The Missing Red Line Station

Metro hates you. It teases you with maps of rail lines that do not exist. It giggles with glee as you wait for a bus that never arrives. And it doesn’t plan to make it any easier for you in the future.

Traveling the famed Red Line into the Valley, one might notice that there’s something missing. Something big. It’s an entire subway station.

There’s a station at Universal City. There’s a station at Chandler in North Hollywood, at the end of the line. There’s nothing in between.

Umm… why?

With new development such as NBC’s West Coast headquarters at Universal City Station and the NoHo Art Wave at North Hollywood Station, Lankershim will change drastically over the next few years. Development spawns more development, bringing more people, who create more traffic. Since both of these major projects are located above existing Metro stations, it also seems obvious that NoHo will also become more pedestrian.

But what about that missing subway station?

According to Google Maps, the Universal City and North Hollywood Stations are 2.3 miles apart – 7 minutes by car. This only encourages more people who live or work somewhere in the middle to drive to one or the other before getting on the train.

Wouldn’t it make sense to have an additional station at Lankershim/Vineland? A simple subway stop with no parking. No fancy-pants art installation. No wacky Hollywood theme. Something functional.

One would think Metro had already thought of this, and had designed the line with the possibility of adding an additional stop in the future. So, I emailed Metro Customer Relations. Here is their detailed response:

There are no plans to build a Red Line Station between North Hollywood and Universal Stations. Simply stated the cost would prohibitive.

Thanks, Metro. Good looking out.

12 Replies to “The Missing Red Line Station”

  1. It’s a balancing act. To many frequent stops and people opt out of mass transit as time between points keeps getting longer. Play SimCity sometime and find out how the “sims” like frequent stops on their mass transit.

    We’ve already seen changes in the Gold Line routes to speed up the time between Pasadena terminus and LA in an effort to increase ridership. The express versions cut out a few stops to shave off something like 15-20 minutes from the journey. I don’t know if they got the ridership increases they were looking for.

    What you don’t know is that the last of the outdoor malls were enclosed 15 years ago as their business dropped considerably with temps over 85 or so and when it rained. The latter happened less frequently than the heat. The last outdoor mall was Sherman Oaks Fashion Square and that was done in the very early 1990’s.

    Any move to being more pedestrian oriented better figure out how to beat the climate or we’re going to be faced with a system that only works part time.

  2. Other major cities manage to have frequent subway stops even though it gets hot. Try walking to subway stop in New York, Boston or, god forbid, DC during late August and you’ll find out. It’s awful, but people do it.

  3. They do it because they HAVE to. They don’t have cars. Most people here do have cars, because they don’t have to pay for parking in their subterranean apt parking, or at least not that much if they do. So they have cars and they are lazy, so they drive.

  4. Unfortunately the Gold Line Express only cuts a mere 5 minutes off a 35 minute trip. Metro advertises it as “15% faster” to make it sound more substantial than it really is. This is because the Gold Line doesn’t have actual express tracks; 4 tracks so trains can pass each other. It just skips stations during rush hour.

  5. Never been to the grove as its a pain in the ass to get to from here. No easy freeway. No subway.

    It has at least a less miserable climate than the Valley in terms of heat. I mean really, Mike you mean to tell me you’ll walk more than a block when its 100+? Few people will. Don’t get me wrong, I love the heat and spend a few long weekends in Palm Springs every summer to get my fill.

  6. Sometimes I understand why I hate both New York AND Los Angeles. (Rumours–you just stay out of it; I am gonna be on a questionable $20-one way coach from under the stinky-arsed blue bridge just after stepping off the uptown M15 before you know it, heading toward the Potomac!)
    I bitch about the eLAy buses because they only occasionally arrive; the subways because for all the costs (and I remember the Hollywood sinkholes and shit when I usta contribute to Ben Is Dead and Flipside); and the idiots who spend more to park their cars than to run the buses, even as their paycheques are said to be founded by bus fares. OH–and then there all the fat, non-walking, selfish fucks whose two-block drive to Trader Joe’s, Mother’s and Nature Mart turns into a nightmare of no parking, even as they fail to appreciate the hypocrisy.
    And I gripe about new York, because I gotta deal with nearly 20 million people as I make my way everywhere, from New Lots, to the Rockaways, to Brighton Beach, to 125th, to 168th on the other side, to even the far reaches of the B and D and even nearly up to the end of the 6. Yeah, the Pelham Bay line. Sheesh; is that White Castle still there near the hospital? How about that giant-assed pizza place that all the school kids like? Is that little park upstairs of the Morris Park station still there? Aw, who cares?

    Anyhow, lemme tell you THIS, Los Angeles: ya might not have a 110th to 59th-length trek for yer 7-9am morning walk right in the middle or yer so-called city, but you pretty much every one of ya have a motor vehicle, so get off yer collective arse and get up to Griffith Park and walk off summa that McDonalds’!

    What the hell is 2.3 miles, anyway, except a few steps?

  7. Each subway station costs over $100 million to construct. I’m sure you’ve been to the Lankershim/Vineland/Camarillo intersection before lots of times. There’s nothing there!

    We don’t need a subway station there as much as we need more frequent bus service on Lankershim, perhaps a DASH route. There are very few riders on the Lankershim bus route (224) between Universal City and North Hollywood.

  8. Subway to Santa Monica ? Why bother. The Westside is so “has been.” Just a suburb for rich ex-New Yorkers.

    Build a subway down Sunset through Echo Park and Silver Lake. No. Never mind. It would ruin it. Build it to the Westside even though I’ll never go there ! :-)

  9. Just as important as the huge cost of a new station is figuring out where the money would come from. Metro builds transit lines with big capital grants from the federal and state governments (with a few exceptions like the first phase of the Expo Line, which is being paid for with local $$). The federal government wouldn’t shell out for a single station on an existing line. The state government might if you could make a compelling case, but they are already cutting transit funding. That leaves local funding. If you’ve followed the recent financial projections from Metro, there is basically none that isn’t already allocated through 2030.

    Lesson: it’s critical to push for all the important stations to be built when the line is first constructed.

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