Central to its planned revamp of Union Station, Metro is seeking to expand the historic rail hub's passenger concourse into a more commodious facility. Though all past iterations of the Union Station Master Plan had envisioned an open-air space located beneath the existing train platforms - thus dovetailing with plans for run-through tracks across the 101 Freeway - a Metro staff report from last summer revealed a second option: an elevated "great hall" above the rail yard.
The proposed above-grade concourse would carry a significantly lower price tag than its below-grade counterpart - with an overall price tag between $1.7 and $2.1 billion - and also offer a better view of the surrounding city, an amenity specifically requested by the Board of Directors.
Despite the lower cost, the elevated concept would also come with drawbacks. In addition to increased maintenance costs and a loss of rentable space for potential commercial tenants, the proposed above-grade concourse would necessitate an arduous transfer process, requiring passengers to move up and down an array of stairs to move from one side of the station to another.
Both alternatives are being studied as part of a Draft Environmental Impact Report for the project, which is scheduled for release this year.
Preview the two options in videos below.
- Union Station Archive (Urbanize LA)