After nine years of construction, it's now official: the Regional Connector will open for passenger service on Friday, June 16.

The announcement, made yesterday by Metro Board Chair Ara Najarian, will finally mark completion on the more than $1.8-billion project, which adds 1.9 miles of subway tunnel beneath Downtown Los Angeles. The alignment, which snakes underneath Flower and 2nd Streets between the Financial District and Little Tokyo, will connect and merge the A, E, and L Lines.

View of public art at Grand Ave Arts/Bunker Hill StationMetro

Stops include the rebuilt Little Tokyo/Arts District Station, which has now been moved underground at the intersection of 1st Street and Central Avenue, as well the new Historic Broadway Station at 2nd Street and Broadway and the Grand Avenue Arts/Bunker Hill Station at 2nd Place and Hope Street. The connector will allow easy access to the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Music Center, Grand Park, the Colburn School, MOCA, The Broad, Grand Central Market, and other destinations.

The tunnel will allow through routing of light rail trains between Little Tokyo and 7th Street/Metro Center Station, saving commuters up to 20 minutes per trip by reducing the need for transfers. Moving forward, the three existing light rail lines will be merged into two, with the A Line running north-south from Azusa to Long Beach and the E Line traveling east-west East Los Angeles to Santa Monica. Service will launch with existing 10-minute peak frequencies and 12-minute midday and weekend service levels for both the A and E lines.

View of station platform at Grand Ave Arts/Bunker Hill StationMetro

Metro has previously estimated that the completed project will serve up to 88,000 daily passengers, with 17,000 of them being new riders.

The debut of the Regional Connector will follow less than one year after the launch of the K Line, which will eventually provide a long-sought rail link to LAX, as well as the C and E Lines. Both of those extensions were beset by numerous delays since breaking ground in 2014, with expected opening dates pushed back on multiple occasions.

Follow us on social media: 

Twitter / Facebook / LinkedIn