New timelapse video shows Sepulveda Bridge rising for Expo Line’s second phase

This is the bridge that will take the Expo Line up and over Sepulveda Boulevard on its six-mile journey between Culver City and Santa Monica. Just west of Sepulveda, the train will then pass beneath the 405 freeway and then employ another bridge to cross Pico Boulevard.

Below is the latest newsletter from the Expo Line Construction Authority, the agency building the line that Metro will eventually operate. The project is funded by Measure R, the sales tax increase approved by L.A. County voters in 2008.

Expo Line Phase 2 newsletter spring 2013

These speakers can teach kids how to prepare for future jobs at Metro

school booksMen and women of the Metro Speakers Bureau are available this spring to talk with children and young people at school career days about careers at Metro.

Metro employs more than 9,000 full-time staff, including computer engineers, web designers, urban planners, speech writers, artists, bus and train operators, mechanics and maintenance people, clerks, bus and rail transportation and maintenance supervisors and security guards. Topics could include training necessary to become bus and train operators, mechanics and maintenance experts, transit planners, security personnel and even artists and marketing and media relations professionals.

If you have questions or would like to request a speaker for your school, email: Speakers are available on a first come, first served basis.

Transportation headlines, Monday, April 22: Beautiful repurposed train stations, CicLAvia bigger and better than ever, why transit investment makes good business sense, car-less in L.A. intineraries

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.

Musee d'Orsay. Photo by Laurent/Flickr

Musee d’Orsay. Photo by Laurent/Flickr

Ten incredible repurposed train stations (Flavorwire)

From the famed Musee d’Orsay (museum) in Paris to the Julio Prestes Train Station (concert hall) in Sao Paulo, Brazil train stations are being repositioned in creative and exciting ways. A few of the results are shown in this beautiful photo essay.

Mass transit comes full cycle (L.A. Times)

Yesterday’s CicLAvia was the first with a 15-mile route that cleared streets from downtown all the way to the beach. It seemed to have proved itself compelling. Organizers estimated that the crowd swelled to 150,00 this time … the largest ever. Next up: June 23 CicLAvia on Wilshire Boulevard, from downtown to Fairfax Avenue.

America needs clean transportation, not just clean cars (Natural Resources Defense Council Switchboard blog)

Here’s a piece applauding the U.S. move to high-mileage cars and those that will run on clean fuels, but also reminding us that public transit has its economic charms, despite what often can be the high cost of construction. The investment is worth it, the writer argues. Using L.A. as an example, it estimates that congestion relief provided by public transportation ranges between $1.2 billion and $4.1 billion per year.

Itineraries for discovering L.A. without a car (LAist) 

The L.A. Tourism & Convention Board’s new car-free campaign showcases expanded transit, the city’s new bikeways, improved walkability and events like CicLAvia. It also includes a series of itineraries for discovering the city’s diverse neighborhoods on foot, bike and public transit. Check it out.

Metro to add rail service for weekend mega events April 20-21

Here’s news release:

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) plans to add train capacity on several Metro Rail lines in anticipation of major Los Angeles area events scheduled the weekend of April 20-21, including Festival of Books, CicLAvia – To The Sea, Long Beach Grand Prix and Staples Center sporting events.

Metro Rail offers convenient access to many of these activities, and remains the best option for beating parking hassles and traffic congestion for these simultaneous weekend mega events, which individually draw many tens of thousands of participants.

The focus of this weekend’s events will be on the Metro Expo Line, which serves Festival of Books at USC and CicLAvia – To the Sea.  On both Saturday and Sunday, Expo trains will operate every 6 minutes rather than the normal 12-15 minute weekend schedule.  Metro will also staff key Metro Rail stations with personnel to help manage passenger flows on and off trains, including passengers with bicycles.

Additional passenger capacity will be provided on the Metro Gold, Red, Purple and Blue Lines at various times to assist passengers traveling to and from this weekend’s other events, including Long Beach Grand Prix and Downtown L.A. sports venues. Metro also will add Metro Silver Line standby buses at El Monte Station and Artesia Station terminals to transport additional passengers as required.

On Saturday, April 20, and Sunday, April 21 the Festival of Books at USC is expected to generate a large number of attendees, many of whom will be traveling there directly by Metro Rail for the first time in the book festival’s 18-year history.  The Expo Line has two stations immediately adjacent to the event area at USC: Jefferson/USC and Expo Park/USC Station.  On Sunday, April 21, the CicLAvia — To the Sea route will travel between Downtown L.A. to Venice Beach primarily via Venice  Boulevard. The Metro Red/Purple Line parallels the route as it travels near Union Station, Civic Center, Pershing Square, 7th/Metro, and Westlake/ MacArthur Park. The route then travels south and west via Venice Boulevard, passing the Culver City Metro Expo Line Station at Venice and Robertson.  As this station is approximately halfway between Downtown Los Angeles and Venice, event attendees are anticipated to use the station when traveling via Metro Rail to and from the official CicLAvia route. CicLAvia attendees should anticipate some delays in accessing trains at this station, and be prepared to wait for the next train or subsequent train in order to board safely.

Bicycles are welcome on Metro Rail, but CicLAvia cyclists should follow a few important safety rules. Always walk with your bike in the station and on trains. If the train is crowded, wait for the next train. Please allow other passengers to exit and enter the train before boarding. Always stand with your bike in the designated open area while onboard. Always keep doors and aisles clear and give priority to wheelchair passengers. Bicyclists under 14-years-old must be accompanied by an adult. Fuel-powered, 3-wheeled, tandem, recumbent and over 6-foot long bicycles, as well as all mopeds and trailers, are not allowed.

In order to make the most out of their transit-riding experience, Metro patrons are encouraged to purchase a Day Pass on their TAP cards.  The Day Pass will enable patrons to board trains all day long without having to get in line to purchase multiple one-way fares.

For more information on the Los Angeles Times Festival of books, visit  For more information on CicLAvia — To the Sea or to view a route map, visit  Please note, limited edition CicLAvia TAP cards pre-loaded with a day pass will be available at Hub sites along the route for a donation of $20 or more.  To plan your trip via Metro, go to

Construction on the Ventura Fwy in Burbank will begin Monday

A small section of the Ventura Freeway (SR-134) near Bob Hope Drive in Burbank is about to get a minor facelift as a sound wall constructed. The construction may mean traffic delays. Here’s the release just issued by Metro.

Motorists can expect inconvenience and possible delays in the Burbank area as Metro’s project contractor improves, widens and builds a sound wall at the overcrossing of State Route 134 at Bob Hope Drive.

During construction, portions of Bob Hope Drive will be closed where it crosses below the freeway between Warner Boulevard and Riverside Drive. Work includes installation of temporary support structures that will reduce clearance at the overpass.

A signed detour will be provided to direct traffic around the closure.  In addition, eastbound State Route 134 motorists exiting Bob Hope Drive and wishing to access destinations north of State Route 134 will be detoured via Riverside Drive and Buena Vista Street.

Work begins at 7 a.m. Monday, April 22, 2013 and is expected to be completed November 5, 2013.

For more information, call the Metro Capital Projects hotline at (213) 922-6913 or the Project Contractor at (805) 331-0819.

Transportation headlines, Friday, April 19: A major city on lockdown, gas prices dip, CSUN bike collective, bullet train bidding rules changed

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.

Boston Marathon bomging. Photo by hahatango via flickr

Boston Marathon. Photo by hahatango via flickr

It’s almost impossible to put an entire U.S. metro area on lockdown (The Atlantic: Cities)

How can you lock down an American city and its public transit system? Not very easily.

Gas prices dip below $4 a gallon (Los Angeles Daily News)

Southland gas prices have fallen below $4 a gallon after an extended run-up. We’re all happy about that. But remember that prices are down because of an unexpected increase in U.S. stockpiles in the face of weak demand. We’re buying more fuel-efficient cars. We’re driving less and taking public transit more. So will Americans take the bait and start driving again as prices dip?

And yet the cost of driving a car is on the rise (Next City)

Despite the (shall we call it “temporary”?) drop in gas prices, for car owners the only good news to come out of this year’s “Your Driving Costs” study, an annual report from AAA, is that the price of tires and tire maintenance has not gone up. But all other costs for car ownership, from gas to insurance, have collectively increased by nearly 2 percent since last year.

Bike collective at CSUN: Maybe the kids know best (CSUN Daily Sundial)

Do it yourself, is a key attitude for the Bike Collective, an on-campus community of CSUN student cyclists who emphasize empowering commuters to take an alternative and sustainable mode of transportation to CSUN. As many of them no doubt know CSUN is served by a number of Metro buses and a frequent shuttle connects students and teachers to the Metrolink station in Chatsworth. Both Metro and Metolink are decidedly bicycle friendly.

Bullet train bidding rules were changed (Los Angeles Times)

State high-speed rail officials have acknowledged that they changed the rules for selecting a builder for the bullet train’s first phase in the Central Valley, a shift that made it possible for a consortium led by Sylmar-based Tutor Perini to be ranked as the top candidate despite having received the lowest technical rating among bidders. The technical score is based on safety measures, engineering, scheduling and other construction-related issues. Worth nothing is that the Tutor Perini $985.1 bid came in lowest.

Can L.A. learn from Bicycle-Friendly Rotterdam?


Transit-friendly bike parking facilities in Rotterdam Netherlands.

L.A. cyclist Roger Ruddick has a cool piece running on KCRW comparing L.A. cycling infrastructure with Rotterdam, a progressive bicycle-friendly city in the Netherlands.

Click here to hear KCRW story.

As Roger writes in his intro, “Rotterdam is not your typical Dutch city, with charming canals and gabled houses. Instead, with its wide boulevards and glass and concrete towers, the city actually resembles parts of Los Angeles– like the viewscape along Wilshire or La Cienega.”

Roger’s insights and interviews are intriguing as L.A. gears up for CicLAvia — To the Sea this Sunday, April 21.

Having taken a trip to Rotterdam several years back, I was personally amazed to see how well the city accommodates bicyclist parking at transit nodes.  These amenities are quite common in the Netherlands. Just don’t forget where you parked…