park
Purple Line 
7th St/Metro Center
 Blue Line Expo Line Silver Line Purple Line 
Pershing Square
 Silver Line Purple Line 
Civic Center/Grand Park
Angels Flight Silver Line Purple Line 
Union Station
Amtrak Metrolink (California) FlyAway Bus Parking Gold Line Silver Line Purple Line 
Handicapped/disabled access all stations are accessible
Hollywood/Highland Station is located in the heart of Hollywood's tourist attractions
North Hollywood is the northern terminus of the Red Line in the San Fernando Valley

The Red Line is a heavy rail subway line running between Downtown Los Angeles and North Hollywood via the districts of Hollywood and Mid-Wilshire. In North Hollywood it connects with the Orange Line (bus rapid transit) service for stations to the Warner Center in Woodland Hills and Chatsworth, it is operated by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The Red Line, which is one of six lines forming the Metro Rail rapid transit system, opened in stages between 1993 and 2000. Together with the Purple Line, these two heavy rail lines combine to form L.A. Metro Rail's busiest line; as of October 2013, the combined Red and Purple lines averaged 169,478 boardings per weekday.[1][2]

Beginning in 2019, the line will be renamed to the B Line while retaining its red coloring.[4][5][6]

Service description[edit]


The Red Line is a 16.4-mile (26.4 km) line[3] that begins at Union Station and travels southwest through Downtown Los Angeles, passing the Civic Center, Pershing Square (near the Historic Core) and the Financial District. At 7th St/Metro Center, travelers can connect to the Metro Blue Line and Metro Expo Line. From here, the train travels between 7th Street and Wilshire Boulevard (and briefly Ingraham Street) west through Pico-Union and Westlake, arriving at Wilshire/Vermont in the city's Mid-Wilshire/Koreatown district. Up to this point, the track is shared with the Metro Purple Line: at Wilshire/Vermont, the two lines diverge.

From here, the Red Line travels north along Vermont, and then west along Hollywood Boulevard, traveling through Koreatown and Hollywood. Finally, the line turns northwest and crosses into the San Fernando Valley, where it terminates in North Hollywood.

This route matches a branch of the old Red Car system, dismantled during The Great American Streetcar Scandal.

Hours of operation[edit]

Trains run between approximately 4:30 a.m. and 1:00 a.m. the following morning.[7] On Friday and Saturday evenings, trains are extended until 2:00 a.m. of the following morning. First and last train times are as follows:

To/From North Hollywood

  • First Train to Union Station: 4:32 a.m.
  • Last Train to Union Station: 1:02 a.m. (2:22 a.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings)
  • First Train to North Hollywood: 4:10 a.m.
  • Last Train to North Hollywood: 12:21 a.m. (2:21 a.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings)


Trains on the Red Line operate every ten minutes during peak hours Monday through Friday,[8] they operate every twelve minutes during the daytime weekdays and all day on the weekends after approximately 10 a.m. (with a 15-minute headway early Saturday and Sunday mornings). Night service is every 20 minutes.


The current Red Line is the product of a long-term plan to connect Downtown Los Angeles to central and western portions of the city with a heavy rail subway system. Originally planned in the 1980s to travel west down Wilshire Boulevard to Fairfax Avenue and then north to the San Fernando Valley, a methane explosion at a Ross Dress for Less clothing store near Fairfax in 1985, just as construction got underway, led to a legal prohibition on tunneling in a large part of Mid-Wilshire, though this prohibition was later rescinded in the early 2000s allowing for the expansion of the Purple Line.[9] Instead, after some wrangling, a new route was chosen up Vermont Avenue to Hollywood Boulevard.

The line opened in three minimum operating segments:

Potential future extensions[edit]

Train at North Hollywood Metro Red Line Station.
Interior decor and stairs to platform level of Hollywood and Vine station
Eastbound platform at Universal City Station.

The route currently known as the Red Line was originally intended to continue beyond its eastern terminus at Union Station to East Los Angeles. At the north end of the route, the Red Line was to turn west from North Hollywood station toward Warner Center. Trouble during the Red Line's construction, including a 1995 sinkhole that led to the project switching to a new contractor,[13] led to a 1998 ballot proposition that banned revenue from existing sales taxes being used to dig subway tunnels in Los Angeles County,[14][15] which put an end to expansion of the Red Line for the then foreseeable future; the route to Warner Center was turned into the Orange Line, a bus rapid transitway (BRT) service.

In the early 21st century, new sales tax Measures R and M were approved by voters to specifically provide funds for subway development. While the Red Line does not figure into currently active expansion plans, several concepts have been proposed that would build off of it.

Extensions to the North[edit]

Former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has mentioned extending the Red Line from its current North Hollywood Station terminus along Lankershim Boulevard to the northeastern San Fernando Valley, with a terminus in Sylmar.[citation needed]

One long-term possibility might be an underground extension of another mile or two to a future high-rise housing district, or to a multi-modal transportation hub station at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, a distance of approximately four miles, it would possibly go under Oxnard Street, the NoHo West development, Laurel Canyon Blvd, and Vanowen Street to the Burbank Airport.[citation needed] In 2006 a large number of housing units, including a high-rise tower was completed very near the North Hollywood (NoHo Arts District) station.

Planned high-rise housing developments further to the north, including the NoHo West development which broke ground in March 2017 and the possibility of establishing a direct connection to the planned California High-Speed Rail station at Burbank Airport have been suggested as additional justification for an extension of the line from its current terminus in North Hollywood.[16]

Extension to Arts District[edit]

In 2010, at the request of L.A. City Councilman Tom LaBonge, Metro staff studied the possibility of adding a station along the west bank of the Los Angeles River to 6th Street and Santa Fe Avenue; the study concluded that such an extension, completed at-grade along Metro-owned right-of-way, could be completed for as little as $90 million.

The study suggested an alternative station at the Division 20 Yard north of 4th Street and Santa Fe Avenue; this station would be closer to the residential population of the Arts District. As new turnback tracks will need to be built as part of the Purple Line Extension (to allow shorter headways), this Arts District extension could possibly be partially completed as part of the Purple Line Extension project, lowering the incremental cost of the station while increasing its usability.[17][18]

Extensions East[edit]

Universal Studios Hollywood is one of the Metro Red Line's most popular destinations on the line.

Plans of extending the Red Line to the Eastside have been set aside with the opening of the Metro Gold Line East extension to the neighborhoods of Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles in 2009.[19] Although there are no plans to do such, it is conceivable that plans for a future eastward extension could involve the San Gabriel Valley rather than the Eastside; some citizen proposals have included the conversion of the El Monte Busway to heavy rail, although this would disrupt the existing bus and Metrolink service along that corridor. Other rights-of-way that could host a Red Line extension, whether subway or at-grade, include the Union Pacific's Alhambra Trench, the former Pacific Electric two-track right of way extending through the City Terrace area to El Monte and Covina, and the median of Huntington Drive, which also held a two-track Pacific Electric line extending as far as Azusa & Glendora, until 1951, when it was removed.

Extension South[edit]

See: Vermont Avenue Corridor Subway

Purple Line Extension[edit]

Metro is currently constructing the Purple Line Extension (formerly known as the Westside Subway Extension project) to extend the Purple Line (originally part of the Red Line) westward, to the Westside.

Station listing[edit]

The following table lists the stations of the Red Line, from South to North :

Station Connections Date Opened Station Parking City/ Neighborhood
Union Station January 30, 1993 Nearby Paid Parking (Independent) Downtown Los Angeles
Civic Center/Grand Park
  • Purple Line Purple Line 
  • Silver Line Silver Line 
  • Metro Local: 2, 4, 10, 14, 28, 30, 37, 40, 45, 48, 68, 70, 71, 76, 78, 79, 81, 83, 90, 91, 92, 94, 96, 302, 378
  • Metro Express:442, 487, 489
  • Metro Rapid: 728, 733, 745, 770, 794
  • Antelope Valley Transit Authority: 785
  • Big Blue Bus: 10
  • City of Santa Clarita Transit: 799
  • Foothill Transit: Silver Streak, 493, 495 497, 498, 499, 699
  • LADOT Commuter Express: 409, 419, 422, 423, 431, 437, 438, 448, 534
  • Montebello Bus Lines: 341, 342
  • Santa Monica Big Blue Bus: Rapid 10
  • Torrance Transit: 4
January 30, 1993 Nearby Paid Parking (Independent)
Pershing Square
  • Purple Line Purple Line 
  • Silver Line Silver Line (northbound only)
  • Metro Local: 2, 4, 10, 14, 16, 18, 28, 30, 33, 37, 38, 40, 45, 48, 53, 55, 62, 68, 70, 71, 76, 78, 79, 81, 83, 90, 91, 92, 94, 96, 302, 316, 378
  • Metro Express: 442 (northbound only), 460, 487, 489
  • Metro Rapid: 720, 728, 733, 745, 770, 794
  • Angels Flight
  • Foothill Transit: Silver Streak
  • LADOT Commuter Express: 419
  • Montebello Bus Lines: 40, 50, 341, 342
  • Orange County Transportation Authority: 701, 721
  • Torrance Transit: 4 (northbound only)
January 30, 1993 Nearby Paid Parking (Independent)
7th Street/Metro Center
  • Blue Line Blue Line 
  • Purple Line Purple Line 
  • Expo Line Expo Line 
  • Silver Line Silver Line 
  • Metro Local: 14, 16, 18, 20, 37, 51, 52, 60, 62, 66, 76, 78, 79, 81, 316, 352, 378
  • Metro Express: 442, 460, 487, 489
  • Metro Rapid: 720, 760
  • Antelope Valley Transit Authority: 785
  • City of Santa Clarita Transit: 799
  • Foothill Transit: Silver Streak, 493, 495, 497, 498, 499, 699
  • LADOT Commuter Express: 409, 422, 423, 431, 437, 438, 448, 534
  • LADOT DASH: A, B, E, F
  • Montebello Bus Lines: 40, 50, 341, 342, 343
  • Orange County Transportation Authority: 701, 721
  • Santa Monica Big Blue Bus: Rapid 10
  • Torrance Transit: 4
January 30, 1993 None
Westlake/MacArthur Park
  • Purple Line Purple Line 
  • Metro Local: 18, 20, 51, 52, 200, 352, 603
  • Metro Express: 487, 489
  • Metro Rapid: 720
  • LADOT DASH: Pico Union/Echo Park
January 30, 1993 None Westlake
  • Purple Line Purple Line 
  • Metro Local: 18, 20, 51, 52, 201, 204, 352
  • Metro Rapid: 720, 754
  • LADOT DASH: Wilshire Center/Koreatown
July 13, 1996 Nearby Paid Parking (Independent) Mid-Wilshire/Koreatown
  • Metro Local: 10, 14, 204
  • Metro Rapid: 754
June 12, 1999 None Los Angeles
Vermont/Santa Monica
  • Metro Local: 4, 204
  • Metro Rapid: 704, 754
  • LADOT DASH: Hollywood
June 12, 1999 None Los Angeles
  • Metro Local: 2, 175, 204, 206, 302
  • Metro Rapid: 754
  • LADOT DASH: Hollywood, Los Feliz, Weekend Observatory Shuttle
June 12, 1999 None East Hollywood
  • Metro Local: 180, 181, 207, 217
  • Metro Rapid: 757, 780
June 12, 1999 None East Hollywood
  • Metro Local: 180, 181, 210, 212, 217, 222
  • Metro Rapid: 780
  • LADOT DASH: Beachwood Canyon, Hollywood, Hollywood/Wilshire
  • LAX FlyAway
June 12, 1999 Nearby Paid Parking (Independent) Hollywood
  • Metro Local: 212, 217, 222, 237, 312, 656 (late night only)
  • Metro Rapid: 780
  • LADOT DASH: Hollywood
June 24, 2000 Nearby Paid Parking (Independent) Hollywood
Universal City/Studio City June 24, 2000 779 Spaces Studio City
North Hollywood
  • Orange Line Orange Line 
  • Metro Local: 152, 154, 162, 183, 224, 237, 353, 656 (late night only)
  • Metro Express: 501
  • Bob Hope Airport Shuttle (weekends & holidays only)
  • Burbank Bus: NoHo-Airport, NoHo-Media District
  • City of Santa Clarita Transit: 757
  • LADOT Commuter Express: 549
June 24, 2000 803 Spaces North Hollywood



Inside the car of a Metro Red Line. Both the Metro Red and Purple Lines use the Ansaldobreda A650 cars.

The Red Line operates out of the Division 20 Yard (Santa Fe Yard) located at 320 South Santa Fe Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles; this yard stores the fleet used on the Red and Purple Lines, and where heavy maintenance is performed. Cars reach this yard by continuing past Union Station, making a right turn and surfacing at the Eastern terminus of Ducommun Street, they then travel south to 1st Street, through a washing station, and enter the yard.

Rolling stock[edit]

The Red Line uses Breda A650 75-foot (23 m) electric multiple unit cars built by Breda in Italy; these trains are based off similar vehicles that were built by the Budd Company for the Baltimore and Miami rapid transit systems between 1983 and 1986. Trains usually run in six-car consists during peak hours and four-car consists outside of peak hours; the acceleration for cars #530 and up is similar to that of cars used by the Washington Metro because they both use General Electric traction motors.[20][21] The cars are maintained in a Metro yard on Santa Fe Avenue near 4th Street alongside the Los Angeles River in downtown Los Angeles.

In March 2017, Metro ordered new CRRC MA HR4000 railcars, some of which will operate on the Red Line when they are delivered beginning in 2020.[22]


2006 mercury spillage[edit]

On December 22, 2006, a transient accidentally spilled a vial of mercury on the platform at the Pershing Square station, he then located a passenger information intercom and told the operator that he spilled mercury before boarding a train.[23] The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department was not notified until the next day, eight hours later. Metro has responded since the incident by giving hazardous materials (Hazmat) training to its field employees and operators so they can identify hazardous substances and take correct action in the future.[24]

2011 fatal stabbing[edit]

On August 19, 2011 an altercation between two passengers resulted in a fatal stabbing of one of the involved on the train near the Hollywood and Vine station;[25] the suspect was caught on August 24.[26]

2012 fatal accident[edit]

On September 4, 2012, a 54-year-old man fell onto the tracks at the North Hollywood station and was hit by an oncoming train,[27] he was rescued by firefighters and paramedics, but died at the hospital.[28]

2018 fatal accident[edit]

On May 22, 2018, an unidentified man "probably jumped" onto the tracks at the 7th Street/Metro Center station and was hit by an oncoming train, he was rescued by firefighters and paramedics in grave condition and later died at the hospital. It is unknown if it was suicide or not.[29]

Popular culture[edit]

  • In the 1994 film Speed, the Red Line is involved at the end of the movie. The film's villain is killed and the protagonist escapes, after the train smashes through bollards and fences.
  • In the 1997 film Volcano, lava from the volcano enters the Red Line tunnel, it then erupts at the (fictional) end of the line at the Beverly Center near Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
  • On the CBS crime drama Cold Case, in the episode "Creatures of the Night", Mike Cahill is murdered at the Tasker-Morris SEPTA station which is actually the Los Angeles Union Station stop; the murder takes place as a speeding train passes the station.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Ridership Statistics - Rail Ridership Estimates". Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority. August 20, 2013. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Monthly Ridership Plot" (PDF). Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority. November 2013. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Regional Connector Transit Corridor Project Contract No. E0119 – Operations and Maintenance Plan (Final)" (PDF). 2.1 Metro Light Rail Overview. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority. September 10, 2013. pp. 2–1. Retrieved May 19, 2017. The Red Line operates 16.4 miles between Union Station in downtown Los Angeles and North Hollywood.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Scauzillo, Steve (December 13, 2018). "Because they're out of colors, LA Metro will rename all its train lines and rapid busways with letters in 2019". Los Angeles Daily News. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  6. ^ Newton, Damien (November 20, 2018). "Metro Moves Ahead with Changes to How They Name Rail/BRT". Streetsblog LA. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  7. ^ "Red & Purple lines timetable" (PDF). Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority. December 11, 2016. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
  8. ^ "Metro Bus & Rail System Map" (PDF). Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority. December 2013. Retrieved January 15, 2014.
  9. ^ Masters, Nathan (February 23, 2016). "When a Methane Explosion Derailed L.A.'s Subway Plans". KCET. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
  10. ^ Katches, Mark (January 31, 1993). "Red Line Rolls to Raves – It's Smooth Railing As L.A. Subway Opens". Los Angeles Daily News.
  11. ^ Hiestand, Jesse (June 13, 1999). "Hollywood Subway Picks Up Rave Reviews". Los Angeles Daily News.
  12. ^ Sheppard, Harrison (June 18, 2000). "End of the Line". Los Angeles Daily News.
  13. ^ GORDON, LARRY; KENNEDY, J. MICHAEL (June 23, 1995). "Street Vanishes in Subway Sinkhole : MTA: Burst water main weakens earth above tunnel, causing half a block of Hollywood Boulevard to collapse" – via LA Times.
  14. ^ "Anti-Subway Funding Measure Wins Easily". Los Angeles Times. November 4, 1998. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  15. ^ Business Monthly, January 2006. Retrieved February 14, 2007. Archived January 3, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Garland, Chad (July 23, 2015). "Study outlines potential transit improvements at Bob Hope Airport". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 9, 2017.
  17. ^ "Feasibility study" (PDF). June 16, 2010.
  18. ^ Nelson, Laura J. (March 18, 2015). "Metro could expand subway service to the downtown L.A. Arts District". Los Angeles Times.
  19. ^ Sampson, Rich. "Two Rail Lines, One Mission: Connecting Southern California" (PDF). RAIL Magazine (22). Washington, DC: Community Transportation Association of America. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  20. ^ Bluelineexpress (April 9, 2007). "Civic center departure" – via YouTube.
  21. ^ Oren's Transit Page (May 27, 2007). "8 Car Rohr Train Leaving Metro Center" – via YouTube.
  22. ^ "L.A. Metro inks pact with CRRC for up to 282 new rail cars". Progressive Railroading. March 24, 2017. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
  23. ^ Blankstein, Andrew; Guccione, Jean (January 19, 2007). "MTA admits subway spill errors". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 2, 2007.
  24. ^ Blankstein, Andrew; Guccione, Jean (January 24, 2007). "Transient held in MTA mercury spill". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 31, 2007.
  25. ^ Powell, Amy (August 19, 2011). "Passenger fatally stabbed on Metro Red Line". KABC-TV. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
  26. ^ Hernandez, Miriam (August 24, 2011). "Metro Red Line stabbing suspect arrested". KABC-TV. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
  27. ^ "Man rescued from under Metro Red Line train at North Hollywood station". Los Angeles Daily News. September 4, 2012. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
  28. ^ "Death Of Man Rescued From Underneath Metro Red Line Train Under Investigation". KCBS-TV. September 5, 2012. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
  29. ^ "Man who 'probably jumped' in front of Metro Red Line train dies". May 22, 2018.

External links[edit]

Route map:

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