A Metro light rail train approaches the Little Tokyo stop of the Gold Line. One version of the Regional Connector plan proposes demolishing one of these tracks in order to build the connection under the station.
Take a light rail train from Pasadena, and the farthest west you can get is Alameda Street, east of downtown. Ditto if you take a train from the Eastside Extension. Take a train from Long Beach, or, in another few years, from Santa Monica, and you face the same problem in reverse: the farthest east you can get is Flower Street. That means someone going from Pasadena to Long Beach has to take three different trains just to get across downtown. There’s got to be a better way. And there is—at least on paper. It’s called the “regional connector”: a two-mile track through downtown that would let trains run directly from Pasadena or Boyle Heights to Santa Monica or Long Beach. The question: where and how to build it? Metro is currently holding public meetings to discuss routes. The first one was Tuesday at the Japanese American National Museum. The next one is Monday, Oct. 4th, at 11:30 am at the Los Angeles Police Department headquarters.
Steve Hymon, former transportation reporter for the Los Angeles Times