Video: George Takei serving as M.C. at Regional Connector groundbreaking

We didn’t get a chance to post video last week of George Takei serving as Master of Ceremonies at the groundbreaking for the Regional Connector. Enjoy the video that Anna edited together earlier — and, yes, we know the flag was in the way.

And George — thank you very much for helping with the Metro event and promoting transit, current and future.

TAP-TO-GO mobile pilot program introduces 7-Day Pass

TAP-TO-GO Card

This is something that even more riders may find convenient. In addition to the 30-Day pass, 7-Day passes are now available for reload via text message in the TAP-TO-GO pilot program. More riders can take advantage of the benefits: it’s fast, convenient and passes are loaded immediately onto your card without any delays.

TAP-TO-GO is a six-month trial program that began in June and will run through Dec. 1. It’s free to participate, however be sure to register for the pilot program first so you can get your special TAP card to use.

Metro Weekly and Monthly passes are also available:

•at TAP vending machines all Metro Rail and Orange Line Stations

•online at taptogo.net

•by calling 866.TAPTOGO

•at nearly one of 400 vendor locations (click here for locations)

How to sign up

1) Text TAPSIGNUP to 28950 or visit taptogo.net to sign up online.

2) If texting, mobileAxept (Metro’s contractor) will reply with a link to sign up.

3) Enter your name, mailing address and email address. Participants will be directed to the BlueFin-hosted secure payment site to submit credit/debit card information. Credit/debit cards will not be charged until you receive your card in the mail and load your first pass.

4) Once your information has been validated, mobileAxept will send a text confirming participant has successfully joined the TAP-TO-GO pilot program.

5) Participants receive a special TAP card in the mail within seven to 10 business days, with instructions on how load your first Metro 7-Day or 30-DayPass. Again, you need to use this new card — it’s not possible to sign up using an existing TAP card.

How to reload

•Text TAP7DAY to 28950 to reload your Metro 7-Day Pass. You will receive a reply text message confirming your payment has been received and your card is loaded.

•Text TAP30DAY to 28950 to reload your Metro 30-Day Pass. You will receive a reply text message confirming your payment has been received and your card is loaded.

When it’s time to reload either pass, you’ll get a reminder text so you can avoid paying single trips

For frequently asked questions, click here.

A Better Blue Line: canopy installation and other work from week two

Work at the four downtown Long Beach Blue Line stations is coming along nicely. Everything is on schedule and the Long Beach Loop is still set to reopen on October 19.

Related Posts

Service Advisory: 30-day closure of four Blue Line stations
30-day Closure of Four Blue Line Stations
A Better Blue Line
Test Demonstration of Track Work

Metro becomes first transit agency in U.S. to apply flywheel technology for rail energy savings

Metro officials met with representatives from the Federal Transit Administration and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory last week to review promising results of the agency’s first-of-a-kind use of flywheel technology to recycle power generated from rail cars.

Officials met at the Westlake/MacArthur Park Metro Red/Purple Line Station to see firsthand how the Wayside Energy Storage Substation works. The pilot project started in August and is now saving Metro up to 18 percent of the energy normally used to power subway trains entering and leaving the station. That, in turn, helps lower Metro’s electricity bills.

The project is managed by Metro’s Project Engineering Department and uses a state-of-the-art flywheel system built by Vycon of Cerritos. The brain of the system, which assures the precise control of the flow of power, was developed by Turner Engineering of Venice. Metro performed its installation in-house, without external contractors.

The system was therefore entirely developed and implemented with resources local to the Los Angeles County. It is estimated that Metro will eventually save approximately $100,000 per year in electricity costs because of the project.

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New 2.75-mile section of San Fernando Road Bike Path opens

City and county officials this morning unveiled a brand new 2.75-mile section of San Fernando Road Bike Path between Wolfskill Street and Branford streets in Pacoima.

The new bike path segment includes safety fencing, lighting, landscaping and other amenities for local cyclists seeking to ride parallel to the Metro-owned railroad right-of-way now used by Metrolink’s Antelope Valley Line and Union Pacific freight trains.

The new section is an addition to the existing bike path on San Fernando Road between Roxford Street and Wolfskill Street. The existing path is located both in the city of San Fernando and the city of Los Angeles.

Approximately 80 percent of the project cost was funded through Metro’s Call for Projects, a competitive grant process for different types of transportation projects in Los Angeles County. The Call for Projects also helped fund the original segment of the bike path and will also allow the city of L.A. and Burbank to continue building the bike path along San Fernando Road south to connect to the downtown Burbank Metrolink station.

Other project elements included the construction of a bridge over Pacoima Wash and major traffic and railroad signal modifications at Osborne Street, Pierce Street, Paxton Street and Van Nuys Boulevard completed by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation. The path also has bicyclist-activated pedestrian push buttons, paved bus stop waiting areas and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) required handicap ramps.

Agenda for today’s meeting of the Metro Board of Directors

Good morning, Metro riders and stakeholders!

The gavel will soon drop on the Metro Board of Director’s meeting, scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. The agenda is above; click here for the html version.

If not in attendance, you can listen to the meeting online by going to this link once the meeting begins at 9:30 a.m. or shortly thereafter. You can also listen over the phone by dialing 213-922-6045.

I know there’s a lot of public interest in the station renaming motions — Nos. 74 and 75 on the agenda — by Board Members Pam O’Connor and Ara Najarian. Those items are currently on the consent part of the agenda, meaning the Board will vote on the items along with the other consent items unless there is a request from a Board Member(s) to publicly discuss them and vote on them individually.

Of course, there are plenty of other items on the agenda, too. Please take a look — even if you don’t link to the accompanying staff reports, the agendas provide a good overview of the many different programs and projects at Metro, as well as the contracts awarded by the agency.

High Desert Corridor draft environmental study is released

map_corridor_hidesert_eng

Caltrans and Metro today released the long-awaited draft environmental study for the High Desert Corridor project, which contemplates a new 63-mile freeway between Palmdale in Los Angeles County and the town of Apple Valley in San Bernardino County — along with a possible high-speed rail line, bikeway and green energy transmission corridor. The study also considers the legally-required No Build alternative.

The draft study can be viewed by clicking here.

The High Desert Corridor sits north of the San Gabriel Mountains, traditionally the divide between the heavily populated Los Angeles Basin and the rural Mojave Desert. In recent years, however, desert cities such as Palmdale, Lancaster, Adelanto, Hesperia, Victorville and Apple Valley have grown tremendously and now have a combined population near 700,000. The study predicts more growth — and more traffic — in coming decades.

Transportation, however, has remained a challenge in the High Desert with Highway 138 remaining the primary east-west option. Highway 138 is narrow — two or four lanes, often with no center divider — and long ago earned a reputation for its safety issues.

As with other transportation projects, funding for the High Desert Corridor project will remain a challenge. At this time, the project is not funded, although Measure R helped provide money for the project’s environmental studies. Among the alternatives studied is a toll road that could raise funding needed to help finance the project.

The news release from Caltrans is after the jump.

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