LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — All Metro rail lines and the Orange Line busway in the San Fernando Valley will begin late night service until 2 a.m. on weekends starting Friday night, the agency’s next step toward round-the-clock public transportation.

Riders on the Red, Blue, Gold, Purple, Green and Expo lines will be able to catch a train every 20 minutes until 2 am., a move to reflect the region’s vibrant night life.

Officials are also considering extending the hours of the Silver Line busway, which runs from Harbor Gateway through downtown and east to El Monte.

“It’s a reflection that Los Angeles is changing. There’s a vibrant night life in L.A. County from Long Beach to Culver City, downtown, Pasadena, North Hollywood,” said Marc Littman of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. “We don’t roll up our sidewalks at 5 o’clock and not just at Staples Center.”

Metro Chief Executive Officer Art Leahy made the decision to extend the hours, with an eventual goal of running the lines 24 hours a day, Littman said.

The exact cost of extending service on all lines is unclear, but Littman said it will be “marginal.”

Littman said the extended hours would be good for the economy, especially bars, restaurants and the entertainment industry, allowing theater-goers to catch a drink in Hollywood after a play or movie and “not worry you’re going to turn into a pumpkin and miss your train.”

Restaurants, theaters and shopping districts from Pasadena to Long Beach, and from Culver City to Norwalk may soon want to expand their hours on the weekends if the late night Metro service helps increase foot traffic, KNX 1070’s Pete Demetriou reports.

The later service will also benefit public safety by keeping drunken drivers from the street and providing transportation to a number of hospitals in Hollywood, Littman said.

Running trains later in the night is the most common request Metro officials receive, and “we’re trying to be responsive to the public,” Littman said.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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