8 days left before Jamzilla…who you gonna call?

Disclaimer: the above video is a dramatization. Actually calling 511 may result in a different experience.

Southern California 511 – the free traveler information service that provides traffic updates via phone or web – has launched a new feature to keep Southern California drivers up to date during Jamzilla, the 80-hour paving operation scheduled for Presidents’ Day Weekend, Feb. 14-18 in the Sepulveda Pass.

Call 511 on your phone or smart phone during President’s Day Weekend and, after the automated answer, say “Jamzilla” to receive information on the I-405 closure or say “traffic” to receive frequently updated information on traffic on nearby freeways that feed into the Sepulveda Pass area. Updates will include freeway traffic drive times, freeway speeds and SigAlerts. Similar information will appear on the website go511.com, which also includes a real-time traffic map.

P.S. Don’t forget about the Jamzilla live chat scheduled for this Friday! We promise, no roaring over the keyboard.

Go Metro to Chinatown and celebrate the Year of the Horse

Photo: Luke Ma via Flickr Creative Commons

Photo: Luke Ma via Flickr Creative Commons

This weekend, take the Metro Gold Line to Chinatown to celebrate the Lunar New Year!

The Golden Dragon Parade takes place on Saturday at 1 p.m. Get a front row spot to cheer on the floats, decked-out cars, dancers and bands as they travel through the heart of Chinatown with Grand Marshal Mayor Eric Garcetti. Please note that some buses will be detouring through the area due to the parade, check the Service Advisories page for details.

In addition to the usual Chinese New Year Festival taking place in Central and West Plazas (943-951 N. Broadway), there will be two new satellite locations this year: Downtown Flea will bring their popular craft market to 727 N. Hill Street and Central Plaza, while 643 North and Caveman Vintage Music will present the Spring Festival, a food and music experience, at 643 N. Spring Street.

The Chinese New Year Festival at 727 N. Hill and in Central and West Plazas will take place from 12 – 8 p.m. on Saturday and from 12 – 5 p.m. on Sunday. The Spring Festival at 643 N. Spring will run on Saturday only from 4 – 10 p.m. All events are open to the public.

To reach the festivals, take the Metro Gold Line to Chinatown Station, or connect via the Gold, Red and Purple Line at Union Station and walk north on Alameda Street to Chinatown. For more routes and connections, use Trip Planner. Metro will operate on normal weekend schedule, but additional train cars will be added to accommodate expected crowds.

Reminder: Ducks and Kings fans welcome to ride Stadium Express to Dodger Stadium game


If you’re heading to Dodger Stadium for the Ducks/Kings game on Saturday, Jan. 25, you can take the Stadium Express. The game is slated to start at 6:30 p.m. and shuttles will begin service 90 minutes before game time.

  • Board the Stadium Express at Bus Bay 3 of the Patsaouras Transit Plaza at Union Station.
  • Service leaves Union Station every 10-15 minutes, starting 90 minutes before game time through the middle of the second period.
  • Your game ticket is good on game day as Stadium Express fare only; otherwise, regular Metro fares apply.
  • You’ll be dropped off inside Dodger Stadium behind Center Field. Service will run the same route in reverse after the game.
  • Return service runs until 45 minutes after the end of the game.

Connect at Union Station via Metro Bus, Rail, Amtrak or Metrolink. Parking is also available at Union Station for $6/day. Keep reading after the jump for details on Metrolink and Amtrak service.

Dodger Stadium Express Map

Fans coming from Orange County can take the following trains to connect with Metro’s Stadium Express at Union Station:

Inbound to Union Station

  • Metrolink Train 663 arriving at 3:35pm
  • Amtrak Train 579 arriving at 4:25pm
  • Amtrak Train 583 arriving at 5:40pm

Outbound to Orange County

  • Amtrak Train 796 departing at 10:10pm

Finally, a reminder for Metro-riding Kings fans: you can save 10 percent on official Kings merchandise with your TAP card! Use the promo code METRO10 if buying online, or hop on the Blue/Expo Line to get to the Team LA Store at L.A. LIVE.

Go Metro to this Saturday’s “Museum Free-For-All”

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“LACMA Urban Lights” by Nicole Abalde via Flickr Creative Commons

This Saturday, Jan. 25 is the SoCal Museums’ 9th-annual “Museums Free-For-All,” which means many institutions of art, cultural heritage, natural history, and science throughout the L.A. area will offer free general admission for the day.

Go Metro to skip on parking fees and the hassle of driving, and explore one (or more) of L.A.’s cultural institutions. For a full list of participating “Free-For-All” museums, click here.

The following ten museums participating in the “Free-For-All” are also easily accessible via Metro. Some even offer Destination Discounts for transit riders who present their TAP card, Metro employee ID, or LA County employee ID on entry.

Armory Center for the Arts: 145 N. Raymond Avenue, Pasadena. Take the Metro Gold Line to Memorial Park Station, Foothill Transit Bus 187 or Metro Bus 267/264 to Walnut/Raymond, Metro Bus 260 or Foothill Transit Bus 690 to Walnut/Fair Oaks, or Metro Bus 180/181 or 687/686 to Colorado/Raymond.

The Autry National Center of the American West: 4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park. Take Metro Bus 96 to Autry National Center.

California Science Center: 700 Exposition Park Drive, Exposition Park. Take the Metro Expo Line to Exposition Park/USC Station, Metro Bus 204 or DASH Southeast to Vermont/39th, Metro Bus 102 or 550 or DASH Downtown F to Exposition/University, or Metro Bus 81, 200, or 442 to 39th/Figueroa. Bonus: save $2 off adult tickets and $1 off child tickets at the IMAX Theater with your TAP card.

The Getty Center: 1200 Getty Center Drive, Westwood. Take Metro Rapid 761 or bus 233 to Sepulveda/Getty Center.

The Armand Hammer Museum of Art: 10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Westwood. Take Metro Rapid 720, Bus 20 or Big Blue Bus 1, 8, 11, or 12 to Westwood Sb/Wilshire Fs. Bonus: go on any other day and save $5 on museum admission with your TAP card.

Japanese American National Museum: 100 N. Central Avenue, Downtown L.A. Take the Metro Gold Line to Little Tokyo/Arts District Station, or Metro Bus 30, 330 or 40 to 1st/San Pedro. Bonus: receive a 10% discount at Chado Tea Room with your TAP card.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art: 5905 Wilshire Boulevard, MidCity. Take Metro Rapid 720, Bus 20 or DASH Fairfax to Wilshire/Fairfax, or Metro Rapid 780, Bus 217 to Fairfax/Wilshire.

The Museum of Contemporary Art: 250 S. Grand Avenue, Downtown L.A. Take the Metro Red/Purple Line to Civic Center/Grand Park Station, Metro Rapid 770 to Olive/General Thaddeus Kosciuszk, Metro Rapid 794 to Hill/1st, or various Olive, Hill, or Grand Avenue buses. Bonus: get 2-for-1 admission on any other day with your TAP card.

Museum of Latin American Art: 628 Alamitos Avenue, Long Beach. Take the Metro Blue Line to 5th Street Station and walk east about 12 minutes to destination, Long Beach Transit Bus 71, 72 to Alamitos/6th NE, or Long Beach Transit Bus 91, 92, 93, or 94 to 7th/Alamitos SE.

The Paley Center for Media: 465 N. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills. Take Metro Rapid 704, Metro Bus 4 or 14/37 to Santa Monica/Canon, Metro Bus 16/316 to S. Santa Monica/Canon, or Metro Rapid 720 to Wilshire/Beverly and walk northwest about 8 minutes to destination.

Witness living history at Campo de Cahuenga on Sunday, Jan 12

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The station art at Universal City Station depicts some of the history that took place at Campo de Cahuenga.

Campo de Cahuenga will hold their annual reenactment of the signing of the Articles of Capitulation on Sunday, January 12. The event will start at 1 p.m. and is free for all to attend.

Activities will include:

  • Fiesta Dancers
  • Living History Military Encampment – tents and military personnel will be on site from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM
  • Firing of the Howitzer Cannon
  • Self Tour of the Archeological Dig
  • Memorial Wreath Presentation
  • 12 Flags Over California
  • Campo Tacos

To get to Campo de Cahuenga, take the Metro Red Line to Universal City/Studio City Station.

Metro to run enhanced service on Gold Line for BCS Championship game this afternoon at the Rose Bowl

The 2014 BCS National Championship will take place at the Rose Bowl on Monday, January 6, between the Florida State Seminoles and Auburn Tigers. Metro will run enhanced service on the Gold Line throughout the day to accommodate those going to the game; pre-game festivities begin at 4:30 p.m. and kickoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

Use the Memorial Park Station to get to the Rose Bowl. After exiting the station, turn right and walk west for two blocks on Holly Street to the Parsons parking lot, where you can catch a free shuttle run by the Rose Bowl. Buses leave from the Pasadena Avenue side of the lot and will run continuously from 1:30 p.m. until approximately two hours after the end of the game.

Keep reading after the jump for more information on how-to-ride Metro Rail and the location of Metro Rail stations, as well as those with park & ride lots.

Continue reading

Reminder: free rides on New Year’s Eve and all-night service in effect!

Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

As you plan your holiday, here’s what Metro is up to so you can factor us into your celebrations. In keeping with tradition, Metro will offer free rides on New Year’s Eve, with the goal of reducing traffic congestion and providing safe transportation for those staying out extra late.

No fare will be charged on Metro Rail and Bus lines from 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 31, until 2 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 1. Please note: free fares will only apply until 2 a.m. Those boarding buses and trains after 2 a.m. will need to TAP to ride. Fare is $1.50 per direction per line or $5.00 for a Day Pass.

As for bus and train schedules:

On Dec. 31: Metro buses and trains will follow their regular weekday schedules.

On New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31-Jan. 1): Metro will provide all-night service on the Red, Purple, Blue, Expo, Green, Gold, Orange and Silver Lines in addition to bus lines which normally operate late-night owl service. Trains will run at 20-minute intervals from 1 a.m. to 3 a.m.

On New Year’s Day: Metro buses and trains will follow Sunday/Holiday schedules.

The only exception is the Metro Gold Line, which will run longer trains at more frequent intervals between Union Station and Pasadena for those going to the Tournament of Roses Parade and the Rose Bowl game (Here is more information on getting to the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl Game and to see the floats after the parade).

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Additionally, numerous Metro bus lines along the Rose Parade route will be detoured or split into two segments at Colorado Boulevard until streets are reopened.

Please refer to individual timetables for the exact hours of holiday service on our various bus lines, and note that some bus lines do not run at all during Sundays/Holidays. Also note that from 7 p.m. Dec. 31 thru 3 a.m. Jan. 1, the Downtown Long Beach Station will be closed due to a New Year’s Eve celebration on Pine Avenue.

As a result, Blue Line will operate modified service during this time: trains will run every 20 minutes between 7th Street/Metro Center and 1st Street Station, while a shuttle train will run evekry 20 minutes between Anaheim Street Station and Pacific Avenue Station. Please see this service advisory for more info.

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Long Beach Transit Mall will be closed from 7pm Dec 31st thru 3am Jan 1st due to a special event.  As a result, Blue Line will operate modified service during this time. – See more at: http://www.metro.net/service/advisories/update/special/26/#sthash.zRYmJmih.dpuf
Long Beach Transit Mall will be closed from 7pm Dec 31st thru 3am Jan 1st due to a special event.  As a result, Blue Line will operate modified service during this time. – See more at: http://www.metro.net/service/advisories/update/special/26/#sthash.zRYmJmih.dpuf

Metro thanks our customers for their patronage and patience this year, and hopes our service helps make your holiday a little brighter.

How to get to the Tournament of Roses and the Rose Bowl game on Metro

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Click above to see larger.

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Click above to see larger.

First, a warm welcome to our everyday riders, new riders and visitors from out-of-town and a Happy New Year’s to everyone!

I know that many of you will be attending the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena on New Year’s Day or the Rose Bowl game between Stanford and Michigan State. As we’ve done in the past, here are some tips for using the Metro system to reach the parade and game:

•I happen to live very close to the Rose Parade route. If you’re thinking about driving to the parade, please keep in mind that street and paid parking is somewhat limited near the parade route and traffic is usually extremely congested after the parade when tens of thousands of cars try to flee Pasadena as many thousands of cars are simultaneously entering Pasadena for the Rose Bowl game. That’s why many people take the Gold Line to the parade and game.

•Metro is running all-night service on New Year’s Eve and into New Year’s Day for those going to the Parade early; the Parade begins at 8 a.m. on New Year’s Day. All-night service will be provided on the Red, Purple, Blue, Expo, Green, Gold, Orange and Silver Lines in addition to bus lines which normally operate late-night owl service. Trains will run at 20-minute intervals from 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. 

•As both maps show, there is parking available at many Metro Rail stations, including Gold Line stations. Parking at most stations is free; it’s six dollars a day to park at Los Angeles Union Station. There are also many paid parking in lots in downtown Los Angeles that are near the Red/Purple Line subway that can be used to connect with the Gold Line at Union Station. 

•The Gold Line’s Del Mar, Memorial Park, Lake and Allen stations are just a short walk from the parade route:

  • Del Mar Station (walk 2 blocks north to the Parade route)
  • Memorial Park Station (walk 2 blocks south of the Parade route)
  • Lake Station (walk 4 blocks south to Parade route)
  • Allen Station (walk 4 blocks south to Parade route)

Due to the large crowds expected to come out for the Rose Parade, oversize items such as umbrellas, chairs and coolers will not be permitted on the trains that day.

•Fares on Metro Rail are purchased on reloadable plastic TAP cards, which can be purchased from ticket machines aboard Metro Bus lines and all Metro Rail stations for $1; the ticket machines at Metro Rail stations accept cash or credit cards. Fares are $1.50 per ride on a bus or train; there are no transfers available. If you need to transfer, please purchase a $5 day pass that allows for unlimited travel that day. More fare information here.

Avoid long walks and the high cost of parking at the Rose Bowl — it’s $40 per car. Take the Metro Gold Line to Memorial Park Station in Pasadena; then take a short walk to the Parsons Parking Lot B and ride a shuttle in comfort past the traffic, right up to the gate. Shuttle service to the Rose Bowl is free and begins at 10 am on January 1. If you are riding a Metro bus after the game, please check the individual timetables for last bus times leaving Pasadena.

Click above to see larger.

Click above to see larger.

•As a side note, I would expect that both the station platform at the Allen station and the top of the parking garage at Sierra Madre Villa station would provide good views of the flyover that usually precedes the parade and game. I took the top photo from the parking garage at Pasadena City College along Bonnie Avenue; the bottom photo was taken from the Sam Merrill Trail to Echo Mountain; the trailhead is located at the top of Lake Avenue in Altadena.

Photo by Steve Hymon.

Photo by Steve Hymon.

Photo by Steve Hymon.

Photo by Steve Hymon.

Queen says be a champion and ride the Gold Line to Tournament of Roses events

2014 Rose Queen Ana Marie Acosta at the Union Station Gold Line platform.

2014 Rose Queen Ana Marie Acosta at the Union Station Gold Line platform.

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The Rose Queen, that is. Metro officials, 2014 Rose Queen Ana Marie Acosta and her lady princesses gathered at Los Angeles Union Station this morning to encourage folks to take advantage of the free rides on New Year’s Eve and the 24-hour Metro Rail service to go to the Rose Parade.

Metro is the best way to get to Pasadena for the Tournament of Roses parade, the Rose Bowl game and post-parade float-viewing at Victory Park. And here are a few tips for those ready to ride:

  • don’t walk on or near the train tracks
  • look carefully for trains coming from both directions
  • always wait for rail crossing gates to close and reopen before crossing an intersection
  • do not bring any flammable liquids, barbeques, fold-out chairs, ladders, large ice chests or coolers on board trains

So ring in the new year with good times, not with flashing lights in your rearview mirror. Go Metro and be safe everyone!

“Bus Lighting Ceremony” to take place this Saturday at Denker Recreation Center

Imagine this bus all decked out for the holidays...then see it for real at the Winter Holiday Festival! Photo: Metro Flickr

Imagine this bus all decked out for the holidays…then see it for real at the Winter Holiday Festival! Photo: Metro Flickr

If you’ve never seen a “bus lighting ceremony” now’s your chance: Metro will be participating in the Winter Holiday Festival this Saturday, Dec. 14 at the Denker Recreation Center. The festival will take place from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

One of Metro’s red articulated buses will be decorated and used as Santa’s “sleigh” for the event. Kids will be able to enter the bus, meet Santa and receive a toy! Metro’s safety education team – and the robot train – will also be out there to provide tips for transit riders.

The holiday festival is free and open to all. Other activities will include a snow area, carnival games, arts and crafts, entertainment, and resource booths.

To get to the Winter Holiday Festival, take the Expo Line to Expo/Western and walk north on Western Avenue, then east on 36th Street. Or hop on Metro Bus 35/38 to Jefferson/Denker and walk two blocks south on Denker Avenue.