Ground is broken for Regional Connector project to link Blue, Expo and Gold Lines

RegionalConnectorMap

RegConnectorPlan

The official groundbreaking for the $1.42-billion Regional Connector project is being held this morning in Little Tokyo. The 1.9-mile underground light rail line will link the Blue, Expo and Gold Lines, allowing for faster and more frequent service on Metro’s light rail lines to and through downtown Los Angeles.

The project will also eliminate the need to transfer for many light rail riders. Riders on the Expo and Blue Line will be able to continue north on light rail from 7th/Metro Center to other downtown neighborhoods such as the Financial District, Civic Center and Little Tokyo. Likewise, Gold Line riders will no longer have to transfer to the Red/Purple Line subway at Union Station to reach the heart of downtown.

The project is currently forecast to be completed in 2020. When done, Metro plans to run trains between Long Beach and Azusa on a north-south light rail line and east-west between Santa Monica and East Los Angeles. Metro continues to work on potential naming and color schemes for its light rail lines to be used in the future.

Three other Metro Rail projects are already under construction: the 8.5-mile Crenshaw/LAX Line, the six-mile second phase of the Expo Line to downtown Santa Monica and the 11.5-mile Gold Line Foothill Extension to the Azusa/Glendora border. The 3.9-mile first phase of the Purple Line Extension subway is in pre-construction with utility relocations underway.

The Regional Connector, like those other projects, is receiving funding from Measure R, the half-cent sales tax increase approved by nearly 68 percent of Los Angeles County voters in November 2008.

Below are the station renderings. We’ll add more pics to The Source from today’s media event later and will be posting photos to our Twitter and Instagram streams during the event. Media, bloggers, anyone: feel free to use/share any photos or renderings that we post.

Here is the news release from Metro:

Federal, State & Local Elected Officials Join in Groundbreaking Ceremony

Metro Breaks Ground on New Regional Connector Light Rail Project in Downtown Los Angeles

Metro joined U.S Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx along with state and local elected officials today to officially break ground on the $1.420 billion Regional Connector Light Rail Project in downtown Los Angeles that will better connect the Metro Blue, Gold and Expo lines with the rest of the region.

“This project will mean people can take a one-seat ride through Pasadena, Long Beach, Santa Monica, the Eastside and points in-between,” said Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chair Eric Garcetti. “Bringing our rail lines together and making transfers simpler will make it easier for people to use rail and will help take more cars off the road.”

The Regional Connector Project completes a 1.9-mile segment between the Metro Blue and Expo Lines and the Metro Gold Line by providing a direct connection with three new stations planned for 1st Street/Central Avenue, 2nd Street/Broadway and 2nd Place/Hope Street in downtown Los Angeles.

“The Regional Connector will dramatically improve passengers’ daily commutes,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor and Metro Board Member Gloria Molina.”It will provide them with better connections to the rest of the Metro Rail system without requiring them to transfer from one line to another. The Regional Connector is a major step forward in transforming Los Angeles County’s mass transit network into a truly world-class system.”

The Regional Connector Project is an important rail connection project overwhelmingly approved by the voters and funded by the Measure R half-cent sales tax ordinance for LA County transportation improvements. In addition to Measure R funding, a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) with the federal government secures $670 million for the project. In addition, the U.S. Department of Transportation has granted Metro a loan of $160 million for the Regional Connector project from a Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loan (TIFIA) to complete the project.

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Metrolink’s Angels Express will run for playoff games beginning Thursday

Photo by Ray Smith, via Flickr creative commons.

Photo by Ray Smith, via Flickr creative commons.

This much we know: the American League West champion Angels open the division series at home on Thursday against Oakland or Kansas City. The exact time of game is still to be determined although it is likely to be an early evening first pitch.

Metrolink’s Angels Express will be running for the post-season with non-stop train service between Los Angeles Union Station and the ballpark in Anaheim. The train station is in the parking lot for the stadium (beyond left field) and is a short walk from the ballpark.

We’ll post the Angels Express schedule as soon as the game time is finalized. Round-trip is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors/disabled and $4 for those aged six to 18. Kids five and under are free with a limit of three free sprouts per paying adult.

 

How to save 15 percent on your CicLAvia T-shirt on Oct. 5

CicLAvia_HOLA_2014_Map

CicLAvia – Heart of LA, presented by Metro, is set to take place on Sunday, October 5, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The 10-mile route is the first to leave the City of Los Angeles as it ventures into East Los Angeles and the County of Los Angeles. Heart of LA will cross through downtown L.A. and will extend into entirely new areas including Echo Park, the Historic Broadway Theater District and through Boyle Heights all the way to East L.A.

Show your CicLAvia pride by getting an official T-shirt at the East LA Civic Center Hub! If you have your TAP card, you’ll save 15 percent on shirts while supplies last. (Offer is only valid at the East LA Civic Center Hub.) And while you’re out exploring Los Angeles sans car, make sure to support local businesses. Show your TAP card and save at numerous locations along the Heart of LA route.

There are five other hubs along the Heart of LA route that are accessible via Metro; see above map for all hub locations and their adjacent Metro stations. Bicyclists who want to get to CicLAvia by Metro should review Metro’s bike rules.

Transportation headlines, Monday, September 29

Have a transportation-related article you think should be included in headlines? Drop me an email! And don’t forget, Metro is on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. Pick your social media poison! 

No, Carmageddon is not inevitable (Zocalo Public Square)

In advance of tonight’s panel discussion at the Petersen Automotive Museum on “How to Speed Up Traffic in L.A.?”, Zocalo Public Square asks several experts for their advice. Congestion pricing (i.e. tolling freeways and roads at peak hours to spread out demand), concentrating more housing and jobs near transit, charging non-residents more for parking than residents (encouraging more residents to shop locally perhaps) and making the ‘burbs more friendly to pedestrians, cyclists and transit are among the suggestions. In other words, a lot of ideas that have been widely discussed for many years — but never really fully implemented either because of local opposition, lack of political will, lack of money or a combination of all the above.

BTW, sounds like there are still a few spots open for anyone interested in attending tonight’s forum — Metro CEO Art Leahy is one of the panelists. Click here for more info. Metro’s 720 Rapid Bus and 20 Local Bus on Wilshire Boulevard stop at the corner of Wilshire and Fairfax next to the museum. For those coming via Fairfax Avenue, the 780 Rapid Bus and the 217 Local Bus also stop at Wilshire/Fairfax.

No! Wrong way! U.S. carbon emissions rising again (KCET)

Greenhouse gas emissions in the United States rose about 2.7 percent in the first half of 2014 compared to the same time period in 2013. Experts blame the rise on last winter’s polar vortex that prompted many a Midwesterner and East Coaster to try to keep their homes warm — in those parts of the country, a significant portion of electricity is created by burning coal. One of the nice things about California is that our milder weather means less heating in the winter and the state is less dependent on coal than other regions. Of course, we find other ways to make up for it (in a bad way) — such as sprawling into the desert and sitting alone in idling cars in traffic. One easy solution there: try taking transit every so often, walking or biking or some combination of all three.

Guest post: planning to sprawl (The Last Word on Nothing)

Nice post by Erica Schoenberger on how to explain to students that while individual choices matter when it comes to things that impact the environment (such as traffic), it’s equally important to explain the collective decisions that influence the way individuals act.

Excerpt:

Here’s what I’m trying to help the kids understand.  We’ve been making messes for a very long while and we have known pretty much all along that we were doing so.  The histories of our mess-making really matter.  Getting at the details lets you see how a trajectory was constructed piece by piece, opening up some possibilities and forclosing others.  Further: We may have very good intentions as individuals, but the options we have available to choose among are structured by larger, impersonal forces.  Huge collective investments have supported and promoted all those unfortunate individual decisions and have made it hard for people to make good choices.  To me, this suggests that huge collective investments in support of good decisions are needed.  If a capitalist system must grow to survive, let’s grow toward, not away from, the world we want.   

This is why I hope everyone watches closely as plans evolve for various Metro projects and a potential ballot measure in 2016. These kind of big projects and/or plans will influence the decisions that people make transportation-wise for many decades to come, not to mention the scarce public funds that will be used on them. If you don’t like the choices facing you as an individual, please pay attention to these group decisions — one very much has to do with the other, as Erica writes.

Seattle’s Alaskan Way Viaduct: king of the boondoggles (Streetsblog Network)

A less than optimistic view of the project that involves tearing down an elevated highway and putting it in a tunnel underground. Rising construction costs, a tunnel boring machine (named Bertha) that got stuck and falling toll projections are among the problems thus encountered. That said, the tunnel machine’s Twitter feed is entertaining/informative as these things go although Bertha’s taste in football teams is questionable at best.

“Bike to the Bowl” for the Pixies, Cat Power, and Gogol Bordello Sunday, Sept. 28

This Sunday, September 28, Metro, the Hollywood Bowl, and LA County Bicycle Coalition have teamed up to make it easy to “Bike to the Bowl” to see The Pixies, Cat Power, and Gogol Bordello!

Tickets are still available for the show, which begins at 7:30 p.m. with Cat Power. LACBC will be on hand at the Bowl’s Museum Patio to offer free, secure valet bike parking to those arriving on two wheels. The valet will be open from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m.

There are a few different ways to “Bike to the Bowl.” If you don’t want to make the entire trip by bike, connect to the Hollywood Bowl Shuttle (the ride is free with valid TAP card), or hop aboard the Metro Red Line, exit at Hollywood/Highland Station, and ride the rest of the way.

As a reward for your efforts, show your TAP card or bike valet ticket at the Museum Patio and receive a free scoop of ice cream, compliments of Peddler’s Creamery! Can you say sweet deal?

To find out more about LA County bike paths, lanes, routes, and racks, check out the Metro Bike Map.

Your Friday send-off: Fall Out Boy – the song with the super long title (Light ‘Em Up)

Judge my youth (and current musical choices) if you’re so inclined, but Fall Out Boy! The song below is My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light ‘Em Up) because of course it is. There’s also a pretty awesome mashup of Light ‘Em Up with Radioactive by Imagine Dragons that’s worth listening to. You’ll have to find that one on your own though.

If enjoying music on bus or train, please remember to use your headphones. And if you have transit playlist song recs, leave them in the comments or tweet them at us @metrolosangeles! Awesome tracks (as deemed by yours truly) will be shared in future posts.

Bonus track after the jump: ONE OK ROCK – The Beginning. The new Rurouni Kenshin movies are out but I can’t watch them yet, so I’ll have to settle for rewatching the first one.

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A Better Blue Line: more photos, work update

Work on the Blue Line in downtown Long Beach is progressing on schedule. Here are some more photos of what’s been taking place.

For those taking transit to Long Beach Comic-Con or other Long Beach events this weekend: the four downtown Long Beach Blue Line stations are closed for repair and other work. Transfer from the Blue Line at Anaheim Street Station to a free shuttle bus serving the downtown Long Beach rail stations.

Blue Line closure alert poster

Related Posts

Service Advisory: 30-day closure of four Blue Line stations
30-day Closure of Four Blue Line Stations
A Better Blue Line
Test Demonstration of Track Work