Go Metro Gold Line to Rihanna and Eminem!

Eminem and Rihanna bring their “Monster Tour” to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena Thursday, August 7, and Friday, August 8. As always, you can take the Gold Line to Memorial Park Station to reach the paid Rose Bowl Shuttle at the Parsons parking lot in Old Pasadena.

At Memorial Park Station, turn right when exiting the station and walk two blocks west on Holly Street to reach the Parsons parking lot.Shuttle pick up point is at Union & DeLacey.

After the concert ends at 11 p.m., customers should return to the shuttle stop immediately to ensure making the last train home. Customers should also load fare on their TAP card in advance to avoid long return lines and missing the last train. One way fare is $1.50 per line or $5 Day Pass (valid until 3 a.m.). Each customer must have their own TAP card to ride.  Customers must validate their fare by tapping their TAP card before each boarding (including when transferring lines) on faregates or standalone validators located near each station entrance.

Last return train with connecting service to all other lines departs Memorial Park at 12:25 a.m. on Thursday night and 1:25 a.m. on Friday night. Last Union Station-bound train without connecting service departs Memorial Park at 1:05 a.m. on Thursday night and 2:16 a.m. on Friday night. Last Sierra Madre Villa-bound train departs Memorial Park at 12:33 a.m. on Thursday night and 2:33 a.m. on Friday night.

Transportation headlines, Tuesday, August 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! 

ART OF TRANSIT: The Orange Line crosses the Sepulveda Basin. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

ART OF TRANSIT: The Orange Line crosses the Sepulveda Basin. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

Does hosting the Olympics actually pay off? (New York Times)

Probably not, says writer Binyamin Appelbaum. Host cities end up spending far too much on new stadiums and venues that are often under-used once the torch moves on. The 1984 games in Los Angeles, however, are cited as an example of a lean Olympics effort that turned a profit. It’s a relevant topic, given the interest show by L.A., San Francisco, Washington D.C. and Boston in possibly hosting the 2024 Summer Olympics. My prediction: there is a -100 percent chance that D.C. will get the Games based on world politics + humidity.

Is that all they want? Millennials and bike lanes (National Journal) 

Some cities view bike lanes for millennials as an economic development tool as millennials are more likely to live in cities and want alternative means to travel to work. The blogger says “interesting,” but not a substitute for other economic tools that cities should supply businesses.

Porn out, real estate in as Sunset Boulevard is reborn (Bloomberg) 

Looks like more luxury hotels are coming to the venerable Sunset Strip. Traffic concerns by neighbors are only briefly mentioned, perhaps a sign that it’s hard to get too anxious about traffic in a part of town that has seen heavy traffic congestion for 50-plus years.

A sky-high view of the Figueroa-Riverside bridge demolition (Eastsider L.A.)

Cool pics taken with a camera mounted on a quadcopter. These things are great for some really unique vantage points photo-wise. In case you’re thinking how these might capture images of the natural world, perhaps think again — the National Park Service (wisely, IMO) banned the drones earlier this year citing existing federal law.

BLM, local law enforcement tensions near breaking point in the West (L.A. Times) 

As is often the case in local-federal conflicts in the West, one of the disputes involves the right to drive on roads that had previously been closed to protect the environment.

Broadway is reined in by a lower speed limit (New York Times)

The new limit from 59th Street to 220th Street is lowered from 30 mph to 25 mph. As a former resident of Gotham and based on several long ago cab rides, I had no idea that there was any speed limit on Broadway.

Go Metro to KTOWN Night at Levitt Pavilion and save on tasty Korean BBQ

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This Friday, August 8, Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles at MacArthur Park hosts KTOWN Night featuring Mike B. as part of their free summer concert series. The event also includes KRNFX and DJ Zo.

The event starts at 6:30 p.m., come early to grab dinner at the Kogi BBQ food truck. Show your valid TAP card to the food truck cashier and save 10% on your bill! The concert begins at 8 p.m.

To get to Levitt Pavilion, take the Metro Red or Purple Line to Westlake/MacArthur Park Station. Use Trip Planner for more routes and connections.

P.S. If you are attending that other hallyu event at the L.A. Coliseum over the weekend, the Expo Line might come in handy!

Transportation headlines, Monday, August 4

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! 

It’s about the money: Yale on Metro’s plans and priorities (The Planning Report)

Very interesting interview with David Yale, Metro’s Managing Executive Officer of Countywide Planning and Development. In plain English, David is the guy that helps plan Metro’s long-term finances, including Measure R and potential project acceleration.

The interview touches on many subjects, including Measure R, the federal gas tax and potential funding for Orange Line improvements. Excerpt:

The deal for the Valley in Measure R was to get the Orange Line [Extension to Chatsworth] done quickly, which we did. We did not use Measure R money that the Valley was promised to do so, because the project was ready to go even faster than the Measure R money was available. Now, the Valley’s owed a payback project per the Measure R ordinance that must occur by the end of the tax in 2039.

Are we going to do it in 2038, 2028, or 2018? The problem with the Orange Line’s success is the question of when it becomes absolutely imperative to switch to a higher-capacity mode like light rail. With the ban lifted, we could engage in that discussion right away, though the Valley’s funding for the Orange Line payback is nowhere near enough to do a light rail project. After all, we’d need a light rail yard to maintain whatever we build, a fleet of light rail cars, overhead catenaries, and the rail. All of it adds to easily well over $1 billion in need, and we’ve got maybe $170 million for this payback project.

The silver lining here is that on the November 2016 ballot we can provide the Valley an opportunity to move this conversion, and the shortfall in the north-south corridor of the Valley, up in time with a new sales-tax proposal. This is part of that $100 billion problem. I think the Valley is taking the right approach by saying, “Don’t forget about us. We’re already talking about this and we want to do it.”

The “November 2016″ is a reference to a potential ballot measure that Metro is exploring. No decisions have been made yet; a ballot measure could be an extension of the existing Measure R half-cent sales tax (due to expire in mid-2039) or it could be a new sales tax to fund new projects. We’ll see.

But it’s interesting to see that there is a possible pot of money to do something on the Orange Line, although a lot of decisions still must be made and Orange Line improvements still must be studied. The Metro Board of Directors in September is scheduled to discuss and consider what kind of study to go forward with.

On a related note, the San Fernando Valley Business Journal reports that a new “Valley on Track” coalition has been formed (with participation from several elected officials) to lobby for three projects: an Orange Line conversion to rail, the Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor to connect the Valley to the Westside via transit and the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor project. The latter two are Measure R-funded projects. The Sepulveda Pass project is very early in its planning stages while the East San Fernando Valley Transit project is studying potential bus rapid transit or a rail line between the Orange Line and the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink station.

Major legal victory for California bullet train project (L.A. Times) 

An appeals court overturns a lower court decision and finds that the California High-Speed Rail Authority followed the law when developing an initial spending plan on the project aiming to connect San Francisco and L.A. The decision could free up station bond money the state needs to spend on planning and construction. Roger Rudick at StreetsblogLA says the ruling removes the “most significant” legal obstacle that threatened the project.

Listen up America: it’s time to start making public transit free! (Salon)

I bet that headline got your attention. Excerpt:

Many people reject the idea out of hand, saying free rides are a problem, not a solution. But “free” transit, of course, is only as free as public libraries, parks and highways, which is to say that the financial burden is merely transferred from individual riders to a municipal general fund, a sales tax or local businesses and property owners. A free ride policy represents the culmination of a long shift from thinking of transit as a business sector — one that was quite profitable in its heyday — to considering it an indispensable public service.

The article makes a persuasive case that free transit usually does boost ridership — and the article even argues that it doesn’t have to be free all the time, i.e. perhaps a targeted approach would be workable. The big problem, of course, is that while fares in most American cities (including at Metro) come nowhere near covering the expense of running transit, they do provide considerable sums — $345 million at Metro in the 2013-14 fiscal year. That’s a big chunk of change to lose while keeping service at current levels. That said, I think free fares is the one thing that would likely extract a noticeable chunk of people from their cars.

Preview of August Metro Service Council meetings and public hearings

As the title of this story indicates, public hearings will be conducted this month in addition to the regular monthly Service Council meetings.

The San Fernando Valley and Westside/Central Service Councils will hold public hearings for proposed December service changes in their regions immediately following their regularly scheduled monthly meetings (days, times and locations are listed below). Since no major December service changes were proposed for the other regions, those Service Councils will not hold hearings. There will be one additional public hearing on the proposed service changes held in Metro’s Board room, at One Gateway Plaza in downtown LA, on Saturday, August 9 at 9 am. You can view information on the proposed changes, public hearings, and how to provide input on the proposals by visiting Metro’s webpage at http://www.metro.net/about/metro-service-changes/proposed-changes-metro-bus-service/

If you or someone you know is interested in serving on one of Metro’s Service Councils, Metro’s Service Council webpage has been updated to include a link showing current vacancies and explaining the process of applying for an open seat on the Councils. The information can be accessed on the main Service Council page, or on any of the individual Council pages, by clicking the link ton the right of the map titled ”Current Service Council Vacancies.”

All Service Councils are scheduled to receive a report on Metro’s Fare Restructuring Implementation, scheduled to go into effect September 15, and the monthly Director’s report, which provides statistics on ridership, performance and other measures of Metro service. For more information about each Service Council, click on the name of the Council to view their web page. Meeting topics for Service Council meetings this month, in addition to the Fare Restructuring Implementation presentation, include:

San Fernando Valley (6:30 pm, Wednesday, 8/6) – Report on Orange Line Pedestrian Tunnel; Report on Line 155 – Universal City/Studio City Station Construction Detour. Immediately following the conclusion of the meeting, the Council will adjourn to the public hearing on proposed December 2014 service changes.

South Bay (9:30 am, Friday, 8/8) – Presentation on Metro’s Annual On-Board Survey; Update on Metro Green Line Latching and Impacts on Ridership.

San Gabriel Valley (5 pm, Monday, 8/11) – Presentation on Metro’s Annual On-Board Survey; Update on Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension Phase 2 Draft EIR/EIS Public Outreach Plan.

Westside/Central (5 pm, Wednesday, 8/13) – Update Purple Line Extension Utility Relocation Process. Immediately following the conclusion of the meeting, the Council will adjourn to the public hearing on proposed December 2014 service changes.

Gateway Cities (2 pm, Thursday, 8/14) – Update on Metro Blue Line Refurbishment Work Schedule in Long Beach; Update on Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension Phase 2 Draft EIR/EIS Public Outreach Plan.

For a detailed listing of all Council meeting dates, times and locations, click here. As always, the public is encouraged to attend and share their comments with the Service Councils on improving bus service throughout LA County. If you would like to provide input to a Council but cannot attend a meeting, you can submit your comments in writing through the Service Council web page or send them to servicecouncils@metro.net. If your comments are for a specific Council, please make sure to indicate which one you are addressing in your e-mail.

New “CicLAvia Explores” program connects audiences to local communities; first event is Thursday night

Heads up, people: the first event is this Thursday evening, a panel discussion on the new streets of L.A. in DTLA — event description and RSVP info is below. Here is the news release from our friends at CicLAvia:

New “CicLAvia Explores” Program Engages and Connects Audiences to

Los Angeles County Communities Throughout the Year

First Event is August 7 With Two Additional Events Planned for September

LOS ANGELES – CicLAvia is thrilled to announce the launch of “CicLAvia Explores,” a new program designed to connect Angelenos with communities in Los Angeles County through a range of engaging activities held separately from CicLAvia car-free event days. The Explores program kicks off August 7 from 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. with the New Streets of LA discussion featuring transportation leaders and advocates, held in partnership with the Levi’s Commuter Workspace at 157 W. Fifth St. in downtown LA (see full details below).

When people hear the word, “CicLAvia,” they tend to think of car-free streets filled with people biking, walking, running and skating. But CicLAvia’s mission is also to engage with people to positively transform their relationship with their communities and with each other. CicLAvia Explores extends the spirit of CicLAvia in between its signature large-scale, car-free events with a series of smaller activities in areas where CicLAvia routes have traveled, will travel to and to vibrant communities that have yet to experience a CicLAvia route.

 “After every CicLAvia we hear from people who rave about discovering a new restaurant or store, coming across a historic building or beautiful park, or simply liking the ‘feel’ of a neighborhood they’ve discovered on the route,” said Executive Director Aaron Paley. “CicLAvia Explores gives us another platform for that level of community engagement. The programs will allow our audience to have a glimpse of new routes, stay connected to previous CicLAvia streets and discover other neighborhoods.”

The Explores program, which features a new play on CicLAvia’s logo, provides opportunities to delve deeper into the sights, sounds, tastes, design and heritage of communities in a more intimate manner than on CicLAvia days. The program will offer gatherings, discussions and activities highlighting the food, culture and architecture of selected neighborhoods. CicLAvia will partner with local leaders, businesses and organizations for these events to give participants an insider’s glimpse of the community. The organization will also work with the office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and with city council offices to highlight the city’s Great Streets initiatives.

CicLAvia Explores year-round activities will typically be held 4-6 weeks in advance of a car-free event to give the audience a preview of what they will find on CicLAvia day. Additionally, CicLAvia Explores provides the opportunity to revisit previous routes and go into new communities that have yet to experience a CicLAvia route, demonstrating that the organization is committed to connecting with local communities outside of a car-free event.

Each CicLAvia Explores activity will be unique to the community where it is held. Some events will be free while others will have a cost. Planned events include:

August 7 (7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.)The New Streets of LA – A panel discussion followed by music, food and drinks held in partnership with Levi’s Commuter Workspace (a pop-up destination at 157 W. Fifth St.), near October’s Heart of LA route. LA’s leading transportation experts, activists and innovators will talk about the future of LA’s streets that keep LA vibrant, safe and open. The panel will feature Mayor Garcetti’s selection for General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, Seleta Reynolds, as well as Los Angeles Walks executive director and founder Deborah Murphy, LA County Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Jen Klausner, City of LA Transportation Commissioner Tafarai Bayne and Metro Transportation Planning Manager Avital Shavit.

RSVP at http://levis-commuter.ticketleap.com/august7/details. Event is 21+.

September 7 (2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.; 6:00 p.m. movie screening) – CicLAvia Explores Broadway – A day for CicLAvia fans to enjoy the revived Broadway Theater District, which is part of the October 5 Heart of LA route. Activities include free walking tours of the Broadway Theater District with CicLAvia Executive Director Aaron Paley (2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.), and an open house of the Million Dollar Theater (courtesy of LA Historic Theater Foundation) from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. The day will conclude with a ticketed screening of David Lynch’s “Mulholland Drive” in the Million Dollar Theater at 6:00 p.m. with a portion of the ticket proceeds going to CicLAvia. Visitors can also enjoy the myriad of food choices at Grand Central Market throughout the day, as well as concessions from the market for the movie that evening. Tour reservations and movie tickets will be made available in the coming weeks.

September 14 – Melting Pot Tours will lead A Taste of East LA – a culinary journey which will take participants to several restaurants on or near the Heart of LA route that highlight the cuisine of East LA. The cost is $25 and includes a CicLAvia TAP card. A portion of the proceeds will go to CicLAvia. Tickets will be available for purchase online starting August 13.

For information about the CicLAvia Explores program and events, please visit http://www.ciclavia.org/explores.

The October 5 CicLAvia – Heart of LA is sponsored by Metro, a proud partner of open streets events throughout Los Angeles County.

For a download of the CicLAvia Explores logo, click here.

About CicLAvia CicLAvia is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization. CicLAvia catalyzes vibrant public spaces, active transportation and good health through car-free streets.  CicLAvia engages with people to transform our relationship with our communities and with each other. With the full support of Metro, local governments, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, the Los Angeles City Council, Police Department, Fire Department, Department of Transportation, the Department of Public Works, the Department of Water and Power, the Department of Parks and Recreation, and the Department of Cultural Affairs, CicLAvia is an innovative model for creating new public space and enriching civic life.

CicLAvia Partners include Metro, the City of Los Angeles, the Wasserman Foundation and an Anonymous benefactor.