New shuttle service debuts connecting Thousand Oaks and Metrolink’s Moorpark station

Metrolink Schedule FINAL 07012013
Welcome news — always good to see new connections to regional transit. Here is the news release from Metrolink: 
LOS ANGELES – Metrolink has partnered with the City of Thousand Oaks and Thousand Oaks Transit to provide convenient weekday round-trip shuttle service between the Metrolink Moorpark Station from the Thousand Oaks Transportation Center, The Oaks Shopping Center and California Lutheran University. The service, which began today, July 15, makes it easier for commuters in the Conejo Valley and Thousand Oaks to take advantage of Metrolink service. 
Metrolink riders can transfer to the shuttle at no additional cost as long they present a valid Metrolink ticket upon boarding. Non-Metrolink riders can ride the shuttle for free through August 16.
The weekday shuttle operates a total of six round-trips during peak morning and evening commute times and is scheduled to connect with most Metrolink trains providing service between Moorpark and Los Angeles Union Station. Metrolink has worked closely with Thousand Oaks Transit to ensure minimal wait times for riders.

Torrance Transit now accepting TAP cards on Route 4 Express bus

Some good news for Torrance Transit riders: starting today, TAP cards will be accepted on Route 4 Express service between Torrance and downtown Los Angeles.

That means that TAP cards loaded with stored value, EZ transit passes and/or inter-agency transfers may be tapped on Route 4 fareboxes for fare payment. In addition, TAP stored value may be added to TAP cards at Torrance City Hall (West Annex building) beginning the week of July 8.

Stored value can also be loaded onto TAP cards at at and Metro ticket vending machines at Metro Rail and Orange Line stations.

Transportation headlines, Monday, July 15

Here is a look at some of the transportation headlines gathered by us and the Metro Library. The full list of headlines is posted on the Library’s Transportation Headlines online newspaper, which you can also access via email subscription (visit the newspaper site) or RSS feed.

Howdy, Source readers. Back in the saddle again after a couple weeks in the Beaver State. I even went to hear the Bend, Ore., mayor speak at a community event held in a bar, the first time I can recall enjoying a beer while listening to an elected official. It was quite awesome and the mayor even talked about transportation — specifically the need for Bend to bulk up density on its transit corridors to encourage ridership so bus service “pencils out” and for the need to incentivize bike travel rather than punish car travel. Incentives, the mayor said, work the best. Otherwise, here’s the best way to get around Oregon:

Upper Klamath National Wildlife Refuge as seen from a canoe. Photo by Steve Hymon.

Upper Klamath National Wildlife Refuge as seen from a canoe. Photo by Steve Hymon.

Pasadena bike plan sent back to the drawing board (Pasadena Star News)

Wow. The Pasadena City Council — after two years of inaction — has decided that its bike plan update would do little or nothing to improve bike safety. Four cyclists have died in the city since 2010, including one last month. There are a few bike lanes here and there in Pasadena, but the city for years has relied on marking busy streets as “bike routes” while doing absolutely nothing to help cyclists navigate them. The obvious question for media members — not asked or answered in this article — is whether any Pasadena Council Members have ever tried to navigate their own city on a bike. The key, I’ve found, is to stick to the many residential streets to get around and then say a few prayers before riding on the likes of Del Mar, California, Lake, etc.

Shh! Obama Administration puts brakes on Xpress West high-speed rail project (The Foundry) 

The Heritage Foundation doesn’t sound too disappointed at the news that the U.S. Department of Transportation has suspended its review of a federal loan application for the Victorville-to-Las Vegas rail project. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) and Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) take credit, saying they originally opposed the project. I’m not exactly falling out of my seat in shock; the project needed a federal loan on the order of about $5 billion to get built — not likely from a tight-pursed Congress — and I’m not sure any politician outside Nevada is going to help Vegas gaming interests when so many states have gaming interests of their own to protect.

Perris Valley Line: $3 million settlement reached with environmental group (Press-Enterprise) 

The deal clears the way for an extension of Metrolink’s Riverside Line to Perris, with tracks running mostly adjacent to the 215 freeway. The settlement involves setting aside some funds for homeowners near the tracks to soundproof their homes, along with money for sound dampening the tracks and some bike and foot trails. Construction is expected to begin this year.

Northbound I-5 still closed due to tanker truck accident

Northbound I-5 at SR-2 remains closed after a tanker fire this past Saturday damaged the tunnel beneath I-5. Here’s the latest from Caltrans on what’s open and what’s closed:

Northbound I-5 is open at Glendale Boulevard.
The northbound SR-2 connector to southbound I-5 is open.
Southbound SR-2 is open through Glendale Boulevard.
The southbound SR-2 to southbound I-5 connector is open.

Northbound I-5 (all lanes) is closed at SR-2. The detour is northbound SR-2 to westbound SR-134 and back to northbound I-5.
The northbound I-5 connector to southbound SR-2 is closed.
The northbound SR-2 connector to northbound I-5 is closed.
The two left lanes of southbound I-5 are closed from Los Feliz to Stadium Way.

To detour around the affected northbound I-5 area, use the westbound SR-134. It is highly recommended that travelers take transit instead. The Metro Gold Line, Metrolink Ventura County Line and Antelope Valley Line all pass through downtown Los Angeles.

On the Gold Line, the Del Mar Station is recommended for those who want to park and ride. Parking is available at a discounted rate of $2/day to those who show their TAP card.

Metrolink recommends using the Glendale Station or Downtown Burbank Station to access the Ventura County Line and Antelope Valley Line. Visit their site to find out more information on parking availability.

Those who can should also try to telecommute or rideshare for the time being to avoid driving in the area.

Grand Performances offers a diverse mix of music all summer long

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Dive into a pool of beats and rhythms from all around the globe at this summer’s Grand Performances at the California Plaza. This series of free outdoor concerts features sights and sounds from Peruvian electronic music to African Ethio-jazz to edgy alternative beats from East LA. There’s a show for all ages to enjoy and discover their next favorite artist, music, dance, or beat.

If you want to enjoy an energetic jolt during your lunch hour, Grand Performances hosts a Lunchbox Series, providing a weekly line-up of free indie, folk, and pop concerts at noon each Friday from July 6 to August 24.

The first performance took place today and it was easy getting there from the Metro Red Line Pershing Square Station. From there, hop on the Angels Flight to watch an energetic bi-lingual performance from Las Cafeteras. Hailing from East Los Angeles, this band fuses Afro-Mexican music with hip-hop and alternative styles.

Not a single seat was open for the first Lunchbox concert and everyone in the audience ranged from local businessmen to summer music campers to German tourists. Las Cafeteras proved to be a crowd favorite and by the end, brought the audience off their feet to dance onstage to the rhythm of their #1 hit “La Bamba Rebelde.”

Concerts are commonly scheduled for Friday at noon and Friday and Saturday evenings, and there’s a Kids Series on Sunday afternoons. Make sure to bring a lawn chair or blanket along with a picnic because seating goes fast! The complete calendar with the lineup of events can be found here.

To plan your route to a Grand Performance concert, use the Metro Trip Planner.

Expo Line Phase 2 construction update community meetings

Two community meetings have been scheduled for July by the Exposition Construction Authority to provide information on upcoming construction activities and timelines on Expo Phase 2.

Santa Monica Construction Update
Wednesday, July 24, 2013                           
6:30 p.m.
New Roads School
Capshaw-Spielberg Center, 2nd Floor
3131 Olympic Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Parking available on campus (off Olympic Boulevard)

Los Angeles Construction Update
Tuesday, July 30, 2013                                6:30 p.m.
Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services
3200 Motor Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90034
Parking available on campus

Planned Agenda for Community Meetings
6:30 – 7:00 p.m.: Formal Presentation
7:00 – 8:00 p.m.: Open House Session

ADA Language Accommodation: If you require an interpreter, including sign language services, or other accommodations at these community meetings, please contact Expo at least five business days prior to the meeting date at 213-243-5534.

For more information about the Expo Line project, visit or call 213-922-EXPO (3976).

Pam O’Connor new chair of Expo Line Construction Authority

Metro Board Member and Santa Monica Mayor Pam O’Connor yesterday became new chair of the Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority Board of Directors, AKA Expo Line. As all transit watchers know, the Construction Authority is currently building Phase 2 of the light-rail line between Culver City and Santa Monica. (Phase 1 between downtown L.A. and Culver City opened last spring.) Once completed, Phase 2 will be turned over to Metro for operation and we’ll finally have light-rail to the sea! The new Construction Authority vice chair will be recently elected L.A. City Council Member Mike Bonin.

Metro Board Chair Diane DuBois also has announced the following appointments to the Metro Board of Directors: L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas will chair the Finance, Budget and Audit Committee; John Fasana will chair the Ad Hoc Congestion Pricing Committee; L.A. County Supervisor Michael Antonovich will chair the System Safety and Operations Committee; L.A. County Supervisor Don Knabe will chair the Construction Committee; DuBois will chair the Executive Management Committee and O’Connor will chair the Planning and Programming Committee and retain her position as chair of the Ad Hoc Sustainability Committee. These folks are particularly important since they help plot the course of mobility for L.A. and oversee the projects that are moving us in that direction.