Back to school on Metro: info on getting around, student fares and safety

The Metro System map showing all the agencies' bus and rail lines. Click above for a pdf version that allows you to zoom in on different areas.

The Metro System map showing all the agencies’ bus and rail lines. Click above for a pdf version that allows you to zoom in on different areas.

 

rail_map

The Metro Rail and Transitway map. Click above to see larger.

When I was a wee lad, no one went back to school until Labor Day had passed. These days are a different story with some kids headed back to school beginning this week.

Metro serves many schools and colleges in Los Angeles County with its 177 bus lines and nearly 16,000 bus stop locations. Metro also has five rail lines — the Red/Purple Line subway, the Blue Line, Expo Line, Gold Line and Green Line — and runs both the Orange Line busway in the San Fernando Valley and the Silver Line bus that runs between El Monte Station, downtown Los Angeles and the Harbor Gateway Transit Center in Gardena via the 10 and 110 freeways.

In other words, there are a lot of ways to get around the county for kids who both live close to school or who have their own hefty commutes. Here is some information on reduced fares, getting around the Metro system and safety:

Maps and timetables for all Metro bus and rail lines can be found here. The basic system map and rail maps are above.

•There are two online trip planners that can help you plan a transit trip: the trip planner on Metro’s home page and Google Transit.

•If you have a smartphone, go to nextbus.com for real-time bus and train arrival information. The website easily allows you to see when the next bus or train is arriving at stops/stations near your current location.

•Safety tips for all riders can be found by clicking here, including tips on how to prevent theft of cell phones and electronic devices.

•All riders — including students — should have the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department number saved in their cell phones. The number is 1.888.950.SAFE (7233).

•Metro puts out a lot of information on social media, including service alerts. Click here to subscribe to Metro’s general Twitter feed and click here to follow Metro on Facebook. Metro also has a Twitter feed that includes only service alerts. And this Metro Twitter feed has alerts on elevators that are out of service.

Here’s a nice post by one of my colleagues from last fall on the benefits of students using transit to travel to school.

FARES FOR STUDENTS K THROUGH 12

Now students can obtain a special TAP card and use it to ride at special reduced rates. These prices, which are not impacted by the Sept. 15 fare increases and changes:

30-Day Pass – $24

Single One-Way Fare – $1

The 30-Day Pass allow for unlimited rides. It’s the best deal for students who use Metro to go to school every day and for those who use Metro to travel around the area.

To apply for a Metro Student TAP Card (K-8 or 9-12), download an application: EnglishSpanish. Submit it along with all required documentation at one of Metro’s four Customer Centers (listed below). Students in grades 9-12 are required to have a valid photo ID or school ID to purchase the fares or ride with a Student TAP card.

Once you receive your new Student TAP card in the mail, you have three fare payment options:

  • If you ride every day, load your card with a Student 30-Day Pass ($24) at selected schools or any Metro Pass Sales locations (there are about 400 in Los Angeles County). You’ll get unlimited rides for 30 consecutive days.
  • If you ride occasionally, load your card with some cash; each time you board and tap, it will deduct a reduced one-way fare of $1 (bus or rail) from your card balance.
  • If you prefer, just tap your unloaded card on the farebox when you board (bus only) and pay the reduced one-way cash fare of $1.

For more information about reduced fare programs, call the Metro Reduced Fare Office at 213.680.0054.

FARES FOR COLLEGE/VOCATIONAL STUDENTS

The College/Vocational Monthly Pass is $36 currently and will be $43 when Metro’s new fares begin on Sept. 15.

To qualify for a College/Vocational discount, you must complete the College/Vocational TAP application available at select schools and Metro Customer Centers. Submit the completed application at any Metro Customer Center or mail it to the Metro Reduced Fare Office, One Gateway Plaza, MS 99-PL-4, Los Angeles, CA, 90012-2952.

Upon receipt of your college/Vocational TAP card, you can load a reduced-rate pass every month at any Metro Customer Center or area pass vendors. Undergraduate and graduate students must provide proof of enrollment in an accredited school in Los Angeles County. Undergraduate students must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 units or 12 hours of in-classroom study per week for a minimum of 3 consecutive months. Graduate students must be enrolled in a minimum of 8 units of in-classroom study per week for a minimum of 3 consecutive months.

If you are enrolled in a summer program that meets for less than 3 months and/or 12 units, you can still qualify only if you met the eligibility requirements in the preceding spring term. Download an application: English Spanish | Armenian | Cambodian Chinese | Japanese | Korean | Russian | Thai | Vietnamese

Qualified applicants may submit applications for a College/Vocational TAP card at any time during their current school term. Applications received after August 10 will receive a card that expires in March of the following year. Applications received after February 10 will receive a card that expires in October of the same year.

For questions call: Metro Reduced Fare Office 213.680.0054 Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

METRO CUSTOMER CENTERS

Union Station/Gateway Transit Center – East Portal
Gateway Plaza
Los Angeles
Monday – Friday, 6 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Photo booth Available
See Map

Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Center
3650 w. Martin Luther King Blvd., Ste 189
Los Angeles
Tuesday – Saturday , 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Photo booth Available
See Map

East Los Angeles Center
4501 B Whittier Blvd.
Los Angeles
Tuesday – Saturday , 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Photo booth Available
See Map

Wilshire/Vermont Center
3183 Wilshire Bl, Ste 174

Los Angeles
Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
(Now Open)
See Map

 

 

Get ready for Made in America – here’s how to get there

Metro Map_V6

Made in America comes to Grand Park in Los Angeles August 30 and 31 with some big names in music–Kanye West, Imagine Dragons and Iggy Azalea, just to name a few. If you’re heading to this two-day festival, why not go Metro? Taking the bus or train makes it easy to leave the hassle of traffic and parking behind.

If your ticket has you entering from the North Gates: take the Red, Purple, Silver or Gold Line to Union Station. Exit towards Alameda Street, then walk north up Los Angeles Street to Temple Street.

If your ticket has you entering from the South Gates: take the Red or Purple Line to Pershing Square Station and exit towards 4th Street, walk two blocks north on Hill Street. You can also take the Gold Line to Little Tokyo/Arts District Station and walk west on 1st Street towards City Hall.

Transit pro-tip: load your TAP card with round-trip cash fare or a Day Pass before heading out. A Day Pass is good from first tap until 3 a.m. the next day. For those who want to park and ride on the Expo Line, parking will be extremely limited at Culver City Station and La Cienega/Jefferson Station due to the USC football game on Saturday, August 30. Consider parking at Expo/Crenshaw Station on Saturday only. Parking is not permitted at Expo/Crenshaw Station on Sunday.

Please note: Civic Center/Grand Park Station will be closed during Made in America. Trains will not stop at the station. ADA access will be provided from Union Station; details will be posted closer to the date of the event. Proposed Made in America street closures and bus detours will be updated here.

Go Metro Weekends, Aug 15 – 17

ART OF TRANSIT: A Gold Line train descends from the bridge over the 101 freeway in downtown L.A. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

ART OF TRANSIT: A Gold Line train descends from the bridge over the 101 freeway in downtown L.A. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

Friday

Don’t forget to go Metro to the Tchaikovsky Spectacular at the Hollywood Bowl! The first night of the two-day series begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are still available and start at $18. (Metro Red Line to Hollywood/Highland Station, then transfer to shuttle–free with TAP card)

Saturday

Formerly the H2Ofest, The Uforia Music Festival 2014‘s lineup will feature artists such as Nelly, Ludacris and Kid Cudi. Sounds like the mid-2000s all over again (in a good way)! The show starts at 3 p.m at Exposition Park with tickets starting at $46.50. (Metro Expo Line to Expo Park/USC Station)

Head to The New Stone Age exhibit at the California Contemporary Sculpture Museum on Saturday, open from 5 to 8 p.m. After the event, grab dinner at TGI Fridays! Show your TAP card at the Woodland Hills TGI Fridays on August 16 and save 20% on your food purchase. (Metro Orange Line to Warner Center Station)

Smokey Robinson will be playing at the Greek theater and the show starts at 8 p.m. See the Motown legend serenade the crowd with classics like You Got a Hold On Me and Tracks of My Tears. Tickets start at $40. (Metro Red Line to Vermont/Sunset Station, then transfer to DASH Weekend Observatory Shuttle)

Sunday

As a fan of photography, I highly recommend checking out the “Country: Portraits of an American Sound” exhibit at The Annenberg Space for Photography. Over 100 photos will be on display depicting some of country music’s most polarizing figures. Admission is free and the center’s hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday (Metro Bus 28 to Olympic/Century Park East)

All Weekend

In conjunction with Nisei Week in Little Tokyo, make some time to enjoy some great culinary creations at Ramern Yokocho Festival going down this weekend. The event starts at 11 a.m both days and admission is $5. (Metro Gold Line to Little Tokyo/Arts District Station)

One Day in LA video looks into the future of Union Station

A nice, short video on beautiful Union Station by FORM follows FUNCTION. The video interviews Metro Deputy Executive Officer Jenna Hornstock, who provides a brief overview of the Los Angeles Union Station Master Plan.

Go Metro and save on food at the Los Angeles Jazz and Music Festival

Webpage_banner

The 1st annual Los Angeles Jazz and Music Festival takes place on Saturday and Sunday, August 23 and 24 at Sycamore Park in Highland Park. The event lasts from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. Enjoy live music from the likes of Poncho Sanchez, Chicano Batman, Cold Duck and many more!

Save 5 percent on your bill at participating food vendors when you show your valid TAP card.

Sycamore Park is located at 4702 N. Figueroa Street in Los Angeles. Take the Metro Gold Line to Southwest Museum Station and walk south to Figueroa Street. Plan your route using the Trip Planner.

Go Metro to Nisei Week festivities in Little Tokyo this weekend

This Saturday and Sunday, August 16 to 17, is the closing weekend of Nisei Week, Little Tokyo’s annual celebration of Japanese culture and community first organized in 1934. Held primarily at locations around Little Tokyo, this year’s Nisei Week events are easily accessible via Metro Bus or Rail.

Some highlights of the festival’s final days include:

  • Nisei Week Japanese Festival/JACCC Plaza Festival: Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Japanese American Culture & Community Center. (Be sure to check out the exhibits on bonsai, calligraphy, embroidery and kimekomi dolls going on inside the JACCC.)
  • Day-Lee Foods World Gyoza Eating Championship: Saturday, 2 p.m. in LA City Lots 7/2 (behind MOCA/Japanese American National Museum).
  • Nisei Week Car ShowSaturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 100 N. Alameda Street (1st/Alameda).
  • Ramen Yokocho Festival: Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. in LA City Lots 7/2 (there is a $5 entry fee).
  • Ondo (folk music/dance) and Closing Ceremony: Sunday, 4 p.m. along 1st Street in Little Tokyo.

To arrive at Nisei Week via Metro Rail, take the Metro Gold Line to Little Tokyo/Arts District Station, one stop southeast of Union Station. Trains arrive every 7-10 minutes during the weekend. Helpful hint: Load your TAP card with enough cash fare for a round-trip or with a Day Pass when starting your trip to avoid long waits at the TAP Vending Machines on your return.

For bus service to the festival, Metro Bus 30/330 stops at 1st Street/Judge John Aiso Street in Little Tokyo every 10 minutes during peak hours. Please note that DASH A, D, and OCTA Line 701 do not run over the weekend.

Finally, don’t forget–Metro customers enjoy a Destination Discount with the Japanese American National Museum. Show your TAP card and receive $2 off museum admission and 10% off your bill at the Chado Tea Room!

Stay hydrated with new Every Lane is a Bike Lane mug

Bike_Lane_Mug_Large

Now on sale at the online Metro Store: the Every Lane is a Bike Lane mug! This giant mug can hold a whopping 15 ounces–perfect for helping you rehydrated after a good ride. The mug costs $9.65 and matches the Every Lane is a Bike Lane T-shirt.