Metro announces new Union Station commemorative TAP cards as part of 75th anniversary celebration

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Metro will begin distributing new, commemorative TAP cards highlighting three beautiful views of Union Station to celebrate the iconic transportation hub’s 75th birthday. The new TAP cards will be issued starting on Friday afternoon. 

The Union Station 75th Anniversary Commemorative TAP Card will be available at TAP vending machines (TVMs) located within Union Station and cost $1 with the purchase of a Metro pass or Stored Value. 

The commemorative TAP cards come with three different views: a historic shot of the Union Station waiting room from 1939 (courtesy of the Los Angeles Railroad Heritage Foundation), a shot of the signature bell tower framed by palm trees and a close-up of the uniquely beautiful tile work that can be seen throughout the facility.

The commemorative TAP cards come in time for Union Station’s 75th Anniversary party that begins Saturday at 10 a.m.; click here for the schedule of events. Through the weekend, the cards will be loaded into many TVMs across the Metro Rail system. Within two weeks, commemorative TAP cards will be available at all Metro Rail stations. They will also be available on Metro buses within a month. Cards will be available while supplies last.

   

JazzMob hits the right notes at Union Station on Wednesday

Here are a few photos from the JazzMob that took place Wednesday afternoon at Union Station — coinciding with International Jazz Day. It was nice to hear some jazz gracing the station’s waiting room and hopefully spruced up rush hour for commuters.

The event was organized by the Jazz Education Network (JEN)Make Music Los Angeles, and Los Angeles Unified School District’s Beyond the Bell Branch. All three organizations share a common mission of increasing awareness of music performance and education. 

Go Metro to the Pasadena Earth and Arts Festival this Saturday

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Check out this free green event in Old Pasadena! (image via City of Pasadena)

 

After celebrating Union Station’s 75th Anniversary, check out the 12th Annual Pasadena Earth and Arts Festival in Old Pasadena! Located at Memorial Park and the Armory for Center for Arts, this free event will have plenty food of entertainment for the whole family while educating everyone on the importance of going green. The festival will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Be sure to show your TAP card at the transportation booth to receive a free reusable tote bag, perfect for carrying all the goodies you’ll be picking up. To get there, hop on the Metro Gold Line to Memorial Park Station. For more routes and connections, use Trip Planner.

Go Metro to Car Free SFV Earth Day this Sunday

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Whether by bus, bike, train or foot, you’ll want to get to Car Free SFV Earth Day this Sunday… (image via Car Free SFV)

Participate in Car Free SFV Earth Day by pledging to reduce or eliminate driving between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Sunday, May 4. Those who pledge can participate in a variety of SFV Earth Day activities and take advantage of special one-day promotions offered by local Valley businesses. Additionally, each person who pledges is automatically entered to win some sweet prizes.

All Car Free SFV events will take place at the L.A. River Greenway in Studio City (near the intersection of Valleyheart Drive and Radford Avenue). Activities include free riverside yoga, the “May the Forest be with You” bike ride hosted by the L.A. County Bicycle Coalition, and a Car Free SFV scavenger hunt organized by the L.A. River Revitalization Corp.

Plus, show your valid TAP card or Car Free SFV Sticker and save:

1. 25% off all food at Tuning Fork Gastro Pub

2. Free small plate with minimum $10 order at California Pizza Kitchen, Studio City

3. 10% off at The Counter, Studio City

4. 10% off at Studio City Cycle Company

5. 10% off at Road Runner Sports, Studio City

6. A free cookie at Big Sugar Bakeshop

7. A free small coffee at Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Studio City

8. 15% off at Chin Chin, Studio City

To get to the L.A. River Greenway, walk, bike, or go Metro. Take Metro Rapid 750 to Ventura/Laurel Canyon, Metro Bus 150/240 to Ventura/Radford, or Metro Bus 218 or 230 to Ventura Place/Ventura. The 150/240, 224, and 750 all connect with Metro Rail at the Red Line Universal/Studio City Station.

Return with us to 1939 … on Union Station’s Track 15

This morning at Track 15 Metro hosted a Union Station 75th Anniversary preview of events scheduled for this Saturday, May 3.

Metro Board Chair Diane DuBois and Metro CEO Art Leahy spoke from the back of a vintage rail car, as did Metro Board members Jacqueline Dupont-Walker and Ara Najarian, Michael Dwyer from Amtrak, Metrolink Board Chair Larry McCallon, Metrolink Board Member Richard Katz, Camille Lowry from the Annenberg Foundation and two men who attended the 1939 opening: Seymour Rosen and Jim Kaspar.

There were swing dancers and singers and a few fourth graders from Utah Street Elementary School, who showed up to share their dreams of what the Union Station of the future should look like.

It was a grand event in preparation for an even grander one this Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., as Metro and Metrolink joined Amtrak for a preview of Union Station’s 75th Anniversary celebration and Amtrak’s National Train day. Please click here for more details and the day’s schedule of events.

Service alert: boarding change for Dodger Stadium Express at Union Station

Temporary Bus Stop Diagram

Due to construction work at Union Station’s Patsaouras Transit Plaza, the boarding location for the Dodger Stadium Express is shifting temporarily from Bay 3 to the front of the Metro headquarters building on the north side of the plaza — as shown on the above map.

The new boarding location takes effect for Friday night’s game against Arizona.

There will be Metro staff on hand on the plaza and inside Union Station to help guide passengers, as well as signs pointing the way. If coming from inside the station, please use the left escalator or stairs up to the plaza.

Click here for more information on the Dodger Stadium Express.

Metro working to improve Dodger Stadium Express after tough traffic Tuesday

As the above tweets show, the Dodger Stadium Express had a rough outing for Tuesday night’s game. A few trips before the game exceeded 75 minutes between Union Station and the ballpark.

The game, which featured a hoodie sweatshirt giveaway, drew a big crowd for a Tuesday evening with more than 53,000 in attendance according to Major League Baseball. Traffic was bad and there were two problems for the Dodger Stadium Express:

•Even with enforcement from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, many private vehicles used the bus-only lane on Sunset Boulevard — making it difficult for buses to reach the stadium in a timely manner. Even though a few citations were issued to those illegally using the lane, Metro will be working with the city of Los Angeles to improve signage and keep cars out of the bus lane. One possible solution may be to use pylons to mark off the lane.

•The other problem occurred at the Patsaouras Transit Plaza at Union Station. Crowds arrived early to take the bus to the game and ultimately — and unfortunately — two separate lines ended up forming. It was confusing and some people rightly complained. To avoid similar problems, Metro staff will be at the transit plaza two hours before game time to ensure that there is one, well-organized line for those waiting to board buses.

Please keep in mind that he Dodgers are expected to keep pulling big crowds throughout the season. Metro appreciates everyone’s patronage and the agency will try to make the bus shuttle faster and easier to use, as it has frequently been in recent seasons.

For more information on taking the Dodger Stadium Express, please click here. The bus service is free to those holding a game ticket.

Officials and a dinosaur teach drivers: How to spend less on gas

With pump prices more than $4 a gallon again and more than 50 cents a gallon higher than they were in January, Metro and the Automobile Club of Southern California today joined forces to help teach drivers how to spend less on gas. They were joined by representatives from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, including Hunter the T. rex.

Standing on the platform of the Metro Expo/Vermont Station, with some of the finest museums in the world just steps away, Metro urged L.A. residents to maximize their spring break and summer vacation dollars by picking up a $5 Day Pass and making easy-to-reach destinations on the Metro system part of their plans.

Drivers were reminded by the Auto Club that gas prices have jumped 82 percent in the last decade while the median household income for Californians has risen just 16 percent. But the good news is that many drivers can save up to $1,000 or even $2,000 a year on fuel at today’s prices by consistently following a few good habits, including slowing down and adopting a smooth, even driving style.

For inspiration, Simon Adlam, Director of Exhibits at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, invited vacationers to explore the many new and exciting exhibits at the Natural History Museum and he brought along Hunter the T. rex to make sure everyone paid attention.

Go Dodger Stadium Express to Opening Day!

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The Dodgers are off to a hot start at 4-1 and now face the Giants for their home opener at 1:10 p.m. Friday. As usual, the game is sold out and a huge crowd is expected.

If you don’t want to hassle with driving, the Dodger Stadium Express bus runs between Union Station and two stops at the stadium, as the map above shows. Union Station is served by the Red/Purple Line, the Gold Line, Metrolink, Amtrak and many bus lines. Maps and timetables here. For those wishing to park at Union Station, the cost is $6. Information on parking at other Metro Rail stations is here.

Click above to see larger.

Click above to see larger.

More info:

  • Board the Dodger Stadium Express at Bus Bay 3 of the Patsaouras Transit Plaza at Union Station.
  • Service leaves Union Station every 5-10 minutes, starting 90 minutes before game time through the 3rd inning for all home games. We recommend arriving early; crowds are heaviest near game time.
  • Your Dodger ticket is good on gameday for the Dodger Stadium Express fare*; otherwise, regular Metro fares apply.
  • NEW for 2014: You can exit inside Dodger Stadium at one of two stops – behind Center Field and at the Top Deck. Service will pick up at the same stops after the game.
  • Return service runs until 45 minutes after the final out.
  • Driving to Union Station to connect with the Dodger Stadium Express? Beat traffic on the 10 and 110 freeways with Metro ExpressLanes. They’re toll-free for carpools, vanpools and motorcycles; solo drivers can use them too, by paying a toll. All users except motorcycles need a Fastrak® transponder. Learn more at metroexpresslanes.net

 

Go Metrolink to Angels versus Dodgers this weekend

Metrolink passengers, of course, can take the Dodger Stadium Express bus from Union Station to Dodger Stadium, meaning no hassles with parking.

The Dodgers are actually 2-0 already this season but return home from Australia for a pair of exhibition games against the Angels before resuming their regular season next Sunday night at San Diego. I know. Weird way for Major League Baseball to treat the fans that support the Dodgers and Diamondbacks on a regular basis.

In any event, there is extra Metrolink service to the Angels games this week, which usually draw big crowds. At the media event for the Dodger Stadium Express earlier, Dodgers officials said they’ve already sold three million tickets for the upcoming season. Big crowds mean big traffic in the stadium parking lot.

Rail Series rack cards

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