There was a press event at Union Station this morning to promote the service, which returns for another season — and it should definitely be an interesting season, given the Dodgers’ off-season spending spree.
Here’s the news release from Metro:
For the fourth year in a row, Metro will again offer Dodger Stadium Express bus service from Union Station in downtown Los Angeles to Dodger Stadium beginning on Friday, March 29 for the Dodgers/Angels exhibition game and throughout the 2013 regular season under a grant approved by the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee (MSRC). The Dodgers’ 2013 season kicks off on Opening Day against the San Francisco Giants on Monday, April 1.
“Improving air quality and reducing congestion on our roads and highways, our Express bus service provides fans from across the county with a convenient, safe and low-cost way to attend a Dodger game without having to fight traffic or spend money on gas,” said Metro Board Chair and LA County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, a South Coast Air Quality Management District representative on the MSRC. “It’s a big win for Dodger fans and a homerun for our region.”
A two-year grant of over $1.1 million ($1,1169,000) awarded to Metro by the MSRC will fund the operation of the Dodger Stadium Express service for both the 2013 and 2014 Dodgers baseball seasons. The funding is 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.
Last year under a similar grant from the MSRC, the Dodger Stadium Express bus service transported over 136,000 fans. A 2012 Metro riders’ survey showed that more than 84 percent of customers used public transportation from their place of origin to Union Station to connect with the Dodger Stadium Express, taking advantage of the regional rail and bus network to get from their home or work to the games. An estimated 79 percent of transit riders to the games used Metro Rail or Metro buses. The survey also revealed that 53 percent of the Dodger Stadium Express passengers are repeat customers.
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 Dodger 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 Dodger 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 Dodger parking lot behind Left/Center field.
For the first time, the Dodger Stadium Express bus service will include a dedicated bus lane on Sunset Boulevard where traffic congestion is expected to be heaviest along the route. Thanks in part to funding from the grant, Metro is partnering with the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) for traffic mitigation support that will help expedite trips to and from the games.
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. Dodger game day 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. Metro Buses will use a special bus only lane along Sunset Boulevard in an effort to speed up service to the stadium.
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 Veolia Transportation under contract to Metro.
“The Dodger Stadium Express will be as important as ever with season seats sold at its highest level in decades and an expected league-leading attendance this season,” said Dodger President and CEO Stan Kasten. “With this complimentary offering for game ticket holders and a new dedicated bus lane along Sunset Boulevard, this will be the fastest way into the stadium. The Los Angeles Dodgers are excited to join Metro in thinking blue and acting green.”
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 as well as the newly opened Expo Line from Culver City on the Westside to downtown Los Angeles..
In addition Metrolink this year will operate special game day service to select Dodger games. As the Dodgers face the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on May 27 and 28, fans will be able to take special trains on Metrolink’s Orange County Line. Additional trains may be announced later in the season.
Fans can also take regular service on Metrolink’s San Bernardino Line to the Dodger Stadium Express bus service. Trains leave Los Angeles Union Station as late as 11 p.m. weekdays, 11:30 p.m. on Saturdays and 9 p.m. on Sundays. For exact schedules and departure times, visit http://www.metrolinktrains.com.
“Metrolink is excited to partner with the folks from Metro and the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee to provide the special trains for fans to attend Dodger games,” said Metrolink Board Chair and San Bernardino Mayor Pat Morris. “In addition to the special trains from Orange County, I know people from the Inland Empire have historically taken Metrolink to Union Station and jumped on the Dodger Stadium Express shuttle to enjoy a game. I certainly plan on trying to make that trip this season to cheer on the Dodgers.”
During its 23-year history, the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee (MSRC) has removed 20 million pounds of harmful pollutants from the air by funding projects designed to reduce air pollution from mobile sources such as cars, trucks and buses. MSRC has distributed more than $290 million to local governments, transit agencies and private businesses throughout the south coast basin.
Metro operates many bus and rail lines that serve Union Station along with Metrolink and Amtrak where patrons can easily transfer to the Dodger Stadium Express. For specific route and schedule information visit http://www.metro.net or call 323.GO.METRO (323.466.3876).