C Line
LACMTA Circle C Line.svg
LA Green Line train at Redondo station.jpg
C Line train at Redondo Beach station
Other name(s)Green Line (1995–2020)
OwnerLos Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Line number803
TypeLight rail
SystemLos Angeles Metro Rail
Depot(s)Division 16 (Westchester)
Division 22 (Hawthorne)
Rolling stockSiemens P2000 or Kinki Sharyo P3010 running in 1 or 2 car consists
Ridership4,430,484 (2021) Decrease -6.9%
OpenedAugust 12, 1995; 27 years ago (1995-08-12)
Line length19.5 miles (31.4 km)[1]
Number of tracks2
CharacterPredominantly elevated and fully grade-separated, mostly in freeway median
Track gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
ElectrificationOverhead line750 V DC
Operating speed65 mph (105 km/h) (max.)
34.4 mph (55.4 km/h) (avg.)
Route map

Redondo Beach
Division 22 yard
El Segundo
Los Angeles International Airport (via link=Los Angeles International Airport#Metro Rail)
Harbor Freeway
J Line 
Willowbrook/Rosa Parks
A Line 
Long Beach Boulevard
Lakewood Boulevard
Norwalk/Santa Fe Springs
Metrolink (California) (planned)

Handicapped/disabled access all stations accessible

Parking Parking is available at all
stations except Mariposa

The C Line (formerly the Green Line from 1995 to 2020) is a 19.5-mile (31.4 km)[1] light rail line running between Redondo Beach and Norwalk within Los Angeles County. It is one of seven lines forming the Los Angeles Metro Rail system and opened on August 12, 1995. Along the route, the line serves the cities of Downey, El Segundo, Hawthorne, Norwalk and Lynwood, the Los Angeles community of Westchester, and several unincorporated communities in the South Los Angeles region including Athens, Del Aire, and Willowbrook. A free shuttle bus to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is available at the line's Aviation/LAX station.

The fully grade-separated route (essentially a light metro) runs mainly in the median of the Century Freeway (Interstate 105) for its eastern portion and on an elevated viaduct for its western portion.

A connection between the K Line and the current C Line is currently under construction and is scheduled to enter service in 2023. The two lines will be integrated, and services realigned at that time, although the service pattern has yet to be determined.[2]

Service description


Map showing C Line route and stations
Map showing C Line route and stations

The entire route of the C Line is grade-separated, with its tracks following the median of the Century Freeway (Interstate 105) or an elevated guideway. The line begins in the west at Redondo Beach station, then heads roughly north through El Segundo. At Aviation/LAX, passengers can transfer to any one of several bus lines from different operators, including LAX Shuttle Route M, which provides free service to Los Angeles International Airport. From here, the C Line heads east in the median of the Century Freeway, with a connection to the Metro J Line bus rapid transit line at the Harbor Freeway Station. It then continues to a major transfer connection at the Willowbrook/Rosa Parks station (transfer point to the A Line). Finally, the line terminates in Norwalk, just east of the 605 Freeway. A junction at Willowbrook/Rosa Parks allows trains to transfer to A Line tracks for maintenance and other non-revenue operations.

When the C Line began service in 1995, it operated with only one-car trains. As ridership increased, two-car trains were then used. Ridership on the C Line has not been as high as the A Line, although it did have higher ridership than the L Line (then known as the Gold Line) until 2013.[3][4] Although all of the C Line stations in the median of the Century Freeway were built by Caltrans to accommodate three-car trains, the five Metro-built stations west of the freeway only have room for two-car trains.[5]

The line does not serve Downtown Los Angeles. Still, passengers can reach it by connecting with the J Line busway at Harbor Freeway Station, the A Line light rail at Willowbrook/Rosa Parks station, or Metro Bus Express route 460 at Norwalk station.

Hours of operation

Metro C Line trains run between approximately 3:30 am. and midnight daily, with a scheduled running time of 34 minutes from end to end.[6] Service on Friday and Saturday nights continues until approximately 2:15 am. The C Line runs with one-car trains in the early mornings (3:35 am–5:30 am) and late evenings (9:00 pm–12:55 am).


Trains on the C Line operate every seven to eight minutes during peak hours, Monday through Friday. They operate every 15 minutes during midday and all day on the weekends, with night service running every 20 minutes.[6]


The C Line is the fastest in the Los Angeles Metro Rail network because trains can operate at speeds up to 65 miles per hour (105 km/h) for most of their route as trains run in the median of the I-105 freeway, not having at-grade street service like other lines such as the A Line. The line has complete grade separation, relatively long station spacing, and a primarily straight alignment.

The C Line takes 34 minutes[6] to travel 19.5 miles (31.4 km), at an average speed of 34.4 miles per hour (55.4 km/h). This is 31% faster than the Metro L Line, 38% faster than the Metro A Line, and 74% faster than the Metro E Line.

Station listing

The C Line consists of the following 14 stations (from west to east):

Station Date Opened City/Neighborhood Major connections and notes[7][8]
Redondo Beach August 12, 1995 Hawthorne and Redondo Beach[a] Park and ride: 340 spaces
Douglas El Segundo Park and ride: 30 spaces
El Segundo Park and ride: 93 spaces
Aviation/LAX Westchester and Del Aire K Line  via C to K Line Link
Los Angeles International Airport LAX via LAWA shuttle
Park and ride: 435 spaces
Hawthorne/Lennox Hawthorne SoFi Stadium via shuttle
Park and ride: 362 spaces
Crenshaw Park and ride: 506 spaces
Vermont/Athens Athens Park and ride: 155 spaces
Harbor Freeway South Los Angeles J Line 
Park and ride: 253 spaces
Avalon Park and ride: 160 spaces
Willowbrook/Rosa Parks July 14, 1990[b] Willowbrook A Line 
Park and ride: 234 spaces
Long Beach Boulevard August 12, 1995 Lynwood Park and ride: 635 spaces
Lakewood Boulevard Downey Park and ride: 403 spaces
Norwalk Norwalk Park and ride: 1,759 spaces
  1. ^ The station straddles two cities. The north end of the station is in the City of Hawthorne, and the south end of the station is in the City of Redondo Beach.
  2. ^ The station opened with the A Line on July 14, 1990, while the C Line platform opened on August 12, 1995.


Annual ridership
Year Ridership
2009 11,721,935
2010 12,241,883 +4.4%
2011 12,808,530 +4.6%
2012 13,931,830 +8.8%
2013 13,499,453 −3.1%
2014 12,967,235 −3.9%
2015 12,058,903 −7.0%
2016 10,980,323 −8.9%
2017 9,961,716 −9.3%
2018 9,510,211 −4.5%
2019 9,131,806 −4.0%
2020 4,757,506 −47.9%
2021 4,430,484 −6.9%
Source: Metro[9]


Main article: History of Los Angeles Metro Rail and Busway

In 1972, Caltrans signed a consent decree to allow construction of the fiercely opposed Century Freeway (Interstate 105), which included provisions for a transit corridor in the freeway's median as a way to help communities impacted by the new freeway.

Construction began in 1987 on the corridor as a light rail line, envisioned as a connection with the bedroom communities in the Gateway Cities along the Century Freeway with the then-burgeoning aerospace center in El Segundo. The section in El Segundo would be fully elevated and follow the route of the Harbor Subdivision.

From the beginning of the project, several compromises were made. Because Caltrans dropped a plan for the freeway to cross through Norwalk to Interstate 5, the line was denied a connection to the then-new Norwalk/Santa Fe Springs Metrolink station.[10] Additionally, although planners planned to add a spur to LAX, they did not include it in the initial project over fears that commuters would not use the line if they had to go through the airport on the way to work.[11] The proposed extension to LAX was further complicated by concerns from the Federal Aviation Administration that the overhead lines of the rail line would interfere with the landing paths of airplanes.[12] Amid ambivalence at LAX and L.A. City Hall, the plans to extend the line to the airport were shelved.

The line opened on August 12, 1995, more than a year late and $950 million over budget. By that time, the Cold War was over, and the aerospace sector in El Segundo was hemorrhaging jobs.[11] The collapse of jobs in the area and the compromises made during construction limited the line's utility, earning it the nickname "the train to nowhere."[11]

One of the lessons learned from the line, and the Harbor Transitway built at the same time, was that freeway median stations offer a poor rider experience, requiring customers to descend from bridges or climb stairs from dimly lit underpasses to isolated stations in the middle of a noisy and exhaust-ridden freeway.[5] While stations generally have elevators as a necessary ADA accommodation, these sometimes fail,[13] and have been known for having sanitation issues; escalators are also often out for maintenance or, with the C Line in particular, only available downward.

Over time, the line did find riders, and ridership grew steadily, peaking at nearly 13 million riders in 2014, driven by the 5,100 park-and-ride spaces and slowing traffic on the 105 freeway.[5]


Integration with the K Line

Crenshaw/Norwalk interline with Redondo shuttle
Crenshaw/Redondo interline with Norwalk shortline
Green Line shortline, Crenshaw to Norwalk
Three proposed plans for integrating the Crenshaw/LAX Line with the rest of the LA Metro Rail system.

Varying service patterns have been proposed for integrating the completed K Line into the rest of the system throughout its planning and construction, all of which have involved sharing trackage and infrastructure facilities with the existing C Line. Although some early proposals would've sent trains through all three directions of the wye that will connect the existing C Line with the new segment, this was rejected by Metro because it would cause too much wear and tear on the track switch mechanisms.[14][15]

The debate over service patterns proved somewhat contentious, as the final pattern must balance the needs of riders, operational needs, and the political constituencies of Metro's board members.[16] In 2018, with the line then scheduled to open within the year, the Metro Board of Directors overrode a recommendation by operations staff that would've had a single line operating between Expo/Crenshaw and Norwalk station. Passengers from the Redondo Beach area would have been served by a shuttle to the LAX area, where they would need to transfer to another train to continue east or north. Instead, board members approved a one-year pilot of a configuration that would combine an Expo-to-Norwalk line with another line that would connect Redondo Beach with Willowbrook/Rosa Parks station, allowing transfers to the A and J Lines.[17][18] The approved plan would incur higher operating expenses, but board members argued it would retain better transfer opportunities for South Bay residents.[19]

Ongoing construction delays led to a reassessment of that plan in 2022. Metro recommended public outreach to reformulate the operating plan before the connection to the C Line opens in 2023.[2]

Southern Extension to South Bay

Main article: C Line Extension

The future South Bay C Line Extension will extend the Metro C Line from these stub tracks at the southern end of the Redondo Beach station to Torrance.
The future South Bay C Line Extension will extend the Metro C Line from these stub tracks at the southern end of the Redondo Beach station to Torrance.

Metro is currently working on the initial environmental study of a corridor extension of the C Line from its Redondo terminus toward the southeast. The Green Line Extension to Torrance would roughly follow the Harbor Subdivision ROW into the South Bay, to the Torrance Regional Transit Center (RTC).[20] Metro and the public are considering two alternatives in the DEIR: an elevated light-rail extension, and an at-grade extension over existing tracks, with vehicle type still to be determined. The study of the South Bay Extension will lead to the publication of a Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR). The study was expected to be completed in 2011. The project was placed on hold in the Spring of 2012 due to uncertain funding. With the passage of Measure M in 2016, $619 million was cited for the Green Line Extension south, and the study resumed, which is currently scheduled for release in mid-2020 release.[21] The study area includes the former Harbor Subdivisions right of way. The extension study includes the Redondo Beach station to the Torrance Transit Center, a 4.5-mile (7.2 km) extension study area.[22]

According to the LA County Expenditure Plan (Measure M), groundbreaking for the project is scheduled for 2026, with an expected opening in 2030–2033. The timeline is expected to be accelerated under the Twenty-eight by '28 initiative.[23]

Eastern Extension to Norwalk/Santa Fe Springs station

The C Line's eastern terminus is 2.8 miles (4.5 km) west of the Norwalk/Santa Fe Springs Metrolink station, which is served by several Metrolink lines and sees heavy use.[24] Norwalk/Santa Fe Springs is also a proposed station on the California High-Speed Rail project.[25] Bus service, primarily via Norwalk Transit line 4, is provided between the Metrolink station and the C Line terminus. Still, schedules are not coordinated with the C Line's arrivals. While plans exist to close the gap,[26] available Measure M funding allows the operation to start in roughly 2052.[27][28][29]


Maintenance facilities

The C Line is operated out of Division 22 (Hawthorne Yard & Shop) and Division 16 (Southwestern Yard). These yards stores the fleet used on the C line. Light maintenance is done on the fleet in Division 22, and heavier maintenance is done in Division 16. Division 22 is located between Redondo Beach and Douglas stations. Trains enter the yard via a junction halfway between the two stations. Norwalk-bound trains (Northbound) may enter, but no exit track exists to continue north. Redondo Beach-bound trains (Southbound) may enter and exit the Yard to continue south. Division 16 is located on the completed section of the K Line near the future site of Aviation/96th Street in Westchester.

Rolling stock

At the time the Green Line opened, the line used a fleet of Nippon Sharyo P2020 light rail vehicles, which were very similar to the older Nippon Sharyo P865 vehicles used on the Blue Line. In late 2001, the P2020 fleet was transferred to the Blue Line, and the Green Line received new Siemens P2000 railcars that have been operating on the line ever since. Kinki Sharyo P3010 trains are also used. Trains are limited to two-car sets due to platform length limitations at some stations along the line.[30]



  1. ^ a b "Facts at a Glance". Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Archived from the original on December 16, 2019. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Crenshaw/LAX Line Operating Plan Update" (PDF). Metro. April 21, 2022.
  3. ^ "Ridership Statistics – Rail Ridership Estimates". Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. August 20, 2013. Archived from the original on February 4, 2012. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
  4. ^ "Monthly Ridership Plot" (PDF). Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. November 2013. Archived (PDF) from the original on November 8, 2012. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c Hymon, Steve (August 12, 2020). "The Green Line is 25 years old. Some thoughts on that". The Source. Retrieved October 29, 2021.
  6. ^ a b c "Maps & Timetables". Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Archived from the original on September 19, 2018. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  7. ^ "Metro C Line (Green)". www.metro.net. Archived from the original on July 23, 2020. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  8. ^ "Metro Parking Lots by Line". www.metro.net. Archived from the original on August 10, 2020. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  9. ^ "Metro Ridership". Metro.net. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. February 2020. Archived from the original on April 10, 2021. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  10. ^ Weikel, Dan (January 10, 2016). "Closing 2.8-mile transit gap in Norwalk could smooth regional commute". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles. Archived from the original on August 12, 2019. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
  11. ^ a b c Simon, Richard (August 12, 1995). "Is New Green Line a Road to Nowhere?". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on July 28, 2021. Retrieved October 10, 2020.
  12. ^ Maddaus, Gene (January 9, 2008). "Why Green Line stopped short of LAX". Los Angeles Daily News. Archived from the original on August 20, 2020. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  13. ^ Los Angeles Metro Elevators. "MetroLAelevators". Twitter. Retrieved October 20, 2022.
  14. ^ Sumers, Brian (January 21, 2014). "Metro breaks ground on new $2 billion L.A. Crenshaw/LAX Line". Daily Breeze. Retrieved January 31, 2016.
  15. ^ "City Council approves long-awaited people mover to LAX". Los Angeles Times. April 11, 2018. Archived from the original on April 12, 2018. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  16. ^ "Crenshaw/LAX Line Operations Plan Being Debated, Will Affect Green Line". streetsblog.org. June 22, 2018. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
  17. ^ Chiland, Elijah (July 3, 2018). "Will the Crenshaw Line strand South Bay riders?". Curbed LA. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
  18. ^ StreetsblogLA (December 6, 2018). "Metro bd mtg: Barger votes yes. Hahn Crenshaw/Green C3 motion passes 7-4-2 (Ridley-Thomas, Kuehl abstained)". twitter.com. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
  19. ^ "Crenshaw/LAX Line and Green Line Operating Plan Presentation – Sports Competitions – American Football". Scribd. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
  20. ^ Brightwell, Eric (October 13, 2013). "Exploring The South Bay Metro Green Line Extension". KCET. Archived from the original on November 21, 2013. Retrieved November 18, 2013.
  21. ^ "Green Line Extension to Torrance". Archived from the original on November 17, 2019. Retrieved November 20, 2019.
  22. ^ "Project 2018-0317". Archived from the original on January 3, 2019. Retrieved November 20, 2019.
  23. ^ Sharp, Steven (October 27, 2017). "Here are the 28 Projects that Metro Could Complete Before the 2028 Olympics". Urbanize Los Angeles. Archived from the original on June 29, 2018. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
  24. ^ Weikel, Dan (January 10, 2016). "Closing 2.8-mile transit gap in Norwalk could smooth regional commute". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 1, 2023.
  25. ^ "Southern California". California High-Speed Rail. Retrieved December 15, 2021.
  26. ^ "Norwalk Green Line Extension Study". Southern California Association of Governments. Archived from the original on September 3, 2017.
  27. ^ Broverman, Neal (January 12, 2017). "A New Metro Extension Could Seamlessly Connect L.A. and the O.C." Los Angeles Magazine. Archived from the original on December 21, 2019. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
  28. ^ Hymon, Steve (November 8, 2016). "Measure M project descriptions". Metro. The Source. Archived from the original on September 8, 2020. Retrieved August 15, 2020.
  29. ^ "Figure 8. Major Transit Projects". 2020 Long Range Transportation Plan (PDF) (Report). Metro. 2020. p. 30. Archived (PDF) from the original on January 23, 2021. Retrieved March 13, 2021.
  30. ^ Nelson, Laura J. (November 24, 2018). "Westside and South Bay clash over how to connect two rail lines". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on November 26, 2018. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  31. ^ "Pedestrian fatally struck by Green Line train in Hawthorne". ABC 7. KABC-TV. 2019. Archived from the original on August 12, 2019. Retrieved February 23, 2015.
  32. ^ "Man struck, killed by Metro Green Line train in Hawthorne". Daily Breeze. February 23, 2015. Archived from the original on August 12, 2019. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
  33. ^ Serna, Joseph; Reyes-Velarde, Alejandra (August 24, 2018). "Eastbound lanes of 105 Freeway in Hawthorne reopened after fiery crash that killed two". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles. Archived from the original on August 12, 2019. Retrieved August 12, 2019.

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata