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Metro opens pedestrian subway-to-shopping connector in DTLA

File: Red Line at 7th Street/Metro Center.
Todd Johnson/KPCC
File: Red Line at 7th Street/Metro Center.

Rail riders who frequently use the Metro Red Line in Downtown Los Angeles will now have more options during their commute.

A pedestrian passageway that connects the 7th Street/Metro Center Station with the shopping center known as The Bloc was officially opened to the commuter public Tuesday. 

This is the first passenger portal of its kind in L.A.'s Metro system, the transit agency's Dave Sotero told KPCC. The new addition provides an extra underground entrance to the busy commuter hub as well as extra capacity for the 7th Street/Metro Center station, which Sotero said fields about 50,000 boardings per day – making it the second-busiest station in the Metro network.

Sotero said the passage also fits in to Metro's long-term plans for downtown.

"The 7th Street Metro station is going to be even more important in the future to downtown Los Angeles," he said. "We are going to be building the regional connector project that connects all the light rail lines through downtown LA ... that'll be open in five years, but it's really going to create additional demand on that station."

Before, folks traveling between the Red Line station and the shopping center had to exit the station and cross the often congested 7th Street — now, they'll be able to use the newly built corridor to access The Bloc. 

The station currently serves four rail lines: the Blue, Expo, Red and Purple Line, according to Metro's blog, the Source