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Metro's Little Tokyo/Arts District Station Will Be Closed For Three Months

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Little Tokyo/Arts District Gold Line Station (Photo by Chris via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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Heads up, Metro users: The Little Tokyo/Arts District station will be shut down for three months as Metro begins construction on the Regional Connector project. Metro is relocating the Gold Line tracks from the center of 1st Street to the north side of the street, and will eventually build a new tunnel entrance in the middle of 1st Street, Metro's The Source reports.

From Friday, Jan. 8 at 9 p.m. until March of 2016, the Gold Line's Little Tokyo/Arts District station will be closed. There will be bus shuttles that will replace the train service between Union Station and the Pico/Aliso Station. These shuttles will run every six minutes at peak times during the week, and then every 10 minutes at night and on weekends. You can get on these shuttles in three places:

  • Union Station at Patsaouras Plaza Bus Bay 7 (drop off at Bay 9).
  • Little Tokyo/Arts District at Judge John Aiso/1st.
  • Pico/Aliso Station at Utah/1st.

It should take about 15 minutes for the bus to get from Union Station to Pico/Aliso, and Metro staff will be on site to help passengers get around. Gold Line service between the Pico/Aliso and the Atlantic Station in East L.A. will occur every 10 minutes during peak hours.

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Bus Shuttle Stops (Map via Metro)
Customers may also use Metro Local Bus 30, which goes from the Gold Line's Indiana Station in Boyle Heights through downtown L.A., Mid-City and Beverly Hills. That bus line's route is available here.

The Gold Line service from Union Station to the Sierra Madre Village in Pasadena will remain unaffected.

A free shuttle will also move throughout the neighborhood's shopping district. There will be a Little Tokyo Validation Parking Program at three area parking lots with two hours of free parking with validation. Anyone who wishes to have their parking validated can ask for a "Metro Validation" and give it to the parking attendant when you're ready to leave. The three lots are include:

  • Mangrove Parking Lot at 414 E. Temple Street
  • St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church Parking Lot at 222 South Hewitt St. with an entrance on 3rd St.
  • Sho Tokyo Parking Lot/Joe's Parking Lot at 350 E. 2nd St.

There will also be road closures, with various streets closed at different times throughout construction. For a complete list of those closures, click here.

The station was initially supposed to close in early December, but Metro agreed to wait until after the holidays, KPCC reports. Earlier this month, Little Tokyo leaders and Metro officials met up to discuss the December closure. According to Rafu Shimpo, local store owners were upset about the closure:

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Brian Kito, owner of Fugetsu-Do Confectionery, said that December accounted for 25 percent of his yearly sales. He asked Metro to consider delaying the closures to Jan. 2, after the New Year’s holiday. He also expressed frustration that the community was only notified of the changes within the past month.

The Metro Regional Connector Project extends from the Little Tokyo Station to the 7th St/Metro Station, and will eventually allow passengers to transfer to Blue, Expo, Red and Purple Lines from the Gold Line, skirting Union Station. There will be three new stations, including 1st Street/Central, 2nd Street/Broadway and 2nd Place/Hope Street. Passengers will also eventually be able to use the Gold Line to get from Azusa to Long Beach, and from East L.A. to Santa Monica without transferring lines.

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The Regional Connector Project (Map via Metro)
The Metro Gold Line Foothill extension project begins in March, and is an extension of the Gold Line east from Pasadena.