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Long Beach Politician Pushing for a Cleaner, Safer Blue Line

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The Blue Line light rail--a workhorse of the city's Metro system, lugging 90,000 people between Downtown LA and downtown Long Beach every workday--doesn't have the best rep. Its bad PR is related to slow stretches of the line through LB, a not-great crash record, vandalism at stations, and a roaming swapmeet feel on board. While efforts are underway at Metro to speed up the Blue Line and build surrounding transit-oriented development, Long Beach Vice Mayor Robert Garcia is spearheading his own effort to bring improvements to the 23-year-old light rail, which he says sees 6 million annual boardings just in Long Beach. This week, Garcia placed an item on the city council's next agenda that, if passed, would urge Metro to install electronic turnstiles at all Long Beach Blue Line stations. Garcia also wants the City Manager "to work with Metro on a plan to address other public safety concerns, as well as maintenance and repair." Aesthetic issues are also an issue, with Garcia saying in a release that "much of the public art that has been damaged over the years has never been replaced, and there is a need for landscaping improvements."
· A Better Blue Line [Robert Garcia]
· Blue Line Archives [Curbed LA]