Free rides on new Expo light-rail line during opening weekend celebration, April 28-29

As part of the celebration, Metro will offer free rides on Expo the weekend it opens, Saturday and Sunday, April 28-29. Just a reminder that Expo is the only Metro rail line that will be free.

Here’s the release, just issued. Note that it includes limited hours for opening weekend, and that two stations — Farmdale and Culver City — will not open until this summer and, therefore, that trains will not be stopping there to pick up or drop off passengers.

      To kick off the opening of the new Metro Expo light-rail line, Metro will offer free rides on the Expo Line during opening weekend Saturday and Sunday, April 28 and 29.

      The free rides will be limited to only the new Expo Line that will operate on a limited schedule during the opening weekend from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, April 28/29. Patrons using other Metro operated trains (Red/Purple, Gold, Green & Blue lines) and Metro buses will pay regular fares.

      The opening of the new Metro Expo Line expands the Metro Rail system to nearly 90 miles. Stations opening April 28 include two existing stations served by the Metro Blue Line (7th Street Metro Center Station and Pico Station) as well as new stations that will include 23rd Street, Jefferson/USC, Expo Park/USC, Expo/Vermont, Expo/Western, Expo/Crenshaw, Expo/La Brea and La Ciengea/Jefferson stations.

      Due to on-going construction activities, both the Farmdale Station adjacent to Dorsey High School and the Culver City Station will not open until this summer. Metro Expo trains will stop at the Farmdale station but patrons will not be allowed on or off at that location. Trains will travel as far as the La Cienega/Jefferson Station only.

      In addition to the free ride on the Metro Expo Line, several community events are planned for Saturday, April 28 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Those community events will be held at the 7th Street Metro Center Station in downtownLos Angeles, Expo Park/USC Station, Expo/Crenshaw Station and the La Cienega/Jefferson Station. No community events are planned for Sunday, April 29.

      Fares for the new Metro Expo Line following the free weekend rides will be the same as all Metro-operated bus and trains costing just $1.50 one-way (cash) or patrons can purchase a Metro Day Pass for $5. Regular Metro monthly passes also are available for $75 good for unlimited travel on all Metro buses and trains. For more information visit metro.net/expo.

Transportation headlines, Monday, April 16

CicLAvia image by E.R. Trinidad, via Flickr

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 Headlines blog, which you can also access via email subscription or RSS feed.

CicLAvia draws some 100,000 cyclists, skaters, pedestrians (Los Angeles Times)

Are you sick of CicLAvia? Me neither. What a great celebration. The car-free event that closed 10 miles of streets in downtown L.A. and beyond, lured people off of their couches and into the outdoors to experience our city streets and spirit. And, as reported in The Source yesterday, Metro Board Chair Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced a $16 million bike sharing program for downtown L.A., Hollywood, Playa Del Rey, Westwood and Venice Beach. Good for the soul and good for the body.

Americans do not walk the walk and that’s a growing problem (NPR)

And speaking of the American physique, we are not in good shape and we know it. And here’s one reason why. Americans now walk the least of any industrialized nation in the world. No wonder we have health problems. And yes, walking to a subway station or bus stop counts and it’s a healthy way to start and end the day.

CicLAvia Redux (Neon Tommy)

This morning’s news seems to be bike obsessed but maybe that’s okay for an active change of pace. Neon Tommy, the USC Annenberg Digital News Site, has some nice shots of CicLAvia. It’s great to see so many different styles of folks out riding and walking, including some very sweet dogs.

How to enjoy L.A. arts and culture without a car (LA Weekly)

L.A. Weekly has an interesting review of a new book “Car-Free Los Angeles and Southern California” by Nathan Landau, calling it a door-to-door guidebook to seeing Los Angeles without getting behind the wheel. “From how to get to the airport (FlyAway!) to planning your route (Metro Trip Planner!) to riding the bus to the Getty (without parking, admission is free!) to getting to Disneyland by transit (it’s possible!), the detailed transit directions for hundreds of Southern California destinations makes a car-less visit feel possible. And, dare I say, enjoyable.” Check out the review and/or check out the book. It sounds like a good read for transit riders and those who would like to be. And by the way, the Disneyland express bus is the Metro 460 from downtown L.A. or the Green Line Norwalk Station.

Photos from the Saddle: CicLAvia delivers again

Freedom from the Car at Last: Cyclists ride CicLAvia

No matter how many times you ride CicLAvia through Downtown L.A. streets, the sense of amazement and revelry is as powerful as the very first time.  Nothing beats the exhilaration of riding L.A. streets with tens of thousands other Angelinos enjoying a picture-perfect day, cool temperatures and the simple pleasure of rotating wheels under the shade of L.A. skyscrapers. What a day to ride a bike in L.A.!

Here’s some photos taken from the day-long event along 10 miles of downtown area streets.

Cyclists speed through closed intersections in Downtown L.A.

Cyclists ride on newly painted bike lane

Cyclists ride along MacArthur Park

CicLAvia Kicks Off, Mayor Announces L.A. Bike Share Program

Mayor Villaraigosa Announces Major Bike Sharing Program for Los Angeles.

11 a.m. — CicLavia just started an hour ago and already there has been a major announcement from L.A. City Mayor and Metro Board Chair Antonio Villaraigosa: a private bike sharing company will soon be coming to L.A. with 4,000 bikes and 400 stations.

At a 9:30 a.m. press conference near Olvera Street, the mayor unveiled plans by Bike Nation, a local bike sharing company, for a $16 million bike sharing program over the next two years in downtown L.A., Hollywood, Playa Del Rey, Westwood and Venice Beach.

“Whether your destination is work, a train, a bus or your local restaurant, these bikes will get you there.  Bike Nation’s new venture reflects a sea-change in our city,” the mayor said.

Cyclists get ready to begin CicLAvia Route on Main Street.

Transportation headlines, Friday, April 13

CicLAvia isn't just for bikes. Five Angelenos play/perform capoeira, the Brazilian martial art/dance in the middle of Spring Street. Photo by flickr user srd515.

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 Headlines blog, which you can also access via email subscription or RSS feed.

Searching for CicLAvia’s slow gear (Zev’s Blog)

As someone who plans to enjoy CicLAvia on foot this year, I appreciate this call for courteous and thoughtful sharing of the road this Sunday from some of Los Angeles’ foremost bicycle and pedestrian advocates. CicLAvia organizer Joe Linton puts it well when he encourages “all participants…to bring mutual respect, common sense and a willingness to engage with each other.” If you’re cruising around on two legs — as opposed to two wheels — like me, consider bringing a copy of the official CicLAvia architecture guide (PDF) with you.

What will eventually be the northern extension of the Crenshaw/LAX Line to Hollywood? (Ride the Pink Line)

When the Crenshaw Line opens to the public later this decade, riders will be able to transfer at the northern end to the Expo Line and head toward the beach or downtown. But what about an extension of the Crenshaw Line further north to Hollywood? Such an extension is listed in Tier 1 of Metro’s long-range plan, meaning it’s currently unfunded but considered a high priority project in the future. Dan Wentzel of the blog, Ride the Pink Line, weighs in on how the Crenshaw Line might proceed from Expo/Crenshaw to Hollywood/Highland. The primary routes Wentzel considers are a combo of San Vicente Boulevard plus La Brea, Fairfax or La Cienega. Wentzel notes that there are some tradeoffs to consider here between going for the most direct route (La Brea) versus one that hits more destinations (Fairfax or La Cienega).

State agency OKs bullet train plan with service to O.C. (L.A. Times)

The California High-Speed Rail Authority has signed off on the latest of iteration of the state’s plan to connect the Bay Area to So Cal. The approval included an amendment that will bring Anaheim back into the fold after a one-seat-ride to Orange County had been previously shelved to save costs. The proposal now heads to the State Legislature for approval — where it’s likely to encounter some skeptical members — before Gov. Jerry Brown can sign off on the beginning of construction. The press release from the California High-Speed Rail Authority is posted below.

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What's happening at other transit agencies?

One of many transit lines in the growing system for the Salt Lake City basin. Photo by Nancy White, via Flickr.

This weekly post features news from other transit agencies and planners from around the world. Did we miss a good story? Let us know in the comments.

Opening soon(ish)

Utah Transit Authority to open new commuter-rail line in December

A 45-mile extension of the Salt Lake-area’s FrontRunner commuter rail line will open later this year to Provo, Utah, the home of Brigham Young University. The line is one of several that have opened in the last few years — or will open soon — as part of Salt Lake City’s locally funded transit expansion program, FrontLines. Progressive Railroading has additional details on the commuter rail line here.

Groundbreakings

$196.6 million Tucson streetcar project breaks ground

Tucson, Ariz., broke ground this week on a 3.8-mile streetcar line that will connect downtown Tucson to the University of Arizona and a variety of other activity centers along the way. This press release from the U.S. Department of Transportation notes that 85,000 residents live or work within walking distance of the line. Most importantly, the line is expected to substantially improve transit trip times along the corridor. $63 million of the project’s cost is coming from USDOT’s competitive transit grant funding program TIGER.

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Expo Line safety news release

Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

Here’s the news release from Metro:

With Metro Expo Line opening April 28, officials remind everyone to stop, look and listen when approaching and crossing railroad tracks

The Metro Expo light rail line between downtown Los Angeles and Culver City is opening to La Cienega/Jefferson Station on April 28 and will arrive in Culver City this summer, with trains scheduled to run initially every 12 minutes during peak periods. With the new light rail train service up and running, Metro is reminding pedestrians and motorists to be alert, stay updated on safety tips and take advantage of the safety resources offered.

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Transportation headlines, Thursday, April 12

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 Headlines blog, which you can also access via email subscription or RSS feed.

This is National Library Week. In just the past year, the Metro Transportation Library has rolled out several new tools and services, including:

•HistoryPin, in conjunction with Google, is a new multi-platform technology allowing us (a global launch partner) to map our historic photograph collection in context with images from other collections in the same location or time period
•Paper.li, our online daily newspaper digest of tweets from leaders in the nation’s transit and transportation community
•California Highways And Public Works, our growing digital collection of publications documenting the state’s road, highway and infrastructure planning and construction from 1924 to 1967 (full-text searchable here). Above, the story of the Coast Highway being built north of Santa Monica in 1924 from California Highways And Public Works.

Downtown L.A. re-use renaissance (The Architect’s Newspaper)

First came a new wave of residents to downtown L.A., thanks in large part to a new city law allowing office buildings to be converted to apartments and condos. Now a second wave of newcomers appears to be taking hold and this time it’s hundreds of new retail shops and restaurants that have opened in downtown to serve new residents.

State senators say they won’t rush bullet train plans (L.A. Times)

The state bullet train authority wants to get construction going in the San Joaquin Valley ASAP but nothing is happening until the Legislature provides its stamp of approval.

Cool on the West Coast, hot almost everywhere else (High Country News Goat blog)

The mountain snowpack across much of the West is depleted — last winter’s monster snows are now just a memory — and the first three months of 2012 were the warmest on record for the contiguous United States, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (who created the above video). Is climate change to blame? Many climate scientists are reluctant to blame weather in any single year on global warming but many are pondering the link between the wild variations in weather the U.S. has seen in recent years and climate change.

I don’t need to remind you that the burning of fossil fuels and the transportation sector are significant contributors to global warming according to the federal government and that taking transit can reduce your own contribution to greenhouse gases.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration


Transportation headlines, Wednesday, April 11

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 Headlines blog, which you can also access via email subscription or RSS feed.

It’s National Library Week. The Metro Transportation Library’s YouTube Channel features topical playlists of more than 200 films and videos related to the past, present and future of transit and transportation in Los Angeles — everything from a 1914 Pacific Electric training film to a 1991 promotional video for building the Metro Red Line. Part 3 of this 1947 film, “It’s A Big Job,” details what it’s like for the first day of a Los Angeles Transit Lines operator. (Part 1 and Part 2 of the training film)

Ridership on New York subway soars (New York MTA)

There were about 1.64 billion boardings in 2011, the highest number since 1950. Here’s a cool list from the New York MTA:

Annual Subway Ridership

1. Tokyo
3.151 billion (2010)
2. Moscow
2.389 billion (2011)
3. Beijing
2.180 billion (2011)
4. Shanghai
1.884 billion (2010)
5. Seoul
1.769 billion (2010)
6. Guangzhou
1.640 billion (2011)
7. New York City
1.640 billion (2011)
8. Paris
1.506 billion (2010)
9. Mexico City
1.410 billion (2010)
10. Hong Kong
1.378 billion (2011)

 

Planning L.A., a history (The Atlantic Cities)

An interview with David Sloane, who wrote a book titled “Planning Los Angeles” that takes a look — as the name implies — at the role urban planners have taken over the decades in shaping the region. In Sloane’s view, much of the L.A. area was built according to plans that were on the books.

A Carmageddon baby boom? (KNBC)

Is there a baby boom because all those people stayed home during Carmageddon last July? Probably not, but KNBC manages to get one couple to ‘fess up and one local hospital to say ‘maybe’ and that’s enough for this story. Plus, we all know that everyone who stayed home was doing yard chores.

Transportation headlines, Tuesday, April 10

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 Headlines blog, which you can also access via email subscription or RSS feed.

Van Nuys Rapidway project re-branded (Daily News)

The Metro project that sought to put a transit project on Van Nuys Boulevard has expanded its boundaries so that Sepulveda Boulevard will also be considered. The new name of the project is the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor — and a set of three public meetings begin Thursday. Many community members had wanted Sepulveda to be in the picture because another Metro project seeks to build a transit project over the Sepulveda Pass between the Westside and the Valley.

Expo Line bike crossing safety at Rodeo (LADOT Bike Blog)

At the junction of Exposition Boulevard, Rodeo Road and the Expo Line tracks, the roadway crosses the tracks at a severe angle. The blog gives some pointers to cyclists about crossing the tracks on this part of the Expo Line, which is in the street-running segment — meaning there are no crossing gates and trains and vehicles will be obeying traffic signals. (Photo by LADOT Bike Blog).

Are the exurbs history? (D.C. Streetsblog)

Recent Census data seems to show that growth in the most distant of suburbs has stalled over the past four years. Where is the growth going instead? Hard to say, says this analysis — although some core urban areas seem to be growing while their ‘burbs are shrinking.