Why You Share the Ride: vanpooling for health

During Rideshare Week, we’ll be featuring stories submitted by real commuters talking about why they share the ride. Join the conversation and let us know why you share the ride! Tweet us @metrolosangeles using the hashtag #RideshareLA. And don’t forget to pledge online for a chance to win some awesome prizes.

The following rideshare story comes to us from Twanya Betancourt, who commutes from Long Beach to Santa Monica every day.

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Twanya Betancourt is also a Diamond Award winner for her efforts in ridesharing!

“I share the ride in order to increase my physical health and mental well being. Sitting in traffic and driving alone every day for a total of three hours a day adds stress and wear and tear on your body in addition to your vehicle. By vanpooling, I only have to drive the commuter van one day per week, leaving the rest of the time free for me to rest, read, or chat with the vanpool group. What we have created is a commuter community through rideshare. We exchange ideas, stories, reviews on restaurants, and anything else that anyone feels the need to share. Getting a group of 6 different personalities in different fields of work in a van for three hours leads to very interesting conversations. Three hours feels more like 30 minutes. I am very passionate about sharing my story with other commuters to let them know that there are many other benefits besides saving money on gas and wear and tear on your vehicle. The increase in the quality of life is the most important benefit of ridesharing in my opinion.”

TAP-TO-GO mobile pilot program introduces 7-Day Pass

TAP-TO-GO Card

This is something that even more riders may find convenient. In addition to the 30-Day pass, 7-Day passes are now available for reload via text message in the TAP-TO-GO pilot program. More riders can take advantage of the benefits: it’s fast, convenient and passes are loaded immediately onto your card without any delays.

TAP-TO-GO is a six-month trial program that began in June and will run through Dec. 1. It’s free to participate, however be sure to register for the pilot program first so you can get your special TAP card to use.

Metro Weekly and Monthly passes are also available:

•at TAP vending machines all Metro Rail and Orange Line Stations

•online at taptogo.net

•by calling 866.TAPTOGO

•at nearly one of 400 vendor locations (click here for locations)

How to sign up

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

2) If texting, mobileAxept (Metro’s contractor) 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 7-Day or 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 TAP7DAY to 28950 to reload your Metro 7-Day Pass. You will receive a reply text message confirming your payment has been received and your card is loaded.

•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 either pass, you’ll get a reminder text so you can avoid paying single trips

For frequently asked questions, click here.

Your Friday send-off: John Mellencamp – Troubled Man

At the request of fellow blogger/pal Steve Hymon, this week’s choice is a song by John Mellencamp, which begs the question:

 

Anyway, please enjoy the song! And remember, if enjoying music on bus or train, please use your headphones. If you have transit playlist song recs, leave them in the comments or tweet them to us @metrolosangeles! Awesome tracks (as deemed by yours truly) will be shared in future posts.

Bonus track after the jump: Shakira (feat. William Mebarak) – Hay Amores.

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Dodger Stadium Express will run from Union Station and Harbor Gateway for the playoffs

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After thumping and humiliating the Giants last Wednesday night, the Dodgers are National League West champions and owners of the second seed in the NL. They’ll open the playoffs at home this Friday, Oct. 3, at 3:37 p.m. against the St. Louis Cardinals followed by Game 2 on Saturday night at 6:37 p.m.

Game 1 features a match of the very best pitcher in the majors, the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw, versus a top-five pitcher in Adam Wainwright. Should be a great game.

With huge crowds expected for the playoffs, the Dodger Stadium Express will be running to the ballpark from two locations: Union Station and Harbor Gateway Transit Center (731 W. 182nd Street, Gardena, CA) along with stops at Rosecrans Station, Harbor Freeway Station (for those transferring to/from the Green Line), Manchester Station and Slauson Station — all in the median of the 110 freeway (see above map). Those with tickets to the game ride for free. The new Harbor Gateway service is funded with revenues from the Metro ExpressLanes on the 110 freeway.

Please note that service from Harbor Gateway begins for the playoffs. For this weekend’s home games against the Colorado Rockies, Dodger Stadium Express service will only be from Union Station. 

Union Station is served by many Metro and municipal bus lines and Metro Rail’s Red, Purple and Gold lines, as well as Metrolink and Amtrak. Parking is available for $6.

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Harbor Gateway Transit Center is also served by several Metro bus lines, the Metro Silver Line and Torrance Transit. Free parking is available although may be limited if the lot fills.

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Dodger Stadium Express details for the playoffs:

From Union Station:

  • Board at Bus Bay 3 of the Patsaouras Bus Plaza.
  • Service leaves Union Station every 10 minutes, starting 90 minutes before game time through the 3rd inning for all home games.
  • You can exit inside Dodger Stadium at one of two stops – behind Center Field and at the Top Deck. Service will pick up at the same stops after the game.
  • Return service runs until 45 minutes after the final out.

From Harbor Gateway Transit Center:

  • Board at Bay 9.
  • Buses run every 15 minutes starting 2 hours before game time, with the last bus leaving at game time.
  • You’ll be dropped off behind Right Field. Service back to Harbor Gateway Transit Center will pick up at the same stop after the game.
  • Return service ends 45 minutes after the final out.

Game Day Tips:

  • Your Dodger ticket is good for the Dodger Stadium Express fare*; otherwise, regular Metro fares apply.
  • Arrive early; crowds are heaviest near game time.

 

Go Metro to the Festival of Philippine Arts and Culture this weekend in Grand Park

Are you walking, biking, or skating CicLAvia this Sunday? Rest your weary legs in Grand Park, home to our favorite hot pink benches, spectacular Downtown views, and this weekend–the Festival of Philippine Arts & Culture!

Presented by Grand Park and FilAM Arts, the 23rd Annual Festival of Philippine Arts & Culture will run this Saturday, October 4 from 12 – 8 p.m., and this Sunday, October 5 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. The celebration is free to attend and features an array of Filipino and Asian cuisine, live entertainment from top Filipino American performers, shopping, story telling, and traditional dances and martial arts.

Go Metro to Grand Park by hoping aboard the Red or Purple Line, or one of many Rapid and Local buses serving Grand Avenue, Hill, 1st or Temple Streets. You’ll not only save on gas, parking, and stress, but festival attendees with valid TAP cards save 10% at participating vendors of food merchandise, and more!

Fresh, healthy and delicious – Go Metro to farmers’ markets!

farmers' market mapInstead of driving to a supermarket, reduce your carbon footprint even more by going Metro to a farmers’ market! This new interactive map makes taking transit to farmers’ markets easier than ever.

Mayor Aja Brown visits with vendors at the Blue LIine Farmers' Market.

Compton Mayor Aja Brown visits with vendors at the Blue Line Farmers’ Market.

Support local farmers and keep your kitchen stocked with fresh, seasonal fruits and veggies; see if there’s a market near you. Don’t forget, the Blue Line Farmers’ Market offers a 10% discount to those who present their TAP cards! And The WALL farmers’ market in the DTLA Fashion District offers free entrance to the Flower Market (and more) to Metro riders.

If there’s a farmers’ market you frequent via Metro that you think should be on the map, let us know in the comments.

 

What do you do on your way to work? If you rideshare, the answer is…

…a lot! Because instead of driving, you can use the time to check email, sleep, read, connect with your neighborhood and more.

And don’t forget, during California Rideshare Week, Oct. 6 through 10, Metro will be issuing Get Out of Traffic Licenses to commuters who qualify* at four Metro stations and at the Civic Center Clean Air/Rideshare Fair. To receive a Get Out of Traffic License, be ready to take a photo at any of the following locations:

  • Monday, Oct. 6 from 8 – 10 a.m. at Union Station East Portal
  • Tuesday, Oct. 7 from 8 -9 a.m. at Culver City Station
  • Wednesday, Oct. 8 from 8 – 9 a.m. at North Hollywood Station
  • Thursday, Oct. 9 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Civic Center Clean Air/Rideshare Fair at Los Angeles Grand Park
  • Friday, Oct. 10 from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. at El Monte Station

*You qualify if you have tried/will try carpooling, vanpooling, taking transit, walking or bicycling to work!

During Rideshare Week, commuters also will have a chance to win great prizes by pledging to share the ride online at metro.net/rideshareweek. Pledging to rideshare even just one day out of the week will enter you in the raffle. Keep reading after the jump to see what some of the prizes are.

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