Hear ye, hear ye, here’s your clue for Day 3

On the third day of “12 Days of Metro” your transit love gave to you…

A bronze tribute to the one…the only…the Great One.

Here’s how to play.

1. Follow @metrolosangeles on Instagram
2. Solve the daily riddle
3. Take a photo of your TAP card at that location
4. Post it to your Instagram (make sure your profile is public!)
5. Tag @metrolosangeles and #tapandsave

Submissions showing the correct location will be entered to win the daily prize. Contest closes at 6 p.m. Today’s prize is valued at approximately $54. For official contest rules, click here. Winners are chosen at random by a dog. (Literally.)

As for the winner of Day 2…congrats to Instagram user @arpeggi for completing the quest to Amoeba Music! He’ll receive a $25 gift card to Amoeba Music.

 

Go Metro to holiday activities old and new

With Turkey Day 2013 officially behind us, we can begin to celebrate the holidays in full swing. And whether you prefer to savor the season with time-worn traditions, or enjoy some novelty to your Joyeux Noël, Metro can help you beat the traffic and the parking meter–the real Grinches of an L.A. Christmas.

The following list includes holiday activities for creatures of habit and adventurous souls alike — all of which are easily accessible by Metro Bus or Rail. Be sure to click the links for all the details.

It simply wouldn’t be the holidays in L.A. for many Angelenos without at least one of these events:

  • Victorian Christmas at The Banning Museum (Wilmington): Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 7-8, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., FREE. (Metro Blue Line to Pacific Station, then Torrance Transit Bus 3 to PCH/Eubank, or Metro Bus 246 to Avalon/M)
  • Pershing Square Winter Holiday Festival and Downtown on Ice (downtown L.A.): Saturday, Dec. 14, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., FREE. Get $1 off skating at Downtown on Ice when you show your valid TAP card at the ticket window. (Metro Red/Purple Line to Pershing Square Station, Metro Rapid 728 or 794, or various Metro local buses)
  • 34th Annual Swedish Christmas Fair (Shrine Expo Center): Sunday, Dec. 15, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., adults $10, children under 12 free. (Metro Expo Line to Jefferson/USC Station, Metro Bus 200 or 35/38 to Jefferson/Royal, 102 to 3rd/Flower, or 550 to Hoover/32nd)
  • Las Posadas at Olvera Street (downtown L.A.): Monday, Dec. 16-Tuesday, Dec. 24, 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily, FREE. La Placita Olvera also hosts the “Taste of Tamales Festival” Sunday, Dec. 15, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Metro Gold Line to Union Station, Metro Rapid 728 or 770 to Spring/Cesar Chavez, or various lines serving Union Station)
  • L.A. Music Center Holiday Sing-Along (downtown L.A.): Friday, Dec. 20, *6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., FREE with ticket. Event tickets are distributed at 6 p.m. the evening of. (Metro Red/Purple Line to Civic Center/Grand Park Station, or various Grand Avenue buses)
  • L.A. County Holiday Celebration at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (downtown L.A.): Tuesday, Dec. 24, 3 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., FREE. Show your valid TAP card at the hospitality table and receive a holiday celebration souvenir. Also, enter to win a pair of tickets to the Ford Amphitheatre’s 2014 summer season. (Metro Red/Purple Line to Civic Center/Grand Park Station, or various Grand Avenue buses)

Real talk: You’re taking mass transit in L.A. (and we love you for it!). You’re already an iconoclast, so embrace your inner adventurer and enjoy one of these less traditional holiday activities.

  • Unique LA Holiday Mart at the California Market Center (Fashion District): Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 7-8, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., $10 for entire weekend. (Metro Red/Purple Line to 7th/Metro Center, Metro Blue/Expo Line to Pico Station, Metro Bus 66 to Main/9th, or DASH Route E to Los Angeles/9th)
  • Charles Phoenix Retro Holiday Slideshow at Long Beach Art Theater or MOCA Grand (Long Beach/downtown L.A.): Wednesday, Dec. 2 at 2 p.m. in Long Beach, or Sunday, Dec. 22 at 7 p.m. in downtown L.A., $39.00. (For Art Theater: Metro Blue Line to 5th St. Station, then Long Beach Transit Bus 151 from 4th/Elm to Cherry/4th NE. For MOCA: Metro Red/Purple Line to Civic Center/Grand Park Station)
  • 4th Annual Renegade Craft Fair Winter Market (L.A. State Historic Park): Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 14-15, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., FREE. (Metro Gold Line to Chinatown Station, or Metro Bus 76 to Main/Ann)
  • John Burroughs High School Acapella at the Natural History Museum (Exposition Park): Sunday, Dec. 16, 12 p.m., free with price of admission. (Metro Expo Line to Expo Park/USC Station, or Metro Bus 102 or 550 to Exposition/University)
  • Reindeer Romp at the L.A. Zoo (Griffith Park): Tuesday, Nov. 26-Thursday, Jan. 2 during regular Zoo Hours, free with price of admission. (Metro Bus 96 to L.A. Zoo)
  • Enjoy a “Winter Wonderland” without leaving L.A. at the Queen Mary’s Chill or the Beverly Center’s Ice Palace (Long Beach/Mid City West): Chill runs until Jan. 5 and tickets range from $15-$40, Ice Palace runs until Dec. 24 and is FREE. (For Chill: Metro Blue Line to Downtown Long Beach Station, then Passport at Pine/Ocean to Catalina Express/Parking Lot N. For Ice Palace: Metro Rapid 705 to La Cienega/3rd, DASH Fairfax to La Cienega/Beverly)
  • SparkleBlob’s Doublewide Roadside Holiday Snowflake Show at Automata Gallery (Chinatown): every Thursday-Sunday, Dec, 12–Dec, 23, various times, $15. Here’s KCRW’s review of last year’s show. (Metro Gold Line to Chinatown Station, Metro Bus 45, 83, or 84/68 to Broadway/Chinatown, or DASH Route B to Hill/Gin Ling Way)
  • Illuminate your Holidays at the Getty Center (Westwood): every Saturday starting Nov. 16-Jan. 4, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., FREE. (Metro Bus 2 or Big Blue Bus 14 to Church Wb/Sepulveda Fs)
  • 2nd Annual East L.A. on Ice (East L.A.): Thursday-Sunday, Dec 12-15, hours vary, FREE. (Metro Gold Line to East L.A./Civic Center, Metro Rapid 770 to Mednik/Cesar Chavez, Metro Bus 258 to Mednik/3rd, or 84/68 to 1st/Mednik)

Above all, whatever you do, have a happy holiday season and thanks for riding Metro.

Metro fares are $1.50 per single ride on a bus or train or $5 for a Day Pass, which allows unlimited rides that day. Buses accept cash fares or TAP cards, Metro’s reloadable plastic fare cards. On Metro Rail, buy a TAP card at the ticket machine (the cards cost $1). More information on fares here and here’s an interactive Metro Rail map.

Click above to see larger.

Click above to see larger.

Transportation headlines, Friday, December 6

Have a transportation-related article you think should be included in headlines? Drop me an email! And don’t forget, Metro is on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. Pick your social media poison!

ART OF TRANSIT: From our Instagram feed.

Metro hopes to stop public urination near the Orange Line (L.A. Times) 

Well that’s certainly a no-nonsense headline! The article is about the motion approved by the Metro Board of Directors on Thursday to study ways to stem complaints about public urination near the Pierce College station. That includes possibly building restrooms at Pierce College and other Metro stations. Excerpt:

The Orange Line opened in 2005; urinating in public has been illegal in Los Angeles since 2003. But a patchwork of jurisdictions has made enforcing the law near the Orange Line more difficult, Lewis said. Metro owns the busway, which is patrolled by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. But the surrounding area, including the alleys, is the purview of the Los Angeles Police Department.

“If you gotta go, you gotta go,” Lewis said. “But it sure would be nice if you could plan ahead a little better and go a few hundred yards to the south.”

Even if a portable toilet is installed, Lewis said, education will be another issue. If riders don’t know where to look for a bathroom, the solution will be ineffective.

I didn’t realize public urination was legal in L.A. until 2003 — or to put it another way, legal urination in L.A. actually made it into the 21st century. Here’s the story on that.

Gold Line basket bridge over 210 freeway gets record fifth award (San Gabriel Valley Tribune) 

The bridge over the eastbound 210 in Arcadia that was built for the Foothill Extension project has picked up another award, this time from Engineering News-Record, a trade journal. The bridge’s design and construction was overseen by the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority, the agency that is building the project.

I think the bridge looks great — and will look even better once there are trains upon it. At this point, Metro is forecasting an early 2016 opening for the extension that will bring the Gold Line to Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte, Irwindale, Azusa and within a few feet of Glendora.

San Antonio can’t decide if it’s building light rail or a streetcar (The Atlantic Cities)

The top of the story:

In 2004, San Antonio residents overwhelmingly approved a quarter-cent sales tax to pay for local transportation projects. The money could be used for any number of purposes — from road upgrades to “advanced transit services” — with the exception of light rail. Voters shot down a light rail project several years earlier, and VIA Metropolitan Transit, the agency in charge of the funds, promised not to pursue another one.

Fast-forward a decade. That decision is at the heart of a bewildering debate over whether “streetcars” and “light rail” are the same thing. VIA has planned a 5-mile streetcar system for downtown San Antonio that’s scheduled to open by 2017. Opponents contend that none of the sales tax funds (known as Advanced Transportation District funds) should help pay for it under the original “light rail” stipulation.

Surprise, surprise: the issue has landed in court, preventing the local transit agency from selling bonds to fund the streetcar project.

There’s probably a good, larger story here about the newfound popularity of streetcar projects and how controversial they are in many quarters. Los Angeles, of course, is trying to figure out how much a streetcar would cost here while Cincinnati just halted construction because of money concerns. I bet there are other similar tales out there as American cities try anything to continue reviving their urban cores.

Winner, winner, chicken dinner…and your clue for Day 2!

On the second day of “12 Days of Metro” your transit love gave to you…a clue!

This single celled organism feeds on music in Hollywood.

Here’s how to play.

1. Follow @metrolosangeles on Instagram
2. Solve the daily riddle
3. Take a photo of your TAP card at that location
4. Post it to your Instagram (make sure your profile is public!)
5. Tag @metrolosangeles and #tapandsave

Submissions showing the correct location will be entered to win the daily prize. Contest closes at 6 p.m. Today’s prize is valued at $25. For official contest rules, click here.

Thanks to everyone who participated yesterday! Check back shortly to see who – and what – they won!

Transportation headlines, Thursday, December 5

Have a transportation-related article you think should be included in headlines? Drop me an email! And don’t forget, Metro is on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. Pick your social media poison!

Opinion: inching down L.A.’s freeways in the dark (Daily News)

Good column by Mariel Garza, who often finds herself on the region’s roads visiting the Los Angeles Newspaper Group’s various offices. That has made her reliant on the Sigalert app in order to avoid the worst of the area’s traffic jams.

Not so fast. Take it away, Mariel…

Not only has it not sigalerted me to terrible traffic snarls, but in some cases it leads me right into them with promises of traffic flowing like a Sierra stream in the springtime.

Here’s an example from Sunday: Everyone who escaped to the desert for the holiday weekend, it seemed, tried to get through the Interstate 10 Whitewater-Cabazon pass at the same time. This is not unusual, and not wholly unexpected. And it was an epic traffic jam visible to anyone in it.

But it simply didn’t exist to my app, no matter how many times I refreshed it. In fact, it indicated that heavy traffic on the westbound 10 loosened up — going from red to green — at the Highway 62 junction, where I was getting on. But that’s where the worst jam actually started, as the cars, trucks and RVs from Joshua Tree and other high-desert vacation spots emptied into the heavy flow of the 10. Stop and go — mostly stop — all the way west to Banning. Not that I could have avoided this particular snarl without getting off the freeway and trying to find out how to get across to the frontage road. But I was still surprised my Sigalert app couldn’t pick it up. Also, it would have been helpful to know where it ended. I had dinner plans in L.A.

One big problem is that the app pulls traffic data from the 27,000 sensors embedded in freeways in California – and a third of which no longer work. Mariel has an idea: perhaps it’s time to spend some Measure R data to install new sensors and help motorists avoid traffic.

Editorial: high-speed rail proceeds in fits and starts (Sacramento Bee)

The editorial says that there’s no sugar-coating that two recent court rulings were a setback for the state’s high-speed rail project that is initially seeking to Los Angeles and San Francisco. But the rulings are more likely to result in delays issuing bonds and are not likely to kill the project as a few die-hard opponents are trying to do, the Bee says.

Here’s what you need to know: at their core, the rulings involve when the state can issue the voter-approved bonds that will help pay the state’s share of the first segment, as well as work on the bookends of the project in L.A. and S.F. The California High-Speed Rail Authority had wanted to sell all the bonds — $8.6 billion worth — at once but the court rulings make that difficult.

The Bee suggests instead that $4.7 billion in bonds be issued, which would provide money for the first segment of the project as well as work in L.A. and S.F. — which includes some money for the Regional Connector project.

Cincinnati Council pauses streetcar but battle will continue (Cincinnati Enquirer)

Work on the Cincy Streetcar project in front of Music Hall. Photo by David Cole.

Work on the Cincy Streetcar project in front of Music Hall. Photo by David Cole.

At the urging of a newly elected mayor and Council members, the City Council voted 5 to 4 on Wednesday to suspend construction of a streetcar project intended to tie together downtown neighborhoods. Proponents of the project have argued that stopping work will actually cost more than to continue building the streetcar while opponents say there simply is not enough funds to operate it. In the meantime, the Federal Transit Administration has put on hold a $45-million grant to help fund the $147.8-million project.

The story caught my eye for several reasons. I happen to be from Cincinnati and lived there until 1990. Also, and more important, it’s unusual for a project to begin construction and then have work halted while elected officials continue to argue over whether the project should have been built in the first place.

Continue reading

12 Days of Metro: Day 1

Welcome to the 12 Days of Metro Instagram scavenger hunt contest! Here’s the clue for day 1:

What the Dickens, Culver City?

Here’s how to play.

1. Follow @metrolosangeles on Instagram
2. Solve the daily riddle
3. Take a photo of your TAP card at that location
4. Post it to your Instagram (make sure your profile is public!)
5. Tag @metrolosangeles and #tapandsave

Submissions showing the correct location will be entered to win the daily prize. Contest closes at 6 p.m. Today’s prize is valued at $130. For official contest rules, click here.

Final Update: Gold Line resuming normal service between Union-Soto Stations

Trains are resuming regular service on the Metro Gold Line between Union Station and Soto Station. Bus Shuttles serving the affected segment have been cancelled.

Service was disrupted this evening due to loss of power between Little Tokyo/Arts District and Mariachi Plaza. Metro thanks those impacted for their patience.

For up-to-the-minute status updates, follow Metro on Twitter @metrolosangeles or @metroLAalerts.


Service Alert: Gold Line suspended between Union-Soto Stations due to loss of power

At approximately 4:15 p.m. Metro Gold Line lost power between Little Tokyo/Arts District and Mariachi Plaza, resulting in ongoing suspended service between Union Station and Soto Station.

Metro is providing supplemental shuttle bus service from Union Station to Soto Station. Bus shuttles depart Union Station from Patsaouras Transit Plaza. Metro customers utilizing this service should anticipate delays of up to 20 minutes to their usual commute. Customers can also utilize Dash D for service between Union Station and Little Tokyo/Arts District (Temple/Alameda) and Line 30 for service between Little Tokyo/Arts District and Soto Station.

The incident is currently under investigation. Metro will provide updates on this incident as they become available. Thank you for your patience as we work to restore regular service as fast as possible.


Friends, Instagrammers, Metro riders, lend me your ears…

The “12 Days of Metro” Instagram scavenger hunt contest begins tomorrow at 8 a.m.!

The contest will run each weekday through Friday, Dec. 12. Here’s how it works: each weekday at 8 a.m. Metro will post a clue on its Instagram account.

  1. Follow @metrolosangeles on Instagram
  2. Solve the daily riddle, which will involve a location accessible by Metro
  3. Take a photo of your TAP card at that location
  4. Post it to your Instagram (make sure your profile is public!)
  5. Tag @metrolosangeles and #tapandsave

Submissions showing the correct location and tags will be entered to win the daily prize from some of Metro’s Destination Discounts partners! The contest will close at 6 p.m. each business day; submissions posted after 6 p.m. will not be included.

The daily winner will be chosen at random and will be announced on Metro’s Instagram the following day. Prizes include theatre tickets, restaurant gift cards and more! Click here for the official contest rules, terms and conditions.

Final Update: Blue Line resuming normal service

Final Update 2:53 p.m.: The Blue Line is resuming normal service after earlier damage to overhead wires was repaired at 9th and Long Beach Boulevard in Long Beach. Bus shuttles have been cancelled between Anaheim St. and the Long Beach Loop, and trains resume regular service to all stations.

Delayed by Blue Line this morning and need delay verification for employer/school? Call Customer Relations 213.922.6235 / Fax 213.922.6988.

Metro thanks you for your patience as repairs were made as quickly as possible.