Metrolink runs USC Football Express from The OC for Saturday’s game versus Beavers

USC fans hope the Beavers don't chop down what's left of their college football playoff hopes after the devastating Stanford loss. Photo by Mark Round, via Flickr creative commons.

USC (2-1) fans hope the Beavers (3-0) don’t chop down what’s left of their college football playoff hopes after the devastating loss to Boston College earlier this season. Photo by Mark Round, via Flickr creative commons.

Here’s the news release from Metrolink:

USC Football Express to take fans from Orange County to Los Angeles

Fans can save time and money by taking Metrolink Sept. 27 to Oregon State game

LOS ANGELES – Football fans are encouraged to ride the USC Football Express to and from Los Angeles Union Station for the Saturday, Sept. 27 game between No. 18 USC and the undefeated Oregon State Beavers at 7:30 p.m.

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) is funding the special Metrolink train service to and from the Saturday night game. Orange County Line train 6507 will depart Oceanside at 3:15 p.m., making 11 convenient station stops before a 5:25 p.m. Union Station arrival.

Metrolink riders can purchase the always low-priced $10 Weekend Day Pass, which allows passengers to ride anytime, anywhere system-wide on either Saturday or Sunday.

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Go Metro to the Long Beach Folk Revival Festival and save $3 on admission

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The second annual Long Beach Folk Revival Festival takes place on Saturday, September 27 from 11 a.m. through 10 p.m. at Rainbow Lagoon Park. Festival goers will have a gaggle of events to participate in including a pie eating contest and the instrument petting zoo!

Be sure to show your valid TAP card at the box office on the day of the festival and save $3 off of regular $20 admission!

Keep in mind the current Blue Line construction as you plan your trip to the festival. Take the Metro Blue Line to Anaheim Street Station and transfer to the free bus shuttle that will take you to Pacific and Ocean in Downtown Long Beach. From there, it’s a short walk down South Pine Avenue until you reach Shoreline Drive. Or you can hop on one of the Passport Buses to complete your trip. For more routes and connections, use the Trip Planner.

Tour Metro electric bus at AltCar Expo, September 19-20

One of five new electric buses ordered by Metro and build by BYD will be on display at Altcar Expo. Photo Credit: BYD

One of the five new electric buses ordered by Metro and manufactured by BYD will be on display at the AltCar Expo. Photo Credit: BYD

The 9th Annual AltCar Expo will be taking place Friday and Saturday, September 19 and 20 at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. Admission is free and the expo runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. The expo features presentations and demonstrations of the latest advancements in alternative technology vehicles, transportation, and energy efficiency. Don’t miss out on a tour of the all-new electric bus on display presented by Metro!

As an added bonus for Metro riders, those who show their valid TAP cards at the AltCar info booth will receive a raffle ticket for a chance to win a free Nissan LEAF rental! The winner will be announced after the event, and you must be present at the time of the raffle to claim the prize.

To get to the auditorium, take Metro Bus 534 to Olympic/5th and walk south on 4th Street. Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus is another option; for more routes and connections use the Trip Planner. Free bike valet will also be offered at the event.

Reminder: new Metro fares take effect on Monday, Sept. 15

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As most of hopefully know by now, Metro’s fares are increasing effective Monday morning. The regular $1.50 fare will increase to $1.75 on Monday — but the new fare will also include two hours of free transfers for those that pay for riding with a TAP card.

That’s a key departure from the current fare system that requires everyone to pay a full fare every time they transfer.

All riders should consider whether it’s less expensive to pay per Metro trip or whether they need a pass. A quick example: if you only ride Metro between home and work and back home each weekday, it would be cheaper to pay $1.75 per trip (or $3.50 a day) rather than buy a monthly pass.

On the other hand, if you are a heavy user of the Metro system that rides multiple times a day or uses Metro buses and trains every day, a pass will remain the better option (albeit at a higher price than currently).

Where to buy a TAP card? At ticket machines at all Metro Rail and Orange Line stations, online at taptogo.net or at the 400 or so locations in Los Angeles County that sells them.

Here are two answers to two obvious questions about the new fares:

How do the free transfers work? The two hour free transfer period begins when you first tap your TAP card when boarding a bus or at a Metro Rail station. You can transfer as many times as needed in that two hour window for free with one key exception: you can’t ride the same bus or train line consecutively on the same fare. In plain English: no round-trips on the same fare. Please also continue to tap your TAP card before boarding each bus or train. 

What happens Monday to those who are currently riding on a valid weekly, monthly or EZ Pass? The short answer: nothing, your current pass will remain valid until it expires. You will pay the new higher price when purchasing your next pass.

I know many riders will have other questions. Please see this FAQ on metro.net or leave a question on our comments board and we will try to answer promptly. Please no comments or long arguments about different fare systems — we’ve already had plenty of that on the blog. You can also ask us questions on Twitter or Facebook. Please use the hashtag: #newfares

I also want to emphasize: please click here to see if you are eligible for Metro’s “Rider Relief” fares that provide up to a $10 discount on transit passes. The Rider Relief coupons for seniors and students provide savings on top of already reduced rates. Eligibility is determined by household income and the number of occupants in a household.

Please, please, please — check to see if you are eligible for a discount. There’s no point in paying more than you should and these discounts are available for one simple reason: there’s a lot of low-income folks who need them and the discounts help enhance mobility in our region. If you know of someone who may qualify, please pass along this information!

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Metro Presents: PARK(ing) Day at Union Station on September 19

Los Angeles themed Loetria cards

Los Angeles themed Lotería cards

Leave your cars in park and join Metro for PARK(ing) Day at Union Station on Friday, September 19. From noon to 5 p.m.artist Alexis Disselkoen will create a temporary park out of a corner of the station’s Alameda-facing parking lot.

Swing by anytime PARK(ing) Day afternoon to enjoy the pop-up park and participate in a game of Lotería led by Disselkoen. (Lotería is like Bingo, but with pictures instead of numbers.) Winners will receive prizes while supplies last, and it will be free to play.

Union Station is accessible via Metro Rail, Metro Bus and several municipal bus lines. Use the Trip Planner for routes and connections.

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Ride Metrolink to Los Angeles County Fair, save on tickets with Metro

Photo courtesy of Metrolink

Photo courtesy of Metrolink

It’s starting to cool down just a little bit, which makes going out on weekends that much more enjoyable. Make sure to include the Los Angeles County Fair in your plans this month! The fair is happening now through September 28 at the Fairplex in Pomona.

To get to the fair on weekends, take the Metrolink San Bernadino Line to Fairplex Station. A free shuttle will take you from there to the Yellow Gate Entrance. Metrolink is offering a late-night train service back to Los Angeles Union Station on Saturdays and Sundays while the fair is in session so you can stay and enjoy the concerts, nightclub and evening entertainment.

Discounted tickets to the Los Angeles County Fair are available for Metro riders. Use the exclusive promo code when buying tickets online and save up to 50% on any-day fair tickets. Continue reading

Back to school doesn’t have to mean back to books, go Metro and learn at the California Science Museum

If you didn’t manage to make it out to the California Science Center this summer, now’s a great time to go. Get back into the swing of learning with the help of fun exhibits and hands-on experiences. And there’s only a few months left to enjoy Pompeii: The Exhibit, on display now through January 4, 2015.

Go Metro to the California Science Center to see Pompeii and save $3 on adult exhibition tickets and $2 on any adult IMAX movie tickets. To get there, take the Metro Expo Line to Expo Park/USC Station, or use Trip Planner to find more routes and connections.

Timed tickets are required to view the exhibit. The exhibit is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.