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Rail News: Passenger Rail

L.A. Metro to improve Blue Line safety, releases annual report


The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) today will unveil safety improvements underway at 27 grade crossings on the Blue light-rail line.

The improvements include pedestrian gates and swing gates, new walkways, new fencing, new signs and accessibility upgrades for people with disabilities.

The work, which will cost $30 million, is being performed at intersections in Los Angeles, Compton, and Long Beach, Calif.

The Blue Line is L.A. County's first light-rail line and remains its busiest, Metro officials said in an announcement.

Meanwhile, Metro yesterday released its annual report highlighting the agency's progress over the past fiscal year.

The agency logged 453 million boardings in FY2016, which ended June 30. Metro also opened two new rail projects: the Gold Line extension to Azusa, Calif., in March and the Expo Line extension to Santa Monica, Calif., in May.

Both lines have exceeded the agency's "most liberal ridership projections," Metro officials said in a press release. In addition, with the opening of these extensions, overall Gold Line ridership increased 12 percent and Expo Line ridership jumped 43 percent.

The report also touted Metro's three rail projects underway: the Regional Connector, the Purple Line subway extension and the Crenshaw/LAX Line.

"We’re waging a transportation revolution," said Metro Chief Executive Officer Phillip Washington. "We have the opportunity to be bold and tackle not only the infrastructure challenges of today but the challenges of tomorrow."

The report comes as Metro continues to push for the "Measure M" sales tax increase that would generate $120 billion for various transportation projects in the region. Voters will vote on the measure on Nov. 8.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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