How students benefit from taking transit to school

JP is one of many students who rely on Metro to travel to school and around the region. Photos by Cris Liban/Metro.

JP is one of many students who rely on Metro to travel to school and around the region. Photos by Cris Liban/Metro.

Although Metro has programs to help parents and kids as they head back to school, many parents often still feel intimidated by the prospect of sending their kids off to class via transit.

With that in mind, Metro Deputy Executive Officer of Environmental Compliance Services and transit experienced dad Cris Liban offers his point of view on why kids and transit go hand in hand:

I contemplated for a little while on this article and have come to the conclusion that I needed to write it. It was a request from a colleague, Jody Litvak, whose kids grew up using transit. Jody’s three part post from a couple of years ago has a lot of great tips on getting students to school on transit.

Well, it is back-to-school time again, an appropriate time to reflect on what Metro can do for your children. I ride transit every day, and the significance of Jody’s request didn’t really dawn on me until I started looking around.

What seems to be innocuous to me has to be highlighted for others. I happen to live two blocks from a transit stop. My son JP attends a school that is only two transit stops away and transit has been one of my family’s choices to take him to school. We live in Los Angeles and it is almost always sunny and fun to walk, bike and use transit.

As the environmental guy for Metro and with all of these great things going for me, I cannot help but sound biased. But I’m not. I am not going to convince you to get your kids and yourself out of your car and switch to transit. I will, however, try to provide you with information that will encourage you to try this great system we are expanding.

As I wondered what my point of view would be able to offer, I thought hard about my experiences riding transit with my 12-year old son: the countless hours we spent – sometimes with my wife – going to different places around the city.

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Celebrate the grand opening of the Blue Line Farmers’ Market this evening


Fresh produce can be difficult to come by in many areas served by the Metro Blue Line. The new Blue Line Farmers’ Market addresses this issue by bringing the finest in California grown seasonal fruits and vegetables, gourmet specialty foods, handmade crafts and more to the MLK Transit Center Village once a week.

The Blue Line Farmers’ Market will take place every Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., rain or shine. Swing by this evening for their grand opening celebration!

Go Metro and save 10% on your purchase. Just show your valid TAP card to any market vendor to receive the discount.

To get to the Blue Line Farmers’ Market, take the Blue Line to Compton Station or Metro Bus 202 to Willowbrook/Compton. For more routes and connections, use Trip Planner.

Destination Discount: save 10% at The Federal Bar in Long Beach

I'm partial to a good brunch myself. Photo: The Federal Bar LB Official Facebook

I’m partial to a good brunch myself. Photo: The Federal Bar LB Official Facebook

Whether you’re in the mood for brunch, lunch or dinner, The Federal Bar in Long Beach has got you covered. And just like their other branch in NoHo, this Federal Bar is also offering Metro riders a special discount.

After dining, show your valid TAP card to your server to get 10% off on all food. The exclusive discountis part of Metro’s Destination Discounts program. Go Metro to participating locations and events and you’ll save on admission, get discounts on meals, and receive free gifts.

To get to The Federal Bar, take the Metro Blue Line to Downtown Long Beach Station and just walk across the street!

Go Metro to UCLA football at the Rose Bowl

Photo by rocor, via Flickr creative commons.

The Bruins kick off their 2013 season on Saturday night at 7 p.m. against Nevada at the Rose Bowl.

UCLA fans can take the Gold Line to the Memorial Park station in Old Pasadena. After exiting the station, turn right and walk two blocks east down Holly Street to the Parsons parking lot, where you can catch a free shuttle run by to the Rose Bowl — the buses leave from the Pasadena Avenue side of the lot.

Trains will be running every seven to 10 minutes throughout the afternoon and evening until 12:30. The last train from Memorial Park station back to Los Angeles and East Los Angeles leaves at 2:16 a.m. Sunday.

Gold Line timetable


Parking at Union Station is $6. More information on parking at other Gold Line stations, is posted after the jump.

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Dodger Stadium Express warmed up and ready for action in baseball’s post-season

As we round third on August and head into the final month of baseball's regular season, some interesting news from Metro: the Dodger Stadium Express is sufficiently warmed up and ready to roll for the playoffs.

Of course, the buses aren't quite out of the barn yet. The Dodgers still must qualify for the post-season. As of Friday morning, they hold a seemingly comfortable 9.5-game lead over Arizona in the National League West and are given a nearly 100 percent chance of making the playoffs by Baseball Prospectus (see the above chart via

The Dodgers' magic number for cliniching the West stands at 21, meaning any combination of Los Angeles wins and Arizona losses adding up to 21 allows them to proceed to the Divisional Series in October. That translates to a likely clinching scenario in middish September and get this: the Dodgers play Arizona at home Sept. 9 to 11 and then host the Giants for four games from Sept. 12 to Sept. 15.

Interesting, at least if you're a Dodger fan.

I'm guessing the Dodgers will be attracting some huge crowds here on out. For those interested in taking the Doger Stadium Express, here are the basics:

•Board the Dodger Stadium Express at Bus Bay 3 of the Patsaouras Transit Plaza at Union Station.

•Service leaves Union Station every 5-10 minutes, starting 90 minutes before game time through the 3rd inning for all home games. We recommend arriving early; crowds are heaviest near game time.

•Your Dodger ticket is good on gameday for the Dodger Stadium Express fare*; 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 final out.

Much more information here about connecting Metro and Metrolink service to Union Station, parking at Union Station and nearby dining.

We'll have plenty of updates as the baseball season concludes. Other teams likely headed for the playoffs include the Braves, Cardinals, Pirates, Cincinnati Reds, Reds Sox and Tigers. Those teams have a lot of cumulative baseball history. In particular, a Reds-Dodgers playoff matchup would allow them to renew their 1970s rivalry in the NL West when the Reds claimed the division in 1970, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976 and 1979 and the Dodgers got the division crown in 1974, 1977 and 1978. The Reds went to the World Series in 1970, '72, '75 and '76 and the Dodgers in '74, '77 and '78 with the Reds winning it all in '75 or '76. A good decade, it was.


Metrolink offers Labor Day service on Antelope Valley Line

Here's the news release from Metrolink — please beware of the bus bridge between Newhall and Sylmar/San Fernando due to track maintenance:

Antelope Valley Line will have two round trips

LOS ANGELES – Metrolink will suspend service on Monday, Sept. 2, in observance of Labor Day, with the exception of two round-trip trains on the Antelope Valley Line.

Antelope Valley Line trains 262 and 268 will depart Lancaster at 8:55 a.m. and 2:25 p.m. respectively, while trains 263 and 269 will leave Los Angeles Union Station at 11:40 a.m. and 5:25 p.m.

Additional stops will include the Glendale, Downtown Burbank, Sun Valley, Sylmar/San Fernando, Newhall, Santa Clarita, Via Princess, Vincent Grade/Acton and Palmdale stations.

Due to necessary track maintenance, a bus bridge will be established between the Newhall and Sylmar/San Fernando Stations causing delays of more than an hour.

Regular weekday fares apply.

Tickets may be purchased at ticket vending machines, located at all Metrolink stations, and can also be used for a free connection to Metro Rail and most connecting bus lines.

Regular commuter service will resume on Tuesday, September 3.

For details on Metrolink's Labor Day holiday schedule and other initiatives, please visit


Metrolink is Southern California's regional commuter rail service in its 20th year of operation. The Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA), a joint powers authority made up of an 11-member board representing the transportation commissions of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties, governs the service. Metrolink operates over seven routes through a six-county, 512 route-mile network. Metrolink is the third largest commuter rail agency in the United States based on directional route miles and the seventh largest based on annual ridership.


Go Metro Weekends, Labor Day Weekend 2013

Photo: The Market on Holly Official Facebook

Photo: The Market on Holly Official Facebook

Friday, head to The Market on Holly this Friday for an open house featuring The Produce Project’s pop-up farm stand, live jazz and $3 taco specials. The event is free to attend and lasts from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Go Metro and receive a free cookie with a purchase of $10 or more. (Metro Gold Line to Memorial Park Station)

Join in and celebrate the 20th Annual Brazilian Summer Festival on Sunday. Doors open at 5 p.m. for picnicking, booths and DJ music. The show begins at 7 p.m. General admission tickets are $45. (Metro Red Line to Universal City Station, transfer to free Ford Shuttle to the theatre, Metro Bus 222 to Cahuenga / J Anson Ford Theatre)

Want to enjoy the beach and see some super ripped bodies? Check out the Muscle Beach Championship at the Venice Recreation Center on Monday. The event is free and open to the public, and the finals take place at 1 p.m. (Culver City Bus 1 to Pacific/Venice, Metro Rapid 733 to Main/Venice)

Don’t forget, Metro Rail will run until 2 a.m. on Sunday, and all buses and trains will run on weekend/holiday schedule on Monday.