Summer Metro Motion explores unique So Cal journeys via Metro

In the summer edition of Metro Motion, we hear from two millennials – one a scientist, the other a teacher – and find out how climate change inspired their journeys to lives without cars. Sure, they’re saving money. But that’s not their point. They see public transit, bikes and walking as the best ways to take care of our ailing planet and ourselves.

Summer is here and that means peak produce and time for a trip to L.A.’s fabulous farmers markets via Metro. The produce and prepared food is primo and these modern markets offer tools to teach healthy eating and cooking skills.

Looking for the quintessential So Cal biking experience? Watch as cyclist Mike Ryan loads his bike onto the Expo Line to Culver City, jumps on the Ballona Creek Bike Path and cycles to Marina del Rey for a free concert with the ocean and the stars as backdrop. Beautiful!

We also travel back in time to bid a fond farewell to I-405 construction as the Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project opens the completed HOV lane. We look back at Carmageddon I and II, Rampjam and Jamzilla — and at the same time we look forward to smoother sailing through the pass.

Metro Motion runs quarterly on cable stations throughout Los Angeles County. It’s co-produced by Metro and Santa Monica City TV.

Hey World Cup fans: please don’t damage Metro’s buses!

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We will be the first to agree that the World Cup is a super fun thing to watch. It’s even better watching it in Los Angeles, where the diversity here means that many teams have huge and devoted local followings.

Unfortunately, a couple of Metro buses were damaged in the civil disturbance on Tuesday following Mexico’s big win over Croatia that propelled Mexico into the knockout round of the tournament. The above photo shows some of the damage to one of the buses.

The buses are being repaired, meaning they are not available to do what they are supposed to do: serve our everyday riders. The repairs also cost Metro and you — the taxpayer — money that could probably be spent on better things.

Thus, this announcement from Metro officials: Similar to past incidents where public safety is compromised, Metro will immediately suspend service in any area impacted by civil disturbances. Metro does not want to put its passengers, bus operators and other employees in harms way. Service will resume only when law enforcement deems it safe to do so.

As soccer fans are keenly aware, Mexico plays the Netherlands on Sunday morning in the second round of the World Cup. It’s an elimination game, meaning everything is on the line for both teams.

Metro will be closely monitoring the game and public safety on streets in our county. In particular, the following bus lines may be impacted: the 18, 94, 102, 111, 224, 230, 233, 251, 260, 612, 720 and the 761.

When service is detoured or suspended, Nextrip will not reflect accurate real-time arrivals.

To avoid potential disruptions or detours, customers should consider using Metro Rail when possible. There are tons of places to watch the game along the Red, Purple, Blue, Expo, Green and Gold Lines!

Follow Metro’s general Twitter account or Metro’s Twitter feed with only service alerts for the latest rider information.


New TAP-TO-GO allows loading of regular monthly passes by text message

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This is something that riders may find convenient: it’s now possible to load a 30-day regular monthly Metro pass on a TAP card via text message. If buying a pass by text message, passes load immediately on cards without the one- to two-day delay when passes are bought on taptogo.net.

TAP-TO-GO is a six-month trial program that is beginning this week and will run through Dec. 1. There are two important caveats: at this time, only regular monthly passes are available and you need to use a new, special TAP card from the program to participate. There is no additional cost for the card.

The program is being run by Metro and its contractor mobileAxept. Reminder: Monthly passes are still available at TAP Vending Machines at all Metro Rail and Metro Orange Line stations, Metro Customer Centers and El Monte Station.

How to sign up 

1) Text TAPSIGNUP to 28950  or visit taptogo.net to sign up online.

2) If texting, mobileAxept will reply with a link to sign up.

3) Enter your name, mailing address and email address. Participants will be directed to the BlueFin-hosted secure payment site to submit credit/debit card information. Credit/debit cards will not be charged until you receive your card in the mail and load your first pass.

4) Once your information has been validated, mobileAxept will send a text confirming participant has successfully joined the TAP-TO-GO pilot program. 

5) Participants receive a special TAP card in the mail within seven to 10 business days, with instructions on how load your first Metro 30-DayPass. Again, you need to use this new card — it’s not possible to sign up using an existing TAP card.

How to reload

•Text TAP30DAY to 28950 to reload your Metro 30-Day Pass. You will receive a reply text message confirming your payment has been received and your card is loaded.

When it’s time to reload your Metro 30-Day Pass, you will receive a reminder text to reload three days prior to expiration, and if necessary, one day prior to its expiration.

•Avoid paying single ride fares — currently $1.50 rising to $1.75 as early as September — by purchasing your pass before your Metro 30-Day Pass expires.

An FAQ on the TAP-TO-GO program is after the jump.

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Metro celebrates Dump the Pump Day by squashing a pump

A media event was held at El Monte Station this morning; video is above. Here’s the news release from Metro:

With gasoline prices topping $4 per gallon the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) stresses now is the perfect time to try bus, rail or vanpool to discover how much money and time can be saved compared to driving. National Dump the Pump Day, June 19, 2014, highlights transit as a way to help people save money.

Commuting to work alone in a car costs more than the price of gasoline. Drivers have to take into account insurance, maintenance, wear and tear and parking at many destinations. For example, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) estimates the cost of driving a car annually at $10,174. By using transit or vanpooling, commuter can save about 75 percent.

“Every day, Metro puts 2,000 buses on our streets and trains on 88 miles of light rail and subway tracks. There is a very good chance that Metro has a transportation alternative that works for you,” said Metro Board Chair Diane DuBois. 

For commuters with a roundtrip drive of at least 30 miles, Metro also offers an extensive vanpooling program supporting a fleet of 1,331 public vanpool vehicles destined to L. A. County work sites each day. Nearly 90 percent of Metro Vanpool commuters used to drive alone and, based on ridership statistics, vanpooling results in nearly 7,000 cars off the road each day.

 “Vanpool passengers save time and money and benefit by not having wear and tear on their personal vehicles driving to work and back every day,” said Metro CEO Art Leahy. “In terms of reducing carbon footprint, we estimate that taking people out of their cars and putting them into vanpools reduces carbon emissions by nearly 4,000 metric tons in L.A. County each month.”

APTA reports that in 2013, Americans took 10.7 billion trips on public transportation, the highest in 57 years. According to APTA, since 1995, public transit ridership is up 37.2 percent outpacing population growth, 20.3 percent and vehicle miles traveled, 22.7 percent.

Metro bus and rail riders continue to increase in numbers. In Fiscal Year 2011, Metro had a total of 453 million boardings. In the FY2013, Metro increased that to 472.7 million boardings. 

APTA estimates that public transportation in the United States reduces the nation’s carbon emissions by 37 million metric tons annually, which is the equivalent of the electricity usage of Los Angeles, New York City, Washington D.C., Atlanta and Denver combined. In addition, research by the Texas Transportation Institute Census Bureau shows that in 2011, U.S. public transportation use saved 865 million hours in travel time and 450 million gallons of fuel in 498 urban areas. 

Stay informed by following Metro on The Source and El Pasajero at metro.net, facebook.com/losangelesmetro, twitter.com/metrolosangeles and twitter.com/metroLAalerts and instagram.com/metrolosangeles.

About Metro

Metro is a multimodal transportation agency that is really three companies in one: a major operator that transports about 1.5 million boarding passengers on an average weekday on a fleet of 2,000 clean air buses and six rail lines, a major construction agency that oversees many bus, rail, highway and other mobility related building projects, and the lead transportation planning and programming agency for Los Angeles County.  Overseeing one of the largest public works programs in America, Metro is helping change the urban landscape of the Los Angeles region. Dozens of transit, highway and other mobility projects largely funded by Measure R are under construction or in the planning stages. These include five new rail lines, the I-5 widening and other major projects.

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Photo by Gary Leonard for Metro.

Thanks for riding to the L.A. Kings victory parade, hockey fans! A few pics for you…

Thanks everyone for riding Metro today to the victory parade and celebration for the Los Angeles Kings Stanley Cup Championship. Looked to me like a big turnout — perhaps more people than for the 2012 parade.

If you would to download full resolution versions of any of the above photos of the Kings, they’re available on Metro’s Flickr page. To download, click on the “….” on the right side of the screen and then choose “download/all sizes” and then select the size.

See you in September, hockey fans!

Go Metro to the Los Angeles Kings’ SECOND Stanley Cup victory parade

Congratulations to the Los Angeles Kings, which won the Stanley Cup Friday night with a heart-stopping and breath-taking double-overtime win over the New York Rangers.

A victory parade will begin at noon Monday at 5th and Figueroa in downtown Los Angeles and travel south along Figueroa to L.A. Live and Staples Center — just as did when the Kings won the Cup in 2012. With downtown street closures in place and some inevitable bus detours, the best way to travel to the parade is to take Metro Rail or Metrolink into downtown. Metro will be adding rail service to accommodate the crowds.

The closest Metro Rail stations to the parade route are Pershing Square (Red/Purple Line), 7th/Metro Center (Red/Purple Line, Blue Line, Expo Line) and Pico (Blue Line, Expo Line). Metrolink riders can transfer to the Red/Purple Line at Union Station — both the Red and Purple Line serve all downtown Los Angeles stations.

There is also paid parking at Union Station — it’s $6 for the day.

Need to plan your transit trip? Try Metro’s Trip Planner or Google Transit. Here’s a map of Metro and Metrolink commuter train lines:

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Click on the map to see a larger version.

If you’re having trouble viewing the map, click here for a pdf of the map. Or click here to see a pdf of only Metro routes.

Some specifics on individual Metro lines:

•The Expo Line runs from Culver City to 7th/Metro Center at the intersection of Figueroa and 7th streets, with a stop at Pico — two short blocks from L.A. Live and Staples Center. Timetable and parking info

•The Red Line subway runs from North Hollywood to Union Station and the Purple Line subway from Western Avenue in Koreatown to Union Station. Two stations are near the parade route — Pershing Square is near the beginning of the route and 7th/Metro Center is near the mid-way point.  Timetable and parking info.

•The Orange Line busway runs between Warner Center and the North Hollywood Red Line station and has free parking in several lots. Timetable and parking info

•The Blue Line runs between downtown Long Beach and 7th/Metro Center at 7th and Figueroa, with a stop at Pico, two short blocks from L.A. and Staples Center. There are free parking lots along the route, as well as paid parking in downtown Long Beach. Timetable and parking info

•The Green Line runs between Redondo Beach and Norwalk and offers transfers to the Blue Line. There is also free parking at several lots at stations. Timetable and parking info

•The Gold Line runs to Union Station from both Pasadena and East Los Angeles. There are several free parking lots or garages along the route, as well as street parking and paid parking in downtown Pasadena. Timetable and parking info.

•Metrolink and Amtrak trains serve Union Station, with connections to the Red/Purple Line subway to reach downtown L.A. destinations. Metrolink schedules and Amtrak.com

A single ride on Metro Rail is $1.50 per single bus or train ride. If you don’t already have a reloadable TAP card, you will need to purchase one, available for $1 from TAP vending machines at all Metro Rail and Orange Line stations, in addition to El Monte Station. If you need to transfer, the best choice is a day pass for $5, also available at all ticket vending machines. Tip: don’t throw out your TAP card when done — you can use it in the future!

On the go and need rail and bus arrival/departure times from your current location? Try Metro’s app for smartphones. Android version and iPhone version

Go Metro and save at the Hollywood Fringe Festival

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The Hollywood Fringe Festival, an annual celebration of emerging performing arts and artists, takes place this year from June 12 to 29. Enjoy the newest drama, dance, art, comedy, cabaret and more in Hollywood’s theaters, clubs and other unexpected places. The festival includes nearly 300 shows in over 50 venues, many of which are easily accessible via Metro Bus or Rail.

At heart, fringe festivals are about breaking the mold–something we also aspire to here at Metro (let’s face it, riding mass transit in car-obsessed L.A. is a pretty iconoclastic move). Go Metro to the Hollywood Fringe Fest and save $2 on your Fringe Button (normally $5). Wear your Fringe Button for discounts on festival tickets, and drinks, food or merchandise at participating “hotspot” businesses. Fringe Buttons can be purchased at Fringe Central, located at 6455 Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood. Take Metro Bus 4 and get off at Santa Monica Boulevard/Wilcox Avenue.

To plan your best route to Fringe Fest events, use Google maps or the Trip Planner.

Go Metro to the L.A. Film Fest and save 10% on tickets

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Move over Cannes! The L.A. Film Fest returns this Wednesday, June 11 through Thursday, June 19 with film screenings taking place across Los Angeles.

This year, the festival celebrates its 20th anniversary with nearly 200 features, shorts, and music videos from 40 countries. Enjoy premiers, outdoor screenings, conversations with industry insiders, and live music. Arrive via Metro Bus or Rail and save 10% on tickets with a special online promo code. (You’ll also be saving the $10 you would have spent on parking.)

While L.A. LIVE is the hub of the festival, screenings and other events will take place at various locations across the city.

Find your best route using Google maps or the Trip Planner. To browse L.A. Film Fest events, click here.

Go Metro to Make Music Pasadena and save 10% at Urth Caffé in Pasadena

Making weekend plans? Don’t miss Make Music Pasadena, California’s only free musical festival that features Grammy-award winning artists alongside homegrown, emerging talent. The event spans more than 20 city blocks, includes more than 150 free concerts and takes place this Saturday, June 7 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

To get to Make Music Pasadena, take the Metro Gold Line to Memorial Park Station. You’ll exit right into the middle of all the action! You can also hop off at Del Mar Station and walk north for just a few minutes on Arroyo Parkway.

If you need to refuel or hydrate during the day-long festival, drop by Urth Caffé on Colorado Boulevard. Show your valid TAP card to save 10% on food or drink (and I highly recommend the Moroccan mint green tea latte).