Go Metro to REDCAT’s NOW Festival and save 20 percent on tickets

REDCAT’s New Original Works Festival celebrates Los Angeles’ vibrant and growing community of stage artists. Starting this Wednesday, July 24, until Saturday, August 9, the festival will showcase eight brand new works by Los Angeles’ most innovative dance, theater, music and multimedia performing artists. Go Metro to NOW Fest and save 20 percent on individual show tickets.

To redeem your Destination Discount, simply present your valid TAP card at the box office. Tickets for all NOW Fest performances are $20 general admission, $16 for students and REDCAT members and $14 for CalArts students, faculty, and staff. To check out the NOW Fest program and get specific performance date and times, click here.

REDCAT is located at 631 W. Second Street in downtown Los Angeles. Take the Metro Red or Purple Line to Civic Center/Grand Park Station or any Metro Rapid or local bus serving Grand Avenue, Olive or First Street.

Go Metro to DreamWorks Animation in Concert at the Hollywood Bowl and get free tote bag

If you’re a fan of DreamWorks Animation movies–How to Train Your Dragon, Kung Fu Panda, Shrek, just to name a few–you won’t want to miss the studio’s 20th anniversary celebration at the Hollywood Bowl on July 18 and 19. Jack Black hosts both nights, and you’ll be able to experience film highlights on the Bowl’s big screen, with scores conducted by Thomas Wilkins and performed live by the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.

The concerts start at 8 p.m. both nights. Ticket prices vary. Special to Metro riders: show your valid TAP card at the Hollywood Bowl gift shop and receive a free Hollywood Bowl tote bag while supplies last!

The Hollywood Bowl is located at 2301 N. Highland Avenue in the Hollywood Hills. Take the Metro Red Line to Hollywood/Highland Station or Universal City/Studio City Station and take the shuttle up to the Bowl. Shuttle is free if you show your TAP card. For more routes and connections, use Trip Planner.

Go Metro Weekends, July 11 − 13

Friday

Join Dance Downtown from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. this Friday and be the star of your very own Bollywood routine! Enjoy a short dance lesson followed by spirited dancing and live DJing throughout the night. The evening is free and no experience is required. (Metro Red/Purple Line to Civic Center/Grand Park Station or various Metro Rapid and Local buses serving Grand Avenue, Hill, Temple, or 1st Streets).

The Natural History Museum is hosting Summer Nights in the Garden this Friday from 5 p.m. to  9 p.m. The event is free with reservations and features guided tours of the botanical garden, music, performances, botanical inspired drinks, food trucks, and a tutorial on pickling by food writer/cooking instructor Emily Ho. (Metro Expo Line to Expo Park/USC Station, Metro Silver Line to Harbor Transitway/37th or Metro bus 81 or 550 to Figueroa/Exposition).

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai screens for free this Friday at the Inglewood Public Library as a part of a summer movie series co-organized by LACMA and the Inglewood Art + Film Lab. Take Metro bus 115 to Manchster/Grevillea to catch this genre-bending thriller starring Forest Whitaker.

Saturday

Take the Metro Gold Line to the Colorado Street Bridge Party — a celebration of Pasadena’s most iconic span hosted on the bridge itself! Dance, eat, take in the views and receive a free artist’s poster with valid TAP. We’ve got the details here.

If you’re going to the LA Garagiste Festival at Union Station — and are planning on making the most of it — Metro is a great option! The Gold, Red/Purple, and Silver Lines can get you there and back, not to mention the plethora of Rapid and Local buses serving Patsaouras Plaza.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds rock the Theatre at Ace Hotel with Warpaint at 8 p.m. this Saturday. Ticket prices vary. (Metro Blue Line to Pico Station or Metro Red/Purple Line to Pershing Square or 7th/Metro and walk to Broadway/9th).

Sunday

Sundays mean free salsa dancing at Pershing Square this summer! If you missed the Bollywood fun on Friday, this is one more chance to get your groove on before the weekend’s through. Salsa Caliente provides the soundtrack from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. (Metro Red/Purple Line to Pershing Square or various Rapid and Local buses serving Pershing Square).

All Weekend

Romantics and lovers of musicals take note: It’s the last weekend to catch Ghost The Musical at the Pantages. Go Metro and receive 45 percent on select seats with valid TAP card. Show times are Friday, 8 p.m.; Saturday 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and; Sunday 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Ticket prices vary. Don’t forget the tissues. (Metro Red Line to Hollywood/Highland Station or Rapid 780 or bus 180/181, 212/312, 217, or 222 to Argyle/Hollywood).

Because Ghost only made you misty-eyed, this Thursday through Sunday, the National Ballet of Canada presents a brand new vision of Romeo and Juliet at the LA Music Center. Ticket prices vary, but Metro riders save 20 percent on select seats and performances with a valid TAP card.

Heading to Anime Expo? Use Pico Station!

Went cosplayer-spotting at the Metro Blue/Expo Pico Station on Day 1 of Anime Expo, taking place now at the L.A. Convention Center through July 6. Pico Station is an east one-block walk to the convention center for those headed to the Expo! (Blue Line timetable/map and Expo Line timetable/map)

If you spot any awesome cosplayers in transit, (ask them if you can) take their photos and tag us on Twitter or Instagram @metrolosangeles!

Photos by Anna Chen and Steve Hymon/Metro

Go Metro on the Fourth of July! Here are the service hours and some events easy to reach via Metro

Fireworks over the Queen Mary and Long Beach in 2011. Photo by Marjorie, via Flickr creative commons.

Fireworks over the Queen Mary and Long Beach in 2011. Photo by Marjorie, via Flickr creative commons.

Planning on going Metro this Friday, July 4? We hope so! From Grand Park to the Coliseum to the Queen Mary, there are plenty of Fourth of July festivities easily accessible via Metro Bus or Rail. Just keep in mind that due to the holiday, Metro will make the following modifications to service:

In anticipation of increased ridership, all Metro Rail Lines will follow a Saturday schedule this Friday, July 4. This means trains will run until around 2 a.m. with full-platform-length trains on many lines. As many of you are already aware, fare is $1.50 per line or $5 for a Day Pass, which expires at 3 a.m. the day after the purchase date. TAP cards cannot be shared–everyone needs to purchase, load, and TAP their own card. To avoid long lines at the TAP vending machines on your way home, load return fare in advance of your initial trip.

On the bus side, Metro Orange and Silver Line will also operate on a Saturday schedule with service until 2 a.m. on July 4. All other Metro buses will follow their respective Sunday/Holiday schedules, which means certain bus lines will not run at all this Friday.

Here are just a few Fourth of July events easily accessible by Metro – if you’re heading to one not on the list, let us know in the comments! Please refer to individual timetables for exact schedules and days of operation for Metro Bus and Rail lines.

One note: there is NO shuttle operating from Old Pasadena to the Rose Bowl for the Americafest fireworks display. The Rose Bowl is about a 1.5-mile to 2.0-mile walk from the Gold Line’s Memorial Park station depending on your route — and not quite as far if you’re watching from vantage points along the Arroyo Seco.

Grand Park 4th of July Block Party

The doors open at 1 p.m. at Grand Park! The free party will feature live performances starting at 4 p.m. and on-site food vendors. You can also dine at nearby DTLA restaurants and save on your bill with your TAP card! Rooftop fireworks go off at 9 p.m. Make sure to load your TAP card with cash fare or a Day Pass in advance to avoid long lines at the TAP vending machines when heading home. (Metro Red/Purple Line to Civic Center/Grand Park Station, exit on 1st Street–Temple Street exit will only be open for ADA/elevator access)

4th of July at Exposition Park

The KJLH Fireworks Extravaganza at Expo Park is a free event for the whole family. The music festival takes place from 2 to 8 p.m. on the lawn in front of the Coliseum and there will be fireworks at 9 p.m. Food vendors will also be on-site. (Metro Expo Line to Expo Park/USC Station, Metro Bus 40, 204 or Rapid 754 to MLK/Vermont)

July 4th Late Night and BBQ at the Aquarium of the Pacific

The Aquarium of The Pacific will be extending their hours to 10 p.m. so you can enjoy the aquarium at night and get a fish-eye view of the city of Long Beach fireworks display. Admission is $14.95 if you enter after 5 p.m. If you’re heading there earlier, show your TAP card to get a discount on regular admission! The aquarium will also be serving a special BBQ menu that evening from 6 to 8 p.m. Adult tickets to the meal cost $48 and include aquarium admission. (Metro Blue Line to Downtown Long Beach Station then walk south on Pine Avenue, or transfer to free Passport Shuttle)

Soccer and Fireworks: LA Galaxy vs. Portland Timbers

Can’t get enough soccer action? Head to a game and take in some fireworks at the StubHub Center. The LA Galaxy take on the Portland Timbers at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $30. (Metro Bus 130, 51 or 52 to Victoria/Avalon)

Click above to see larger version.

Click above to see larger version.

–Jon Ross Alexander and Lily Allen

Go Metro to the Colorado Street Bridge Party July 12 and receive a free poster

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Images courtesy of Pasadena Heritage

Celebrate the historic Colorado Street Bridge at a party hosted on the bridge itself! Pasadena Heritage invites the public to an evening of live music, dancing, vintage cars, and children’s activities atop the iconic span on Saturday July 12 from 6 – 11 p.m. A variety of local vendors will offer food and beverages for purchase, including dumplings, BBQ, Mexican fare and drinks.

If you didn’t know it already, bridges + trains = best friends. Getting to the festivities via Metro is easy and convenient. Hop on the Metro Gold Line to Memorial Park Station and walk two blocks south to the intersection of Colorado Boulevard and Raymond Avenue to connect with the free Pasadena ARTS Route 10 shuttle. The Route 10 shuttle will run every 17 minutes starting at 5 p.m. until 11:15 p.m. the evening of the party.

It is also possible to reach the celebration on foot—head west on Colorado from Memorial Park Station and walk for approximately fifteen minutes. Show your valid TAP card at the event merchandise table to receive a free commemorative Kenton Nelson poster while supplies last.

Tickets to the Colorado Street Bridge Party can be purchased in advance online for $16 adults/$8 kids or for $18 adults/$9 kids the day of the celebration. For additional info about the festivities, click here.

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

TAP-TO-GO Card

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.

crusing pump

Photo by Gary Leonard for Metro.