End of an era: Metro to retire its last high-floor buses on August 30

This type of high-floor bus, used by the transit industry for more than 100 years, required bus patrons to negotiate several steps before boarding.

This type of high-floor bus, used by the transit industry for more than 100 years, required bus patrons to negotiate steps before boarding.

Today’s Metro buses feature low-floor designs for faster, easier boardings and alightings.

Today’s Metro buses feature low-floor designs for faster, easier boardings and alightings.

Adios bus stairs, here comes the “Low Rider.”

Bus riders in Los Angeles County will no longer have to climb stairs to board a Metro Bus on any of Metro’s 170 bus lines beginning August 30. That’s the date when Metro will be officially retiring its very last high-floor transit buses and replacing them with “low-floor” buses.

That’s a notable milestone in the history of local transit. High-floor buses were employed by transit operators since the inception of motorized transit buses and Metro, as well as its predecessor agencies, have operated high-floor buses for decades. Climbing steps to board a bus has been the common experience of multiple generations of bus riders.

“Los Angeles, as well as most of the world, has had high floor buses for well over 100 years,” said Richard Famighetti, maintenance operations manager for Metro Divisions 6 and 7. “We are marking the end of a significant era that helped characterize public transportation in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Retiring these buses is a truly a historic change for Metro.”

(Video after the jump!)

Continue reading

Jimmy Kimmel Goes Metro to Emmy Awards at Nokia Theatre

It was a fun afternoon on social media when Jimmy Kimmel tweeted that he was pondering taking the Metro to the Emmy Awards at the Nokia Theatre — and then actually did it, riding the Red Line from Hollywood to downtown Los Angeles. His tweets and some of the reaction are below.

ABC News, Variety and People, among others, were media outlets that picked up the story.

 

And some of the reaction:

 

 

 

 

T&Y Bakery opens at Union Station!

coconut thingUnion Station’s has a brand new attraction. T&Y Bakery opened this morning with pastry and cookies and French macaroons and this amazing coconut confection that turned out to be the perfect way to calm a 3 p.m. hunger attack.

T&Y stands for Tbilisi & Yerevan (the capitol cities of Georgia and Armenia) and the bakery selections reflect that heritage. Pierogi, baclava, cannoli, breads, black and white cookies. What more could we want? Well, maybe ice cream but Ben & Jerry’s is just next door and Starbucks is across the concourse.

There are T&Ys in two other L.A. locations, in West Hollywood and at the Farmers Market at Fairfax and 3rd Street.

What with the Japanese convenience store Famima, Wetzel’s Pretzels and this new Russian bakery, Union Station is becoming quite the international destination … just like L.A. itself.

Here’s the T&Y Bakery video from The Farmers Market site.

 

Get on the move with the Transit Trailblazers

Public transportation plays a large role in helping older adults stay mobile. But as much as many of them want to ride buses or trains, trying to figure out routes, times and fares can sometimes be a little intimidating. That’s where On the Move Riders Club comes in.

On the Move Riders Club is part of Metro’s outreach to older adults. Project Manager Lilly Ortiz visits senior citizen centers around Los Angeles County to teach older adults about the benefits of public transit and familiarize them with local transportation options. Find out how to get a Senior TAP card and stay updated on fun events and transit outings!

The video above features the Transit Trailblazers, one of the On the Move Riders groups based in Burbank. On the Move Riders Club has groups throughout Los Angeles County. For more information or to start a club, call 213.922.2299 or email onthemove@metro.net.

Riders who are 62 and older are eligible for heavily discounted Metro fares if using a senior TAP. Please click here for information about how to apply. Below is the chart showing the new fares that take effect on Sept. 15:

fares_english-1

Join Metro this fall for free art tours and learn where to get discounts on dinner

august_tour_post

Metro Art Moves, Metro’s free after-work art tours, is back! Tours will depart from Union Station at 5:30 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month starting September 4. The other tour dates are October 2, November 6 and December 4, 2014.

The guided, artist-led tours focus on three downtown Los Angeles rail stations and provide unique experiences with Metro’s diverse art collection. And after checking out some art, grab dinner at a discounted price! Fall tours end at 7th St/Metro Center Station, near several 213 Nightlife dining destinations. Tour participants can receive 15% off their food bills at Casey’s Irish PubCole’s French Dip and Ebanos Crossing by showing their valid TAP card to the server when ordering.

All tours meet at Union Station at the information kiosk, just inside the Alameda Street entrance.

General Information

Tours take place on Thursdays, Sept. 4, Oct. 2, Nov. 6 and Dec. 4, 2014 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.

Thursday tours begin at Union Station and end at 7th St/Metro Center Station.

The tours are approximately 90% walking; there are elevators and escalators in all of the stations.

Public restrooms are available at Union Station.

Continue reading

Model buses now available from Metro online store!

Model_Bus_Orange_Line_Detail Model_Bus_Detail

Model buses are now available for purchase in Metro’s online store — you can chose between an Orange Line bus or Metro 40-foot buses used on local and rapid routes.

One note: we’re aware of complaints from some readers about shipping fees. This is due to an exclusive contract that Metro’s vendor has with FedEx. Those interested in more than one item in the store should purchase them at the same time to help lower the shipping fee. We appreciate the business from those who have made purchases from the store and hope to bring you additional ways to purchase Metro items in the future!

Go Metro Weekends, August 22 – 24

Delicious pancakes and more to be had at the LA Weekly Pancake Breakfast this Sunday--a short walk from Westlake/MacArthur Park Station. Image by Janine/Flickr CC

Delicious pancakes and more to be had at the LA Weekly Pancake Breakfast this Sunday–a short walk from Westlake/MacArthur Park Station. Image by Janine/Flickr CC

From music fests to bike rides, theater, and the ultimate pancake breakfast, here’s a sampling of events to fill your weekend with fun and transit!

Friday

Foodies take note! Grand Central Market and KCRW present “Good Food’s Night Out” this Friday from 7 to 10 p.m. Good Food hostess Evan Kleiman will be there to talk with guests as they explore the market, recently named one of “America’s Best New Restaurants” by Bon Appétit. The free event includes games, music by KCRW, and expanded menus from vendors such as Horse Thief BBQ, Sticky Rice, DTLA Cheese and more. (Metro Red/Purple Line to Pershing Square Station or various Metro Rapid and local buses serving Hill Street and Broadway.)

The Young Dubliners bring their energetic, Celtic-rock sound to the Levitt Pavilion at 8 p.m. in MacArthur Park. The concert is free and seating is open on lawn chairs or blankets. Bring a picnic or enjoy concessions for purchase. (Metro Red/Purple Line to Westlake/MacArthur Park Station.)

Want to see some seriously good dancing? Look no further than the J.U.i.C.E Hip Hop Dance Festival, happening this Friday at 8:30 p.m. at the Ford Amphitheatre. This annual event celebrates the vibrancy of the urban arts landscape with a range of hip hop dance styles, spoken word, graffiti art, multimedia, film and live DJs. Arrive early for a pre-show dance battle and meet-and-greet with Mari Koda of the Step Up movie series. Tickets are $30 for adults, $12 children, and $15 students. Go Metro and save 10%. (Metro Red Line to Universal City/Studio City Station, then catch the free Ford Shuttle to the amphitheater.)

Sunday

Take your brunch plans to the next level this Sunday with the LA Weekly Pancake Breakfast 2014! Held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Legendary Park Plaza Hotel, $35 will get you 40-plus food samples and beverages from these L.A. brunch spots. (Metro Red/Purple Line to Westlake/MacArthur Park Station.)

Learn about Santa Monica’s bike infrastructure and creative centers at Tour da Arts vol. 6, sponsored by C.I.C.L.E and the Santa Monica Museum of Art. This 9-mile bike tour starts at 12 p.m. at SMMoA and includes art and performances at each stop. The ride is free, but preregistration is required. Present your TAP card at the SMMoA gift store for 10% off merchandise. (Metro Rapid 704 to Santa Monica/26th, then walk 10 minutes south on 26th Street, or Big Blue Bus 5 to Olympic EB/26th.)

Continue reading