Ride the Gold Line to the Gold Cup game

The Gold Cup! Photo from  Concacaf Official Facebook

The Gold Cup! Photo from Concacaf Official Facebook

It’s a great week to be a soccer fan in SoCal. The 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup series will kick off on Sunday with a double header at the Rose Bowl. Canada takes on Martinique at 2:30 p.m., followed by reigning champion Mexico vs. Panama at 5 p.m.

If you’re heading to the game, skip traffic by taking the Gold Line to Memorial Park Station. The free Rose Bowl shuttle will be operating from the Parsons parking lot, just three blocks away from the station. The shuttle will begin service at 11:30 a.m. and will run until 1 and a half hours after the last game ends. The Gold Line will run regular weekend service – which now means every 10 minutes after 7 p.m.

Heavy crowds are expected for the Gold Cup game, so make sure you load up your TAP card in advance with a day pass or cash so you won’t get stuck in line at a ticket vending machine.

Summer ArtsFest 2013 is finally here!

Photo: Cathy Cole via Flickr Creative Commons

Photo: Cathy Cole via Flickr Creative Commons

Enjoy local art, movie nights, interactive dance and music sessions? Then the East L.A. ArtsFest 2013 is the place for you this summer! Located at the East Los Angeles Civic Center, Metro provides easy access to this cultural destination via the Gold Line Eastside Extension.

Kicking off at 3 p.m. on June 30, the audience will jam out to music by performers ready to add pep to your step. Then later in the night, a spectacular fireworks show will commence at 9:15 p.m.

Want to take a look at local East L.A. art? The artwalk features local artists and artisans sharing their work with the public. There will also be live concerts for the audience to enjoy while looking at the art. The artwalk and concert series will be held on June 30, July 20, and August 3.

On July 5 and August 2, the Ford Theatres will offer J.A.M. sessions where the audience is invited to dance to the beat or play to the rhythm of salsa music and drum lines. All levels and skills are welcome at these free interactive events. If you have a kid who loves to dance, a youth dance workshop will be held at the Heidi Duckler Dance Studio on July 19 at 11:30 a.m. and a youth performance at 2:30 p.m. Also in the studio, a performance with award-winning musicians Don Preston and Andrea Centazzo will take place at 7 p.m. on August 10.

Various movies in the park will be shown on Fridays at sundown beginning June 28 through August 23. And a farmer’s market will take place every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., bringing fresh fruits and vegetables.

The East L.A. Artsfest will conclude on Saturday, September 7, with an all-day celebration starting with a Family Fishing Derby at 7 a.m. and East L.A. Bike Ride at 10 a.m. Those who want to participate in this activity can register that day at 8:30 a.m. The artwalk and concert series finale and Taste of East Los Angeles will begin following the bike ride.

Any day at  ArtsFest 2013 is a day to remember and best of all, it’s free! To plan your best trip, visit Metro’s Trip Planner.

From Dinos to Disney: the Natural History Museum gets a facelift for its 100th birthday

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From gazing up into the ferocious jaw of a life-size Tyrannosaurus rex to wandering through the exotic landscape of fluttering butterflies, every day this summer boasts family-friendly fun at the Natural History Museum in Exposition Park in Los Angeles.

The museum is now 100 years old and it has revamped itself into an indoor and outdoor adventure to celebrate the past and future all in one setting.

With two convenient Metro Expo line stops in Exposition Park — Expo Park/USC Expo/Vermont — Metro provides easy access to avoid parking fees and traffic hassles. Also, by showing a valid Metro TAP card at the box office, visitors get $1.25 off the $12 adult admission. To plan your best route, visit Metro’s Trip Planner.

At the museum, kids can gawk at the gigantic dinosaur skeletons in the renovated 14,000-square-foot Dinosaur Hall. This collection is twice the size of that in the previous hall and includes 20 full body dinos. Visitors can see the only place in the world that shows the three different phases of the life of a Tyrannosaurus rex. And the exhibit features the youngest known baby T-Rex fossil.

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Go Metro and enjoy 2-for-1 admission to MOCA

Photo from MOCA Official Facebook

Photo from MOCA Official Facebook

Great news for those who Metro to MOCA: showing your TAP card at the box office will get you 2-for-1 admission!

MOCA Grand Avenue is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays and Fridays, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursdays, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. To get there, take the Red/Purple Line to Pershing Square and exit 4th/Hill; or take Metro Rapid 770 or Metro Silver Line to Olive/General Thaddeus Kosciuszko.

The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays and Fridays, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursdays, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. To get there, take the Gold Line to Little Tokyo/Arts District Station; or take Metro Bus 30 to Temple/Alameda.

General admission at both locations is $12. However, this Sunday, June 2 is Big Family Day at MOCA Grand Avenue, and it’s free to for all to attend. The event takes place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Go Metro to get a free museum voucher for your next MOCA visit.

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at Union Station

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This year, Union Station will be joining the Cinco de Mayo celebrations by welcoming transit customers on their way to the festivities at Olvera Street on Saturday, May 4 and Sunday, May 5.

Metro will create a gateway through Union Station to guide the public to free performances, family activities, attractions and authentic Mexican cuisine at El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, located just across the street from Union Station. Union Station will be dressed up with Mexican themed decorations, including streamers, banners and pillar wraps, to create a festive atmosphere. In addition, a strolling Mariachi band will be playing around the station from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days.

Metro riders can also get a 10% discount when buying gifts at the El Pueblo Visitor Center. Just show your valid TAP card at the cashier.

Union Station can be reached by the Metro Gold, Red and Purple lines, Metrolink and Amtrak, as well as a number of buses. Use Trip Planner for routes and connections.


Go Metro to catch Iron Man 3 at El Capitan

© Marvel 2013

© Marvel 2013

Iron Man 3 opens in the U.S. this weekend (though if you’ve already seen it, no spoilers please!), catch it at El Capitan to also check out a display of collectibles and comic books from the private collection of Stan Lee. Iron Man 3 will be showing at the theatre in 3D at 10 a.m., 1:15 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 7:45 p.m. or 10:55 p.m. on Friday through Sunday.

Go Metro to receive a bonus stamp on new Frequent Guest Cards. Just show your TAP card at the box office and receive a second stamp after your first stamp. Offer is only valid with new cards.

El Capitan is located across the street from the Metro Red Line Hollywood/Highland Station. Buses 212, 217 and Rapid 780 also stop at Hollywood/Highland. Use Trip Planner for more routes and connections.

Go Metro to the land of Oz

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In the mood for a movie? Oz the Great and Powerful ends its run at El Capitan Theatre on April 30, which means this weekend is the last weekend to catch it there.

Go Metro and receive a bonus stamp on your new Frequent Visitor card. Just show your TAP card at the box office when purchasing a ticket and start a new Frequent Visitor card, you’ll get a free second stamp with the first.

El Capitan Theatre is located across from the Metro Red Line Hollywood/Highland Station. Metro Bus 212, 217 and Rapid 780 also stop at Hollywood/Highland. Oz has two scheduled showings on Saturday, April 27 and four showings on Sunday, April 28. Visit the theatre website to get times and ticket prices.

This Sunday: Go Metro and Go CicLAvia to the sea!

Click above to see larger version.

Click above to see larger version.

The 6th CicLAvia is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Sunday, April 21, so time to oil your bike chains, lace up your walking/running shoes or break out the rollerblades! The route this time around is 15 miles and is strikingly different from earlier CicLAvias — this time it will be possible to travel back and forth between Venice and downtown Los Angeles, largely on Venice Boulevard.

Some highlights:

Longest route ever: Because this is the longest CicLAvia route so far, we encourage participants to approach the event with careful planning. Keep track of the time, noting that streets will begin re-opening to automobile traffic at 3:00 p.m.. You may not want to find yourself too far from where you started when the event ends.

Getting to CicLAvia on Metro: It is also worth noting that the Festival of Books is happening at USC this weekend so if you plan to take the Metro Expo Line, leave yourself plenty of time as trains will likely have large crowds (Expo trains will be operating every six minutes). The Long Beach Grand Prix is also happening this weekend, meaning the Blue Line will likely be even busier than usual.

With CicLAvia running through downtown Los Angeles, the course is accessible from the Metro Red/Purple Lines (Union Station, Civic Center, Pershing Square or 7th/Metro Center stations), the Metro Gold Line (Union Station or Little Tokyo stations), the Blue Line (Pico or 7th/Metro Center stations) or Expo Line (Pico or 7th/Metro Center stations). The Expo Line also has a station along Venice Boulevard in Culver City — as mentioned above, the Expo Line will be very busy this weekend.

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An early reminder to go Metro to Festival of Books

Photos by Anna Chen/Metro

This morning, Los Angeles Times book critic Hector Tobar, The Jasper Dickson Revue and Max Lugavere took the stage at Union Station East Portal to promote going Metro to the Festival of Books, which will be taking place Saturday and Sunday, April 20 – 21 at USC.

Head to the Festival of Books at USC next weekend for more readings, musical performances and great family-friendly activities. Metro has three rail stops that serve USC off the Expo Line: Jefferson/USC, Expo Park/USC and Expo/Vermont. The Metro Silver Line also drops off at 37th/USC. Show your TAP card when buying official FOB merchandise and get 10% off!

Dodger Stadium Express ridership is up this season

Here are some quick numbers:

•Ridership on Opening Day on Monday was 5,787 boardings. In 2012 on Opening Day there were 4,326 boardings.

•Ridership so far this season is 9,750 boardings for three games — the exhibition game against the Angels last Friday and two games against the Giants. Ridership at this time last year was 7,157 after two exhibition games and two regular season games.

Another very big crowd is expected for tonight’s 7:10 p.m. game against the Giants, the rubber game of the opening three-game series between the two teams expected to contend for the western division title. 

The shuttle is free to those holding game tickets. Click here for the Dodger Stadium Express home page and below are the basics:

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•Board the Dodger Stadium Express at Bus Bay 3 of the Patsaouras Transit Plaza at Union Station. The plaza is at the other end of Union Station if you enter on Alameda Street.

•Service leaves Union Station every 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.

•You’ll be dropped off inside Dodger Stadium behind Center Field. Service will run the same route in reverse after the game.

METRO EXPRESSLANES

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.

PARKING AT UNION STATION?

Pay for parking before returning to your car. Use the automated machines located in the elevator lobbies of P1, P2 and P3.