Metro is Official Transit Provider™to World Games!

No matter how tired or busy I am, I always make time for the Olympics. The competition is always exciting, but the best part is getting to know the athletes and watching them accomplish amazing feats. Every time I see a grinning face on the podium, I fall in love all over again (and cry lots of tears, I’m a sucker for sports). So you can imagine how I feel about Los Angeles hosting the Special Olympics World Games this summer!

special olympics mapThe Special Olympics World Games will be taking place in venues across L.A. County from July 25 to August 2, 2015. The World Games is an international sports competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, and includes more than 7,000 athletes representing 177 counties. It will be the largest sports and humanitarian event in the world this year, and the single largest event to be held in the greater Los Angeles area since the 1984 Olympic Games…and Metro is your Official Transit Provider™ to the Games!

Metro serves the major sports venues which will be hosting events, including UCLA, USC and Memorial Coliseum, L.A. Convention Center, L.A. LIVE, Long Beach Marina and Balboa Sports Center. Metro also ensures that its transit services are fully accessible to all customers, including those with disabilities.

Check out the above map to see connections, or visit metro.net/worldgames, which also provides rider tips and how to purchase a TAP card — good info for those coming to the Games from out of town.

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Rafer Johnson, Olympic Champion and co-founder of Special Olympics Southern California, shows off the commemorative World Games TAP card. Photo: Gary Leonard/Metro

And a suggestion to those visiting L.A. for the Games: Go Metro to explore the rest of the city! Many landmarks and destinations are well served by Metro, such as the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Little Tokyo, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Universal CityWalk, just to name a few. Read through The Source for recommendations, or chat with us on Twitter @metrolosangeles. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Metro will also be selling special commemorative World Games TAP cards closer to the start of the Games! Stay tuned to find out when and where they’ll be sold if you would like one (and I know you’d like one). Also check back for more information on Metro service to the Opening Ceremony on Saturday, July 25. This will be especially important because — trust me — there will pretty much be no parking at the Coliseum that day.

Finally, a reminder that these transit providers also accept TAP: Antelope Valley Transportation Authority, City of Monterey Park Spirit Bus, Culver CityBus, Foothill Transit, Glendale Beeline, GTrans of Gardena, DASH and Commuter Express of LADOT, Long Beach Transit, Los Angeles County Board of Public Works buses and shuttles, Montebello Bus Lines, Norwalk Transit System, Pasadena ARTS, Santa Clarita Transit, Santa Monica Big Blue Bus, Torrance Transit. That means you can use your TAP card to pay for rides on any of their lines, many of which also serve event venues and landmarks around Los Angeles. Plus, the listed agencies are offering free 9-day passes for the volunteers working the Games!

For the full press release on Metro’s partnership with the Special Olympics World Games, keep reading below. If you need photos, feel free to download them from this album on our Flickr page by clicking on the down-facing arrow at the bottom right of each image.

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The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) today announced that it has  joined forces with organizers of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games (LA2015) to encourage participants, fans and volunteers to ride Metro Bus and Rail services to and from major sporting events now planned in the Greater L.A. area July 25 to August 2, 2015.

The Special Olympics World Games, an international sports competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, includes more than 7,000 athletes representing 177 counties who are scheduled to participate in 25 Olympic-style sports in venues across L.A. County. The World Games will be the largest sports and humanitarian event in the world this year and the single largest event to be held in the greater Los Angeles area since the 1984 Olympic Games.

Metro has been named “Official Transit Provider” for the Special Olympics World Games, and will heavily promote public transit in the six weeks prior to the start of the Games’ Opening Ceremony on July 25 at the L.A. Coliseum.  More than 60,000 spectators from all over the world are expected to attend the Opening Ceremony, but approximately half a million spectators are anticipated to attend the weeklong series of Special Olympics events.

Officials are now drawing comparisons to the 1984 Olympic Games, the last time a sporting event of this magnitude was staged in the L.A. region.  Use of public transit, like it did during the 1984 Olympics, will help ensure the region reduces traffic congestion in and around major sports venues including UCLA, USC and Memorial Coliseum, L.A. Convention Center, L.A. Live, Long Beach Marina and Balboa Sports Center.

“As we celebrate this great event, take advantage of the miles and miles of rail now available to take visitors and residents alike to so many destinations in our county,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “I urge everyone coming to watch the athletes compete at the Special Olympic Games to skip the traffic and the parking fees and Go Metro.”

Domestic and international travelers can utilize L.A. County’s Metro system to access all of L.A.’s world-class destinations while they’re in Los Angeles including Hollywood, Universal City, Pasadena, Long Beach, the South Bay, San Fernando Valley and the Westside.

Metro is launching a new marketing campaign to encourage spectators to Go Metro to the Special Olympics World Games.  Ads will appear on billboards, print and web ads, radio spots, shelters, bus and rail interior ads as well as social media and email channels.

“We are excited and proud to transport thousands of spectators to the 2015 Special Olympics,” said Metro Board member and Glendale Mayor Ara Najarian. “We encourage all visitors to take public transit not only to the games, but also to the many entertainment venues served by Metro buses and trains.”

Metro also plans to provide 12,000 TAP cards for use by Special Olympics World Games volunteers, officials and staff.  Special commemorative World Games TAP cards will be sold in Metro’s ticket vending machines one to two weeks before the start of the Games. “The Special Olympics World Games will be the largest gathering of nations for any event ever held in Los Angeles and taking Metro will be the most convenient way for fans, volunteers and other participants to get around,” said Patrick McClenahan, LA2015 President and CEO.  “Many Special Olympics Southern California athletes count on Metro daily to get themselves to jobs or school. We are proud to have Metro play a big part in making our event a success.”

Metro plans to provide frequent service during the World Games and will bolster service as needed.

Metro also ensures that its transit services are fully accessible to all customers including those with disabilities. The agency is also the primary funding source for Access Services, the federally-required ADA paratransit service provider for Los Angeles County.

4 replies

  1. It’s a good thing for Metro to provide transportation ton special events such as this one. This will test the Metro system to see how many wheelchair riders can it accommodate without any trouble. Currently, people who have Access Para Transit privilege elsewhere can ride Access in L.A. for 21 days and vice versa. Will Metro issue temporary Access tap cards to those who meet the Para Transit requirements?

    Metro could embarrass itself in this endeavor because only wheelchairs can fit into the Orange Line bus to go Balboa Sports Center.

    When the riders get to the North Hollywood Station, they will get stuck because there is no wheelchair ramps to the crosswalk. In the Red Line, the rider’s personal care attendant cannot enter the turnstile with a disabled rider. An Access tap card cannot be tapped twice in the same station.

    Another problem is that some riders are very rude. When a disabled person taps a card to enter, Another person who exist the turnstile will just rushed through the same turnstile without looking to see is it safe to rush to exit a turnstile. People who exit a turnstile too quick could run into a disabled person or a personal care attendant. Maybe it is a good idea to temporary locked the turnstile in the exit direction when a rider taps a card to enter. The exit turnstile is unlocked after a rider enters the turnstile.

  2. Of course, the other huge problem here is that the transfer from the Orange Line to Westwood is at Sepulveda Station. It’s too bad we don’t have a way to bring buses into Sepulveda Station.