Go Metro to Grand Park’s 4th of July Block Party for rooftop fireworks and savings around town

The Fourth of July is rapidly approaching and if you’re making plans to stay in town, Grand Park’s 4th of July Block Party is definitely where you should celebrate. There will be music, food and the biggest rooftop fireworks display in downtown L.A. Best of all, it’s free!

Doors open at 1 p.m. and the music starts at 4 p.m. The easiest way to get to the block party is via Metro. Take the Red/Purple Line to Pershing Square Station–Civic Center/Grand Park Station will be partially closed. For more route options, use Trip Planner. 

While you’re out having fun, show your valid TAP card at any of these DTLA locations near Grand Park and save on dinner and more:

Check after the jump for dates, times and a map of street closures in the area for the block party.

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Why You Ride: Transit Edition – Kay Gonzales is a faithful Green Line commuter

Kay Gonzales, winner of the Transit Ambassador Award. Photo: Josh Southwick/Metro

Kay Gonzales, winner of the Transit Ambassador Award. Photo: Josh Southwick/Metro

Each year, the Diamond Awards recognize the achievements of corporate rideshare programs in the region and their contribution toward decreasing gasoline consumption, air pollution and commuter costs. New this year were the Ambassador awards, which acknowledged commuters for ridesharing and for taking the initiative to promote transit alternatives to their peers.

The recipient of the Transit Ambassador award, Kay Gonzales of Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), walks the talk. Kay has been a loyal transit rider for more than three decades and currently takes the Metro Green Line to work at the offices of Los Angeles World Airports. Kay distributes transit passes on behalf of the rideshare office, and she’s always eager to answer questions and offer help to make the commute easier for her coworkers.

And Kay performs these duties in addition to her normal work assignments!

Below, Kay shares her thoughts on her daily commute and talks about why she takes transit.

How did you commute before you started riding transit? What made you decide to ride?

I have been a lifelong transit rider–I’ve taken buses, the Green, Blue and Red lines. I ride because I don’t have to look out for other drivers. I can read, think, make notes, talk to others, close my eyes. Be happy when I get to work and when I get home.

How often do you take Metro work? How long does the trip take?

I use the Green Line every day. It’s about an hour in the morning, an hour and half in the evening.

What tips do you have for making a transit commute easier?

Have your pass/change ready, wear comfortable shoes, carry a large purse/bag for your lunch, book and sweater. 

Do you have a favorite Metro bus or rail line?

The Green Line. It’s the best transit I have ever used; it is fast, clean, does not cross traffic.

Thank you, Kay, for being an advocate of transit! Keep up the good work, and happy commuting.

Bike to the Bowl to see Janelle Monáe on June 22

“Bike To The Bowl” on Sunday, June 22 to see Janelle Monáe! The concert starts at 7 p.m. and tickets are available online. LACBC is also offering free bike valet service at the Hollywood Bowl Museum Patio. The valet will be open from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Enjoy a sweet treat from Peddler’s Creamery before the concert. Just show your valid TAP card or bike valet ticket at the Museum Patio and receive a free scoop of ice cream. (One scoop per person while supplies last.)

You can also go Metro to the Hollywood Bowl via the Red Line Hollywood/Highland Station. Bring your bike on board and ride the rest of the way from the station, or transfer to the Hollywood Bowl shuttle–the ride is free with your valid TAP card.

To find out more about LA bike paths, lanes, routes, and racks, check out the Metro Bike Map. And for those who need an introduction to Janelle Monáe:

Go Metro to Ballet Preljocaj at the Music Center and save 20% on tickets

Contemporary French dance company Ballet Preljocaj will stage its latest work, Les Nuits (The Nights), at the Music Center this weekend. The dance conjures the mysterious and flamboyant world of the Arabian Nights tales, with choreography by Constance Guisset, music by Natacha Atlas, Samy Bishai and 79D, and costumes by Azzedine Alaïa.

Go Metro to Les Nuits and save 20% on select seats. Show your valid TAP card at the Music Center box office to redeem your discount, or purchase your tickets online with a special promo code. Performance dates and times are as follows:

  • Friday, June 20 – 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 21 – 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, June 22 – 2:00 p.m.

Getting to the Music Center with Metro couldn’t be easier: simply take the Metro Red or Purple Line to Civic Center/Grand Park Station and walk two blocks north on 1st Street. You can also arrive via the many Metro and municipal buses serving Grand Avenue or 1st, Temple, or Hill Streets. To find your best route, use Google Maps or the Trip Planner.

Feeling hungry? Save on pre or post-performance dining at one of Metro’s Destination Discount partners in the downtown Los Angeles area. For a list of participating cafes, bars, and restaurants, see the “dining” tab on our Destination Discounts page.

Thanks for riding to the L.A. Kings victory parade, hockey fans! A few pics for you…

Thanks everyone for riding Metro today to the victory parade and celebration for the Los Angeles Kings Stanley Cup Championship. Looked to me like a big turnout — perhaps more people than for the 2012 parade.

If you would to download full resolution versions of any of the above photos of the Kings, they’re available on Metro’s Flickr page. To download, click on the “….” on the right side of the screen and then choose “download/all sizes” and then select the size.

See you in September, hockey fans!

Why You Ride: Vanpool Edition – Charlie McDaniel is a true vanpool ambassador

Charlie McDaniel, winner of the Vanpool Ambassador Award. Photo: Josh Southwick/Metro

Charlie McDaniel, winner of the Vanpool Ambassador Award. Photo: Josh Southwick/Metro

Each year, the Diamond Awards recognize the achievements of corporate rideshare programs in the region and their contribution toward decreasing gasoline consumption, air pollution and commuter costs. New this year were the Ambassador awards, which acknowledged commuters for ridesharing and for taking the initiative to promote transit alternatives to their peers.

The recipient of the Vanpool Ambassador award, Charlie McDaniel of Jones Day, is a true advocate of ridesharing. Charlie formed 10 vanpools for commuters from Riverside to Union Station–an impressive feat especially because she was able to form 4 in one day!

Below, Charlie shares her thoughts on her daily commute and talks about why she shares the ride.

What made you decide to rideshare?

Commuting to downtown Los Angeles from the Inland Empire can be time consuming and expensive. I knew a lot of people with the same problem, and they asked if I could try to figure out a less expensive way for everyone to get to work. I then looked into vanpooling and learned how beneficial it could be for everyone involved. After figuring out what it would cost for people to get into L.A. from various cities in the Inland Empire, I commenced passing out flyers asking people who were interested in vanpooling to contact me with their travel times. I got an amazing response and began putting together various vanpools out of Riverside, San Bernardino, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, Corona and the like.  

I was particularly interested in saving people money. At the time I got involved in this, a lot of households were reduced to single income households due to the economy and mass layoffs and desperately needed a more cost-effective commute. It was and is a major success because we are able to accommodate personal schedules, and it resulted in a major reduction in what had to be paid monthly.
 
How often do you rideshare to work now? How long does it take? 

Five days a week, Monday through Friday. The commute is roughly an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes. I’ll have been vanpooling for 2 years by this July.

What tips do you have for making a vanpool commute easier?

The key to having a happy vanpool is that everyone is congenial, takes heed of the rules and abides by them.  

Thank you, Charlie, for being a leader in the vanpool community! Keep up the good work, and happy commuting.

Go Metro to the Los Angeles Kings’ SECOND Stanley Cup victory parade

Congratulations to the Los Angeles Kings, which won the Stanley Cup Friday night with a heart-stopping and breath-taking double-overtime win over the New York Rangers.

A victory parade will begin at noon Monday at 5th and Figueroa in downtown Los Angeles and travel south along Figueroa to L.A. Live and Staples Center — just as did when the Kings won the Cup in 2012. With downtown street closures in place and some inevitable bus detours, the best way to travel to the parade is to take Metro Rail or Metrolink into downtown. Metro will be adding rail service to accommodate the crowds.

The closest Metro Rail stations to the parade route are Pershing Square (Red/Purple Line), 7th/Metro Center (Red/Purple Line, Blue Line, Expo Line) and Pico (Blue Line, Expo Line). Metrolink riders can transfer to the Red/Purple Line at Union Station — both the Red and Purple Line serve all downtown Los Angeles stations.

There is also paid parking at Union Station — it’s $6 for the day.

Need to plan your transit trip? Try Metro’s Trip Planner or Google Transit. Here’s a map of Metro and Metrolink commuter train lines:

metro_metrolink_map

Click on the map to see a larger version.

If you’re having trouble viewing the map, click here for a pdf of the map. Or click here to see a pdf of only Metro routes.

Some specifics on individual Metro lines:

•The Expo Line runs from Culver City to 7th/Metro Center at the intersection of Figueroa and 7th streets, with a stop at Pico — two short blocks from L.A. Live and Staples Center. Timetable and parking info

•The Red Line subway runs from North Hollywood to Union Station and the Purple Line subway from Western Avenue in Koreatown to Union Station. Two stations are near the parade route — Pershing Square is near the beginning of the route and 7th/Metro Center is near the mid-way point.  Timetable and parking info.

•The Orange Line busway runs between Warner Center and the North Hollywood Red Line station and has free parking in several lots. Timetable and parking info

•The Blue Line runs between downtown Long Beach and 7th/Metro Center at 7th and Figueroa, with a stop at Pico, two short blocks from L.A. and Staples Center. There are free parking lots along the route, as well as paid parking in downtown Long Beach. Timetable and parking info

•The Green Line runs between Redondo Beach and Norwalk and offers transfers to the Blue Line. There is also free parking at several lots at stations. Timetable and parking info

•The Gold Line runs to Union Station from both Pasadena and East Los Angeles. There are several free parking lots or garages along the route, as well as street parking and paid parking in downtown Pasadena. Timetable and parking info.

•Metrolink and Amtrak trains serve Union Station, with connections to the Red/Purple Line subway to reach downtown L.A. destinations. Metrolink schedules and Amtrak.com

A single ride on Metro Rail is $1.50 per single bus or train ride. If you don’t already have a reloadable TAP card, you will need to purchase one, available for $1 from TAP vending machines at all Metro Rail and Orange Line stations, in addition to El Monte Station. If you need to transfer, the best choice is a day pass for $5, also available at all ticket vending machines. Tip: don’t throw out your TAP card when done — you can use it in the future!

On the go and need rail and bus arrival/departure times from your current location? Try Metro’s app for smartphones. Android version and iPhone version