Metro named a winner of the CEAC Veterans Employer of the Year Award

Metro has been named one of nine winners of 2014 CEAC Veterans Employer of the Year Awards for its proactive stance in veteran hiring. 

Since Metro’s Veterans Hiring Initiative started in 2012, Metro has hired 156 veterans and has established a very ambitious goal of veteran new hires of 12% over a 3-year period and for the Bus Operator Bridge Program, a goal of 20%.

Metro will be participating in the following job fair for veterans. If you are a veteran, active duty military member, guard/reserve member or military spouse, drop by our table and say hi! Some of the job fairs are for veterans only, while others are open to the public–please check the linked sites for more info.

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Metro explores new green energy options: placing a wind turbine in a subway tunnel

Photos: Evan Rosenberg/Metro

You’re standing on a subway station platform, waiting for the train. Suddenly, the wind picks up. You know this means the train is coming. Many of you may also know why there’s wind: it’s displaced air being pushed through the tunnel by the fast moving train. And some of you — including Tom Kefalas, Metro Environmental Compliance and Services Manager — may have wondered if there was a way all that generated wind could be utilized as a renewable energy source.

Thanks to Tom Kefalas and Cris Liban, Director of Metro Environmental Compliance Services, we now know the answer is yes. From August through September 2013, Metro conducted a one-month pilot program to see if wind energy could safely and effectively be captured and used. The project involved working with engineers from WWT Tunnel, LLC, a subcontractor to Arcadis U.S., to create and install a unique 10-foot multi-blade mass airflow collection equipment (MACE) in the Red Line tunnel. To our knowledge, this is the first time a transit agency has tested the effect of having a wind turbine in a subway tunnel.

The MACE was installed between the North Hollywood and Universal City stations, a segment of the tunnel that sees trains reaching speeds of up to 70 mph. Each time a train left the station, the MACE fan blades would start spinning, thus capturing energy up to a minute before the train actually passed by. The blades would continue to spin up to 2 minutes after the train passed, and exceeded 1,070 revolutions per minute (RPM). The amount of electricity produced by these train initiated events was nearly double the amount that had originally been anticipated.

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Six Metro divisions recognized as International Standards Organization (ISO) 14001 certified facilities

Division 20 EMS Facility Core Team with Chief Operations Officer Debra Johnson and EMS Executive Sponsor K.N. Murthy. Photo: Josh Southwick/Metro.

Division 20 EMS Facility Core Team with Chief Operations Officer Debra Johnson and EMS Executive Sponsor K.N. Murthy. Photo: Josh Southwick/Metro.

Six Metro divisions were recently recognized as International Standards Organization (ISO) 14001 certified facilities for their exemplary efforts in developing and implementing Metro’s Environmental Management System (EMS) at their facilities. Over the last month, transportation and maintenance staff at Divisions 9, 10, 11, 20/Location 61, 21 and the Central Maintenance Facility each received their facility’s 14001 certificate.

Becoming ISO 14001 certified signifies a level of international excellence in the operations of a facility and its staff and management. EMS is a collection of best practices that assist the agency in reducing its environmental impact and safety risks as well as minimizing waste and costs. It also improves productivity and efficiency and empowers staff to formulate innovative solutions on critical issues.

Additional Metro divisions are scheduled to be folded into the program and become ISO 14001 certified in the coming months. Metro is considered a leader among the few other ISO 14001 certified transit agencies across the country and is the first to receive this recognition for a multi-site system.

Here’s a video from SoCal’s first pop-up street design event


A few months ago, Santa Monica held a pop-up street improvement event to show how Michigan Avenue Neighborhood Greenway (MANGo) can be improved. The event was very successful, with numerous participants stopping by and providing feedback.

Check out the above video to see the temporary installations featured at the event, including traffic calming devices, curb extensions, enhanced landscaping, places for neighbors to gather and wayfinding signage.

Culver City staff report on bus routes serving the Expo Line

Report on Expo Line impact on CC bus ridership by sourcemetro

Above is a powerpoint from Culver City on the Expo Line’s impacts on bus ridership. The bottom line: there has definitely been an uptick in ridership since the Expo Line’s first phase fully opened in June 2012.

Equally interesting, there is also some information on potential expansion of bus service to serve Expo Line riders — i.e. bus service between Playa Vista and the Expo Line. Intriguing, for sure.


Metro Business Opportunities Summit to be held Monday to help South Los Angeles merchants

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Metro Business Opportunities Summit

The Community Leadership Council (CLC) in partnership with Metro invites you to come learn about business and professional opportunities at the Metro Business Opportunities Summit. The Summit is a forum for Metro to inform and educate local small businesses around South Los Angeles about the broad range of economic opportunities. During the Summit, both Metro and Walsh-Shea Corridor Constructors will highlight the broad range of their respective business opportunities and non-construction-related professional career options that will be available on the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project and other transit projects.

The Metro Business Opportunities Summit is taking place on Monday, October 28, 2013, from 9am to 3pm at the California African American Museum located at 600 State Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90037.

For more info contact info@metrosummitla.com.


Metro and City of LA participate in first Walk to School Day

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Photos: Peter Watkinson/Metro

Thousands of schools across the country and in more than 40 other nations worldwide celebrate walking to school every “Walktober” and this morning, L.A. joined in with its first citywide Walk to School Day. Numerous schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District held events and organized walk parties to encourage students and their families to try walking to class, and LADOT provided planning and logistical support.

“Walk to School Day may be a one-day event, but it inspires families to walk to school and leads to long-term changes that encourage more walking and bicycling in our communities,” Mayor and Metro Board Member Eric Garcetti said.

Badge of honor! Photo: Anna Chen/Metro

Badge of honor! Photo: Anna Chen/Metro

Metro worked with Grant Elementary School to help the school participate in Walk to School Day as part of the Safe Routes to School pilot program. Walk parties were organized, and Metro staff was on hand to guide the kids to school while getting them amped up about walking. Metro also held a SRTS committee meeting for parents and other community leaders to learn about how they can find safe walking – and biking – routes and promote physical activity for students.

Metro will be working with other schools to hold more events throughout “Walktober.” Check the SRTS page for more information on what’s coming up!


Art of Transit: Walking school bus heads down Hollywood Boulevard!

Swedish transit provider shows how to market a bus ride; check out the video

Great new transit ad from Vasttrafik, a transit provider in Sweden. As far as I’m concerned, it’s just further proof that transit agencies better put on their clever hats when it comes to marketing and providing service that can compete with the open road.

As Angie Schmitt writes at Streetsblog:

If only public transit in the United States had the same marketing bucks behind it that car companies do, maybe people wouldn’t be spending $42,000 — not much less than the median American household income— on a used GMC Sierra.

Angie also posted this gem from the Utah Transportation Authority from 2011:

Get ready for LA’s first Walk to School Day

A walking school bus! Photo: Walk to School Day L.A. Official Facebook

A walking school bus! Photo: Walk to School Day L.A. Official Facebook

When I was in elementary school, I walked to school every day. I lived four blocks away and it just didn’t make any sense for my parents to drive me. These days, however, many parents prefer to drive their kids to school, despite living within walking distance. Well, October – a.k.a. Walktober – is the perfect chance to have kids to try walking to school, and they won’t have to do it alone.

Wednesday, October 9 is Walk to School Day, both nationally and in the City of Los Angeles, and many schools and communities are organizing events to help get their kids to school on foot. It’s a way for parents, students, school personnel and other community members to directly experience the walk to school, and it generates awareness about the importance of physical activity, the fun of walking, and early identification of safety concerns.

Check with your school to see if they’ll be participating on Oct. 9. A list of participants can also be found here.