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New Metro Pedestrian Tunnel Opens in Downtown LA’s Busiest Subway Station

The new Metro pedestrian tunnel opened today linking the 7th/Metro Center subway station to The Bloc shopping center across the street

Today was a very exciting day for urban advocates in Los Angeles! Transit accessibility and convenience went up a great notch with the opening of Metro’s first pedestrian tunnel that links the busy 7th/Metro Center subway station — actually the busiest station in Los Angeles — directly into a private commercial property, and in this case, the shopping center known as The Bloc.

At 9 am, both Metro and The Bloc officials were joined by Councilman Jose Huizar and actor Ed Begley, Jr to celebrate the grand opening of the long-awaited pedestrian tunnel. After a slight delay (it was supposed to open on Jan 22, but the heavy rains caused some delays apparently), the portal leading to the 12-foot long passageway was finally opened up allowing transit riders to access The Bloc without having to come out of the station and cross 7th Street, saving time and adding convenience.

Funding for the pedestrian tunnel — an estimated cost of $9.3 million — was approved back in April 2015, which includes a one-time easement fee that Metro will pay The Bloc and necessary improvements to integrate the new passageway connection into the shopping center. Out of the total cost, Metro will kick in roughly half not to exceed $4.65 million while The Bloc will pay for the rest.

Metro planners and engineers designed the station back in the 80s with “knock-out panels” that make it possible to connect via tunnel to neighboring commercial properties. Now, riders can access The Bloc easily much like other transit-oriented cities where transit links directly into shopping centers and other private developments.

Access to the tunnel portal will be from 6 am to 10 pm daily.

The new Metro passageway opened today linking 7th/Metro Center into The Bloc

Staircase leading up to The Bloc entering from 7th/Metro Center

The new 12-foot long passageway increases transit accessibility and convenience for Los Angeles

Going to the 7th/Metro Center subway station from The Bloc

Riders exiting the subway station will be greeted by a new upscale Starbucks Reserve coffee shop

8 Comments

  1. Paul wright says

    I love it. This is great news. Can’t wait for the Regional Connector.

  2. This is great – I hope it is a boon for the BLOC.

    Any chance we’ll ever see Wilshire Grand do the same?

  3. archie says

    A nice plus. When are more retail shops opening? There’s barely anything in there except Macy’s, the Sheraton and District. Are the Alamo Draft House Theatres still happening in the Bloc? If so,will it have entrances in the Bloc and on Flower Street?

  4. Andrew W. says

    Love the new subway tunnel entrance! But the snail pace of new retail stores/restaurants opening at the BLOC makes it all, a little underwhelming. Other than Macy’s and a couple of retail stores, there’s really little to be excited about at the BLOC (at this point).

  5. Mike Chen says

    I agree. The Bloc is so underwhelming at this point. I have never seen a mall open slower than this place. They’ll be finished with the entire remodeling of Century City Westfield before The Bloc finishes. #shameful

  6. Abu Sayf says

    Good news. In retrospect the sad thing about is that we had to wait 30 years before it became fruition while other metropolis cities (think Hong Kong, Tokyo, New York) already had it many decades long before us. The politicians of L.A must have fallen asleep for long period of time. That’s why LA is still facing the consequence of it. I hope this awakening can finally bring us to the same level as other metropolis in terms of having a true downtown with vibrancy.

  7. sebstian says

    Yes, they should definitely have another tunnel going into the Wilshire Grand. And I hope that one day the pico station goes underground with a tunnel full of stores to the new mall they are building there.

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