Just installed! Chatsworth Station mosaic artwork

Even more artwork installations are happening on the Orange Line Extension, which is opening on June 30! A few photos of the 27-foot-long ellipse designed by Lisa Adams for the Chatsworth Station are below. More information about the artwork is available here.

See images from the installations at Sherman Way, Canoga and Nordhoff Stations.

Detail of twenty-seven foot long mosaic artwork installed at Chatsworth Station

Twenty-seven foot long mosaic artwork is installed at Chatsworth Station. Workers have just applied grout in between thousands of tiny hand-cut mosaic pieces.

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Photo update: Expo Phase 2 construction moves forward

With Expo Phase 1 up and running to La Cienega — and soon to Culver City — you can expect The Source to turn its attention a bit more to the second phase of the Expo Line construction. Beginning in late 2015 or 2016, the 6.6-mile extension will carry riders from Culver City to a short walk from the pier and beach at 4th and Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica.

I took a photo tour of the line last year before major construction had started to document what remained of the original tracks. Until the 1950s, electric trains had run daily between the beach and downtown Los Angeles, and until the 1980s diesel freight trains made runs to lumber yards in West L.A.

So, what’s changed since we last checked in on Expo Phase 2? For starters, buildings that had operated on land leased from Metro — which has owned the right-of-way for two decades — were demolished and underground utilities have begun to be relocated. In the coming months, expect to see Expo contractor Skanska/Rados digging the foundations for the bridges that will carry trains over several streets, including Venice and Sepulveda boulevards.

In the mean-time here’s how things looked a couple of weekends ago:

The Expo right-of-way -- looking east between Military Ave. and Westwood Blvd. -- has been cleared of the old tracks and underbrush. Photo by Carter Rubin/Metro.

A stack of old rail ties awaits its ultimate fate. Photo by Carter Rubin/Metro.

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Vigil held for Metro bus operator Alan Thomas

A vigil was held Monday evening in West Hollywood for slain Metro bus operator Alan Thomas, who was shot and killed by a passenger on Sunday morning while driving the 105 line bus. Many dozens of Alan’s colleagues at Metro attended, as did several members of his family.

Alan, 51, enjoyed working different bus lines out of Metro’s Division 2 in downtown Los Angeles — Division 2 serves West Hollywood, West L.A., South L.A., Compton, Long Beach and other areas — and had worked for Metro for nearly five years. He was a graduate of Jefferson High School in Los Angeles, handily beat many of his colleagues at dominoes and in his spare time rebuilt cars — mostly recently restoring a 1972 Chevy.

He is survived by his wife Debbie and his four sons and one daughter, 10 grandchildren and his mother and stepfather.

Here is a nice segment on Alan and the vigil by KABC-TV reporter Leanne Suter:

And here is a report from Fox:

“A Computer Told Me To Shoot The Bus Driver”: MyFoxLA.com

Members of Alan Thomas' family at last night's vigil. Photos by Steve Hymon/Metro.

Just installed! Nordhoff Station mosaic artwork

More artwork installations are happening on the Orange Line Extension, which is expected to open soon! A few photos of the 27-foot-long ellipses designed by Anne Marie Karlsen for Nordhoff Station are below. More information about the artwork is available here.

See images from the installations at Sherman Way and Canoga Stations.

Detail of twenty-seven foot long mosaic artwork installed at Nordhoff Station

 

Thousands of tiny pieces of hand-cut mosaics are installed at one of the new platforms at Nordhoff Station.

The second of two mosaic artworks installed at Nordhoff Station

 

Why You Ride: Bicycle Edition

To celebrate Bike Week LA, we’re publishing a Why You Ride series with the winners of the 2012 Golden Pedal Awards. The Golden Pedal Awards are Metro’s annual competition for great stories about commuting via bicycle. Our first winner is Jung Lee, a Metro intern who is seriously dedicated to biking to work.

Name: Jung Lee
Start:
Torrance, CA           
End: Union Station
Distance:
18 miles, one way
Time:
45 minutes

Photo courtesy of Jung Lee.

Jung commutes from Torrance to Union Station in downtown Los Angeles on his bicycle – an 18-mile ride. Clocking in at 45 minutes, his commute is as fast as it would be if he were driving during rush hour!

Jung was nominated by his colleague Joe Simpson, who writes:

“Jung is what I aspire to be someday. He arrives to work dripping wet and promptly cleans up for a very productive day. Because I’m a chicken, I ride the Santa Clarita bike paths on weekends, but Jung rides through traffic, over the hillside, on the river bikeways, and anywhere to get in to work. Sometimes he even does a workout ride before riding in. He doesn’t own a car and bikes EVERYWHERE. Very inspiring.”

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How do they do that? Train explosive sniffing dogs

Wilson. Photo by Anna Chen/Metro

How do they do that? is a series for The Source that explores the technology that helps keep Metro running and passengers and other commuters moving. Some of it applies directly to the trains, buses and freeways and some of it runs in the background — invisible to nearly everyone but essential to mobility in our region.

How do they do that? Train explosive sniffing dogs

Xxara is happy-go-lucky, always hungry and loves to play. No, we’re not talking playmate of the year … although in some circles she certainly would be considered.

Xxara is an explosives scent dog who works the Metro beat for the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department Canine Services Detail. It’s her job to search for explosives on Metro buses, trains and property. Or it will be, when she is fully trained. Currently the two-year-old black Lab retriever is acclimating to the kind of life she didn’t know at the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) training center at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.

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Just installed! Sherman Way Station mosaic artwork

Artwork installation is moving forward on the Orange Line Extension! A few photos of the 27-foot-long ellipses designed by Margaret Lazzari for the Sherman Way Station are below. More information about the artwork is available here.

See images from the installation at Canoga Station here.

Detail of twenty-seven foot long mosaic artwork being installed at Sherman Way Station.

Thousands of tiny pieces of hand-cut mosaics are installed at one of the new platforms at Sherman Station.

 

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Willie Robert Middlebrook, Jr. 1957-2012

Willie Middlebrook at the installation of his artwork at Expo/Crenshaw Station.

It is with a heavy heart that we share the news of the passing of Willie Robert Middlebrook, Jr., just one week after the opening of the Metro Expo Line, featuring Middlebrook’s artwork at the Expo/Crenshaw Station.

Born in Detroit in 1957, Middlebrook relocated to Los Angeles in 1960. Over his lifetime, Middlebrook’s photographs and photo-painting portraits were exhibited in over 200 solo and group shows, including venues such as the Studio Museum of Harlem, Art Institute of Chicago, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Cleveland Museum of Art and the California African-American Museum.

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How do they do that? Cast Metro in movies, commercials and TV shows


How do they do that? is a series for The Source that explores the technology that helps keep Metro running and passengers and other commuters moving. Some of it applies directly to the trains, buses and freeways and some of it runs in the background — invisible to nearly everyone but essential to mobility in our region.

How do they do that? Cast Metro in movies, commercials and TV shows

The answer is that they don’t. The production companies come to Metro. Usually.

For the 2003 movie “The Italian Job” the film makers approached Metro and booked a shoot that lasted a few days at the Red Line Hollywood/Highland Station and the 7th/Metro Center Station.

In the completed film, a convoy of Mini Coopers (watch trailer) drives down the steps of the Hollywood/Highland Station and into the subway tunnel — a period of time that lasted only a few seconds in the movie but involved days of shooting. For the shoot, the stair railings had to be removed to accommodate the cars and the production company constructed false steps to protect the real ones from the pounding of the Mini Coopers, which were small but not exactly weightless.

Rather than ducking into the Hollywood/Highland subway tunnel as it appeared in the movie, the cars were filmed driving down the platform and onto the tracks at 7th/Metro Station because there was more room to maneuver. Also, a pursuing train that’s supposed to be the Red Line subway was actually a Blue Line where it runs underground just before emerging at Pico Station.

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Just installed! Canoga Station mosaic artwork

Artwork installation has begun on the Metro Orange Line Extension! A few shots of the 27-foot-long ellipses designed by Ken Gonzales-Day for the Canoga Station are below. More information about the artwork is available here.

Thousands of tiny pieces of hand-cut mosaics are installed at one of the new platforms at Canoga Station.

Twenty-seven foot long mosaic artworks are installed at Canoga Station.