November 15, 2023

Voting Begins on New Rail Line Name

Hahn asks for public’s help to rename the “West Santa Ana Branch”

Walnut Park, CA – Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn is inviting the public help to rename the “West Santa Ana Branch” rail line project. The much-anticipated Metro light rail line will connect ten cities in Southeast Los Angeles County and 1.4 million residents with accessible and reliable transit to downtown Los Angeles, but the name has long confused the public and has held back enthusiasm and support for the project. Supervisor Hahn has led an effort at Metro to rename the project and, starting today, the public will get to vote on the new name.

The planned rain line will run through Artesia, Cerritos, Paramount, Bellflower, Downey, South Gate, Cudahy, Bell, Huntington Park, Vernon to Union Station in downtown Los Angeles. While the West Santa Ana Branch name carries historical significance, it has led to confusion because the line neither connects to the City of Santa Ana, nor is it west of most of Los Angeles County.

“This rail line is going to make a huge difference in the lives of residents from Artesia all the way to Huntington Park, but few people know about it because the name is so terrible,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “So, we’re picking a new name that people can get behind and connect with. Thank you to everyone who submitted one of the over 1,200 ideas we received. Now it’s up to the public to vote for their favorites and help us ‘Name That Train’.”

“I’m excited to finally have a replacement name for the West Santa Ana Branch that properly represents and connects with the communities it will serve,” said Whittier Mayor Pro Tem Fernando Dutra, who serves as 2nd Vice Chair on the Metro Board. “I appreciate the enthusiastic response from all the individuals that participated.”

In the first part of the Name That Train contest, residents living up and down the line’s route submitted over 1,200 possible names for consideration and a panel of judges selected 12 finalists:

  • Calafia: the mythical queen after which California—first thought to be the “Island of California”—is named.
  • Esperanza: “Hope” in Spanish. This project represents the aspirations of 1.4 million residents for improved mobility, better opportunities, and an enhanced quality of life.
  • Gateway Cities: This line will serve most of the Gateway Cities, making these communities more accessible to the rest of LA County and helping unify a regional identity.
  • Los Angeles Gateway: The Gateway Cities region will finally have a direct transit connection to the heart of Los Angeles.
  • Los Rios: This line will run along and cross our major rivers, including the San Gabriel River, the Los Angeles River and its Rio Hondo tributary.
  • Pioneer: Pioneer Blvd. runs through the heart of Artesia, the line’s terminus. This project also represents a new frontier for the communities it will serve.
  • Pórtico: A portico is a door, a gateway to something new. This line will offer the Gateway Cities a portal to a brighter future.
  • Ruta Segura: “Safe Route” in Spanish. This project will give many new public transit users the confidence to travel on the Metro system.
  • Southeast: This line will serve not only Southeast Los Angeles but also most of Southeast Los Angeles County. Check the compass at Union Station; this line goes due Southeast.
  • Southeast Gateway: The communities of SELA and the Southeast LA County region—also known as the Gateway Cities—will have a gateway to DTLA.
  • The Heartland Connection: This line will provide a connection to the heart of the Metro system for the millions of residents of the Southeast Los Angeles County communities.
  • Tongva: The Tongva—whose name means “People of the Earth”—are the original inhabitants of the land that today is Southeast Los Angeles County.

The online public vote at launches on November 15, 2023 and will close on December 17, 2023. Anyone can vote for their top three choices, ranked in order of preference. Votes are limited to one per person. The name with the most votes will be selected and announced in January 2024.

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