Nice post and video courtesy of the Streetfilms network on the New York subway system rolling out a few vintage subway cars on part of their route. Check it out!
ART OF TRANSIT: From our Instagram feed.
In this op-ed, Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti and Councilman Bonin — both members of the Metro Board of Directors — reiterate what both have been saying publicly in recent months. Excerpt:
On the local front, Metro and LAX have been working together. In October, we met with U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in Washington, D.C. He and other key transportation officials understand and agree that connecting LAX to our rail system must happen.
They are watching us. They are eager to help. And that’s the reason we can’t squander the opportunity to act now.
One of the myths that we both despise about Los Angeles is that we are beholden to traffic and that we can’t build big things. Or that we can’t do them right, symbolized by the Green Line veering south of the airport.
This project is a chance to shatter that myth, move Los Angeles into the future, and to build a transit system that connects our region to the rest of the world.
As the op-ed states, Metro is currently studying six options to connect LAX to the Crenshaw/LAX Line via either light rail, a people mover or a combination of the two. Garcetti and Bonin also say that one promising alternative involves building a rail spur from the Crenshaw/LAX Line to a new transportation facility where passengers could check into flights and transfer to the people mover.
The Airport Metro Connector project has some Measure R funding but will need more to build any of the more expensive options. In related news, the Metro Board last week approved a Memorandum of Understanding between Metro and Los Angeles World Airports for changes to the Crenshaw/LAX Line’s Aviation/Century project that could help improve connections to future airport facilities such as a consolidated rental car facility or a people mover:
And here is the project homepage on metro.net.
Whoa! A sea change in Metro’s TAP system (CityWatch LA)
I should have posted this in late November when it was first published. The article by Matthew Hetz is a follow-up to an earlier piece in which he was critical of the TAP system — in particular the taptogo website and difficulties he encountered both purchasing a new card and adding stored value to an existing one.
But things have started to change, Matthew writes. Excerpt:
After that article was published I was very surprised that the article remained in transit cyberspace terra firma, and was read by an expanding readership. I was even more surprised when David Sutton, Deputy Executive Officer, TAP, Metro, contacted me with a list of changes he implemented on the TAP system, and he invited me, and other transit writers and bloggers, for a meeting at Metro Headquarters to discuss TAP. This was a sea change in Metro’s relationship to its riders. However, until the meetings, I was very skeptical Metro would listen or accomplish any meaningful changes.
Since then I have attended three meetings with David Sutton, and other Metro executives and managers who have been gracious and understanding in the frustrations I and others face with the current TAP system. These frustrations are shared by Metro itself. The current management, from what I understand, did not implement the TAP system, but are left is the collateral damage. Their frustrations seem evident and true. They want a system which assists transit riders, and makes their jobs less stressful in dealing with the frustrations of transit riders.
Sutton and the managers in the meetings at Metro headquarters presented their prototypes for changes to the TAP vending machines and their ideas for a modern, functioning website. As is the case with governmental agencies, things move slowly. Metro must wait for the contract to expire before moving forward with a new website, and they must follow governmental rules and regulations in calling for bids, the submitting bids, the reviews, and then awarding the new contract. This is time consuming.
While pleased with some of the changes, Matthew says Metro is not yet completely out of the woods when it comes to TAP cards and taptogo.net. Fair enough. He also says he will be writing about some other issues he has with the system and how it could be more user-friendly. Also fair enough. Easier = Better = More Riders.
With fare restructuring on the horizon for Metro, this is an important — albeit wonky — read. The issue: the debate over whether Portland TriMet’s current fare system allows round-trips or not on a single fare.
Portland currently charges a fare of $2.50 that allows riders to use their bus and light rail system for two hours. Some people have been using that time to make round trips, but lately the agency has been saying the fare only allows transfers on a trip to a single destination. That means riders trying to make round-trips have to instead buy a $5 day pass.
The TriMet Board is about to consider a change in policy that would extend fares to cover transfers beyond two hours. It sounds like there’s resistance, given budget problems. Over at the Human Transit blog, Jarrett Walker says that extending the time would be a bad idea because it would benefit only some riders and deny the system the revenue it needs to restore good service for everyone.
My year without a car (Salon)
Wayne Scott made a New Year’s resolution coming into 2013: to retire his car and bike everywhere. And despite an ambivalence about biking, he has thus far held true to his resolution. Yes, it helps that he lives and works in Portland, one of the nation’s largest bike-friendly cities. But there’s also the little matter of conquering six months of often cold rain and a job that requires a fair amount of public speaking in dry clothes.
On the third day of “12 Days of Metro” your transit love gave to you…
A bronze tribute to the one…the only…the Great One.
Here’s how to play.
1. Follow @metrolosangeles on Instagram
2. Solve the daily riddle
3. Take a photo of your TAP card at that location
4. Post it to your Instagram (make sure your profile is public!)
5. Tag @metrolosangeles and #tapandsave
Submissions showing the correct location will be entered to win the daily prize. Contest closes at 6 p.m. Today’s prize is valued at approximately $54. For official contest rules, click here. Winners are chosen at random by a dog. (Literally.)
With Turkey Day 2013 officially behind us, we can begin to celebrate the holidays in full swing. And whether you prefer to savor the season with time-worn traditions, or enjoy some novelty to your Joyeux Noël, Metro can help you beat the traffic and the parking meter–the real Grinches of an L.A. Christmas.
The following list includes holiday activities for creatures of habit and adventurous souls alike — all of which are easily accessible by Metro Bus or Rail. Be sure to click the links for all the details.
It simply wouldn’t be the holidays in L.A. for many Angelenos without at least one of these events:
- Victorian Christmas at The Banning Museum (Wilmington): Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 7-8, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., FREE. (Metro Blue Line to Pacific Station, then Torrance Transit Bus 3 to PCH/Eubank, or Metro Bus 246 to Avalon/M)
- Pershing Square Winter Holiday Festival and Downtown on Ice (downtown L.A.): Saturday, Dec. 14, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., FREE. Get $1 off skating at Downtown on Ice when you show your valid TAP card at the ticket window. (Metro Red/Purple Line to Pershing Square Station, Metro Rapid 728 or 794, or various Metro local buses)
- 34th Annual Swedish Christmas Fair (Shrine Expo Center): Sunday, Dec. 15, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., adults $10, children under 12 free. (Metro Expo Line to Jefferson/USC Station, Metro Bus 200 or 35/38 to Jefferson/Royal, 102 to 3rd/Flower, or 550 to Hoover/32nd)
- Las Posadas at Olvera Street (downtown L.A.): Monday, Dec. 16-Tuesday, Dec. 24, 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily, FREE. La Placita Olvera also hosts the “Taste of Tamales Festival” Sunday, Dec. 15, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Metro Gold Line to Union Station, Metro Rapid 728 or 770 to Spring/Cesar Chavez, or various lines serving Union Station)
- L.A. Music Center Holiday Sing-Along (downtown L.A.): Friday, Dec. 20, *6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., FREE with ticket. Event tickets are distributed at 6 p.m. the evening of. (Metro Red/Purple Line to Civic Center/Grand Park Station, or various Grand Avenue buses)
- L.A. County Holiday Celebration at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (downtown L.A.): Tuesday, Dec. 24, 3 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., FREE. Show your valid TAP card at the hospitality table and receive a holiday celebration souvenir. Also, enter to win a pair of tickets to the Ford Amphitheatre’s 2014 summer season. (Metro Red/Purple Line to Civic Center/Grand Park Station, or various Grand Avenue buses)
Real talk: You’re taking mass transit in L.A. (and we love you for it!). You’re already an iconoclast, so embrace your inner adventurer and enjoy one of these less traditional holiday activities.
- Unique LA Holiday Mart at the California Market Center (Fashion District): Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 7-8, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., $10 for entire weekend. (Metro Red/Purple Line to 7th/Metro Center, Metro Blue/Expo Line to Pico Station, Metro Bus 66 to Main/9th, or DASH Route E to Los Angeles/9th)
- Charles Phoenix Retro Holiday Slideshow at Long Beach Art Theater or MOCA Grand (Long Beach/downtown L.A.): Wednesday, Dec. 2 at 2 p.m. in Long Beach, or Sunday, Dec. 22 at 7 p.m. in downtown L.A., $39.00. (For Art Theater: Metro Blue Line to 5th St. Station, then Long Beach Transit Bus 151 from 4th/Elm to Cherry/4th NE. For MOCA: Metro Red/Purple Line to Civic Center/Grand Park Station)
- 4th Annual Renegade Craft Fair Winter Market (L.A. State Historic Park): Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 14-15, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., FREE. (Metro Gold Line to Chinatown Station, or Metro Bus 76 to Main/Ann)
- John Burroughs High School Acapella at the Natural History Museum (Exposition Park): Sunday, Dec. 16, 12 p.m., free with price of admission. (Metro Expo Line to Expo Park/USC Station, or Metro Bus 102 or 550 to Exposition/University)
- Reindeer Romp at the L.A. Zoo (Griffith Park): Tuesday, Nov. 26-Thursday, Jan. 2 during regular Zoo Hours, free with price of admission. (Metro Bus 96 to L.A. Zoo)
- Enjoy a “Winter Wonderland” without leaving L.A. at the Queen Mary’s Chill or the Beverly Center’s Ice Palace (Long Beach/Mid City West): Chill runs until Jan. 5 and tickets range from $15-$40, Ice Palace runs until Dec. 24 and is FREE. (For Chill: Metro Blue Line to Downtown Long Beach Station, then Passport at Pine/Ocean to Catalina Express/Parking Lot N. For Ice Palace: Metro Rapid 705 to La Cienega/3rd, DASH Fairfax to La Cienega/Beverly)
- SparkleBlob’s Doublewide Roadside Holiday Snowflake Show at Automata Gallery (Chinatown): every Thursday-Sunday, Dec, 12–Dec, 23, various times, $15. Here’s KCRW’s review of last year’s show. (Metro Gold Line to Chinatown Station, Metro Bus 45, 83, or 84/68 to Broadway/Chinatown, or DASH Route B to Hill/Gin Ling Way)
- Illuminate your Holidays at the Getty Center (Westwood): every Saturday starting Nov. 16-Jan. 4, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., FREE. (Metro Bus 2 or Big Blue Bus 14 to Church Wb/Sepulveda Fs)
Above all, whatever you do, have a happy holiday season and thanks for riding Metro.
Metro fares are $1.50 per single ride on a bus or train or $5 for a Day Pass, which allows unlimited rides that day. Buses accept cash fares or TAP cards, Metro’s reloadable plastic fare cards. On Metro Rail, buy a TAP card at the ticket machine (the cards cost $1). More information on fares here and here’s an interactive Metro Rail map.
The next step in latching gates on the Metro Rail system begins Wednesday, December 11, 2013 as five Blue Line stations will be updated and secured. Blue Line stations with existing turnstiles will be latched, including Slauson, Firestone, Compton, Artesia and Del Amo stations.
Fourteen stations on the Metro Green Line are scheduled to begin latching on December 18, with work expected to be completed by February, 2014. The latching of Metro Rail gates began June 19, 2013 at Union Station on the Red/Purple subway lines and was completed in August and 5 Gold Line stations were latched in October. When completed, 41 of 80 Metro Rail stations will be latched to provide fuller integration in the TAP universal fare system.
Gate latching requires passengers to use a TAP card loaded with appropriate fare to pass through turnstiles at rail stations. TAP helps to strengthen fare enforcement and is utilized as fare media on 12 transportation providers including Metro, Metrolink, Los Angeles Department of Transportation, Access, Antelope Valley, Culver City, Gardena, Foothill, Norwalk, Montebello, Santa Clarita and Torrance. By the end of 2014 a total of 26 carriers will be part of TAP creating, for the first time, a seamless, regional transit system.
Metro and its transit partners have been rolling out TAP for several years and in addition to tracking fares, TAP gathers data on passenger usage so service can be adjusted to demand.
Metro is monitoring TAP’s progress to determine its impact on fare evasion. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and civilian security personnel provide added security on board trains and buses as well as at transit facilities and stations. They randomly check patrons on trains and stations using electronic fare checkers to ensure proper payment is made. With the new fare gating system in place, Metro can better monitor passenger flow and usage of rail stations.
If you live in the area in Santa Monica, please read this closely — this is a weeklong closure. Yes, it may be a pain in the rear quarters for some folks, but it’s also a sign that construction of the second phase of the Expo Line between Culver City and Santa Monica continues at a brisk pace.
Isn’t she lovely? The 15-ounce mug was added today to the new Metro online store. At $6.75, it’s just screaming to be stuffed into stockings or squirreled away for next year’s Chanukah.