Reminder: today last day to register to vote for Nov. 6 election

It doesn't matter whether you want to vote on Measure J, the next president of these United States or you live in the San Fernando Valley and just have to weigh in on the Berman-Sherman struggle to see who gets jettisoned into the life of being a non-elected official: you have to be registered to vote!!!

More info here on how to register from the Los Angeles County Registrar's website.


Officials hold news conference to call for construction to continue on Expo Line Phase 2

County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky at the news conference at the future site of the Palms station. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro

A news conference was held in Palms on Monday morning with elected officials and transit officials urging the California Supreme Court to allow construction to continue on the second phase of the Expo Line light rail.

A group that has sued the project has filed a motion asking for a stay in construction. A decision by the Supreme Court is expected within weeks.

“We believe we will win the ultimate decision in this case,” said County Supervisor and Metro Board Member Zev Yaroslavsky. “But we want the court to understand the impact of their decision.”

Yaroslavsky and other officials said that shutting down work on the project would cost at least $90 million and result in the loss of 817 construction jobs.

“This is a stunt that could kill the project,” Yaroslavsky said, citing the likely cost of re-doing environmental studies and the resulting delays. He added that the threat of a shutdown was sufficient that in addition to filing a motion to prevent a shutdown, officials wanted to hold a news conference to clarify what's at stake.

“To stop this project a year after we started it is just crazy,” Yaroslavsky said.

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Expo Phase 2 construction notice for Military Avenue

Work is well underway up and down the Expo Line Phase 2 alignment between Culver City and Santa Monica — grading, bridgework, utility relocation, etc. Here’s the latest notice from the Expo Line Construction Authority, the independent agency charged with building the line that is being funded by Measure R:

Click above to see larger.

Canopy design and sun protection at the new El Monte Station

Click above to see larger.

I received an email earlier this week from a rider asking about the canopies on the upper level of the new El Monte Station and whether they would afford much protection from the sun and the elements.

It’s a good question — and one that Metro staff considered when designing the new station. I wanted to post the above graphic from Metro because I think it demonstrates that the new station wasn’t just assembled to look good. Function played a big role.

As for sun protection, the issue at El Monte is similar to many other Metro bus stops and rail stations. The sun obviously moves around a lot in the course of a day and year, meaning shade will move, too. I’ve found most Metro shade canopies to be sufficient.

One other point worth making: I know there is concern among some readers about bus bay assignments at El Monte Station. They’re not written in stone. It’s a new facility and Metro staff, along with other agencies using the station, can make changes if necessary and staff have spent the past week reviewing the station and getting feedback from customers.

Random notes from Metro Board committee meetings

A few notes from Board of Director committee meetings the past two days:

•As part of the proposed financial agreement with AEG to expand the Blue and Expo lines' Pico Station to handle Farmer Field crowds, ramps for both the existing and new platform would be widened and lengthened. In addition, to free up space on both platforms, ticket machines will be moved to the street. The financial agreement part is very easy to understand: Metro builds the platform, AEG pays for it as well as other crowd control costs for Farmers Field events.

•The Board's Executive Management committee asked that a proposal to rename the Universal City station as the “Universal City/Studio City” station be sent back to the San Fernando Valley Service Council for their consideration. The Studio City Neighborhood Council backs the name change, saying they were previously unaware that the station was within the boundaries of what's considered Studio City.

•Metro planning officials responded to a motion by Supervisor and Metro Board Member Don Knabe asking for ways that the Metro Airport Connector project could be accelerated with or without the Measure J ballot measure seeking to extend the 2008 sales tax increase for 30 years until 2069.

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Metro ExpressLanes live internet chat at noon, Friday, Nov. 2

The ExpressLanes on the 110 open on Nov. 10, so this is a good chance to get your questions answered. And I know you have questions!

Here’s the link for ordering a transponder — everyone who uses the lanes must have one — and below is the news release from Metro:

On Nov. 10 the carpool lanes on the I-110 Harbor Freeway will be transformed into High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes and all vehicles traveling in those lanes will need to have a FasTrak® transponder. If you have a question about ExpressLanes, how they work, who benefits from them or what they will cost those choosing to use them, then please join the LIVE CHAT. Send your advance questions and opinions to Metro ExpressLanes Executive Officer Stephanie Wiggins now at and join her at noon on Friday, Nov. 2 for a live Internet chat at

Metro ExpressLanes is a one-year demonstration project along the I-110 and the I-10 freeways to ease traffic congestion. It will turn HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lanes into HOT lanes that allow solo drivers to use the carpool lanes by paying a toll. Among the questions to be answered will be:

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LAX FlyAway tickets on Union Station and Van Nuys routes now available online — and you don't have to print them!

I checked it and it works! It was easy-peasy. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

As Tony the Tiger might say, that’s great! One less thing to do at Union Station for those headed to LAX. Here’s the news release from Los Angeles World Airports, the city of Los Angeles agency that operates LAX:

(Los Angeles, California – October 16, 2012) – Tickets to ride the FlyAway® nonstop bus service to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on the Union Station and Van Nuys routes can now be purchased on-line. The link to purchase on-line is .

On-line purchased tickets are good for up to 30 days after purchase date.  At time of boarding, customers can present printed confirmation as a boarding pass or have the capability to access the confirmation e-mail on their phones to be scanned by the bus driver.

Airport officials noted that the bar code is good for as many scans as the number of tickets purchased in a single transaction.  There is no need to print multiple copies of the confirmation unless passengers are traveling separately.

Tickets are $7 per passenger each way, with children five years old and under riding free (limit two per paying passenger).  All major credit cards are accepted.  Cash is not accepted at this time.

On-line ticketing for the LAX FlyAway® between Westwood and the airport is expected at a future date.

Passengers ride dedicated, clean-fuel, high-occupancy buses to reduce ground traffic congestion and vehicle emissions around LAX and the region.   LAX FlyAway® bus service is also in compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.

For additional information on the LAX FlyAway® log on to or dial1-866-IFLYLAX (1-866-435-9529).