Beyond phase one: making connections to the Expo Line

Though it looks a ways away, Century City will be only one bus connection away from the Expo Line. Photo by Carter Rubin/Metro.

Phase One of the Expo Line will soon put transit riding Angelenos within walking distance of a slew of destinations previously not served by Metro Rail: USC, Exposition Park, Mid City and Culver City, among others.

But many transit trips don’t begin and end by walking to and from the same line; we often depend on making connections to other modes of travel — buses, bikes or a ride from a friend.

The Expo Line is rich in those connections too. This post will highlight some of connecting bus lines, many of which you already know, and hopefully some that are new to you.

Before we start, it’s worth noting that Metro’s Trip Planner, Google’s Transit Directions and Metro’s smartphone app are easy and reliable tools for planning your next transit trip — use them!

First we’re going to break it down by transit agency and the lines they offer, with an eye to describing how to get to a couple major destinations that are reachable via one transfer from the Expo Line.

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The art of transit: Expo Line coming soon video

Metro staffer Gayle Anderson edited together this video using some neat aerial footage of the Expo alignment. As many of you surely know, Expo is opening this weekend with service and free rides between 5 a.m. and 7 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. Regular service with longer hours and fares begins Monday morning; here’s the Expo Line timetable.

To submit a photo for the Art of Transit, post it to Metro’s Flickr group, email it to or Tweet it to @metrolosangeles with an #artoftransit hashtag. Many of the photos we’ve featured can be seen in these galleries on Flickr.

Expo Line timetable is here!

The timetable for the Expo Line that goes into effect with revenue service beginning next Monday is below. It can be downloaded from the Metro website here [pdf].

With the Farmdale station not yet complete, the Expo Line has a run time of 26 minutes between 7th/Metro Center in downtown Los Angeles and the La Cienega/Jefferson station. The Farmdale and Culver City stations are expected to open this summer.

The Expo Line is offering free rides to the public from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday; details here with info on opening weekend events from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at some stations. The regular schedule begins Monday. Also, here’s a photo history of the Expo Line we posted earlier today.

Expo Line Timetable

Expo opening day celebrations

Expo Line opens this Saturday with events being held at four stations along the line from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. All events are free to attend.

7th St/Metro Center Station - 7th Street between Figueroa and Hope
Entertainment at this station will include Double Gee NineNet, a Latino jazz band presented by Make Music L.A., as well as other bands and performers. Booths will include those by IRIS from Cirque du Soleil, the Music Center, AQMD, L.A. Kings, L.A. Downtown News, Coca-Cola, Downtown Center Business Improvement District, Snap Yourself! photo booth, Colburn School of Music and many more.

Expo Park/USC Station – Pardee Plaza at USC
Entertainment at this station will include Brian Schwartz Quartet presented by Make Music L.A. and other performers. Booths will include those by the California Science Center, the California African American Museum, the Natural History Museum, USC Athletics, Metro/LADOT Bicycle Program and many more.

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Go Metro Weekends, April 20-22

A view of downtown from LA Historic State Park. Photo from Earth Day Latino's Facebook page

Get your comedy fix on Friday with 420 Comedy Night, hosted by Gina Bernstein. The lineup includes comics from famed comedy schools such as the Groundlings and Second City. Curtains go up at Archway Studio and Theatre at 9 p.m. and tickets are just $10. (Metro Gold Line to Little Tokyo/Arts District Station, walk about a block and a half south on Alameda to Traction. Head two streets southeast on Traction; the theatre is located near Wurstkuche restaurant.)

Celebrate nature at Earth Day Latino, which will take place at the Los Angeles Historic State Park. The event begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday and you’ll be able to camp out overnight if you wish; a few activities are planned for Sunday morning. Young and old are invited to plant some trees, learn some history about the urban green space and take a guided walk around the park. There will be local high school bands providing entertainment, as well as a scheduled treasure hunt, bike ride and more. Food will be available for purchase, or you can bring your own picnic lunch. Those who wish to camp overnight need to check in; register online or before 10 a.m. at the park to be loaned a tent. The event is free and open to the public. (Metro Gold Line to Chinatown Station, Metro Bus 76 to Alameda/College.)

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The art of transit

photo by BJustin, via Twitter

With the Expo Line opening April 28 and testing underway, this sign from Portland is an explicit reminder to cyclists: be careful crossing the tracks!

To submit a photo for the Art of Transit, post it to Metro’s Flickr group, email it to or Tweet it to @metrolosangeles with an #artoftransit hashtag. Many of the photos we’ve featured can be seen in these galleries on Flickr.

The art of transit

photo by Erik Mauer, via Flickr Creative Commons

Part of a very interesting “Then and Now” series, superimposing old photos with new urban landscape. The photo shows the Spadina Streetcar – and its previous incarnation as a Belt Line streetcar – in Toronto, Canada.

To submit a photo for the Art of Transit, post it to Metro’s Flickr group, email it to or Tweet it to @metrolosangeles with an #artoftransit hashtag. Many of the photos we’ve featured can be seen in these galleries on Flickr.

Go Metro Weekends, April 13-15

Pig ears from Haven Gastropub will be available at the 626 Night Market. Photo from 626 Night Market Facebook page.

If you’re into movie fashion, take a long lunch on Friday and visit the FIDM Museum, which is currently presenting the 20th anniversary Art of Motion Picture Costume Design exhibition. Celebrating the art and industry of costume designers, this exhibition presents more than 100 costumes from twenty films released in 2011, including costumes from all five 2011 Academy Award Nominees for Costume Design: W/E, Hugo, Jane Eyre, The Artist, and Anonymous. Also on display are costumes from last year’s winner, Alice in Wonderland. The exhibition is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is free. (Metro Red/Purple Line to 7th/Metro Station, exit towards Hope Street and walk south for two blocks. Metro Bus 14 to 9th/Grand.)

Saturday is a great day to visit Pasadena. The Pasadena Earth and Arts Festival starts the festivities and the 626 Night Market will take over the streets once the sun goes down. The Earth and Arts Festival takes place at Memorial Park and the Armory Center for the Arts from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to the festival is free, and there will be food trucks, an eco-swap meet, arts and crafts for kids, live music and an outdoor movie screening. Go Metro and receive a free gift; just show your valid Metro ticket or pass at the transportation booth and get a reusable tote bag.

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Go Metro to CicLAvia!

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) will implement many bus line detours and provide longer trains in support of CicLAvia this Sunday, April 15.

The fourth official CicLAvia event in the Downtown L.A. area is designed to celebrate car-free enjoyment of public spaces for pedestrians, bicyclists, joggers, skateboarders and others and will take place Sunday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Street closures will impact Metro Bus routes beginning 9 a.m. until approximately 5 p.m. Sunday afternoon.  Metro bus lines impacted by the CicLAvia route are:  Metro Line 2, 4, 10, 14, 16, 18, 20, 26, 28, 30, 33, 37, 40, 42, 48, 51, 52, 53, 55, 60, 62, 68, 81, 83, 84 , 90, 91, 92, 94, 460, 487, 603, 720, 733, 760 and Metro Silver Line.  Metro patrons should anticipate bus detours and delays to service, as well as the temporary relocation of bus stops along the route.  Temporary stops will be located as near to original stops as possible.

The public can more easily attend the event via 14 Metro Rail stations on or near the event route.  Metro Red/Purple Line stations at Civic Center, Pershing Square, 7th St./Metro Center, Westlake/MacArthur Park and Wilshire/Vermont are on or within three blocks of the route.  On Vermont Avenue, the Metro Red Line Station at Beverly is one block east of the route, and Vermont/Santa Monica Station is less than three-fourths of a mile from the northern point of the route at Melrose and Heliotrope.   The Metro Gold Line Little Tokyo/Arts District Station is one block east of the route as it passes from Downtown L.A. to Hollenbeck Park in East Los Angeles and back.  The Pico-Aliso station is also near the route on 4th Street.   Both the Mariachi Plaza and Soto Metro Gold Line Stations also are within three blocks from Hollenbeck Park.

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"Play Me, I'm Yours" now at Union Station

A passing commuter decides to give the new piano at Union Station a whirl just minutes after it was installed.

Turning your life into an impromptu musical has just gotten easier. Thirty pianos – one of which is located inside Union Station by the Starbucks - are decorated by local artists and community arts organizations. The pianos have just been placed throughout neighborhoods of L.A. County as part of the “Play Me, I’m Yours” installation presented by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

The piano at Union Station is designed by the Los Angeles Music and Art School and hosted by Metro. All 30 pianos are free for everyone to play and enjoy, so if you’re passing through Union Station take some time to give the piano a little love.

Play Me, I’m Yours” launched today with a simultaneous play-in of Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I Preludes at all 30 pianos. The performer at Union Station was Raymond Lowe, who was extremely well received by the crowd of travelers that gathered to watch the event. Immediately after Lowe finished his performance, others jumped in for the chance to play. Check out the YouTube video Metro staff made of the performance at the top of the post.

The "Play Me" piano was intalled Wednesday afternoon at Union Station.

The “Play Me, I’m Yours” installation by artist Luke Jerram is a celebration of pianist and conductor Jeffrey Kahane’s 15th anniversary as LACO music director. Los Angeles is the 23rd city to host the art project. “Play Me, I’m Yours” began in London in 2008 and has since spread to over 20 cities around the world, including Cincinnati, New York, Barcelona and Sydney.

The 30 pianos will be in town for just three weeks, so take some time and try to visit each one! Go to the L.A. “Play Me, I’m Yours” website for photos, videos, a list of the piano designers/decoraters and a map of where all the pianos are located. Many are located close to Metro bus stops and stations, such as the ones at El Pueblo (Union Station), L.A. Live (7th/Metro or Pico Station) and Santa Monica Pier (Rapid Bus 720 to 4th/Colorado).