LA Metro Blue Line Trains Case Study

LA Metro Blue Line Trains Case Study

Los Angeles Metro Blue Line Trains
Los Angeles, CA

LA Metro Blue Line runs from Downtown Los Angeles through South Los Angeles, Compton, Watts, and through Long Beach.


In an attempt to reduce costs, the Nippon Sharyo cars utilized by LA Metro Blue Line switched from glass to polycarbonate windows. Cost of replacement for polycarbonate windows are estimated around $500 per window and require taking the train out of service.  Although this cost is less expensive than glass, polycarbonate windows pose additional challenges for graffiti abatement.  Anti-graffiti or any PS adhesive based films are not normally safe for application on polycarbonate. These windows ‘out-gas’, causing film to bubble and stain the polycarbonate surface. The malleable polycarbonate surface also scratches very easily, impeding the protective value of traditional anti-graffiti film while providing an irresistible playground for graffiti vandals.

LA Metro came to Graffiti Shield requesting a solution that would be safe on the polycarbonate surface with the ability to resist the aggressive vandalism that was occurring on the line.


To resolve the issue, the R&D team at Graffiti Shield Inc. were tasked to engineer a clear product that would protect a polycarbonate surface from aggressive vandalism, with an additional request to provide heat rejection for increased comfort on the line.

NH70, a 12-mil thick graffiti abatement film, was engineered for safe application on polycarbonate while providing 70% IR heat rejection to help keep the trains cool during the hot Southern California summer. A pilot program was initiated to test the use and effectiveness of the film, with the NH70 installed on the interior surface of 50 passenger windows. Each piece of film is engraved with a custom part number for easy coordination of reorders and replacement installation.


The pilot program was hugely successful, providing an 85% reduction in replacement windowsrequired and translating to over $1 million dollars in savings along the LA Metro Blue Line. With an average cost of $200-$500 per window installed versus an average cost of $25 per piece of film, the Graffiti Shield solution provided tremendous savings over window replacement.

Since the completion of the pilot program, Graffiti Shield has supplied film to protect every Blue Line train and furnishes approx. 5,000 pieces for maintenance annually.


Browse our library for useful information regarding everything from measurements to installation guides.

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