Upcoming construction closure: 20th Street at Expo Line intersection in Santa Monica

expo work2

expo workHere’s the construction notice from the Expo Line Construction Authority, the agency building the six-mile project that will extend tracks from Culver City to downtown Santa Monica with seven new stations. A segment of 20th Street will be closed this weekend and the next for track work.

The project is funded mostly by Measure R, the half-cent sales tax increase approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2008. It is currently forecast to open in early 2016.

Metro Board workshop today to discuss LASD issues

The Metro Board of Directors will hold a special workshop today at noon to discuss the performance of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, which is under contract to patrol Metro’s buses, trains, stations and other facilities.

The workshop was prompted by an internal audit of the LASD, which identified a variety of issues ranging from the way that deputies are deployed to fare evasion. This report to the Metro Board by Metro’s Office of the Inspector General covers some of the audit’s findings.

You can listen to the meeting today over the phone by dialing 213-922-6045 or listening online by going to this link once the meeting begins and then selecting the workshop.

TAP cards can now be used on Pasadena ARTS buses!

Some good news: TAP cards can now be used on the Pasadena ARTS bus. This is the twelfth transit agency to join TAP with more on the way soon.

A few details:

  • The ARTS bus will continue to accept cash fares.
  • Board a Pasadena ARTS bus with TAP Stored Value or an EZ transit pass, which can be purchased at one of nearly 400 TAP sales outlets, at taptogo.net or by calling 866.TAPTOGO.
  • Other agencies that accept TAP include:  Antelope Valley Transit Authority, Culver City, Foothill, Gardena, Long Beach, Los Angeles Department of Transportation, Montebello, Norwalk, Santa Clarita, and Torrance Transit (line 4 only).
  • For more information about the ARTS bus, please click here. The bus system map is below.

System Map Print_Layout2013System Map Print_Layout20132

Reconstructed Alondra Boulevard Bridge now open

 Photos: Mark Arroyo/Metro

Earlier today, Caltrans, Metro and the Federal Highway Administration opened the newly reconstructed Alondra Boulevard Bridge. It is the largest of three bridges rebuilt as part of the $110 million Santa Ana Freeway (I-5) Alondra Boulevard Bridge Project.

The 57-year-old Alondra Bridge was completely demolished in June 2013 and rebuilt within 14 months. The new structure meets modern design standards and has been expanded from four to six lanes. This will increase bridge capacity and improve safety and efficiency, eliminating northbound bottlenecks and improving access to regional transit and HOV facilities. The project is a significant milestone in the I-5 South Corridor Improvement Projects and will improve connections within Santa Fe Springs and to the cities of Norwalk, Cerritos and La Mirada.

The Santa Ana Freeway/Alondra Boulevard Bridge Project is funded by federal, state and local monies, including $72 million from Prop 1B, $14.5 million from state transportation funds, and $23.7 million from Metro’s Prop C and Measure R.

The press release from Caltrans is after the jump.

Continue reading

City of Beverly Hills approves MOA with Metro for Purple Line Extension utility work permits

project_map1

The Beverly Hills City Council on Tuesday night unanimously approved a Memorandum of Agreement and authorized its staff to issue permits to Metro to relocate utilities for the Purple Line Extension’s future station at Wilshire/La Cienega. This clears the way for Metro to move forward with its planned pre-construction work within the city’s borders.

Metro will now be able to relocate water, power, sewer and other utility lines once a contractor for the Wilshire/La Cienega station advanced utility work is selected.   Relocating the utilities now will ensure that area residents and business will be able to continue to receive service once actual construction begins for the Wilshire/La Cienega station.

The Memorandum of Agreement clearly defines how the two parties will work together during utility relocation. The MOA is similar to established agreements Metro already has with other cities throughout Los Angeles County.

The unanimous 5 to 0 vote is the result of months of close coordination between Metro and Beverly Hills. The City Council put the agency’s requested permits as well as its MOA through close scrutiny and public debate over the last eight months. City Council members expressed concerns regarding night-time work, noise, parking and local business impacts, among others.

During the vote, the Beverly Hills Council publicly thanked Metro and its construction relations team for working closely with the city. Council Members reported that Metro came to the table, listened to their concerns and worked cooperatively through their issues.

The approvals are welcome news to Metro and will help keep planned pre-construction work on track. Advanced utility relocation work for the other planned stations in the City of Los Angeles has been going on for the last year-and-a-half.

In July, Metro selected a design-builder for the first section of the Purple Line Extension.  The agency is now in a 45-day protest review period. Following the contract award, major construction would likely start next year.

The first phase of the Purple Line Extension will extend tracks for 3.9 miles from the current terminus at Wilshire and Western to Wilshire and La Cienega. New stations will be built at Wilshire/La Brea, Wilshire/Fairfax and Wilshire/La Cienega. The second phase of the project will extend the Purple Line to downtown Beverly Hills and Century City while the third phase will include two stations in Westwood — one at Wilshire and Westwood boulevards, the other at Wilshire and the VA Hospital.

The Purple Line Extension is being funded in part with Measure R, the half-cent sales tax approved by 68 percent of Los Angeles County voters in 2008.

Four-week street closure along 2nd Street between Spring and Broadway beginning August 23

More Regional Connector utility relocation work will start this Saturday, August 23. The work will require 2nd Street between Spring and Broadway to be fully closed for four weeks. Here’s the press release from Metro:

As part of advanced relocation of utilities to pave the way for the construction of station boxes and tunnels to begin on the Regional Connector Project, 2nd Street between Spring Street and Broadway will remain closed for a 4- week period beginning Saturday, August 23.

The closure is necessary so utility crews can install electrical vaults on 2nd Street to support the construction of the 2nd Street/Broadway Station for the Regional Connector. Because the vaults are the width of the street, a 4-week full closure is needed for this work. The closure will be in effect 24-hours a day.

Anticipated hours of construction work are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays. Barriers will be placed to separate the work area from traffic and during the closure, saw-cutting, excavation, conduit and vault installation work will be performed.

Access to the Los Angeles Times 2nd Street Corporate Garage will be maintained during the

4-week closure and access to Joe’s Parking Lot will be maintained via Spring Street and Broadway. Pedestrian access will also be maintained outside the construction zone. Metro bus service should be maintained along both Spring Street and Broadway. No Metro bus service operates along 2nd street in the closure area.

During the closure, westbound 2nd Street traffic will be detoured right on Main Street, left on 1st Street, left on Hill Street back to 2nd Street. Eastbound 2nd Street traffic will be detoured right on Hill Street, left on 4th Street, left on Main Street, back to 2ndStreet.

The $1.427 billion Regional Connector light rail project will complete a 1.9 mile gap connecting the Metro Gold Line with the Blue and Expo lines by providing a direct connection with three new stations planned for 1st Street/Central Avenue, 2ndStreet/Broadway and 2nd Place/Hope Street in downtown Los Angeles. The Regional Connector Project is an important rail connection project overwhelmingly approved by the voters and funded by the Measure R half-cent sales tax for LA County transportation improvements.

The Regional Connector, expected to be completed in 2020, will attract nearly 17,000 new daily riders and provide access to more than 88,000 passengers saving commuters up to 20 minutes off their daily commutes. It will provide a one-seat, one fare ride for commuters from Azusa to Long Beach and from East Los Angeles to Santa Monica without the need to transfer between rail lines for major east/west and north/south trips.

The new Metro Rail extension will offer an alternative transportation option to congested roadways, provide significant environmental benefits and spur economic development throughout Los Angeles County. Through improved connectivity, riders will be better able to use the entire Metro Rail system, municipal bus lines and other regional transportation services.

New fare charts and FAQ on the fare increases and changes that begin Sept. 15

As many of you likely know, Metro’s fare increases and fare changes that were approved this spring go into effect on September 15.

The charts below outline the new fares, including regular fares and passes, Silver Lane fares and the EZ Pass. I urge everyone to give this a read before Sept. 15 as the new structure — with free transfers for two hours — means that some of you could save on your Metro transit trips while others will be seeing an increase.

I also want to emphasize: please click here to see if you are eligible for Metro’s “Rider Relief” fares that provide up to a $10 discount on transit passes. The Rider Relief coupons for seniors and students provide savings on top of already reduced rates. Eligibility is determined by household income and the number of occupants in a household.

Please, please, please — check to see if you are eligible for a discount. There’s no point in paying more than you should and these discounts are available to enhance everyone’s mobility in our region. If you know of someone who may qualify, please pass along this information!

14-2393_Rider_Relief_Rail_Poster_jp

There is also more information on this page about Metro’s reduced fares, including discounts for students, seniors, the disabled and Medicare recipients.

Here are the new fares that take effect Sept. 15:

fares_English (1)

There is also a comprehensive FAQ that has been posted to metro.net. Please click here to see the entire FAQ.

I have posted some of the questions and answers below that I think will answer many of the questions we’ve been fielding here from readers:

What is the difference between a 1-ride base fare and a 1-way trip?

Both are single fares used to board a Metro Bus. The “1-Ride Base Fare” indicates that the fare is being paid in cash or with a token; no TAP card is required, and no transfers are included. The “1-Way Trip” indicates that the fare is being paid using a TAP card preloaded with a 1-Way Trip product (available at TAP vending machines) or Stored Value on a TAP card. The 1-Way Trip includes transfers to other connecting Metro bus or rail lines for up to two hours to complete a one-way trip; it is not valid for a round-trip. Note that the 1-Ride Base Fare is not available on Metro Rail or the Metro Orange Line; payment of all fares on those lines requires use of a TAP card. (See description of TAP cards below.)

Who is eligible for two hours of free transfers?

Customers are eligible for transfers when enough Stored Value is preloaded on a TAP card and used to pay the applicable 1-Way Trip fare. The 1-Way Trip is available at varying rates to: regular blue TAP card holders; Seniors 62+/Disabled/ Medicare TAP card holders; Students K-12  TAP card holders; and College/Vocational TAP card holders.

How will the free transfers work?

The two-hour period begins upon the first boarding of a trip, when a TAP card is tapped to pay the 1-Way Fare.  The customer must tap their card upon each subsequent boarding during the trip; the TAP system will recognize if the customer is within the two-hour transfer window and is making a valid transfer covered by the 1-Way Trip.

The number of transfers within the two-hour window is not limited; as an example, a customer could transfer from bus line 20 to the Red Line to the Blue Line to the Green Line, all with payment of a 1-Way Trip, as long as the last transfer occurs within two hours of the first tap.

But transfers back to the same bus or rail line where the customer’s TAP card was last used are not permitted. For example,  the customer may not,  transfer from the Green Line back to the Green Line, or from bus line 20 back to Line 20; a new 1-Way Fare would be deducted from the Stored Value on the card.

As mentioned, trips lasting longer than two hours can be made on the 1-Way Trip fare, as long as the last transfer is made before the two-hour transfer window expires.

Are all student fares frozen?

No. Only Student K-12 fares are frozen at this time; their single fare price ($1) and 30-Day Pass ($24) will remain the same. Fares for College/Vocational students are not included in the freeze. The College/Vocational fare (1-Ride Base Fare or 1-Way Trip) is now $1.75, and the 30-Day Pass is now $43.

How will transfers work on Metro short lines?

Customers purchasing a 1-Way Trip receive two hours of transfers to complete a one-way trip. If traveling on a bus short line, transfers will be permitted from the bus short line to another bus on the same line to continue a trip in the same direction.

What about transfers between Metro and other municipal operators (Metro-to-Muni)?

Metro fares do not cover other municipal carriers (e.g. Foothill Transit, Torrance Transit, Montebello Bus Lines, etc.), but Metro-to-Muni transfers will still be available. They can be purchased from TAP vending machines or onboard buses, and are valid for two hours after purchase.

 

How will interagency transfers work with the new transfer system? 

A customer transferring from other municipal bus carriers (e.g. Foothill Transit, Torrance Transit, Montebello Bus Lines, etc.) will need to purchase an Interagency transfer onboard that line, and submit it as payment when boarding a Metro bus or train.  Interagency transfers can be issued as paper passes, “Limited Use” paper TAP cards, or loaded directly onto the customer’s plastic TAP card.  Regardless of the form in which the Interagency transfer is issued, it is only good for one transfer from a municipal bus line to a Metro bus or train. Interagency transfers are treated as a 1-Ride Base Fare and are not eligible for the 2 hours of transfers on Metro.  Customers boarding with an Interagency transfer and planning to ride more than one Metro bus or train should purchase another Metro fare to avoid getting a citation or fine.

Do the new fares affect the Metrolink monthly pass?

No. These changes only apply to Metro. They do not affect Metrolink tickets and passes that include transfers to Metro.

Please click here to see the entire Q&A, which also includes information about the Silver to Silver program, how to get a TAP card and

Here are the new Silver Line fares: 

Metro Fares
As of 9/15/14
Regular Senior 62+/
Disabled/
Medicare
College/
Vocational
Student K-12
Silver Line Cash Fares
1-Ride Base Fare
No transfers included.Additional charges apply to ride:
• Metro Express Buses
$2.50 $1.35
Peak
95¢
Off-Peak
$2.50 $2.50
On TAP
1-Way Trip
Includes transfers to other Metro Lines for up to two hours to complete a one-way trip.Additional charges apply to ride:
• Metro Express Buses
$2.50 $1.35
Peak
95¢
Off-Peak
$2.50 $2.50
Premium Charge for 7-Day, 30-Day and EZ transit passAll other Metro passes accepted without premium charge. 75¢
Express Freeway Premium Charge
Express + Zone 1
Premium Charge

Additional fare required only on freeway segments.
75¢ 60¢ 75¢ 75¢

And here are the new EZ Pass fares:

Metro Fares
As of 9/15/14
Regular Senior 62+/
Disabled/
Medicare
College/
Vocational
Student K-12
EZ transit passIncludes:
•All Metro servicesAdditional charges apply to ride:
• Metro Silver Line
• Metro Express Buses
• Non-Metro express buses
$110 $42
EZ transit pass + Zone 1Includes:
• All Metro servicesAdditional charges apply to ride:
• Non-Metro express buses that leave Los Angeles County
$132 $51.50
EZ transit pass + Zone 2 $154       $61
EZ transit pass + Zone 3 $176 $70.50
EZ transit pass + Zone 4 $198 $80
EZ transit pass + Zone 5 $220 $89.50
EZ transit pass + Zone 6 $242 $99
EZ transit pass + Zone 8 $286 $118
EZ transit pass + Zone 9 $308 $127.50
EZ transit pass + Zone 10 $330 $137
EZ transit pass + Zone 11 $352 $146.50

For more information about ordering an EZ Pass, agencies that participate in the pass and discounts, please click here.

RELATED POSTS

Metro Board votes to raise most fares in September but postpones increases in 2017 and 2020

Some audio and video from public hearing on fare changes