Get ready for LoveMetroLA Instagram photo contest, taking place Feb. 14 – 16

Has Jamzilla got you bummed out about making Valentine’s weekend plans? Just because we’re asking you to eliminate unnecessary auto trips and avoid the Sepulveda Pass area doesn’t mean you can’t still get out and have some fun. Go Metro during the weekend of Feb. 14 – 16 and participate in the LoveMetroLA Instagram photo contest.

Details about rules of entry and prizes will be posted next week. In the meantime, here’s a brief introduction to the ones who will be judging this photo contest. Happy Friday, all!

Friday Five: Insta-roundup, Jan. 31

Welcome to Friday Five, a weekly roundup of five transit pics we’re loving on Instagram. Want to be featured? Tag @MetroLosAngeles on Instagram to get our attention and follow us for more fun transit photos.

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You, Metro and the Super Bowl

As the holy grail of all sports weekends is upon us, plenty of football aficionados will be scrambling for a viewing party or event to enjoy the finale of the 2013 NFL season. For those who are either Bronco or Seahawk fans, congratulations on getting this far and good luck!

For those who don’t want to deal with driving on Sunday night — let’s face it, a lot of people are going to be drinking — please consider taking Metro. Also keep in mind that law enforcement around our region is keenly aware that a lot of people will be driving home from watch parties on Sunday evening.

Our buses and trains serve downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood and many parts of town with a high concentration of sports bars and such (Old Pasadena, Santa Monica, downtown Long Beach, etc.)

The Metro system map is below and here’s the link to our map and timetable page. Please keep in mind that buses and trains will be operating on their usual Sunday schedule.

Click above for a larger version.

Click above for a larger version.

Be safe, have fun and GO ‘HAWKS! (I wouldn’t dare to root for a division rival, especially since they sent my Chargers home!)

Go Metro Weekends, Jan 31 − Feb 2

Happy Friday Source readers and mass transit riders!

On the horizon: Chinese New Year, Superbowl Sunday, and a host of other cultural, comedic, and sporting events happening across the city. It’s looking like a busy weekend ahead, and Metro can get you to the heart of the action with ease.

Below, our weekly list of transit-adjacent fun for this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Friday

Metro Presents free salsa music at Union Station. LA Picante will perform inside the gorgeous, art deco-style Fred Harvey Room (usually closed to the the public) from 6 – 8 p.m. and there will be a mini-dance lesson at 6:45 p.m. If you get hungry for salsa you can eat, El Pueblo de Los Angeles is just across Alameda Street with numerous eateries to cure your craving. (Metro Gold, Red, Purple, or Silver Line, or various downtown buses, to Union Station).

The L.A. Lakers take on the Charlotte Bobcats at the Staples Center. Game starts at 7:30 p.m.; ticket prices vary. (Metro Blue/Expo Line to Pico Station.)

Saturday

Baraka and Samsara at the Egyptian Theatre. Shot in 25 countries and five continents, these meditative, visually-awesome, 70 mm films by director/cinematographer Ron Fricke were made for the big screen. Baraka starts at 7:30 p.m.; tickets range from $7 – $11. A discussion with producer Mark Magidson will occur between movies. (Metro Red Line to Hollywood/Highland Station, Metro Rapid 780 or Bus 156/656 to Hollywood/Highland, or Bus 212/312, 217, or 222 to Hollywood/Las Palmas.)

The L.A. Kings take on the Philadelphia Flyers, and the L.A. Clippers play the Utah Jazz at the Staples Center. Puck drops at 1:00 p.m. Clippers take on the Jazz at 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices vary. Metro riders can save 10% on official merchandise at the L.A. Clippers Team Store and the L.A. Kings Team Store with valid TAP card. (Metro Blue/Expo Line to Pico Station.)

John Oliver visits L.A. If you miss him on the Daily Show, catch the British comedian’s standup routine at 8 p.m. at the Wiltern Theater. Ticket prices vary. (Metro Purple Line or Metro Rapid 720, 757, or 710 to Wilshire/Western Station.)

Sunday

Go Metro on Superbowl Sunday. If you’re watching the Superbowl out on the town, Metro is a safe, hassle-free alternative to driving.

Secret Stairs of the Hollywood Hills. Get some exercise before you start in on the Superbowl chips n’ dip–best selling author and city stair aficionado Charles Flemming will lead a free tour of the secret stairs of the Hollywood Hills, including Hollywood history, celebrity homes, and a visit to the bat cave. Meet at the Ferndell entrance to Griffith Park at 10 a.m. and be back around noon. The walk is approximately three miles. (Metro Red Line or Rapid 757 to Hollywood/Western Station, walk north on Western to Ferndell – be warned: it’s uphill – or catch Metro Bus 207 at Hollywood/Western and take it one stop to Western/Franklin. From there it’s about a six minute walk north on Western to Ferndell.)

Fútbol: The Beautiful Game at LACMA. If “football” to you means Real Madrid or Paris Saint-Germain, you’ll want to check out the opening day of LACMA’s new exhibit examining soccer and its significance to people around the world on the eve of the 2014 World Cup. Museum hours are 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Sundays; tickets range from $10 – $15. Metro riders can save $2 on general admission with valid TAP card. (Metro Rapid 720, Bus 20 or DASH Fairfax to Wilshire/Fairfax, or Metro Rapid 780 or Bus 217 to Fairfax/Wilshire.)

All weekend

Celebrate the Year of the Horse! There are numerous free events happening in Chinatown this Saturday and Sunday for the Lunar New Year. (Metro Gold Line to Chinatown Station or Metro Gold, Red, or Purple Line to Union Station and walk 10 minutes north on Alameda to Chinatown.)

L.A. Art Book Fair at the MOCA Geffen Contemporary. Browse or shop artists’ books, art catalogs, monographs, periodicals, and zines presented by over 250 international presses, booksellers, antiquarians, artists, and independent publishers. Entry to the fair is free. Hours are Friday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sunday, 12 – 6 p.m. Metro riders can receive 2-for-1 admission to MOCA with valid TAP card if you want to check out the museum too. (Metro Gold Line to Little Tokyo/Arts District Station, or Metro Bus 30, 330 or 40 to 1st/San Pedro.)

Metro Presents: free salsa performance at Union Station Jan. 31

Photo courtesy of LA Picante.

Photo courtesy of LA Picante.

Metro Presents will bring salsa band LA Picante to historic Union Station on Friday, January 31. The band will play from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. as part of Metro’s ongoing program of creative arts and entertainment at the iconic station. The performance will take place inside the Fred Harvey Room, a space that is usually closed to the public.

The performance is free to the public and dancing is welcome. There will be a free mini-dance lesson around 6:45 p.m.

Event Details:
Friday, January 31, 2014
Two 45-minute sets beginning at 6:00 and 7:00 p.m.
Union Station Fred Harvey Room
800 North Alameda St.

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Founded in 2005, LA Picante plays a celebrated blend of classic salsa, collectively drawing from years of experience playing with the top Latin jazz and salsa groups in Los Angeles. Band members hail from Cuba, Colombia, Argentina and the U.S. Fiery classics by Willie Colon, Eddie Palmieri, Ruben Blades and many more fill out the group’s repertoire!

Union Station is accessible via Metro Rail, Metro Bus and several municipal bus lines. Use the Trip Planner for routes and connections. Car and bicycle parking are also available on site.

Go Metro to Chinatown and celebrate the Year of the Horse

Photo: Luke Ma via Flickr Creative Commons

Photo: Luke Ma via Flickr Creative Commons

This weekend, take the Metro Gold Line to Chinatown to celebrate the Lunar New Year!

The Golden Dragon Parade takes place on Saturday at 1 p.m. Get a front row spot to cheer on the floats, decked-out cars, dancers and bands as they travel through the heart of Chinatown with Grand Marshal Mayor Eric Garcetti. Please note that some buses will be detouring through the area due to the parade, check the Service Advisories page for details.

In addition to the usual Chinese New Year Festival taking place in Central and West Plazas (943-951 N. Broadway), there will be two new satellite locations this year: Downtown Flea will bring their popular craft market to 727 N. Hill Street and Central Plaza, while 643 North and Caveman Vintage Music will present the Spring Festival, a food and music experience, at 643 N. Spring Street.

The Chinese New Year Festival at 727 N. Hill and in Central and West Plazas will take place from 12 – 8 p.m. on Saturday and from 12 – 5 p.m. on Sunday. The Spring Festival at 643 N. Spring will run on Saturday only from 4 – 10 p.m. All events are open to the public.

To reach the festivals, take the Metro Gold Line to Chinatown Station, or connect via the Gold, Red and Purple Line at Union Station and walk north on Alameda Street to Chinatown. For more routes and connections, use Trip Planner. Metro will operate on normal weekend schedule, but additional train cars will be added to accommodate expected crowds.

Hockey fans whistle Metro for game misconduct

The above tweets pretty much sum it up: it was slow going both to board the Stadium Express and reach Union Station after the Kings-Ducks game at Dodger Stadium on Saturday night.

Obviously, Metro apologizes for any inconvenience to fans. As is often the case when these type of things go south, there were several issues. I’ll do my best to explain:

•First and foremost, the game was sold out on Saturday and traffic was very congested in the Dodger Stadium parking lot, particularly in the post-game crunch. In that traffic, buses were treated no different than cars and a lot of our buses were stuck in the crawl out of the parking lot. The more buses that got stuck, the longer the wait for those who were waiting at the stadium for buses to return from Union Station.

•Another contributing issue: there was no enforcement by city of Los Angeles of the bus/carpool lane on Sunset Boulevard outside the stadium. Why?

•Metro usually pays the city of Los Angeles for the bus lane enforcement from a state air pollution grant that funds the Dodger Stadium Express. (the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department also helps ensure buses get into and out of the stadium). The grant, however, only pays for service to baseball games and Metro didn’t have a mechanism in place to pay for the bus lane enforcement for the hockey game. Metro did manage to find a sponsor (KNBC) to help pay for some of the Stadium Express bus service.

•The NHL — which organized the game and rented the stadium for it  – raised the price of parking at Dodger Stadium to $20 for general parking (and more for premium parking), which is $10 more than the Dodgers charges. The NHL also issued a press release last week encouraging fans to take the bus to the game or to carpool because of expectations there could be a parking shortage. That probably led to increased demand for the Stadium Express. 

•Metro usually runs 12 to 20 buses for baseball games. For the hockey game, Metro had 16 buses in service before the game and 20 after the game — thereby raising the question that perhaps more are needed to handle the sold out events at the ballpark. For those who asked, Metro can’t use its articulated buses in the Dodger Stadium parking lot due to weight restrictions put in place by the team. 

I know these answers may not satisfy everyone but I hope the post does shed some light on the challenges involved in running service to the stadium. On the Metro end of things, agency officials say they are aware of the complaints and will keep working to improve service to baseball games and other events at the stadium.

Friday Five: Insta-roundup, Jan 24

Go Metro Weekends, Jan 24 – 26

Go Metro to see Air Supply on Saturday and get a free autographed poster! Details below. Photo: Denise Truscello, courtesy of Air Supply

Go Metro to see Air Supply on Saturday and get a free autographed poster! Details below. Photo: Denise Truscello, courtesy of Air Supply

Friday

Cowabunga, dude! The Nuart Theater will be showing a special screening of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at 11:59 p.m. General admission is $11. (Metro Bus 4 to Santa Monica/Sawtelle – and no worries about getting out late, Bus 4 runs 24 hours.)

Saturday

See Air Supply live in concert at the Arcadia Performing Arts Center at a one-night-only event! The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets start at $49.50. Go Metro to get a free autographed Air Supply poster while supplies last. Just show your TAP card at the box office between 7 – 8 p.m. (Metro Bus 78/79 to Huntington/Holly.)

For museum goers, Saturday will be the 9th annual Museums Free-For-All, and 20 museums around SoCal will offer free admission for the day. Check out this previous post for recommendations on transit friendly museums.

The Los Angeles Kings take on the red hot Anaheim Ducks at Dodger Stadium to kick off the NHL’s Stadium Series. Game starts at 6:30 p.m. The Stadium Express will be on hand to take you to Dodger Stadium from Union Station. (Connect at Union Station via the Metro Gold/Red/Purple Line, Metrolink or bus.)

Sunday

The Union Pacific Big Boy 4014 begins the first leg of its trip to Wyoming early Sunday morning. If you want to get a photo with the giant locomotive, head to the Metrolink Covina Station between 7 – 8 a.m.

Come out to play with dinosaurs! Head down to Angel City Brewery in the Arts District to check out the unique prehistoric playground. The event takes place from 6 – 11 p.m. and is only open to those aged 18 and up. Tickets are $15 at the door, but you can save $1 with your valid TAP card. (Metro Gold Line to Little Tokyo/Arts District Station.)

All Weekend

If you haven’t had a chance to check out dineLA restaurant week yet, get on it! Enjoy prix fixe lunch and dinner menus at participating restaurants all around the county through Jan. 31. One restaurant worth checking out is Amalfi, located at 143 N. La Brea Ave. Amalfi is open for dinner at 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday. Their dineLA menu is $35. (Metro Bus 212 to La Brea/1st.)

The LA Fit Expo is taking place this weekend at the L.A. Convention Center. The expo will be open from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. General admission is $20 for one day and $30 for the weekend…but is there really a price on your health? Plus fitness celebs like Jillian Michaels will be in attendance. (Metro Blue/Expo Line to Pico Station, Metro Bus 81 to Figueroa/Pico.)

Reminder: Ducks and Kings fans welcome to ride Stadium Express to Dodger Stadium game


If you’re heading to Dodger Stadium for the Ducks/Kings game on Saturday, Jan. 25, you can take the Stadium Express. The game is slated to start at 6:30 p.m. and shuttles will begin service 90 minutes before game time.

  • Board the Stadium Express at Bus Bay 3 of the Patsaouras Transit Plaza at Union Station.
  • Service leaves Union Station every 10-15 minutes, starting 90 minutes before game time through the middle of the second period.
  • Your game ticket is good on game day as Stadium Express fare only; 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.
  • Return service runs until 45 minutes after the end of the game.

Connect at Union Station via Metro Bus, Rail, Amtrak or Metrolink. Parking is also available at Union Station for $6/day. Keep reading after the jump for details on Metrolink and Amtrak service.

Dodger Stadium Express Map

Fans coming from Orange County can take the following trains to connect with Metro’s Stadium Express at Union Station:

Inbound to Union Station

  • Metrolink Train 663 arriving at 3:35pm
  • Amtrak Train 579 arriving at 4:25pm
  • Amtrak Train 583 arriving at 5:40pm

Outbound to Orange County

  • Amtrak Train 796 departing at 10:10pm

Finally, a reminder for Metro-riding Kings fans: you can save 10 percent on official Kings merchandise with your TAP card! Use the promo code METRO10 if buying online, or hop on the Blue/Expo Line to get to the Team LA Store at L.A. LIVE.