The Patsaouras Bus Plaza at Union Station closes Monday in order to restore the plaza, according to Los Angeles County Metro. It's closing down for three months, through Oct. 10, forcing bus lines to be rerouted.
The plaza has been a "workhorse" for the past 20 years, Metro spokesperson Paul Gonzales told KPCC, hosting a thousand buses every day and their passengers.
"And over time, the accumulated wear and tear of millions of bus trips on the bus plaza has just caused it to wear out," Gonzales said. "Those people who can remember when it opened 20 years ago will remember this beautiful facility, has red brick all around. Well currently if you go there, it's been patched with asphalt, and there's ruts in it from the cumulative millions of bus trips over the years."
Those ruts pose a problem, as they mean water can get into their system and — if left unchecked, Gonzales said, the entire structure could be compromised. The plan: Remove the bricks, the sand underneath and strip everything down to the foundation, then rebuild it and restore its classic brick look.
"So it will be strong and really trustworthy for another 20 years, and we expect to get at least that much work out of it," Gonzales said.
Part of the remodel includes separating out car traffic from bus traffic going forward. That new passenger area opened Tuesday.
"People used to come in their cars and go around counterclockwise and drop off in front of Union Station, and then go back around and leave. And they were always going in the opposite direction of these mammoth buses, who oftentimes need more time to turn, and more space to turn," Gonzales said.
Now cars will have their own pickup and drop-off area, with direct access into Union Station.
Gonzales said that he believes all of the problems with the plaza can be fixed for a low cost, keeping the structure in a good state of repair.
During construction, bus bays are being relocated to these locations, according to a Metro press release:
Alameda Avenue west of Union Station: Metro Lines 40 and 442, AVTA Line 785 and OCTA Line 701.
Cesar Chavez Avenue at Alameda Street and/or Vignes Street (buses will stop at both intersections): Metro Lines 33 owl, 40, 68, 70, 71, 78-79-378, 442, 704, 728, 733, 745 and 770, Commuter Express Lines 431 and 534.
Southbound Vignes Street at Cesar Chavez Avenue: Dash D, Dash Lincoln Heights/Chinatown, Santa Clarita Transit Line 794.
El Monte Busway east of Alameda Street: Foothill Transit Line 699 and Commerce Casino/Citadel bus.
Union Station interior roadway: USC Shuttles, Bunker Hill Shuttle, Mount St. Mary’s University Shuttle and all other shuttles.
West side of Union Station: BoltBus, Megabus and LAX FlyAway.
You can read more details on Metro's website.