Buses will replace trains from downtown Long Beach to Willowbrook

Attention, Long Beach commuters: The southern half of the Blue Line will shut down for about four months beginning at the end of January.

The Source reports today that Metro will halt rail service between downtown Long Beach and the Willowbrook station from January 26 until “late” May. Buses will replace train cars as the agency overhauls its oldest rail line, with the goal of making it less susceptible to delays and breakdowns.

While the southern segment is closed, trains will continue running on the northern half of the Blue Line, between 7th St/Metro Center and the 103rd Street/Watts Towers Station.

The overhaul will be completed in two phases, with the northern half of the line slated to close May through September. During that time, trains will continue running between Compton Station and Downtown Long Beach Station

More imminently, during the southern closure, riders will have a few different shuttle options, including the 826 Local, which will run—for free—daily. The local buses will stop at every closed Blue Line station, running every 6 minutes during rush-hour (5:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.) and every 12 minutes during non-peak hours.

Those looking for fewer stops and quicker service will have two options: the 863 Select and the 860 Express. Each will charge a $1.75 fare, but transfers will be free. The latter will make the fewest stops and run all the way to 7th Street/Metro Center. The Select and Local buses, however, will only go as far north as 103rd/Watts Towers.

(More details on each of the shuttle routes, fares, and schedules is included in the map above.)

During the closures, Metro will upgrade most of the line’s overhead catenary wire system and signal system and it will update portions of worn-out track and aging station infrastructure. The goal is to speed up service, reducing travel time from 58 minutes to 48 minutes between Downtown Los Angeles to downtown Long Beach.

The closures will affect thousands of riders. Metro data shows that more than 63,000 people use the Blue Line every weekday.

Source: http://feeds.feedburner.com/CurbedLA