Spotlight on Proposed Transit Corridors in South LA: The Harbor Subdivision


The Harbor Subdivision Line: This is the 1st in a series on transit corridor projects that have been proposed by transportation stakeholders in South LA. Currently there is no funding for these projects, but they could be funded by a new sales tax measure that's under discussion for the November 2016 ballot.

The Harbor Subdivision is a 26-mile-long Metro-owned railroad right-of-way that could offer a one-seat ride from downtown LA’s Union Station to LAX, and that would connect the Crenshaw, Green and Blue lines to important destinations in downtown LA, South LA, the South Bay and Long Beach, and to LAX and the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. It is a project that demonstrates how every incremental addition to our rail system provides ever increasing value because it provides connections to an ever larger set of destinations.

Former Inglewood Mayor Danny Tabor, vice chair of Move LA’s Leadership Board, is a champion of this proposed transit corridor, which has been studied by LA Metro. He likes to illustrate the significance of the Harbor Subdivision by telling this story:

“When I was very young my grandmother would dress me in Sunday clothes, tell me to buckle my belt to keep my pants from falling down, and away we would go. The Red Car stop was a short walk and our exploration of LA’s cultural and entertainment destinations would consume our afternoon and early evening. In those days LA’s public transit system had a belt that looped together all destinations – it was the Red Cars. They seemed to go everywhere, with every trolley line crossing another.

“When I look at our current network, I see bus and rail lines that go everywhere but service isn’t often enough to be of real value to people. Our system needs a  belt – a line that crosses other lines so that people can go in multiple directions – that can hold our system together so that riders can get there from here or from wherever. The Harbor Subdivision could be a belt serving the southern part of LA County – one that could keep our system from falling down because it doesn’t meet people’s needs and expectations.”

The map below, from LA Metro, depicts the Harbor Subdivision right of way in its entirety. The map at the top of this blog post depicts how the line would connect downtown LA with the Crenshaw Line (indicated in gold) to the west and how it could also be connected with the Green Line to the southeast and to the West Santa Ana Line (the dashed yellow line below the Green Line), which was partially funded by the Measure R sales tax.


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