The A Line will reopen after a 10-month closure and a $350-million renovation. | Universal Images Group via Getty

New name, (slightly) faster train

Passengers who use Metro’s 22-mile rail line from Downtown LA to Long Beach will experience a shorter ride and a new name when it reopens next month. What was once known as the Blue Line will henceforth be known as the A Line—but will anyone really call it that?—and the trip will be 5 minutes faster.

According to Metro, the A Line will reopen November 2 after a 10-month closure and a $350-million renovation. Among the many upgrades are new digital kiosks at all stations, already in place on the southernmost section of the line, which reopened in June.

“We are excited that Metro’s oldest light rail line will be back in service between Los Angeles and Long Beach and we want to thank our customers for their patience during the modernization work this year,” Inglewood Mayor and Metro board chair James T. Butts said in a statement.

The revamped line will also shave a few minutes off commuters’ trips, thanks to new tracks, switches, and other improvements. Trains will run every 6 minutes during peak hours, and make the end-to-end journey in a zippy 53 minutes. The previous travel time was 58 minutes.

Also reopening November 2, even though its own renovation isn’t quite finished, is the Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station, where passengers connect to the Green Line. That station will be complete next summer.

During the shutdown, passengers bypassed the construction with a series of free shuttles that were extremely popular, thanks to a temporary bus-only lane on Flower Street. Metro is planning to keep the bus lane in place through March of 2020.

The A Line is the first of Metro’s rail lines to be rechristened as part of a new naming convention that will eventually convert what are mostly color names to letter names.

If you’re missing the Blue Line already, Metro will be auctioning off all the old signage on Thursday, October 24 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Union Station. Bidding will also be available online.

In addition to community celebrations set for November 2 at three different stations, Metro will also give free rides on the A Line from November 2 to November 4.