Existing or Under Construction

Los Angeles
Pasadena (see
Los Angeles)
Redlands (see
San Bernardino)
San Bernardino
San Diego
San Francisco
San Jose


Orange County
Tulare County

Los Angeles
subway, light rail, streetcar, people mover


Los Angeles'
original subway was built in 1925 and passed away in 1925. It serviced the Pacific Electric Railway, a trolley and interurban network famous for its Red Cars.  The subway, known as the Hollywood Subway, is virtually unknown today. Sob.

Harry Marnell's
PE subway site
Elson Trinidad's
PE Subway site.

Los Angeles' subway, or "
red line", which does not have red cars, opened for business in 1993. The 13 station 17.4 mile line includes a spur branch with two stations, now known as the Purple Line. Well, it's really more of a dash than a line, but  it's parents hope it will one day grow up to be a line. Which is going to be difficult, because voters in 1998 banned local tax monies from funding subway tunnel construction, thus giving further subway plans a political D&C.

Despite the municipal abortion, and thanks in large part to the Obama administration's skill in stimulation therapy, subway expansion plans were revived in 2008, including a widely desired subway to the sea. Only time will tell if this is a train tease or a full fleged subgasm. But LA voters have already approved a tax measure to support the mayor's
aggressive  metro expansion projects, and construction on several of the projects has already begun.

Some of the projects include:

1) Purple line subway extension from its current terminus on mid wilshire to Westwood, hitting Miracle Mile, Beverly Hills, West LA, Westwood, UCLA, and Museum Row. Eventual extension to Santa Monica
2) Downtown Connector Subway, a 1.9 mile tunnel connecting the 3 light rail lines in downtown as well as Union Station to the 7th street metro station with three new stations scattered around Downtown LA. The connector is expected to open in 2020.
3) Green Line extensions to LAX as well as Norwalk Metrolink Station
4) Crenshaw north/south subway, huge link for the system
5) 405 parallel line, most likely a subway linking the valley to LAX with connections to the Purple line at UCLA, Expo line at Santa Monica, Green Line and Crenshaw line at LAX.
6) Gold Line Eastside phase 2 extension
7) Gold Line Foothill extensions

Los Angeles Metro Red Line Tunnel Ride from Harold Cerda on Vimeo.

   Photo courtesy
Magnus Stomfelt

Light Rail

Los Angeles is currently home to four light rail lines. They are the third busiest light rail lines in the US.:

1. The Blue Line to Long Beach (1 station in subway) - 22 stations, 36.4 km. This line uses a combination of subway, street running and grade separated right of way formerly part of the Pacific Electric
2. The Green Line - Known by LACMTC employees as Line 803, the Green Line light railway has 14 stations and is 32.2 km long. It is completely grade separated, and mostly elevated, running in part in the median of a local freeway. It's planners had the wisdom to bypass Los Angeles Airport so as to protect the highly regarded parking lots companies. As further enhancement to their wisdom, they made sure that the Green Line terminates two miles from a heavily used Metrolink station. We are awed by their prescience and wisdom.
3. The Gold Line is 31.7 km long, with two of it's 21 stations in a 1.7 km subway section and
one in a trench below grade..Both subway stations were additions to the line, and opened in November 2009. Gold Line trains are very metro-like, and a cab tour can be taken at one of our station links just below. It is known by LACMATC insiders as the C Line and Line 804, probably because the initial idea for the line was orginated by an ex-wife of one of the board members.
4. The Exposition Line, alternately christened the Aqua Line, thanks in part to it's
many friends, opened it's first 9 km long section in April 2012. A 10.6 k extension opened in May 2016, including an elevated section with 3 stops, The lines extends services to Santa Monica. It is the first  rail line since the Transit Holocaust to reach the beach. The Expo Line serves the Metro Center subway station with the Blue Line and the Red Line, although the remainder of the line is elevated and grade separated street running. A separate tunnel section contains no subway stations.

A 13.6 km (8.5 mile) light rail subway
on Crenshaw Avenue began construction in 2014. Fortunate to have some of the wisest transit planners in the world, the line will intersect the Green Line, carefully avoiding Los Angeles Airport. The line is expected to open in 2019. Three stations will be in subway.

connector line is in the early stages of evaluation and is scheduled to open in 2020. The 1.9 mile 4 station "missing inlk" will run under Little Tokyo, connecting the blue, gold and Expo Lines, allowing traveling without transfering between East LA, Pasadena, Culver City and Long Beach. A really fine accomplishment for a relatively young metro system.

In 2014, Los Angeles initiated a study that considered turning the Orange bus rapid transit line into a light rail route.

Also approved is a modern downtown electric streetcar starter line. No further details have been released.

Expo Train web site with cool simulation
Gold line extension

Gold Line Cab Ride

People Mover

Sometimes referred to as a tram, the Getty People Mover, or APM, travels approximately 1 km on a cushion of air. The line was built by Otis and is also known as the Hovair. Opened in 1997, the three car automated trains whisk museum goers through the hills to the Getty Museum, where the poor can enjoy the trappings of the rich as if they were their own.


Last but definitely not least is the 4 station 1.5 km San Pedro streetcar line, a resurrection of s small section of the old Pacific Electric's red cars. The heritage streetcar line opened in 2008 and clacks along the Los Angeles waterfront..

San Pedro Streetcar Home Page


According to Railway Gazette, here are the plans for Los Angeles Transit system as of March 2016:

The following projects in the draft plan are to be completed in the first 15 years:

  • Completion of the Purple Line metro extension to Westwood a decade earlier than currently planned;
  • Construction of an interchange serving the Crenshaw/LAX light rail line and the planned peoplemover to Los Angeles International Airport;
  • Track improvements on the Crenshaw/LAX Line;
  • An extension of the light rail Gold Line from Azusa to Claremont;
  • Construction of a light rail line between Artesia and the Green Line in South Gate, with a second phase extending it to Union Station in the 2030s;
  • A rail or bus rapid transit route along Van Nuys Boulevard;
  • Grade separations and other work on the Orange Line bus route in preparation for its eventual conversion to light rail;
  • An underground rail line between the Orange and Purple lines, planned as the second phase of a bus and rail project across the Sepulveda Pass.

Projects planned for the second 15 years include an extension of the Green light rail line to Torrance and an extension of the Gold metro line to South El Monte or Whittier. The final 10 years could see a northern extension of the Crenshaw Line to and Hollywood and an extension of the Green Line to Norwalk.

More Los Angeles Rail Transit Links

Metropolitan Transport Authority - MTA Home Page, where you can take a virtual tour of the subway
Guide to the LA Subway
Urban Rail page on Loss ANgeles' subway and light rail lines
Exploring the Los Angeles metro from Google
Private Home Page for LA Rail

Union Station
by Elson Trinidad - LA geared
in the LA Metro
Green,Red and Blue Lines
Getty Center Shuttle (people mover), an article from Elevator World
Another image
of the Getty Shuttle from the Getty Center Site
Gale Edward Vandeventer's
Electric Railways of Los Angeles
Wilshire Center
monorail proposal