Artist Jessica Polzin McCoy to sign Metro ‘Claremont’ poster this Friday


Artist Jessica Polzin McCoy will sign free copies of her poster celebrating the City of Claremont at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, May 31 at the Claremont Library.

Polzin McCoy was commissioned by Metro Creative Services to create the artwork for its poster series, Through the Eyes of Artists. The program commissions local artists to create original artworks that express the uniqueness of Los Angeles County neighborhoods as a way of encouraging people to take Metro to explore destinations served by the agency.

Beginning in Spring 2013, the poster will be displayed on Metro buses and rail cars traveling throughout Los Angeles County.

Keep reading for more information on the Claremont poster and the Metro Art Program.

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How do they do that? Repair the seats on the buses

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.

Photo by Kim Upton/Metro

Photo by Kim Upton/Metro

How much does Metro spend each year to repair and recover bus seats ruined by food, drink, gum and graffiti? In 2012, the cost was $865,000 in taxpayer dollars to replace stained, carved, graffitied or torn seat inserts. The covered inserts that fit into the back and bottom of Metro bus seats range in price from $10.44 to $23.46 each. In addition to the cost of the inserts, Metro bus divisions expended $1.5 million in labor, replacing both window guards and seat inserts.

The most common reason that a seat insert is changed? Graffiti.

Last year was not unusual. More than 55,000 seat inserts were replaced … or about one every nine minutes. Bus maintenance works constantly to keep up with seat damage so that the buses look good and we don’t have to sit on dirty or destroyed seats. It’s not easy to keep up.

Each bus has between 40 and 57 seats, depending on the size and the style. And with just over 2,200 buses in the Metro system, that’s 88,000 and 125,400 seats that are targets for graffiti.

It takes less than 10 minutes to replace a bus seat insert but 1 1/2 hours to replace an entire seat section. An insert, which looks something like a seat float (see photo above), can be unscrewed from their metal supports, pulled out and the new insert pretty quickly added and screwed back in. But a seat section installation — replacement of the entire seat — is more complicated, requiring assembly of the seat supports and inserts before the whole thing can be carefully fastened back into the bus. Replacement of the entire seat is only done as a result of severe damage. In 2012 there were 79 seat installations — the whole seat including metal supports for the 2-to-3-passenger covered seats — on Metro buses. The cost, not including labor, was an additional $220,000.

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Metro hosts meeting with mayors

JS_130508_0683One of the seldom seen aspects of Metro’s work is how closely the agency works with all of the cities in Los Angeles County. The coordination covers a broad range of activities such as local permits for work on major transit and highway projects, project planning, providing funding to cities for local street and other transportation improvements, operating Metro buses on city streets and helping secure funding for city-run bus agencies in the county.
As a part of this partnership, Metro CEO Art Leahy hosted a luncheon last week at Metro for Mayors throughout Los Angeles County.

Thirty-two cities from every area of the County were represented at the lunch and were given an overview of Metro’s many activities. Leahy responded to numerous questions and comments from the group. One question was about the inconvenience of the monthly fee for transponders for infrequent users of the new Express Lanes; Leahy explained that the Metro Board had recently voted to suspend the monthly fee on a trial basis. Other attendees asked questions or made comments about Metro’s major projects, bicycle planning, master planning efforts for Union Station, highway maintenance and other issues. As a part of open give and take, the participants expressed an interest in repeating the event on a quarterly basis.

Metro’s April ridership numbers are now available

Here are the latest ridership numbers for the Metro bus and rail system. Nothing jumps out at me as big news — it looks like most numbers in recent months are holding steady. In terms of overall ridership, Metro had nearly 40.5 million boardings in April 2013 compared to 37.9 million in April 2012.

On the rail side, there were about one million more boardings in April 2013 over April 2012. The bus side was up more than 1.5 million boardings over April 2012. April was also the first month that the Expo Line didn’t have more riders than the previous month, although that was bound to happen at some point.

Here are some nice graphs showing ridership on each line. The April ridership numbers are below and continue after the jump.

Bus Ridership Estimates

Bus – Directly Operated

April 2013 April 2012 April 2011
Average Weekday Boardings 1,121,390 1,081,484 1,112,424
Average Saturday Boardings 745,684 737,868 754,637
Average Sunday and Holiday Boardings 546,304 539,510 539,704
Total Calendar Month Boardings 29,838,532 28,360,186 29,292,905

Directly operated bus ridership includes Orange and Silver Line ridership.

Bus – Contract

April 2013 April 2012 April 2011
Average Weekday Boardings 46,832 44,356 45,419
Average Saturday Boardings 27,529 26,751 25,867
Average Sunday and Holiday Boardings 20,059 18,505 18,170
Total Calendar Month Boardings 1,220,649 1,130,997 1,155,820

Bus – Systemwide

April 2013 April 2012 April 2011
Average Weekday Boardings 1,168,222 1,125,840 1,158,904
Average Saturday Boardings 773,213 764,619 780,504
Average Sunday and Holiday Boardings 566,363 558,015 557,874
Total Calendar Month Boardings 31,059,181 29,491,183 30,471,007

Directly operated bus ridership includes Orange and Silver Line ridership.

Orange Line

April 2013 April 2012 April 2011
Average Weekday Boardings 30,231 25,055 24,074
Average Saturday Boardings 18,266 15,355 14,727
Average Sunday and Holiday Boardings 13,844 11,713 10,868
Total Calendar Month Boardings 793,522 646,140 622,661

Silver Line

April 2013 April 2012 April 2011
Average Weekday Boardings 12,873 11,241 9,086
Average Saturday Boardings 5,367 4,099 2,900
Average Sunday and Holiday Boardings 3,484 2,642 2,041
Total Calendar Month Boardings 318,610 265,667 213,470 


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Metro takes second place overall at 2013 International Bus Roadeo

Metro placed second overall at the 2013 APTA International Bus Roadeo. Photo via APTA.

The APTA International Bus Roadeo took place this past weekend from May 3 – 7 in Indianapolis, and Metro fell just shy of bringing back the Grand Champion Award and took second place overall achievement honors.

The Grand Champion Award this year was won by Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, and Orange County Transportation Authority placed third. Competitors in this year’s Bus Roadeo represented twenty eight states and three Canadian provinces.

Support pole installation on Expo Line completed

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Photos by Metro

This past Saturday, a portion of the Expo Line was shut down so crews could replace the support pole damaged by a wrong-way driver last month. Before the pole was replaced, trains had to stay under a 5 mph speed restriction between the Expo/Blue Line junction and 23rd Street Station. Trains may now go back to operating at normal speeds.

A bus bridge was in place to help Expo riders get from 23rd Street to DTLA, and post-game bus shuttle service ran from 9-11 p.m. between Pico and 23rd Street to accommodate those who were at Staples Center for the Blues/Kings game.

If you went to the game on Saturday, did you use the post-game shuttle? And if so, how did you find it?

May Service Council meeting previews

May Day, May 1, marks the first day of the next round of monthly Service Council meetings, with the San Fernando Valley Council once again starting things off. A wide range of topics will be covered at the various meetings. Please note that some of the presentations are tentative at the time of this posting.

For more information about each Service Council, click on the name of the Council listed after the jump to view their web page. All Service Council meetings include a report from Metro Service Council Director Jon Hillmer providing previous month’s statistics on ridership, performance and other measures of Metro service.

Meeting topics for Service Council meetings in May include:

San Fernando Valley (6:30 pm, Wednesday, 5/1) Presentation on Valley Village Run Across the Valley; report on the San Fernando Valley Council of Governments’ Transportation Priorities Motion by Directors Antonovich, Yaroslavsky and Najarian; update on the Orange Line.

Westside/Central (5 pm, Wednesday, 5/8) – Presentation on Exposition Corridor Transit Neighborhood Plan; update on Wilshire Bus Rapid Transit.

Gateway Cities (2 pm, Thursday, 5/9) – Update on the Artesia Station Construction (repaving) Project; report on Director DuBois Motion for Fare Restructuring.

South Bay (9:30 am, Friday, 5/10) – Update on the ExpressLanes Program (carried over from previous month); Update on Redondo Beach Green Line Station Refurbishment; Discussion on upcoming Customer Survey; Recap of the quarterly Service Council Meet and Confer meeting.

San Gabriel Valley (5 pm, Monday, 5/13) – Report on Metro’s Bus Rapid Transit and Street Design Improvement Study, discussion on potential Line 485 regional meeting date and location; report on Director DuBois Motion for Fare Restructuring.

For a detailed listing of all Council meeting dates, times and locations, click here.

As always, the public is encouraged to attend and share their comments with the Service Councils on improving bus service throughout LA County. If you would like to provide input to a Council but cannot attend a meeting, you can submit your comments in writing through the Service Council web page or send them to If your comments are for a specific Council, please make sure to indicate which one you are addressing in your e-mail.