When it opens sometime in 2021, Downtown LA's $1.4 billion Regional Connector project will finally link up Metro's Gold, Expo, and Blue lines, meaning less transfers for riders making treks throughout LA County. The new underground light rail system will even add three new subway stations to Downtown LA. Oh, how nice that will be...when it's done. For now, it's going to cause some trouble for Gold Line commuters. The Little Tokyo/Arts District Station is set to close for three months, starting January 8, while workers tunnel and relocate tracks for the Regional Connector, reports The Source. Until the station reopens in March 2016, Metro has detours planned to minimize travel disruptions.
—While workers relocate Gold Line tracks from the middle of First Street to the north side of First Street, Metro commuters will be provided with shuttle buses to get them from Union Station to Pico/Aliso and vice versa.
—Gold Line detours will begin at 9 p.m. on January 8. Shuttle buses will be picking up passengers at Union Station's Patsaouras Plaza Bus at Bay 7, a temporary Little Tokyo stop at Judge John Aiso Street and First, and the corner of Utah and First near the Pico/Aliso station.
—Shuttles will be running every six minutes during peak hours on weekdays and every ten minutes during midday, evenings and on the weekends. The entire shuttle trip between Pico/Aliso and Union Station will take about fifteen minutes, so definitely allot yourself some extra travel time.
—There will be weekend road closures as well during the construction period. The intersection of First and Alameda will be closed from Friday at 9 p.m. through Monday at 4 a.m. during the weekends of January 8, February 12, February 19, and February 26.
—On weekdays, Alameda will be open to traffic, with one lane open in each direction. One lane of traffic on First Street will be open between Alameda and Vignes Street for eastbound drivers, but westbound traffic on First Street will be closed off for the three-month duration of the project.
It's not all bad news though. Metro is offering a few opportunities to explore the Little Tokyo neighborhood on the cheap while construction goes on. The Little Tokyo Parking Validation Program provides two free hours of parking in three lots (428 E. Temple St., 222 S. Hewitt St, and 350 E. Second St.)—just ask for a "Metro Validation" from any local business and present it to the parking attendant at any of the lots mentioned above. Metro has also set up a free shuttle service to usher people through Little Tokyo's shopping district. From 10 a.m. to midnight, shuttle buses will be running every fifteen minutes to stops at the corners of Temple and Alameda, Second and Hewitt, Second and San Pedro, and Judge John Aiso Street and First.
· Three month closure of Little Tokyo/Arts District Station for Regional Connector work begins Jan. 8 [The Source]
· Little Tokyo/Arts District Shuttle & Little Tokyo Parking Validation Program [Metro]
· Downtown LA Light Rail Loop Probably Won't Open By May 2021 [Curbed LA]