Service Alert: #SunsetFlood affecting Metro bus service around Westwood/UCLA

UPDATE 8 p.m.: The burst water main pipe near Westwood/UCLA has been shut off and water flow stopped, according to LADWP. At this time, detours on the 761, Late Night 233, and 2/302 remain in effect.

Metro Rapid 761 and Late Night 233, as well as bus Lines 2/302, and 20/720 are currently experiencing detours and delays in Westwood due to a major water main break just north of the UCLA campus. The #SunsetFlood began around 3:30 p.m. this afternoon at Sunset Boulevard and Maryland Place, blowing open a 15-foot sinkhole, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. As a result, Sunset Blvd will remain closed to traffic in both directions between Veteran and Hilgard Avenues, until the main is slowly shut off.

Affected Metro buses in the Westwood/UCLA area will operate according to the following detours until further notice:

Metro Rapid 761 and Late Night 233 northbound will detour from Hilgard and Sunset to Beverly Glen, Wilshire, and Veteran to continue north. Southbound buses will use Church Lane, Montana, Gayley, and Le Conte to continue south.

Lines 2/302 westbound will detour via Beverly Glen, Wilshire, and Le Conte.

Customers of the 20/720 should expect delays in service due to heavy traffic along Wilshire Boulevard.

LADWP recommends the following detours for drivers in the area: Drivers traveling westbound on Sunset should go south on Beverly Glen, then west on Wilshire Boulevard, then back north on Veteran/Sepulveda to get around the closure. Eastbound traffic should head south on Veteran/Sepulveda, then east on Wilshire Boulevard, then north on Beverly Glen.

For details about specific detours, please see our Service Advisories page. For minute-by-minute updates, follow us on twitter @metrolosangeles or @metroLAalerts.

ShopWalk DTLA with Metro and save at participating businesses

ShopWalk DTLA, a day of sales, discounts, and in-store events at local businesses, returns to Downtown L.A.’s Historic Core on Sunday, August 3. Shop, eat, and play at some of L.A.’s best boutiques and restaurants while exploring the neighborhood. Getting there is a breeze with Metro–just take the Red or Purple Line to Pershing Square Station or take the Metro Blue or Expo Line to 7th St/Metro Center Station.

Plus, Metro riders can save at participating ShopWalk DTLA businesses! Show your valid TAP card at the following locations to receive discounts on August 3:

Continue reading

Metro Motion wins Emmy at 66th Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards

Metro has won an Emmy for the Metro Motion Union Station 75th Anniversary TV show, which aired prior to the May 3 Union Station anniversary celebration. The show contains interviews with many key players in the Union Station story, including Metro CEO Art Leahy.

The Emmy award in the public programming category for news was received Saturday night, July 26, at the 66th Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in North Hollywood.

Metro Motion Union Station is the story of the last of the great rail stations: its history, its important role as a transit hub anchoring today’s expanding transit network and its future as the center of mobility for our region.

Since opening festivities in 1939 that attracted half a million spectators to downtown Los Angeles, beautiful Union Station has played many roles throughout its 75 years, including one as Hollywood’s rail station. It has appeared in hundreds of films, TV shows and commercials. Currently it serves 70,000 daily commuters who link through Union Station via Metro rail and bus, Metrolink, Amtrak and municipal carriers.

Metro Motion is co-produced with Santa Monica City TV and runs quarterly on 80 cable stations throughout Los Angeles County and on metro.net.

Here’s the Emmy-winning show:

 

Why You Ride: Bicycle Edition – Vanessa Gray, C.I.C.L.E’s new executive director!

We are collecting nominations for the Year-Round Golden Pedal Awards, Metro’s competition for great stories about bicycling. We’re featuring these stories in a monthly Why you Ride series because for many Angelenos, Bike Week never ends!

  • Name: Vanessa Gray.
  • Origin and destination: From Silver Lake to destinations around Hollywood and Downtown L.A.
  • Distance: Short and medium commute – Vanessa rides anywhere from 3 to 10 miles each way.
  • Type of commute: A combination of multi-modal and clever commute.
  • The commuter: Seasoned (she’s been doing this a while); chic (riding with flair); and zealous (encouraging others to try pedaling to school or work).
Vanessa Gray, new Executive Director of C.I.C.L.E accompanied by her cute doggy and awesome vintage bike.

Vanessa Gray, new Executive Director of C.I.C.L.E accompanied by her cute dog and awesome vintage bike.

The Bike Week LA team is thrilled to give Vanessa Gray the July Golden Pedal Award.

Vanessa is known for living and breathing the bicycle lifestyle. She’s out riding in style on her vintage Bridgestone bicycle practically every day. She is a true role model and example when it comes to showing everyone that one can use a bicycle to get around town and look good while doing it!

Vanessa recently became C.I.C.L.E.’s new executive director. We’re sure she will work hard to further the organization’s mission to promote bicycling as a viable and everyday form of transportation.

Continue reading

Century Crunch video: the process of demolition with Project Director Charles Beauvoir

Crenshaw/LAX Line Project Director Charles Beauvoir takes us through the bridge demolition process and talks about the impact the Crenshaw/LAX Line could have on airport congestion once it’s complete.

Transportation headlines, Monday, July 28

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! 

And 30 years ago today…

So how many people are paying to ride? (L.A. Times) 

This article about fare evasion, turnstiles and ridership estimates is generating a lot of discussion on our Twitter feed. The story looks at the sometimes wide discrepancy between Metro’s ridership estimates and data from the TAP system. The problem is that ridership is more than the TAP numbers, suggesting that the difference consists of people either not paying to ride and those who have paid but aren’t tapping. But pinpointing the number who are evading fares has proven difficult.

Excerpt:

Reducing fare jumping as much as possible has become increasingly important to Metro, which is under pressure to boost ticket revenue as its rail network rapidly expands. Income from fares covers just 26% of Metro’s bus and rail system operating expenses, one of the lowest rates of any major world city. That ratio must increase in the next few years or the agency risks losing crucial federal funding needed to continue building and operating the train network.

Metro has responded by raising fares, starting in September, with more hikes proposed for coming years.

In addition to fare hikes, some elected officials are asking the agency to examine other ways to bring in more revenue. And they are taking note of the disparities between Metro’s ridership estimates and the numbers of tickets being counted at rail stations.

“They owe it to you and to anybody else who’s interested to explain the difference,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, a Metro board member, who says it’s still too easy to get on trains without paying.

 

Those four graphs frame the issue. It’s a considerably longer article accompanied by some interesting graphics. Please read if you’re interested in the issue.

As the article mentions, there is some evidence that increased fare enforcement and latching the turnstiles present in half of the Metro Rail stations might be having an effect. I also think it’s important to remind everyone that paying fares helps keep the system running and that it’s important for everyone to always tap when boarding a Metro bus or train. That will help riders avoid potentially costly citations and also helps Metro because having better ridership data will also help the agency better plan future service and projects.

Metro picks Skanska venture to build first phase of subway extension (L.A. Times) 

A look at some of the issues in play in the Metro Board’s decision last Thursday to award a $1.6-billion construction contract to build the first phase of the Purple Line Extension between Wilshire/Western and Wilshire/La Cienega. Metro did not pick the low-bidder price-wise and instead selected a contractor — in this case, Skanksa, Traylor and Shea — based on a variety of criteria including price, project management and technical approach.

Metro July meeting recap: subway, SRTP, active transpo and more (Streetsblog LA)

A good recap and analysis of the many issues tackled by the Metro Board at their meeting last Thursday. Streetsblog has been keeping an eye on the short-range plan and funding for pedestrian and bike projects. As Joe Linton notes, the short-range plan approved by the Metro Board is being seen by some as a “casting call” for a potential 2016 ballot measure and thus the interest in particular projects.

Gold Line on schedule, on budget for Azusa extension (L.A. Register) 

A progress report on one of the Measure R-funded projects, the 11.5-mile extension of the Gold Line from eastern Pasadena to the Azusa/Glendora border with six new stations along the way — and considerable development opportunities near the tracks and stations. Construction continues to progress well and is on schedule to be completed by next September, when the process would begin of handing the line over to Metro and testing. Metro is currently forecasting opening the line in early 2016.

Mayor sets out to transform L.A. streets through ‘urban acupuncture’ (L.A. Times) 

A deeper look at Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s initiative to transform sections of 15 streets in the city — one per council district — into more walkable, bike-friendly and transit-friendly streets  to encourage residents to eat, shop and play locally instead of driving to distant points in the L.A. megalopolis.

As the article notes, there will be hurdles to cross and this type of effort has been tried in the past. Most notably, some residents say don’t necessarily want streets that will slow down their journey to the nearest freeway.

My hunch is that zoning regulations spelled out in local community plans will play a big role in this effort in terms of attracting the type of development — commercial and residential — that could help re-establish a Main Street type feel to some streets .

Century Crunch final update: Aviation/Century intersection on track to open 2 a.m. Monday

The intersection reopened at 1:30 a.m., four-and-a-half hours ahead of schedule.

The intersection reopened at 1:30 a.m., four-and-a-half hours ahead of schedule.

Work on the demolition of the old railroad bridge and the bridge abutments remains ahead of schedule. The intersection of Aviation and Century boulevards is on track to reopen at 2 a.m. Monday, four hours ahead of the original schedule. 

Traffic congestion on the roads around Los Angeles International Airport was either light or manageable for most of the weekend thanks to the public taking heed of warnings to avoid the area, use the appropriate detours and/or take FlyAway bus or transit.

“The successful completion of ‘Century Crunch’ shows that when we all plan and work together, we can avoid undue burdens as we build the transit and airport infrastructure necessary to reduce congestion in the long-term,” said Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chair Eric Garcetti.

Over the weekend, the old railroad bridge and its abutments on the north and south side of Century Boulevard were removed. Traffic lanes on Century Boulevard were also reconfigured on Sunday to allow for construction of the new aerial Aviation/Century Station that will be part of the Crenshaw/LAX Line.

The light rail line will run for 8.5 miles between the Green Line and Expo Line and include two rail stations near the airport — one serving Century Boulevard and the other, at 96th Street, that will allow passengers to connect to a people mover that will carry them to LAX terminals. The project is funded by Measure R, the half-cent sales tax approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2008.

The demolition work on the bridge began early Saturday morning add was completed by early Sunday afternoon. Crews commenced to clean the streets and install new street signal posts at the Century/Aviation intersection — the old traffic signals were mounted on the bridge.

Below are a pair of time-lapse videos taken of the demolition work. The first one covers Friday night through Saturday morning and the second shows the work done Saturday to topple the bridge.