Metro has previously run the lines only until midnight, something that has not encouraged people out drinking and partying on the weekends to "Go Metro" unless they want to go home early.
"It's a reflection that Los Angeles is changing. There's a vibrant night life in L.A. County from Long Beach to Culver City, downtown, Pasadena, North Hollywood," Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesman Marc Littman said. "We don't roll up our sidewalks at 5 o'clock and not just at Staples Center."
The decision to extend the hours was made by Metro CEO Art Leahy, who aims eventually to run the lines 24 hours a day, Littman said.
Metro tried later hours on the Red Line during the 2008 winter holidays, but the operating expenses were covered by Hollywood-area businesses and the money ran out. The exact cost of extending service on all the routes this time is unclear, but Littman said it will be "marginal."
The last Gold Line train from Union Station to Pasadena currently leaves at 11:54 p.m. The last Red Line train to North Hollywood leaves downtown at 12:17 a.m.
Littman said the extended hours would be good for the economy, especially bars, restaurants and the entertainment industry, allowing theater- goers to catch a drink in Hollywood after a play or movie and "not worry you're going to turn into a pumpkin and miss your train."
The later service will also benefit public safety by removing drunk drivers from the roads and providing transportation to a number of hospitals in Hollywood, Littman said.
Here on Patch we have pointed this out more than once and advocated for Metro to extend its hours on the weekends:
Metro blogger Steve Hymon said in the post that the most common request he has received in three years running the blog is more late-night service.
The new schedule and information is as follows, according to Metro:
- All Metro Rail lines will run until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. That includes the Red/Purple Line subway, the Blue Line, Expo Line, Green Line and Gold Line.
- Trains will run every 20 minutes between midnight and 2 a.m.
- The Orange Line will run until 2:40 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights in order to meet the last trains at the North Hollywood Red Line station. The Orange Line will also run every 20 minutes between midnight and 2:40 a.m.
- The plan at this moment is to begin late-night service on the weekend of July 27-28 but Metro is also working to determine if late night service is needed on the Silver Line, as well as working with Metrolink on the possibility of extending their service to connect with Metro’s.
It's great news for anyone going out to a late night dinner or events around town, but what about for club-goers and bar patrons who stick around past last call? Bars and clubs don't close until 2 a.m.
Is a 2:30 a.m. time for the last trains to run perhaps the right approach?
Patch will keep an eye out for more details expected to be shared later this month.