Trains for night owls
July 24, 2012
Heading out to experience L.A.’s famous nightlife? Here’s a new reason to celebrate: Metro is extending rail service until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.
Currently, final trains leave between midnight and 1 a.m., depending on the station and rail line. Starting July 27, the last trains on all rail lines will not depart until 2 a.m., and the last Orange Line bus won’t depart from North Hollywood until 2:40 a.m. to accommodate transfers from the Red Line. Trains will run every 20 minutes during the new hours to destinations like Hollywood, downtown L.A., Pasadena and Long Beach.
The service expansion should be a boon for people who work or play into the wee hours, and need a way home that doesn’t involve driving or hailing a cab.
Lt. Ron Katona, the officer in charge of traffic coordination for the Los Angeles Police Department, says the new service provides another way for revelers to get home safely.
“As far as drinking is concerned, we always recommend using a designated driver or taking public transportation instead of driving,” said Katona. “This will give people another option.”
Metro CEO Art Leahy said the move should help expand Los Angeles’ growing cadre of train riders.
“By extending our service hours we will attract more people, especially young people,” Leahy said.
Eventually, Leahy hopes to increase night service hours even further, bringing L.A. closer to the 24-hour service of cities like New York and Chicago in areas where the extended hours prove popular.
“This is a test to see how it works,” Leahy said. “We may keep it on some lines and drop it on others depending on how many people use it.”
The move’s already receiving good reviews.
“We win!!” exulted the Facebook fan page called “Keep The L.A. Metro Rail Open After-Hours,” which is pushing for even later hours.
A bartender at Blue Palms Brewhouse in Hollywood, who identified himself only as Bix, bets the late trains will be good for business.
“We have a lot of guests that come in from the Valley, so now they can stay longer,” he said.