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Wilshire Blvd Subway Approval a Boon to Pasadena

(Click image to enlarge) The Los Angeles Times front page today announcing the Wilshire Blvd subway official approval

Today is one of the greatest milestones in LA history. Future generations will look back decades from now and know that “2010” was the year LA chose to embrace urbanism over strict auto-dependency. Cities across the world are identified by their transit networks (New York, London, Tokyo, Paris, etc.) and Los Angeles is no exception as our “transit network” of clogged and ever-widening freeways and streets have earned us the reputation of shame amongst many who expect great transit service from a city as large and diverse as LA.

All that changes starting today because this morning, the Metro board unanimously approved the long-elusive Wilshire Blvd subway (aka Purple Line) that will allow residents of Pasadena to one day ride the “subway to the sea.” Along the way, riders will also stop at LACMA, Rodeo Drive, Century City, and UCLA. Although, the initial approval today has the Purple Line terminating at the VA Hospital just past UCLA/Westwood, the goal will be to seek further funding to extend the subway all the way to the ocean (at 4th/Colorado in Downtown Santa Monica). Conversely, all those areas mentioned will also be able to access Pasadena car-free as part of a regional network.

Along with the Regional Downtown Connector approved today as well, which will tie together the Blue, Gold, and Expo Lines into a seamless rail system–meaning no transfer at Union Station needed from Pasadena to the heart of Downtown LA–Pasadena is positioned advantageously as we are already connected into the disjointed, but rapidly maturing, rail network. As each new rail line opens, adding more and more key destinations, the system will gain coherency and become relevant to more and more people. Finally shedding the criticism of a “subway to nowhere” to a subway system that works.

Expect real estate near our six Gold Line stations in Pasadena (Fillmore, Del Mar, Memorial Park, Lake, Allen, and Sierra Madre) to increase in value as demand to live near stations continues to grow as our regional network expands (not unlike many other cities in the world where rail stations are viewed as a must for many who desire a pedestrian lifestyle).

The Wilshire Blvd Purple Line Subway Route Approved

(Click image to enlarge) The Wilshire Blvd Purple Line will allow Pasadena residents to access key destinations quickly without a car, such as: LACMA, Rodeo Drive, Century City, and UCLA

The Regional Downtown Connector Approved

(Click image to enlarge) The Regional Downtown Connector will allow Pasadena Gold Line riders to take the train directly to, for example, the Walt Disney Concert Hall at 2nd/Hope without transferring at Union Station


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  3. This is a monumental, desperately needed decision to move forward with regional light rail connectivity. What will happen now is what happened in the Bay area when Bart started up: massive amounts of parking! The nearest stops to my residence do not have any parking, so light rail doesn’t work for local residents that live beyond a few blocks away unless someone builds parking garages in Pasadena and South Pasadena that serve the transit stations. Which means that some properties will turn into parking garages with retail at ground floor – the transit stations are generally in urban districts except for South Pasadena, which doesn’t have the capacity for that kind of a structure near the station.

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  5. Three of the Pasadena stations have parking structures (Sierra Madre, Del Mar, and Filmore). South Pasadenans could drive to the Filmore station pretty easily, or take a feeder bus (the 6xx MTA buses, though I don’t know if those circulate in So Pas).

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