County transportation officials Monday gave a “sneak peek” of the $128 million renovation of the A Line’s Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station and the Rosa Parks Customer Center.
Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chair Eric Garcetti, county Supervisor and Metro board member Mark Ridley-Thomas, Metro board member Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker and Metro CEO Phillip Washington visited the station and Rosa Parks Customer Center, which is now open for weekday service between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The mobility hub is anticipated to fully open in mid-November, with 24/7 working hours, Metro officials said.
In addition to the customer center, the nearly completed station renovation/modernization project includes a public plaza, transit security center, transit court and mobility hub.
“Public transportation is more than just a way to move around our region — it’s a vehicle for opportunity, equity and a better quality of life,” Garcetti said. “The new Rosa Parks Customer Center will help transform one of the busiest transit hubs in our region into a state-of-the-art station to travel, transfer and navigate any issues that riders may have with the system.”
Other improvements to the station include an extended rail platform and new southern entrance to the platform, as well as new artwork, lighting, landscaping, signage, upgraded elevators, escalators, stairs and a mezzanine between the A and C Line platforms.
The Federal Transit Administration kicked in $10.25 million for the improvements to the Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station as part of the New Blue Improvements Project, creating an improved environment for transit users, pedestrians and bicyclists who access the station, Metro officials said.
“The Willowbrook community in the heart of South L.A. has undergone a dramatic transformation over the past decade, thanks to more than $1 billion in investments towards the MLK medical campus, affordable apartments, parks and other projects,” Ridley-Thomas said. “With the newly improved Rosa Parks/Willowbrook Station, we now have the perfect gateway to and from the rest of the region, with a beautiful design, safety features and amenities that both riders and residents will appreciate.”
At the Rosa Parks Customer Center, riders can buy and load transit passes onto their TAP cards, obtain information about getting around on the Metro system and submit reduced fare applications.
It’s Metro’s fifth customer center. The others are located at Union Station East, Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw, East Los Angeles and Wilshire/Vermont stations.
“The improvements to Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station and all its amenities are intended to be a welcoming gateway to the Metro system,” Washington said. “This community has supported us with great patronage and ridership for many years, and I’m pleased to see their faith in us rewarded with a vastly improved station.”
The mobility hub will offer light bicycle repairs, maintenance and storage. Other mobility components and amenities will also be available in the near future to enhance commuters’ experience, Metro officials said.
Metro commissioned two artworks for the Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station Improvement Project, including “Gifts of Freedom and Knowledge,” a photo collage mural by artist George Evans in the customer center.
Slated for installation in early 2021 is a series of sculptural parasols titled “Second Line” by artists Jamex and Einar de la Torre. The sculptures will front the Rosa Parks Customer Center.
The transit court operates in a COVID-19 compliant manner with live telephonic service from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays to field questions about customer code of conduct, citations, fine amounts, payment of fines, appeals process, community service and the scheduling of hearings.
Security guards will patrol the station and also provide security to the customer center and transit court. Metro officials said more than 150 security cameras have been installed along with an upgraded LED lighting system.
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