Los Angeles’s Regional Connector is open. It’s a small piece of subway — less than two miles, with three stations, but it utterly transforms the rail network of Los Angeles, making trips across downtown much faster. Here’s LA Metro’s quick diagram of the change:
It’s simple: In the network as it existed until this weeekend, light rail from north and east, called Line L, only came to the northeast edge of downtown, while the two lines from the south and west (Lines A and E) only came to the southwest edge. Traveling across the center thus required making two transfers, using the Line C & D Subway. The Regional Connector rearranges these lines to that all services flow across downtown and out the far side. Much faster trips across downtown mean greater access to opportunity for many people across the city and beyond.
I’ve written before about the difficulty of getting regional focus on these core-city projects. LA Metro did a good job with this one, starting by branding it the Regional Connector. It may be in downtown Los Angeles but it’s not for downtown Los Angeles. It’s for the entire region.