Avoid LAX “Century Crunch” traffic July 25-28 by taking public transit

The news release from Metro:

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Public transit is one of the best options for avoiding the “Century Crunch,” a 57-hour street closure on Century Boulevard to demolish the Century Boulevard Bridge leading into LAX during the weekend of July 25-28 as part of construction of the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project.

Numerous transit lines, including FlyAway® bus, Metro Green Line with free LAX Shuttle G to and from airline terminals, Metro Bus, Santa Monica Big Blue Bus, Culver City Bus, Beach Cities Transit, and Torrance Transit will all provide access to the airport during the weekend bridge demolition operation.

Century Boulevard, one of the main access roads to the airport, will be closed to traffic at the Aviation Boulevard intersection beginning 9 p.m. Friday, July 25, through 6 a.m. Monday, July 28. Access to LAX from Sepulveda Boulevard will remain open as usual.  The old railroad bridge needs to be demolished to allow for the future construction of a new Century/Aviation light rail station.

“We avoided ‘Carmageddon’ on the 405 because we planned ahead and Angelenos chose to use transit and avoid unnecessary trips, and we can do the same during the ‘Century Crunch.’ If you are traveling to LAX during this time, it’s the perfect time to discover the car-free options that are available, and you just might decide to use them in the future.” said Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chair Eric Garcetti.

The FlyAway® service offers four bus lines that serve all terminals at Los Angeles International Airport.  Boarding locations include the Metro Expo/La Brea Station, Union Station in Downtown Los Angeles, the Van Nuys FlyAway® bus terminal in the San Fernando Valley, and Westwood/UCLA Flyaway.  A new FlyAway® service also will begin to operate from Santa Monica Civic Center on July 15. For more information on FlyAway® bus schedules, locations and fares, visit www.lawa.aero/flyaway.

To get to LAX by public transportation on the weekend of July 25-27 and beyond, it is hard to beat the Metro Green Line. Ride to the Aviation/LAX Station, go downstairs and catch the free “G-Aviation” LAX shuttle bus from Bays 6 and 7. The “G” shuttle is operated by the airport and it serves all passenger terminals. Metro Line 120 (Imperial Highway) also serves the Aviation/LAX Station.

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Metro Bus lines serving the airport include Lines 102, 111, 117, and 232.  These lines all terminate at the LAX City Bus Center on 96th Street just east of Sepulveda Boulevard. After getting off your bus, walk a short distance to the west end of the LAX City Bus Center and cross over to the LAX Parking Lot C depot where you catch the free “C” LAX shuttle bus to the LAX airline terminals. Line 102 serves Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Stocker Street, and La Tijera Boulevard. Line 111 serves Florence Avenue and Arbor Vitae Street. Line 117 serves Century Boulevard, and Line 232 serves Pacific Coast Highway and Sepulveda Boulevard south of LAX.

Municipal bus providers with service to LAX include Beach Cities Transit Line 109, Santa Monica Big Blue Bus Line 3, Culver City Line 6 and Torrance Transit Line 8.  All four lines serve the LAX City Bus Center. Beach Cities, Big Blue Bus, and Culver City also serve the Metro Aviation/LAX Green Line Station.

The bus lines that will be affected by the Century Boulevard closure are Metro Bus 117 and Line 40 owl service, Santa Monica Big Blue Bus Line 3, Culver City Bus Line 6 and Beach City Transit Line 109.  On the weekend of July 25-27, bus service on these lines will follow recommended detours through the area.

To plan your trip on public transportation, visit metro.net and use the trip planner.  For more information on the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project, the Century bridge demolition, related street closures and recommended detours go to metro.net/Crenshaw. Join us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CrenshawRail and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/crenshawrail.

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Follow LAX on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LAInternationalAirport, Twitter at www.twitter.com/flyLAXairport and www.LAXisHappening.com for airport construction and traffic-related impacts.

About Metro

Metro is a multimodal transportation agency that is really three companies in one: a major operator that transports about 1.5 million boarding passengers on an average weekday on a fleet of 2,000 clean air buses and six rail lines; a major construction agency that oversees many bus, rail, highway and other mobility related building projects, and; the lead transportation planning agency for Los Angeles County. Overseeing one of the largest public works programs in America, Metro is, literally, changing the urban landscape of the Los Angeles region. Dozens of transit, highway and other mobility projects largely funded by Measure R are under construction or in the planning stages. These include five new rail lines, the I-5 widening and other major projects.

Stay informed by following Metro on The Source and El Pasajero at metro.net, facebook.com/losangelesmetro, twitter.com/metrolosangeles and twitter.com/metroLAalerts and instagram.com/metrolosangeles.

DASH service resumes as strike ends

Good news, DASH riders: the strike is over and all 19 routes that were affected have resumed normal service.

Here’s the press release from LADOT:

The City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) announced that the strike against Veolia Transportation has ended and normal bus service for all 19 affected DASH routes will resume immediately.

The affected routes were:

·DASH Downtown Routes A, B, D, E & F
·DASH Beachwood Canyon
·DASH Crenshaw
·DASH Fairfax
·DASH Highland Park/Eagle Rock
·DASH Hollywood
·DASH Hollywood/Wilshire
·DASH King-East
·DASH Leimert/Slauson
·DASH Lincoln Heights/Chinatown
·DASH Los Feliz
·DASH Midtown
·DASH Southeast
·DASH Wilshire Center/Koreatown
·Weekend Observatory Shuttle

LADOT thanks you for your patience and understanding during the strike by the employees of our private contractor.We look forward to being able to resume all our normal bus service and to seeing you back on board.

If you have any questions, please call the LADOT Transit Store at (213, 310, 323 or 818) 808-2273 or visit the LADOT transit website at ladottransit.com.

And below the jump, the press release from Veolia:

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Update for DASH riders

Due to an employee strike, there is limited service on many of the DASH routes in downtown L.A., South L.A. and Hollywood. Here are the schedules for routes that will be in service:

  • DASH Downtown Route D will operate approximately every 15 minutes during the AM and PM peak hours from 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM
  • DASH Downtown Route E will operate approximately every 10-15 minutes
  • DASH Downtown Route F will operate a short run from 7th & Figueroa to 4th & Beaudry approximately every 10 minutes during the AM and PM peak hours from 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM
  • DASH Beachwood Canyon will operate approximately every 20 minutes until 6:00 PM
  • DASH Crenshaw will operate approximately every 30 minutes until 6:00 PM
  • DASH Hollywood/Wilshire will operate approximately every 20 minutes until 6:00 PM
  • DASH Lincoln Heights/Chinatown will operate approximately every 30 minutes until 6:00 PM
  • DASH Southeast will operate approximately every 20-25 minutes until 6:00 PM

Check here for the list of DASH routes not operating.

For DASH riders who hold 31-day DASH passes, LADOT will have a 7-day Metro pass automatically loaded onto their TAP cards today for free. The upload will take up to 72 hours to go into effect. Commuter Express riders who hold 31-day passes and ride Commuter Express routes that serve Downtown may come to the LADOT Transit Store to have the 7-day pass loaded onto their TAP cards or they can phone the LADOT Transit Store at (213, 310, 323, 818) 808-2273.

For the most up to date information on the strike and when these DASH routes will be operating again, please check the LADOT transit website at ladottransit.com, follow LADOT on Twitter @ladottransit or call the LADOT Transit Store.   For routes that are operating, riders can get bus arrival times for their specific stops at ladotbus.com.

AVTA celebrates completion of their Phase II Facilities Project

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Photos by Anna Chen/Metro

Metro participated in Antelope Valley Transit Authority‘s dedication ceremony of the Phase II Facilities Project today. The construction expanded their original maintenance and operations facility in Lancaster. Metro provided $5.555 million in funding for the original facility through the 2001 Call for Projects and contributed $799,344 to Phase II through the Municipal Operators Service Improvement Program (MOSIP).

The expansion project includes a new board room/community room, solar car ports that will generate 100% of the facility’s electricity needs and five new bus maintenance bays. Phase II allows AVTA to be able to support the region’s growing transportation needs and provide future connections to Metrolink, the Palmdale Airport, the proposed XpressWest and High Speed Rail.

Reminder: Big Blue Bus shakes up service to connect to Culver City Expo Station

As we mentioned in a post around the time of the Expo Line’s opening to La Cienega, Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus has rerouted three of its bus lines to improve service between Culver City Station and major West L.A. destinations. And last week we touched on what changes Culver City Bus lines is making to its service in this post.

In case you need a quick refresher on the Big Blue Bus service changes, here’s a quick rundown:

Big Blue Bus Line 5 — Now connecting Culver City Expo Station to downtown Santa Monica via Century City

Big Blue Bus Route 5. Click the image for a high resolution PDF of the map and timetable.

Formerly this line connected downtown Santa Monica to Rimpau Terminal in Mid City via Century City. Now? Buses on Line 5 heading towards Santa Monica will leave from Culver City Expo Station and jog up towards Century City via Robertson Boulevard.

Big Blue Bus Line 12 – Now connecting Culver City Expo Station to UCLA via Palms and Westwood

Big Blue Bus Route 12 (and Super 12 in pink). Click the image for a high resolution PDF of the map and timetable.

To connect the Expo Line to Westwood and UCLA, Big Blue Bus will change the southern terminus of its popular Route 12 to Culver City Station. Furthermore, the current “Super 12″ service — a rush-hour only service featuring a streamlined route to campus and fewer stops — will be converted to a Rapid 12. Both the “regular” 12 and the Rapid 12 lines will travel from the Culver City station, through Palms and up Westwood Boulevard to the Westwood Village and the UCLA campus.

Good to note: Riding these Big Blue Bus lines requires a separate fare — a $.35 transfer you can buy from a Metro ticket vending machines at any station — and the agency currently does not accept TAP cards. More fare info is available here.

Missing persons found with help of Metro bus operator

Two children and a mentally disabled adult who went missing from Long Beach on Saturday night were discovered Monday morning at the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink Station with the help of Metro bus operator George Vazquez.

Vazquez was operating Line 230 when he noticed the trio at the Sylmar Metrolink Station terminal and felt they matched the description of the missing persons from the bulletin put out by the Long Beach Police Department. He notified Mark Solomon and Gerardo Zavaleta at Metro bus control, who in turn notified the San Fernando Police Department, LAPD and Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. The authorities responded to the location and verified that it was the missing woman and children, who were found none the worse for wear.

Thanks to Vazquez’s keen eye, the woman and children were safely escorted by authorities back to Long Beach.

Metro receives award for converting bus fleet to CNG

Metro and Foothill Transit just picked up an award from the South Coast Air Quality Management District for “Promotion of Good Environmental Stewardship.”

The award honors Metro’s switch to 100 percent alternative fuels earlier this year, which made it the first major transit agency in the world to operate only CNG-fueled buses. Here’s the excerpt from the news release:

Award for Promotion of Good Environmental Stewardship – Foothill Transit and Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA):

Foothill Transit, which serves 21 cities in the San Gabriel and Pomona valleys, began purchasing CNG buses in 2002 and has almost exclusively purchased CNG buses ever since. Foothill aims to have a 100 percent Clean Air fleet by 2013. Foothill Transit also has deployed three zero-emission fast-charge Ecoliner buses since 2010. In addition to having zero tailpipe emissions and using renewable energy, the Ecoliner’s unique structure, recyclable batteries and long life make its carbon footprint one of the lowest of any transit buses today.

When MTA officially retired its last diesel bus in January 2011, the public transit agency became the nation’s largest operator of a compressed natural gas fleet with 2,221 buses. Metro’s emission reduction efforts have brought about an 80 percent reduction in cancer-causing particulates and a reduction in greenhouse gases by more than 300,000 pounds a day. In addition, Metro has been an environmental steward in other ways, with the largest solar panel installation in the transit industry.

The entire news release from the AQMD is after the jump.

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Ride review: Big Blue Bus Rapid 7 to Wilshire/Western

The new 60-foot Rapid 7 bus turning left from Wilshire onto Western in front of the Wiltern Theater.

As we noted in May, Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus had plans to shake up its service to improve connections with Metro Rail. Well those changes — detailed here [PDF] — went live on Sunday and there’s some good news for Metro riders.

The BBB has extended the eastern terminus of its Rapid 7 line from Rimpau Terminal to the Wilshire/Western Metro Rail station. And to help boost capacity on the popular line, Big Blue Bus has added 16 60-foot articulated buses to the fleet. They’re the same sort that you can find on the busier Metro Rapid lines, but clad in striking royal blue.

So with that in mind, I decided to try out the new service yesterday morning en route to Metro headquarters from my apartment just south of Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica. Continue reading

Video: Metrolink Positive Train Control System

In a post earlier today we told you about a $6.6 million federal grant to help fund Metrolink’s efforts to install Positive Train Control (PTC) along its commuter rail system.

But what is PTC exactly? This informative video from Metrolink features some nice computer animation that explains how system works.

In a nutshell: a network of computers and GPS technology connect trains, signals and central offices to ensure the safest possible operation of trains.


Metrolink launches user-friendly mobile site

Metrolink Mobile Image

Metrolink has launched a new mobile website that allows its patrons to access vital information about the commuter rail system while on the go.

A Google Maps enhanced trip planner, service updates from Twitter, schedules, a system map and station information are all accessible from the new mobile-friendly interface.

I gave the site a whirl from my iPhone and I have to say – I’m impressed. Pointing the iPhone’s browser to metrolinktrains.com, the same URL used to access the full-fledged site, automatically loads the mobile site.

The home page is simple in the best way possible. Eight large, touch-friendly buttons make navigating the site a breeze. Each section loads quickly and seem perfectly optimized for the smartphone. The service alerts page in particular looks like it will be of great use to Metrolink riders who don’t follow the agency on Twitter.

In a press release, posted after the jump, Metrolink calls the site a beta release – but clearly the agency did their homework before launching this one.

On a side note: Metro’s own mobile site has received a quiet update. Service alerts from Twitter are now featured prominently on the home page and a tab has been added for news which features the latest headlines from The Source. Check it out on the mobile web at m.metro.net. Continue reading