Go Metro to Grand Performances and save on lunch or dinner

Go Metro to any Grand Performance and save at Noe Restaurant & Bar or Johnnie's New York Pizzeria. Be sure to get to California Plaza early to stake out a seat--as you can see it get's a little crowded...

Go Metro to any Grand Performance and save at Noe Restaurant & Bar or Johnnie’s New York Pizzeria. Be sure to get to California Plaza early to stake out a seat–as you can see it gets a little crowded…

The 28th season of Grand Performances, downtown Los Angeles’ beloved summer concert series, is officially underway for 2014. Starting now until September 19, enjoy a spectacular variety of music, dance and spoken-word performances for free at scenic California Plaza.

This season’s highlights include:

  • Saturday, July 5 – Stones Throw Picnic at 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, July 12 – Adventures from Paradise: A Tribute to Minnie Riperton at 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, July 19 – Chop and Quench at noon
  • Sunday, July 20 – Quetzal 20th Anniversary Celebration at 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, August 2 – People Get Ready: A Soundtrack of the Civil Rights Movement at 8 p.m.
  • Friday, August 15 – Joe Driscoll & Sekou Kouyate at noon.
  • Saturday, September 6 – Yuna at 8 p.m.

For a full list of artists, shows and times, click here.

California Plaza is easily accessible via Metro Bus or Rail. Take the Metro Red/Purple Line to Civic Center/Grand Park Station, or various Metro and municipal buses serving Grand Avenue, Olive Street or Hill Street. (Click here for a map of Metro service in downtown L.A.).

Go Metro to any Grand Performance and save on lunch or dinner at Noé Restaurant & Bar or Johnnie’s New York Pizzeria the day of the event! Noé Restaurant & Bar at the Omni Hotel serves up a fresh and frequently rotating “Neo Bistro” menu; show your valid TAP card to save 15% on your bill. For more low-key fare, visit Johnnie’s New York Pizzeria on a performance date and receive a free drink with your food purchase by presenting your TAP card.

Music, fun, food and flying through traffic? Sounds like the stuff of summer to me!

Go Metro to the BET Experience and save on concert tickets!

Go Metro to the BET Experience, a three-day music festival featuring concerts, performing artist appearances at a free fan expo and more at L.A. LIVE in downtown Los Angeles from June 27 to 29. Among the concert headliners will be Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige and Outkast.

The Blue/Expo Line Pico Station is just one block from L.A. Live. The Blue and Expo Lines both run until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.

Blue Line timetable and map. Here is a list of Blue Line park & ride lots.

Expo Line timetable and map. Here is a list of Expo Line park & ride lots.

Show your valid TAP card, Metro employee ID, or L.A. County employee ID at the STAPLES Center Box Office to save 10 percent on single-day tickets or 15 percent on three-day tickets to the concerts at STAPLES Center. When purchasing tickets online, use the exclusive promo code METRO to receive the discount. Here’s more info regarding Destination Discounts.

The BET Experience starts at 11 a.m on Friday, at noon on Saturday and at 10 a.m. on Sunday. Concerts take place nightly starting at 7 p.m.; ticket prices vary. For more information on the schedule of events, visit BET.com/BETX.

To get to L.A. LIVE, take the Blue or Expo Line to Pico Station. The Metro Silver Line (timetable and map) also has stops nearby — northbound buses use Figueroa Street and southbound buses use Flower Street.

For more routes and connections, use the Trip Planner at metro.net.

untitled

Here are maps for both the Expo Line and Blue Line:

map-expo-line

map-blue-line

Head to Startup Weekend at Cal State L.A. via Metro and save on admission

Get ready for Startup Weekend powered by Google for Entrepreneurs at Cal State L.A., coming up Friday, June 27 to Sunday, June 29. You’ll be able to share ideas, form teams, build products, and even launch startups!  Anyone is welcome to pitch an idea and receive feedback from peers, and the weekend wraps with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders.

Go Metro to save $24 on general admission. To get to Cal State L.A., take the Metro Silver Line to Cal State L.A. Busway Station. For more routes and connections, use Trip Planner.

The basic schedule of the event is as follows:

June 27,  5:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. (Los Angeles Room in the Student Union)
June 28,  9:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. (Choral Room MUS 149)
June 29,  9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. (Choral Room MUS 149)

For the full schedule rundown, click here.

New TAP-TO-GO allows loading of regular monthly passes by text message

TAP-TO-GO Card

This is something that riders may find convenient: it’s now possible to load a 30-day regular monthly Metro pass on a TAP card via text message. If buying a pass by text message, passes load immediately on cards without the one- to two-day delay when passes are bought on taptogo.net.

TAP-TO-GO is a six-month trial program that is beginning this week and will run through Dec. 1. There are two important caveats: at this time, only regular monthly passes are available and you need to use a new, special TAP card from the program to participate. There is no additional cost for the card.

The program is being run by Metro and its contractor mobileAxept. Reminder: Monthly passes are still available at TAP Vending Machines at all Metro Rail and Metro Orange Line stations, Metro Customer Centers and El Monte Station.

How to sign up 

1) Text TAPSIGNUP to 28950  or visit taptogo.net to sign up online.

2) If texting, mobileAxept will reply with a link to sign up.

3) Enter your name, mailing address and email address. Participants will be directed to the BlueFin-hosted secure payment site to submit credit/debit card information. Credit/debit cards will not be charged until you receive your card in the mail and load your first pass.

4) Once your information has been validated, mobileAxept will send a text confirming participant has successfully joined the TAP-TO-GO pilot program. 

5) Participants receive a special TAP card in the mail within seven to 10 business days, with instructions on how load your first Metro 30-DayPass. Again, you need to use this new card — it’s not possible to sign up using an existing TAP card.

How to reload

•Text TAP30DAY to 28950 to reload your Metro 30-Day Pass. You will receive a reply text message confirming your payment has been received and your card is loaded.

When it’s time to reload your Metro 30-Day Pass, you will receive a reminder text to reload three days prior to expiration, and if necessary, one day prior to its expiration.

•Avoid paying single ride fares — currently $1.50 rising to $1.75 as early as September — by purchasing your pass before your Metro 30-Day Pass expires.

An FAQ on the TAP-TO-GO program is after the jump.

Continue reading

Go Metro Weekends, June 20 – 22

Friday

See some of the best dance troupes in Southern California at the So Cal Dance Invitational! The show takes place at the John Ford Amphitheate. Watch the Lulu Washington Dance Company, L.A. Contemporary Dance company and other modern dance groups put on a great production for all in attendance! The show starts at 8:30 p.m with tickets starting at $30 online or at the box office. (Metro Bus 156 or 222 to Cahuenga/John Ford Amphitheater)

Saturday

Check out high-flying helicopters at the American Heroes Air Show! The Hansen Dam Sports Complex will be hosting the rotary aviation event from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is free to attend. Don’t forget to show your TAP Card for 5% off of helicopter rides. (Metro Bus 233 to Terra Bella/Foothill)

Celebrate the Summer Solstice at the Culver City Arts District. The event is open to the public. Enjoy great weather, art gallery tours and live music from noon to 7 p.m. Show your TAP card for discounts at several Culver City businesses. (Metro Expo Line to Culver City Station)

Groove to the sounds of your favorite music genre at Make Music LA! Several locations throughout the county will be hosting free live music sessions between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. Be sure to look up venue locations and plan your trip. While you’re at it, use your TAP card for various discounts around town, including participating Papa John’s Pizza. (Use Trip Planner)

Sunday

Koreatown Oddity will be hosting a set at Amoeba Music this Sunday. The rapper in a wolf mask will be in the house at 5 p.m. to perform some of his most popular hits. Show your TAP card to save $3 on of any item $5 or more! (Metro Red Line to Hollywood/Vine Station then walk two blocks down Ivar Avenue towards Sunset Boulevard)

All Weekend

The Hollywood Fringe Fest is going on until June 29. This celebration of visual and performing arts takes place in over 50 venues around town. Want your Fringe Button for  cheap? Show your TAP card and save $2! (Metro Bus 4 to Santa Monica/Wilcox)

Come out to the DTLA Night Market June 20 and 21! Happening at the STAPLES Center parking lot #7, this fusion of L.A. and Asian cultures provides a great atmosphere for patrons to shop and have a great time! The night market takes place from 4 p.m. to midnight both days. Save $2 on admission with your TAP card. (Metro Blue or Expo Line to Pico Station)

Why You Ride: Bicycle Edition – biking to work is no challenge for Wesley High

Location - Union Station - Harvey House Restaurant Space

Wesley High, winner of the Bike 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 Bicycle Ambassador award, Wesley High with Phelps, is a truly avid bicyclist. Wesley began biking three years ago on Bike to Work Day and now rides from Silver Lake to where he works at Phelps in Santa Monica—a whopping 30 miles round trip. He also founded his company’s bike to lunch club, leads a company team during the national bike challenge, and his desk often acts as a makeshift bike repair shop for coworkers.

Below, Wesley shares his thoughts on his daily commute and talks about why he rides.

How did you commute before you started biking to work? What made you decide to ride?

When I moved to L.A. five years ago, I was commuting by car from Encino to Santa Monica. When I moved to Silver Lake I started taking the bus instead, which I did for about six months. We’d get stuck in traffic trying to cross the 405 and I’d see people riding right past us on their bikes. I thought to myself “I could do that.” I did a test ride on the weekend and said “I can do that” and from that point started making it a regular thing.

How often do you bike to work? How long does the trip take? Do you ever connect to transit? 

I try to ride at least three times a week. I recently got a dog and we can bring them into work, so she has cramped my riding a bit, at least until I get her trained to ride in a trailer. The trip takes about one hour in the morning and an extra 5 to 10 minutes in the evening, depending on if I’m riding alone or with others. I use transit occasionally, mostly when I’ve encountered mechanical troubles like a broken spoke or flat tire. I just put my bike on the next bus and then repair my bike when I get to work.  

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

Finding some other people who commute by bike, especially along your same route. I try to say “hi” to other people I see riding along my route and strike up a conversation. I’ve made a few friends, just because we were both heading the same direction and decided to ride the rest of the way together. Making friends while commuting to work is not something that really happens when you are driving by yourself. This is one of the reasons I joined an organization called L.A. Bike Trains, which lets you join up with experienced bike commuters along routes across the city. 

Do you have any interesting tales from your bike commutes?

I’ve seen all sorts of things. Other riders wearing only a Speedo, someone driving around with their hood up, countless people using their phones, calling, texting, watching videos. Incredible amounts of backed up traffic, one day I passed 631 cars in a 3-mile stretch of Santa Monica Boulevard in about 15 minutes. I was very happy I rode that day.

Thank you, Wesley, for your commitment to bicycling! Keep up the good work, and happy commuting.

Hear ye, hear ye, here are the Transit Pix contest winners

Leading up to APTA’s national Dump the Pump Day, Metro recently partnered with municipal operators throughout Los Angeles County to launch the Transit Pix photo contest, inviting customers to submit photos showing what they love about riding buses and trains. More than 200 entries were received; the public chose the winners via voting on Facebook.

The Grand Prize winner @rangeljdr’s photo can be seen above, and he will receive one Metro EZ transit pass, one Metrolink 31-Day Pass, plus a team-autographed L.A. Kings hockey stick and two autographed L.A. Kings hockey pucks!

Keep reading after the jump to see the other winners!

Continue reading