What to Know
The renovated Metro Blue Line is scheduled to reopen Nov. 2
It will be called the A Line as part of Metro's new naming system
New switches, overhead power system and digital information screens are among the improvements
The Metro Blue Line is scheduled to fully reopen early next month. When it does, the oldest and historically busiest rail line in Los Angeles' system will have a new name.
The eight-month, $350 million renovation is nearly complete. When the line fully reopens Nov. 2, it will be called the A Line.
The southern portion of the rail line between Compton and Long Beach was closed for four months. The northern part of the line between Compton and downtown LA has been closed since the end of May.
New switches, overhead power system and digital information screens, and an and an upgraded control system are some of the improvements. Commuters also will notice new signs, paint, landscaping and artwork.
Metro will offer free rides on the line for three days when it reopens.
As for the name change, it's part of a planned renaming of Metro rail and busway routes to letters instead of colors. Other rail and busway lines will keep their color-coded names until next year, when the Crenshaw/LAX Line opens.
Why the switch? There are only so many colors, so Metro shifted to letters to accommodate a growing rail system to clearly designate lines.
"Our system is growing; a couple lines are being joined together and continuing with only color names will mean selecting line names based on shades of color that will sometimes be difficult to distinguish and decipher from one another," Metro says on a naming system primer posted on its site. "Letters plus colors, we believe, will make it clearer to residents and visitors who use our system."
Metro also notes that the current system isn't useful for people who are color blind.
Station signs will show a color dot with the letter in the middle.
Click here to see Metro's concept naming map.
The Blue Line opened in 1990 and stretches 22 miles between downtown Los Angeles and Long Beach.