Wave Staff and Wire Reports
WILLOWBROOK — The Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced the completion of the $129 million Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station renovation and modernization project Aug. 9.
The renovation includes an extended A Line platform, a new southern at-grade pedestrian crossing, an expanded transfer mezzanine between the A and C Line, electronic signs with real-time transit information, custom LED lighting and upgraded stairs and elevators.
The station, located at the intersection of Imperial Highway and Wilmington Avenue, also now has a new public plaza with the Rosa Parks Customer Center, a new transit security office and transit court, and a full service mobility hub.
The project also included signage upgrades, a new pick-up and drop-off zone, nine new regional and local bus bays, a modernized park-and-ride lot with new electrical charging stations, and a pedestrian promenade connecting Wilmington Avenue to the station.
The station connects transit users from the A Line and the C Line and bus lines 55, 120, 202 and 205, as well as Metro Micro, GTrans 5, the LINK A and B King Medical Center campus Shuttle and the Lynwood Breeze D bus. It’s the fourth busiest station in the MTA system, and provides access to the Martin Luther King Jr. Medical Campus, the Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science and the Kenneth Hahn Plaza Shopping Center.
“[The MTA] brings equity to this underserved community with improved services such as the Rosa Parks Customer Center, Transit Court, and a Mobility Hub that will provide Willowbrook residents with access to all [MTA] services without traveling to downtown Los Angeles,” MTA CEO Stephanie Wiggins said.
“Navigating this station has never been so convenient and easy,” she added. “Everything is here to provide a seamless journey for our customers and to enhance the customer experience for residents of Willowbrook and surrounding areas.”
Two artworks added to the station to honor the area’s history were selected through a community-based process.
A photo collage mural by artist George Evans was installed above the customer center windows. The work celebrates South Los Angeles’ neighborhoods, personalities, landscapes, music and oral storytelling traditions.
A series of scultpural parasols by artists Jamex and Einar de la Torre pay homage to Rosa Parks’ life by including images and significant symbols from the civil rights movement, which she helped initiate when she refused to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus in 1955. The sculptures, which provide shade to riders, can be seen in the plaza adjacent to the customer service center.
The station’s renovation was part of the New Blue Improvements Project State of Good Repair Program, which included a $350 million overhaul of the A (formerly known as the Blue) Line, and was also partly funded through a $10 million TIGER grant from the federal government.
“The Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station completes its renovation at a time when [the MTA] is driving an equitable relentless recovery from the pandemic,” County Supervisor Hilda Solis, who chairs the MTA Board of Directors. “Implementing the NextGen program and all its elements and now the Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station, [the MTA] supports its transit riders with a renovated, secure and reliable system to come back to transit.”