Metro staff provides preview of coming year’s budget

Metro officials gave a brief preview of the agency’s budget that will soon be released for fiscal year 2013-14 to the Board of Director’s Planning Committee on Wednesday afternoon. A few highlights that may interest Source readers:

•The budget is balanced without a fare increase.

•The budget proposes an increase in Orange Line service to relieve mid-day crowding.

•The budget proposes additional late night service for the Expo and Gold lines.

•The budget proposes improved headways for weekend service on all Metro Rail lines. CEO Art Leahy said that some shorter trains will be used; the idea is to make service more frequent and convenient to grow ridership. Longer trains then could be used as the new rail cars that Metro ordered last year are delivered.

•The budget proposes $20 million to address Blue Line safety issues.

•The budget proposes $261 million for deferred maintenance of Metro buses, trains and facilities. The budget also includes a new policy to ensure that maintenance is not deferred in the future.

•The budget proposes systemwide camera/video enhancements for improved security on the Metro system.

•Staff said that the proposed overall budget will be $4.9 billion for 2013-14.

•The Metro Board of Directors is scheduled to consider and vote on the budget in late May. There will be a public hearing on May 15. We’ll have more details on The Source after the draft budget is publicly released.


March ridership numbers; Expo Line continues to climb and numbers remain strong for Metro Rail

March ridership graphs

Ridership estimates for Metro buses and rail lines in March have been released; the above charts show the current trends. The takeaway in one sentence: ridership for the Expo Line continues to climb, ridership across the rail system remains strong and bus numbers continue to be flat.

If you would like to see charts with stats recorded in March of the past three years for the rail lines and bus system, please click here.

Metro Rail saw 359,855 average weekday boardings in March 2013 compared to 294,801 in March 2011 — a significant increase. The record for average weekday ridership was 362,091, set in November of last year 362,904 set in June of last year.

Pico Rivera through the eyes of Ramon Ramirez

Artwork design by Ramon Ramirez. The work is part of the Metro Through the Eyes of Artists poster series, which 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 new destinations.

Artwork design by Ramon Ramirez. The work is part of the Metro Through the Eyes of Artists poster series, which 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 new destinations.

Four artists have designed new posters for the Metro Through the Eyes of Artists series highlighting Metro accessible destinations. In the conversation below, one of the artists, Ramon Ramirez, discusses his original artwork celebrating Pico Rivera and what he hopes to share with transit riders who see the poster on Metro buses and trains in the coming months.

Pico Rivera poster spotted on a Red Line train, part of the Metro Through the Eyes of Artists poster series.

Pico Rivera poster spotted on a Red Line train, part of the Metro Through the Eyes of Artists poster series.

Now in its tenth year, the Through the Eyes of Artists poster series 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.

The four new posters will bring the series to a total of 29 neighborhoods featured. Explore Through the Eyes of Artists posters.

Ramon Ramirez in his Pico Rivera studio. His poster design is visible pinned to the wall behind him.

Ramon Ramirez in his Pico Rivera studio. His poster design is visible pinned to the wall behind him.

You live and work in the Pico Rivera area—how did you choose this imagery to represent the city?  

I grew up in East L.A., and after attending college in the Bay Area, where I studied art and architecture, I moved to Pico Rivera. I paint from memory based on what I see. For my poster on Pico Rivera I wanted to focus on Whittier Boulevard because it bridges the city of Whittier, East L.A. and downtown. The downtown skyline was always present in the visual landscape of my childhood. As a kid I spent a lot of time on Whittier, going to movies and other shops with my family. The poster pictures a commercial stretch that evokes the boulevard, but could also be a similar street in another L.A. neighborhood. I want the viewer to experience that kind of familiarity.

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New substations being installed on the Blue Line

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The pictures show Metro’s traction power crew pulling new high-voltage cables and installing new substations for the Metro Blue Line. This is an ARRA-funded project to replace all 20 Blue Line traction power substations, which power the trains through overhead wires with modern, energy efficient substations.

So far, Metro has replaced 16 substations. The pictures are from the 17th substation at Pacific Coast Highway substation in Long Beach, meaning the project is now approximately 85% complete. Metro has perfected the site work so that the removal and replacement of each substation does not create any major disruptions to Blue Line service.

Metro in Overdrive: Transportation Library & Archive resources featured in new Getty exhibit

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The Metro Transportation Library & Archive is participating in a landmark joint exhibit of the Getty Museum and Getty Research Institute.

Overdrive: L.A. Constructs The Future, 1940-1990, which runs from April 9 through July 21, 2013, is part of Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture In L.A.

The exhibit is the first major exhibition to survey Los Angeles’ complex urban landscape and diverse architectural innovations. Drawings, photographs, models, films, animations, oral histories and ephemera illustrate the complex dimensions of L.A.’s rich and often underappreciated built environment.

Library & Archive staff has been working with the Getty for the past year in preparation for this exhibit. Several historic items from the Archive have been lent to the Getty for display, along with additional items for the exhibit catalog publication as well as film footage that runs in the Overdrive exhibit.

The exhibit moves on to the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. later this year.

More information on the exhibit and Metro’s contributions to it can be found on the Research Library’s Primary Resources Blog.

New artist opportunities at El Monte Station

View of artwork location at transit bay concourse wall. Each panel measures approximately 8’ x 8’ (there are four identical bays with four identically sized panels).

View of artwork location at El Monte Station transit bay concourse wall. Each panel measures approximately 8’ x 8’ (there are four identical bays with four identically sized panels).

Metro is seeking four artists for El Monte Station. 

The two-level El Monte Station opened in 2012, and is located at the corner of Santa Anita Avenue and Ramona Boulevard in El Monte, 12 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. The station provides transit service on numerous lines for Metro, Foothill Transit, LAX FlyAway airport shuttle and Greyhound and serves over 18,000 customers a day. A bus rapid transit service, the Silver Line connects all Metro Rail lines.

Artwork opportunities have been identified for the concourse level walls at each of the station’s four transit bays.

For complete details and information regarding submittal requirements, download the Call to Artists and ARRA Requirements.

Deadline:  Monday, May 6, 2013

Pics of damage to Expo Line last night

Photos by Metro.

The pole was completely lifted from its support by the collision. Photos by Metro.

Crash3

Crew is suspending the power support pole in order to pull the car out from under the pole and tow it away.

Crash2

Lots happening here. The elevated crew is using a wire straightener to work out kinks in the overheard wire caused by tension from the impact. Crews directly underneath them are disassembling power support pole from support arms as the pole must be scrapped although the support arms were undamaged. And the crew further down are working to replace train control signal heads which were sheared off by the SUV.

The Expo Line is running a normal Friday schedule today with minor delays around 23rd Street due to an accident Thursday evening in which a wrong-way driver on Flower Street struck and knocked over one of the poles that helps support the overhead wires that supplies power to trains. The pole still must be replaced.

The above photos were taken last night and show the extent of the damage. The driver of the vehicle was arrested for suspicion of driving under a controlled substance, according to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.