This New Metro Tunnel Is a Total Game-Changer if You Live in the Valley

No more missing connections while waiting for a traffic light or risking life and limb crossing Lankershim

Metro’s year of big openings rolls on, with Monday heralding the long-awaiting opening of an underground connection between the Red Line terminus in North Hollywood and the popular Orange Line busway.

Officials will cut the ribbon on the $22 million tunnel at 11 a.m., with commuters allowed inside immediately after. The underpass eliminates the need to cross Lankershim Boulevard to connect between the two lines. Not only will that reduce crashes and near-misses between cars, buses, and pedestrians, it reduces transfer time. Metro estimates riders will save between four and five minutes connecting, meaning less missed buses and trains.

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In addition to the underground tunnel, which leads up to the Orange Line station via stairs, escalators, and elevators, look out for a new station plaza area, ticket machines, TAP gates, and street improvements. A new “Metro Pin” sign will also debut Monday in NoHo; it’s a new station identifier that’s supposed to stand out better and improve Metro branding:

New signage in NoHo
New signage in NoHo

Image courtesy The Source

“The new identifier prototype is substantially larger than previous Metro signs and includes an illuminated M, the station name and the word Metro for nighttime recognition,” reads The Source. “The ‘Metro Pin’ reflects Metro’s updated signage standards and uses the agency’s system-wide contemporary design station architecture. Efforts are underway to incorporate the new identifier into upcoming station construction projects.”

These small, yet important, improvements go along way to making the transit experience more pleasant; in addition to the new tunnel, the nearby Universal City station recently received a pedestrian bridge. How about digging a tunnel under the Hollywood and Highland station that allows commuters to exit closer to the Hollywood Bowl and cross fewer streets? We’re also hoping the forthcoming VA station in Westwood includes a pedestrian tunnel to Federal or even Barrington Avenue.