Safety First — but Fun a Close Second — for USC Trojan Home Games via Metro

Metro has just sent out a release on USC game day service. The release follows:

As the USC Trojans gear up for their first home game Sept. 1, Metro is preparing to carry thousands of new customers to assist the estimated 80,000 fans who crowd the games. The new Expo Line and Silver Line that stop just a short walk from L.A. Memorial Coliseum and USC, are the perfect transit to help Trojan fans avoid what can be massive parking and traffic issues before and after the games.

Metro is, of course, ramping up service and information distribution for the home games but of greatest importance is safety.

“It’s essential that Trojan fans have an easy and safe time making Metro part of their game and tail-gate party experience,” said Metro CEO and USC graduate Art Leahy. “But what we want most on game days is safety for our customers, for the students and for the fans who will be attending the games. We are doing everything we can to underscore that message.”  

More than 100 Metro event guides will be deployed to hub locations on USC home game days to answer questions, assist students and direct passengers to correct trains and stations. They will be dressed in T-shirts and baseball caps in USC colors. They also will be handing out maps and travel information and walking the route with Metro customers between the two nearest Expo stations (Expo/Vermont and Expo Park/USC) and the Coliseum, as well as between the Silver Line Station at 37th Street/USC Station and the Coliseum. Signage will also be set up in Exposition Park on game days, directing fans to the nearest stations.

Students and other Trojan fans are cautioned to look both ways when crossing the tracks; to avoid walking or riding bikes while wearing earphones near the tracks and to obey electronic crossing signals and directions issued by Metro and L.A. County Sheriff’s personnel.

The Metro website metro.net/usctrojans now includes travel tips and directions for getting to the game easily, particularly on the Expo Line to the Coliseum and the Metro Silver Line. It includes a printable map. It also links to Metro Destination Discounts to restaurants and food purveyors that can pack picnics or provide snacks for tail-gate parties at exclusive discounts to Metro riders.

Expo trains will run every 6 minutes before and after game time. Additional trains will be added to the Expo Line, as well as to the Red, Purple and Gold lines to make transfer connections efficient system-wide. There also will be additional service on the Silver Line on game days.

Passengers traveling to the games should purchase $5 Metro Day Passes at the stations where they are starting out. Or if they are riding only the Expo Line to the game (with no transfers), they can purchase a one-way fare when boarding. When they arrive at either Expo/Vermont or Expo Park/USC Station before the game, they should purchase the return trip fare, to avoid having to stand in line after the game.

For more information on USC Trojan games go to USC Trojans website. For more information on the easiest ways to get there via Metro, go to the Metro website.

13 replies

  1. As I recall, one-way tickets have a time limit on them, which would expire before the end of the game. Is this going to be suspended on the Expo and/or Silver Line on game days?

    • Hi Bob;

      One way tickets do have a time limit — they are supposed to be used within 90 minutes of purchase. I don’t think this will be an issue for those going to the games. A Metro one-way ticket is only good on the line in which it’s purchased because there are no transfers on Metro. And there are no stations on the Expo Line more than 15 minutes away from the stations near USC. In addition, there are no time limits for those who purchase a day pass because they need to ride more than one Metro bus or train to reach USC games. Day passes are good for unlimited rides on the day of purchase.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

      • Hi again Bob;

        I misunderstood your question — you’re concerned about purchasing the return ticket before the game because of the 90-minute expiration. Here’s what I can tell you: the key is to have a ticket on you for your trip to and from the game. Don’t sweat the expiration time.

        Steve Hymon
        Editor, The Source

  2. “They will be dressed in T-shirts and baseball caps in USC colors.” So they’ll blend in perfectly with everyone else… But it’s better than wearing Expo (or UCLA…) blue.

    Steve, I think what Bob was referring to was the suggestion to buy your return trip ticket when you get off the train arriving for the game. Wouldn’t that ticket expire before the game ends?

    The best way to avoid this is to simply load $1.50 for the return on a TAP card when you arrive! Unfortunately, the TVM’s won’t let you load a round-trip fare amount of $3 on a card (they go from $1.50 to $5), so you’d have to load $1.50 twice at the beginning of your trip, or load $1.50 at the beginning, and $1.50 when you arrive at the Coliseum Expo stop.

    • Hi Steve;

      I misunderstood and answer is below in comments (short answer: don’t sweat the expiration time on game days). But let me add this: the easiest way to handle ticketing on Metro is to visit a ticket machine and spend a $1 on a TAP card. You can load a card with as much or as little money as you’d like and you never have to wait at a ticket machine again. As anyone knows who reads this comment board or our blog, the cards to expire after three years and you have to transfer balance to new card. All in all, I think they’re very convenient and I think most people find they catch trains they would have missed if they had to visit a ticket machine enroute to the platform.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  3. Dear Steve (Hymon)-

    I have been wondering this for quite some time…

    You mentioned in your previous post:

    “You can load a card with as much or as little money as you’d like and you never have to wait at a ticket machine again.”

    The problem I always run into is that I live near the Culver City Expo Station. For me to get anywhere (other than USC, Expo Park and 7th street) I almost always need to transfer (to the red line, gold line, blue line, etc.)

    This means that I will need at least four one-train tickets, so it’s always cheaper to purchase a day pass. However, as far as I can see… (correct me if I’m wrong)… Unlike your statement above “You never have to wait at a ticket machine again,” I *always* have to wait at the ticket machine every time I need to load a day pass onto my TAP card. This has caused me to miss (or nearly miss) trains.

    My question to you is: How can I load a day pass onto my TAP card without having to use the machine each and every time? Will tapping at each station max out at $5.00 per day and turn into a day pass if I don’t pre-load the pass onto the TAP card at the first station?

    Thanks!

    Paul

    • Hi Paul;

      I’ve just been answering the same question on Metro’s Twitter Feed today (maybe that was you asking!).

      You raise a good point — and, in fact, you point out an overstatement that I made.

      Readers have asked about this in the past: on the fourth trip of a day, why doesn’t TAP recognize you should have a day pass and purchase one for you? The answer that we’ve gotten from TAP officials in the past is that there isn’t much incentive to do this from a revenue perspective and that not having a regional fare system in place makes it difficult to determine a base fare to charge someone going from (for example) TAP on Foothill Transit to TAP on Metro.

      As a result, you do have to buy the day pass either at the ticket machine or on the bus, as they’re not available on the taptogo.net website due to the lag time it takes between you purchasing a pass and it being uploaded into the TAP system.

      So my unfortunate answer to you is that you still will have to wait to buy a day pass, thereby negating (as you correctly point out) an advantage to the TAP card. That said, I think the counter-argument is that once more riders are on TAP, hopefully ticket machine lines will be smaller. And TAP is helpful when traveling on single rides — just use stored value.

      My hunch is that your situation is not unique. You sound like an occasional rider that may not need a weekly or monthly pass but needs a day pass when using the Metro system. Hopefully as the system evolves and upgrades are made, it will improve to the point that it will help make your life easier, too.

      Hope the info helps,

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  4. Absolutely agree, for anyone who asks, that TAP is the easiest way to ride Metro. Have some stored value on that card and bypass ticket machines for single rides, and purchase day passes on TAP when you need those.

    I was just wondering aloud why a TVM wouldn’t allow you to add $3… seems like that would be a common amount riders would like to add, as it’s a regular round-trip price.

    • Hi Steve;

      I wasn’t aware it wouldn’t allow you to add $3. What are the amounts? I don’t know as I either add passes or larger doses of stored value — and often times online.

      tx,

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  5. The amounts it is programmed for now are $1.50, $5, $10, $20, and higher values. You can add $1.50 twice but it is annoying.

    In any case according to the TAP conversion chart you linked to last week, most of the Expo line stations would have been converted to TAP-only operation by the time the USC season rolls around. http://www.metro.net/riding/fares/tap-time/ So there is no way you can ride the Expo line by purchasing a paper ticket. It’s either TAP or nothing. I hope the validators are made clear and obvious by the time the season rolls around. Stand at any ungated rail or bus station and count the number of people that fail to tap at the validator. There are validators next to the stair case between the Blue and the Red lines at Metro Center, and every TAP user who is transferring between the lines is supposed to use them. Very few actually do.

  6. This is the big problem about the Silver Line: BASE FARE IS $2.45, while the Expo Line is: $1.50!!!!! Why would customers use the Silver Line instead of the Expo Line when the Silver Fare is much higher!!!! I DOUBT anyone will use the Silver Line because of the silly base fare!! Why would it cost MORE to right a “BRT looking line” than a LRT???????? It makes NO SENSE!!! Metro please lower the fare on the Silver Line!!!!!!

  7. Hey calwatch, thanks for answering that question about the amounts… I knew it has $1 and then skipped to $1, but since I have a pass that autoloads, I don’t use the TVMs enough to know the rest.

    It seems strange that all of the Expo stations except for Expo/Vermont will be TAP only by the time the seasons starts. With TAP-only, I think it’s important to get a $3 option on the TVMs because that will be a very popular amount that riders want to add — a single round trip.

    Also, you make a great point about 7th/Metro… I think the sheer volume of people is a problem. There are traffic jams as everyone criss-crosses each other exiting a train and trying to TAP before heading down the stairs. The fact that they’re placed parallel to the flow of people does not help, because as soon as someone stops at the first one, everyone gets stuck behind them. This isn’t necessarily a reason why people don’t tap, but absolutely causes some confusion and makes transferring hectic there.

    • Yo Steve and Calwatch;

      Thanks for your comments about the TAP amounts and USC football — very helpful observations. I forwarded them to the powers-that-be. I can’t promise anything will come of it, but I’m glad to serve as a clearinghouse for good suggestions.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source