Dodger Stadium Express to return in 2011!

Photo by Rob Reiring, via Flickr.

The bus running between Los Angeles Union Station and Dodger Stadium during baseball season was a success last year and thanks to a a grant from the state Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee it’s returning for the 2011 season.

As was the case last season, the Dodger Stadium Express is free to anyone holding a game ticket. The buses will run every 10 minutes prior to the start of the game and run about every 30 minutes throughout the game. The bus can be found at the Patsaouras Bus Plaza at the east portal of Union Station.

In addition, Metrolink will have 11 p.m. trains leaving Union Station on the Antelope Valley, San Bernardino and Ventura County lines on weeknights with Dodger home games.

Here’s the news release, issued by Metro:

Metro will again offer Dodger Stadium Express bus service from Union Station in downtown Los Angeles to Dodger Stadium beginning March 28 with the Dodgers pre-game series and throughout the regular 2011 baseball season under a grant approved by the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee (MSRC).

A grant of $450,000 awarded to Metro by the MSRC was made in support of clean fuel transit service to link Union Station to Dodger Stadium. The MSRC awards funding within the South Coast Air Basin from a portion of the vehicle registration fee set aside for mobile source projects that result in emission reductions.

“Following last year’s successful launch, Metro is pleased to offer fans the Dodger Stadium Express bus service, which provides a direct link to Dodger Stadium from a vast network of trains and buses coming into Union Station,” said LA County Supervisor and Metro Board Chairman Don Knabe. “We encourage fans to take advantage of public transportation throughout the season to save time and money.”

Last year, under a similar grant ($300,000) from the MSRC, the Dodger Stadium Express bus service transported over 122,000 fans with more than 60 percent of those riders using public transportation from their place of origin to get to Union Station to take advantage of the special bus service to the games.

“Today’s action is a “Double Play” for Dodger fans, said Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, a South Coast Air Quality Management District representative on the MSRC and MTA 2nd Vice Chair. “Expanding Metrolink service hours and reestablishing our Dodger Stadium Express bus will provide fans across the region an opportunity to avoid traffic, save gas and help improve air quality.”

As part of the grant funding, $180,000 will be used to offset operational costs for Metrolink to offer additional late night service on three of their popular lines. Metrolink, operated by the Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA) will offer trains leaving Union Station at 11 p.m. following weekday home games on their Antelope Valley, San Bernardino, and Ventura County lines so that riders can use these lines to connect with the Dodger Stadium Express bus service.

“Metrolink trains provide a safe, reliable and affordable way to get to and from Los Angeles for Dodger games,” said Metrolink CEO John Fenton. “It is unnecessary to spend money and time for parking when you can hop on one of our trains.”

Round trip tickets on Metrolink trains associated with the Dodger home games will cost between $8 and $10 depending on the distance traveled. Regular fares will apply on all bus and rail lines connecting with the Dodger Stadium Express service.

Funding under the MSRC grant will be used to offset the cost of fares on the Dodger Stadium Express bus service for passengers possessing a Dodgers ticket. Service will be provided starting 90 minutes prior to the beginning of the games and will end 45 minutes after the end of the game.

The Dodger Stadium Express will begin at Union Station picking up Dodgers fans at the Patsaouras Bus Plaza adjacent to the east portal of Union Station and continue to Dodger Stadium via Sunset Blvd. and Cesar Chavez Avenue. Passengers will be dropped off and picked up in the Dodgers parking lot behind Left/Center field.

“The Dodger Stadium Express is good for fans, the environment, and the surrounding neighborhoods,” said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “Thanks to the MSRC for once again making it possible for passengers to ride from Union Station to Dodger Stadium for free with the purchase of a Dodgers ticket.”

Service will be provided every 10 minutes prior to the start of the game and run approximately every 30 minutes throughout the game. Metro will deploy state-of-the-art 40-foot clean burning compressed natural gas (CNG) buses. Dodgers admission tickets will be honored as fare payment to ride the bus service. Those without a ticket will pay regular one way fare of $1.50.

“The MSRC, Metro and the Dodgers really knocked one out of the park last year with the inaugural season of the Dodger Stadium Express,” said Greg Winterbottom, Chair of the MSRC and Orange County Transportation Authority Board member. “This year, the MSRC is excited to partner once again with these organizations and will provide $450,000 in Clean Transportation Funding to help operate the buses and late night Metrolink lines. Having Dodger fans take public transportation to the stadium takes cars off the road cutting congestion and air pollution, which helps advance the MSRC’s mission to reduce harmful emissions from mobile sources.”

The Los Angeles Dodgers are working closely with Metro to ensure a high level of awareness for this service to Dodger Stadium and plan to continue to promote the service to fans during each game. The Dodger Stadium Express bus service will be provided by Southland Transit Inc. under contract to Metro.

“Thank you to the leadership of MSRC and Metro for making this public transit program possible and for making the decision to continue this vital service,” said Los Angeles Dodgers owner and chairman Frank McCourt. “Public transit is taking hold with Dodger fans and that benefits surrounding communities and the entire region. We look forward to a great season and to further integrating public transit at Dodger Stadium,” he added.

Patrons are encouraged to use the many transportation alternatives that serve Union Station that will connect them to the Dodger Stadium Express. Metro operates the Metro Gold Line from East Los Angeles to Pasadena, the Metro Red/Purple subway lines from Wilshire/Western and North Hollywood to downtown and the Metro Green Line between Norwalk and El Segundo intersects with the Metro Blue Line operating between Long Beach and downtown Los Angeles.

In addition Metrolink and Amtrak trains are available and Metro operates many bus lines that serve Union Station where patrons can easily transfer to the Dodger Stadium Express. For specific route and schedule information visit www.metro.net or call 323.GO.METRO (323.466.3876). For Metrolink service information visit www.metrolinktrains.com.

11 replies

  1. Man, looking at that photo, Dodger Stadium’s parking lot is a gigantic waste of land. Somebody needs to put up a couple of parking structures and a mixed-use neighborhood right there.

  2. Like many transit enthusiasts, I’m wondering why nobody seems to be seriously discussing an aerial tram between Chinatown Station (or even Union Station) and the front entrance of the stadium.

    From ground-breaking to opening, Portland’s tram only took about a year to become operational.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portland_Aerial_Tram

    • Hi Todd;

      A tram was studied in the ’90s and the conclusion at the time was that it didn’t have the capacity to deal with game crowds.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  3. That’s nice of MSRC. Too bad the Dogers can’t be better citizens of LA and do the right thing for their customers.

  4. Alright, we’re going to have late night Metrolink departures from LA in three directions on Dodger game nights. This is what the people asked for, now let’s see them use it.

    On a technical note, are Antelope Valley and Ventura County line trains both going to leave at 11PM? They share track until after Glendale.

  5. Love the Dodger Express. Only problem…it has no lane priority, so gets stuck with all the other cars. Can we give the bus some sort of dedicated lane?

  6. Glad to read that metrolink will have 11pm trains after the night games. I hope that Metrolink will be able to provide that service in OC, if the NBA Kings move to the Honda Center. The new Anaheim Transportation hub will be built directly across from the Honda Center.

  7. I like the idea of a tram. Never thought about it before. In regards to capacity, there should be a slide that goes next to the tram for fans leaving the game.

    As for new mixed use, I don’t think that area would be great for it. There many other areas with better transit that have free space or parking lots such as downtown by LA Live. And most people don’t want to live next to a stadium (bad traffic on game nights combined with a boring building on non-game nights).

    But, I for one, am excited for late nite trains.