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

Video: Metrolink train blasts past rainy day traffic

I was browsing my old blog, MetroRiderLA (which is still regularly updated by the way, just not by me), and came across a link to this video from commenter TonyW79SFW who recorded it off television in April of 2006.

In the video ABC news reporters warn commuters of the inevitable traffic jams of a “treacherous” rainy day commute as a San Bernardino Metrolink train glides smoothly down the middle of the 10 Freeway.

What I love about this video in addition to the obvious – that rail is unencumbered by the many variables that cause traffic jams – is how the aerial shot also highlights the massive amount of space we devote to moving cars and trucks.

The Metrolink tracks are just a sliver compared to the 10 lanes of freeway that surround them.

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