Making the Blue Line safer and more enjoyable for residents, commuters and visitors has been a top priority for me as Mayor. Today I’m pleased to announce, that after many months of advocacy and lobbying, the Metro board voted to move forward on important safety and security measures for the Long Beach Blue Line.
Metro has taken an important step to make major investments at our Downtown stations and Wardlow station to improve the experience for passengers. In Downtown, a fare evasion prevention project that will add fare evasion gates at all four Downtown stations has been requested. Security personnel will also be added to enforce fares.
Wardlow Station, recently ranked one of the worst in the County, will be prioritized for new funding, and will receive major improvements, including grade crossing gates, pedestrian safety gates, and inclusion in MTA’s “Transit Oriented Communities” projects. It will also be included in the MTA’s State of Good Repair, Safety Improvements, and Aging Infrastructure program.
I want to thank Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti and County Supervisor Don Knabe for bringing these measures forward and supporting these improvements for Long Beach. I also want to thank Senator Ricardo Lara for his advocacy. And, my thanks to 8th District Councilmember Al Austin, Chair of the State Legislation Committee, who lobbied in Sacramento for these investments, as well as Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal and 1st District Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez, who also worked hard to advocate for these measures.
The Blue Line is a crucial part of our transportation infrastructure, but has not lived up to its potential due to safety and security issues. Today’s action by the MTA promises to go a long way in addressing these issues and making the Blue Line a better option for many residents and visitors.
We expect an initial report on the new measures in August.