Go Metro to Rediscover the “Heart of L.A.” at CicLAvia Sunday, Oct. 6

Here’s something to cure your post-summer blues: after three long months, CicLAvia is back this Oct. 6, allowing bicyclists, pedestrians, skateboarders and others the rare opportunity to explore miles of L.A. city streets sans cars.

The planned “Heart of L.A.” route consists of 7.5 miles of protected roadways in downtown Los Angeles that will be open to the public for free from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Spurs branching from MacArthur Park, Central/14th Place, Chinatown, and Mariachi Plaza will converge along Spring Street, so bring your running shoes, roller blades, or unicycles (seriously!) and retread the route that started it all.

While the course includes 12 crossing points for vehicular traffic, street closures will impact Metro Bus routes beginning 9 a.m. until approximately 5 p.m. Sunday evening.  Metro bus lines impacted by CicLAvia are: 2, 4, 10/48, 14/37, 16, 18, 20, 28, 30, 33, 40, 45, 51/52, 53, 55, 60, 62, 66, 70, 71, 76, 78/79, 83, 84/68, 92, 96, 460, 487, 603, 720, 733, 745, and Metro Silver Line. Metro passengers should expect bus detours and delays, including temporary bus stop relocations along the route.

To avoid delays due to street closures, and for a CicLAvia that’s auto-free from start to finish, customers are encouraged to go Metro to any of the eleven Metro Rail stations along the event route. Enhanced service with longer and more frequent trains is planned to accommodate increased ridership.

Don’t forget, gates at Metro Rail stations are now latched and customers must have a valid TAP card and TAP before boarding every line. Avoid long lines at TAP vending machines by loading fare or a pass on your TAP card in advance. One-way fare is $1.50 per line or $5 for a Day Pass. Bicyclists should use the wider ADA fare gates and NOT the turnstiles or emergency exit swing gates. Additionally, bikes are prohibited on escalators, and should be transported instead via elevators or stairs at all rail stations.

For more information on routes and connections, use the Trip Planner or call 323.GO.METRO.

By the way, Metrolink will have two Bike Cars on select Antelope Valley, San Bernardino, Orange County Line trains. The trains with two Bike Cars are listed in the schedule below. These Bike Cars are designed to hold 18 bikes each and space will be limited to a first-come, first-serve basis.

If you’re planning on attending, take lots of photos and tweet us @metrolosangeles or tag us on Instagram @metrolosangeles. We love photos of bikes on transit!

Bus riders, be on the look out for Phil Dunphy…

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Back in season 3, Modern Family took on Metro Rail. Now they’re trying to get the attention of bus riders…so be on the lookout for Phil Dunphy on a bus bench near you! These benches are scattered around L.A. County and we want to know which buses pass by them. If you see one, let us know which bus you saw it from on Twitter @metrolosangeles, or snap a photo and tag @metrolosangeles on Instagram.

For more picture-taking fun, head to the Santa Monica Pier tomorrow and take a photo with Claire and Phil Dunphy cutouts. The cutouts will be located west of the Playland Arcade and before the police station between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. To get to the Santa Monica Pier, hop on the Metro Rapid 733 or Metro Bus 20 to Colorado/Ocean. Metro Bus 4 also stops nearby at Broadway/Ocean.

Finally, try calling 1-866-5DUNPHY – totally hilarious.

Check out LAX’s first art walk and live performance Everywhere Nowhere

Cynthia Minet's "Packing (Caravan)" at LAX. Photo: PanicStudio LA

Cynthia Minet’s “Packing (Caravan)” at LAX. Photo: PanicStudio LA

If you haven’t found an excuse to visit the newly renovated LAX yet, here’s a good one. LAWA is presenting the first-ever art walk next weekend, with a live performance taking place at 7:30 p.m. both nights. The event is free and open to the public. To get to LAX via Metro, take the Green Line to Aviation Station and hop on the free shuttle, or Metro Bus 40, 102 to the LAX Transit Center.

Here’s the press release from LAWA with more details on the event:

For the first time, the Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) Art Program will present an original performance work at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), entitled Everywhere Nowhere. Directed and choreographed by Sarah Elgart, with an original score composed by Yuval Ron, Everywhere Nowhere is a site-specific, multi-sensory spectacle of movement, media, and color. It was commissioned as part of the Influx: Art at LAX, an ongoing public art festival featuring the work of 45 Los Angeles-based artists and 11 original, site-specific installations located throughout LAX. Prior to the performance of Everywhere Nowhere, LAX is hosting its first-ever Art Walk, inviting the public to take self-guided tours of the various Influx installations located in the airport’s public spaces.

WHAT: First-ever Art Walk at LAX, followed by world premier of Everywhere Nowhere, a site-specific, multi-sensory spectacle of movement, sound, and color, directed by Sarah Elgart and featuring an original musical score by composer Yuval Ron, projections by director Kevin Kerslake and artist Stephen Glassman, and costume design by Swinda Reichelt.

WHEN: Saturday, September 28 and Sunday,  September 29

Art Walk, self-guided tours of Influx: 5 – 7 p.m.

Everywhere Nowhere, live performance: 7:30 – 9 p.m.

WHERE: Influx Art Walk: Maps for self-guided tours will be available at the Art Walk Welcome Table at the Terminal 1 Arrivals level, as well as online. Influx installations are located throughout LAX.

Everywhere Nowhere performance: the outdoor courtyard located on the Arrivals level in between Terminals 1 and 2 at LAX.

INFO: Both the Influx Art Walk and the live performance of Everywhere Nowhere are free and open to the public. For more information, visit: http://www.lawa.org/welcome_lax.aspx?id=1602 or send an email to art@lawa.org. .

Go Metro Weekends, Sept 20 – 22

A truly alternative mode of transportation. Photo courtesy of AltCar Expo

A truly alternative mode of transportation. Photo courtesy of AltCar Expo

Final reminder for Alfred Hitchcock at Union Station – Strangers on a Train screens tonight at 8 p.m. in the North Patio.

The AltCar Expo takes place this Friday and Saturday at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. Go check out the latest in alternative tech vehicles! The expo lasts from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days and is free to attend. Show your TAP card at the AltCar info booth and receive a raffle ticket for a chance to win a free Nissan LEAF rental. (Metro Bus 534 to Olympic/5th)

Don’t miss Made in LA Ride III on Saturday – the weather promises to be perfect for a leisurely bicycle ride! Meet at 10:30 a.m. at the Los Angeles River Center and Gardens. The ride leaves at 11 a.m. The event is free and open to the public. (Metro Gold Line Lincoln/Cypress Station and Metro Bus 90/91, 94, 794, 84/68, 251, 751)

This Sunday is International Car Free Day! Walk, bike or take transit on Sunday and help reduce congestion and help the environment.

Sherman Oaks and Studio City are celebrating Car Free Sunday with community events and promotions. Head to a free yoga class at Lululemon at 9:30 a.m. (12199 Ventura, take Metro Bus 150/240 to Ventura/Vantage) or check out the Studio City Farmers’ Market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Metro Bus 230 to Ventura/Laurel Canyon). Wear blue to receive special promotions from many other local businesses.

P.S. Brought to our notice by commentor LAofAnaheim: Red Bull FlugTug is happening this Saturday, get there via the Downtown Long Beach Blue Line Station. The gates open at 11 a.m. and flights happen between 1 p.m. through 3:30 p.m. Totally free to stop by and watch the awesomeness!

Reminder: movie + you at Union Station this Friday

If you weren’t able to make it out to the Chinatown screening in July, here’s your next chance to watch a movie at Union Station! Metro and Echo Park Film Center will be screening a classic Alfred Hitchcock film (did you guess Strangers on a Train? Because you were right!) this Friday.

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Event Details
Friday, September 20
Screening begins at 8:00 p.m. (doors open 7:00 p.m.)
Union Station North Patio

The event is free to the public. Seating is limited and provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Guests may bring chairs, blankets and picnics, but no alcoholic beverages are allowed.

Show your valid Metro TAP card at check-in for access to preferential seating. Feel like dinner and a movie? Show your valid Metro TAP card at Traxx Restaurant at Union Station and receive a 10% discount on your dinner bill. Guests are encouraged to make reservations at 213.625.1999 or online.

Reach Union Station via Metro Bus or Metro Rail on the Red, Purple or Gold Line. For more routes and connections, use Trip Planner. Bike parking is also available on site.

Transit Reader: what are you reading?

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Paper books are great, but they can really weigh you down! (Plus you can pop an e-reader in a Ziplock bag to safely read when traveling in the rain.)

Are you an avid transit reader? Do you whip out a well worn paperback the minute you step foot on bus or train? Or do you prefer the Kindle/Nook/tablet – lighter to carry, and no one can tell what you’re reading (is it romance? It’s okay if it’s romance, says the person who recently finished The Governess Affair).

What am I reading now? Night Shift, a short story collection by Stephen King. (And if anyone wants to discuss his Dark Tower series, I’m game. Blaine is a pain, right?) I’ve found that short stories are great for reading on buses or trains. You can usually finish a few of them before reaching your destination and not get upset that you have to stop just as the chapter’s getting good. Plus, Stephen King books read like eating candy – easy to digest horror candy. I try to leave the books that require me to do some research or deep thinking for at-home reading.

But perhaps you like philosophical contemplation during your morning commute. Maybe you like reading comics, or self-help magazines, or books on the Vietnam War. What are YOU reading now? Tell us in the comments and check back for more recommendations!

Chat with the volunteers at the Union Station information booth

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Many of you are probably familiar with the Metro Customer Center at Union Station’s East Portal, but did you know there’s also an information booth at the other end of the station? The info booth, located just outside the old ticketing concourse, is part of the original Union Station and is staffed by 14 L.A. Tourism and Convention Board volunteers. The booth is staffed 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is a great resource for everyone visiting Union Station.

The volunteers play a vital role for those who pass through Union Station. They help up to 5,000 people a month, whether it’s navigating the station and the rest of the city, or just recommending things to do in L.A. The volunteers go through orientation and training, but many of them have lived in L.A. for years and already have extensive knowledge of the city.

Info booth volunteer Don Young chats with passerby. Photo: Anna Chen/Metro

Info booth volunteer Don Young chats with passerby. Photo: Anna Chen/Metro

One volunteer, Don Young, has been working at Union Station since 1996, which means he’s seen and heard a lot at this historic site. Ten years ago he was lucky enough to meet one of the Harvey Girls who had worked at L.A. Union Station’s Harvey House Restaurant. She showed him the old dormitory adjacent to the restaurant – an area not open to the general public and most people don’t even know exist!

Young also remembers visiting Union Station when he was much, much younger. The biggest impression it made on him was that the waiting area was integrated – not the case at the time in his hometown, Oklahoma City.

According to Young, the three most asked questions at the info booth are 1. Where is the restroom? 2. How do you get to Olvera Street? and 3. Is there a McDonald’s here? Which means there should really be a McDonald’s at Union Station!

Young is clearly dedicated to helping all who drop by the info booth, often stepping out of the booth to walk travelers around the station if they seem especially lost. He works shifts Wednesday through Sunday and welcomes anyone who’d like to drop by and learn more about Union Station.

Info booth volunteer Mark Ferem helps some travelers find their way. Photo: Anna Chen/Metro

Info booth volunteer Mark Ferem helps some travelers find their way. Photo: Anna Chen/Metro

Another volunteer, Mark Ferem, previously worked at the Downtown BID and knows plenty of interesting factoids about Los Angeles. “I love L.A. I was born and raised here, I’m an L.A. native!”

Ferem loves sharing his knowledge with others and helping them maximize their time when visiting L.A. so they can love the city as he does, and those that he’s helped clearly appreciate him – many make it a point to visit the info booth a second time just to thank him for his assistance. For Ferem, the reward is in seeing visitors embrace and enjoy their journey.

Ferem has met and helped numerous tourists visiting L.A., and recently he’s seen an uptick in locals coming to explore Union Station and rediscover the city via Metro. “It’s so great to see Union Station become a destination, and people are so excited to take transit.” Ferem volunteers at the booth on Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays, so if you see him around, don’t be shy and say hi!