Head to Startup Weekend at Cal State L.A. via Metro and save on admission

Get ready for Startup Weekend powered by Google for Entrepreneurs at Cal State L.A., coming up Friday, June 27 to Sunday, June 29. You’ll be able to share ideas, form teams, build products, and even launch startups!  Anyone is welcome to pitch an idea and receive feedback from peers, and the weekend wraps with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders.

Go Metro to save $24 on general admission. To get to Cal State L.A., take the Metro Silver Line to Cal State L.A. Busway Station. For more routes and connections, use Trip Planner.

The basic schedule of the event is as follows:

June 27,  5:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. (Los Angeles Room in the Student Union)
June 28,  9:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. (Choral Room MUS 149)
June 29,  9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. (Choral Room MUS 149)

For the full schedule rundown, click here.

Southbound 405 closures between 101 and Getty Center Drive planned nights of June 23-27

Here’s the press release from Metro:

The I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project contractor is scheduled to conduct four consecutive nighttime freeway closures on the southbound I-405 between U.S. 101 and Getty Center Drive on-ramp beginning on the night of Monday, June 23 through the morning of Thursday, June 27, 2014, from midnight to 5 a.m. The contractor will install freeway loops and conduct thermoplastic freeway striping.

Closure information is as follows:

  • Midnight, Monday, June 23, to 5 a.m. Tuesday, June 24
  • Midnight, Tuesday, June 24 to 5 a.m., Wednesday, June 25
  • Midnight, Wednesday, June 25 to 5 a.m., Thursday, June 26
  • Midnight, Thursday, June 26 to 5 a.m., Friday, June 27.

Ramps will begin to close at 7 p.m. and lanes will begin to close at 11 p.m.

Ramp Closures

  • US-101 southbound connector to the southbound I-405
  • US 101 northbound connector to the southbound I-405
  • Southbound Ventura Boulevard on-ramp
  • Southbound Valley Vista Boulevard on-ramp
  • Southbound Skirball Center Drive on-ramp

Detour:

  • From I-405 south: exit Burbank Boulevard and travel east to Sepulveda Boulevard, and southbound on Sepulveda Boulevard to the southbound Getty Center Drive on-ramp.
  • From US 101 south: exit Van Nuys Boulevard, south on Van Nuys Boulevard, west on Ventura Boulevard, south on Sepulveda Bl to the southbound Getty Center Dr on-ramp.
  • From US 101 north: take I-405 northbound and exit Burbank Boulevard, east on Burbank Boulevard, south on Sepulveda Boulevard to the southbound Getty Center Dr on-ramp.

What to expect:

Wilshire/La Brea Customer Center closes today, will reopen at new location July 1

The Wilshire/La Brea Customer Center is closing today. It will reopen at Wilshire/Vermont on July 1.

The Wilshire/La Brea Customer Center is closing today. It will reopen at Wilshire/Vermont on July 1.

Due to future Purple Line Extension construction, the Wilshire/La Brea Customer Center is closing today. The customer center will reopen at the Red/Purple Line’s Wilshire/Vermont station on Tuesday, July 1. The Lost and Found will relocate and be near the Gold Line’s Heritage Square Station. It will also open on July 1.

The new addresses are as follows:

  • Wilshire/Vermont Customer Center: 3183 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 174, Los Angeles, CA, 90010
  • Heritage Square Station Lost and Found: 3571 Pasadena Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, 90031

Transportation headlines, Friday, June 20

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! 

A stowaway on Expo 2 (ZevWeb)

Supervisor and Metro Board Member Zev Yaroslavsky got a lift along part of the Expo Line Phase 2 alignment in one of those trucks that can ride the rails. Nice essay accompanies the video at Zev’s website. Keep in mind that he has been tracking this project for the better part of two decades as it moved from the dream phase to talk phase to planning phase to lawsuit phase to construction phase.

Dialed-in with Don Knabe

Supervisor and Board Member Don Knabe talks with Metro CEO Art Leahy about the agency and some of Metro’s ongoing projects. This is a nice primer on the agency and both the Airport Metro Connector study is discussed, as well as the recent fare increases.

Carmageddon in L.A.: the sizzle and the fizzle (Access)  

access44-carmaggedon-figure-3

 

Interesting chart and article by Brian Taylor and Martin Wachs — two transportation experts — about how motorists responded to the two Carmageddon closures on the 405 in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Not surprisingly, motorists were more reluctant to hit the road during the first closure.

Excerpt:

Travelers were not the only people who learned from Carmageddon I. Given how few travelers chose public transportation as an alternative to the closed freeway, officials did not waste money on transit enhancements for the second event. Concerned public officials had informed the public of likely nightmarish traffic impacts during the first weekend closure of one of the nation’s busiest freeways. The media, without much in the way of supporting evidence, trumpeted doomsday predictions of congestion stretching to the Mexican border 150 miles away and of patients dying en route to hospitals while stuck in traffic. None of these dire predictions came to pass. In fact, the contrast between the perceived threat and reality was so stark that it left the media scratching their heads. One headline read: “Carmageddon in Los Angeles: So what was the big deal anyway?” Another read: “True-life ‘disaster’ doesn’t live up to hype.”

During the second weekend closure, transportation officials and elected leaders again appealed for public cooperation, but tempered the messaging. There were many fewer predictions of chaos and more calls for the sort of civic responsibility that had made the first closure a stay-at-home, holiday-like event. The public responded by adjusting travel plans but foregoing far fewer trips than they had during the first closure. Despite fears that the public might ignore pleas to limit travel during the second closure because they were jaded by the lack of traffic chaos the first time, it appears that travelers used the information they were provided to respond appropriately.

Transportation planners can learn much from the two Carmageddons. It’s helpful to carefully plan traffic flow patterns by scheduling closures on days when volumes are lower and trips are likely to be discretionary. But disseminating information can also be enormously effective—even more effective than providing alternative travel modes. As real-time information becomes more available to travelers, that information can complement system capacity to reduce cost and delay. Finally, crying wolf presents a dilemma and should be employed judiciously. Going overboard to scare people off of the roads ensures that the promised chaos will fail to materialize, but encourages the traveling public to take future dire warnings with a grain of salt.

I think it’s interesting — and somewhat predictable — that people didn’t shift to transit during the closures. If there was a rail line traversing the Sepulveda Pass I expect that would be a different story. There is $1 billion in seed money for the Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor project in Measure R and Metro is studying ways that the project may be built and funded as a public-private partnership.

 

 

New TAP-TO-GO allows loading of regular monthly passes by text message

TAP-TO-GO Card

This is something that riders may find convenient: it’s now possible to load a 30-day regular monthly Metro pass on a TAP card via text message. If buying a pass by text message, passes load immediately on cards without the one- to two-day delay when passes are bought on taptogo.net.

TAP-TO-GO is a six-month trial program that is beginning this week and will run through Dec. 1. There are two important caveats: at this time, only regular monthly passes are available and you need to use a new, special TAP card from the program to participate. There is no additional cost for the card.

The program is being run by Metro and its contractor mobileAxept. Reminder: Monthly passes are still available at TAP Vending Machines at all Metro Rail and Metro Orange Line stations, Metro Customer Centers and El Monte Station.

How to sign up 

1) Text TAPSIGNUP to 28950  or visit taptogo.net to sign up online.

2) If texting, mobileAxept will reply with a link to sign up.

3) Enter your name, mailing address and email address. Participants will be directed to the BlueFin-hosted secure payment site to submit credit/debit card information. Credit/debit cards will not be charged until you receive your card in the mail and load your first pass.

4) Once your information has been validated, mobileAxept will send a text confirming participant has successfully joined the TAP-TO-GO pilot program. 

5) Participants receive a special TAP card in the mail within seven to 10 business days, with instructions on how load your first Metro 30-DayPass. Again, you need to use this new card — it’s not possible to sign up using an existing TAP card.

How to reload

•Text TAP30DAY to 28950 to reload your Metro 30-Day Pass. You will receive a reply text message confirming your payment has been received and your card is loaded.

When it’s time to reload your Metro 30-Day Pass, you will receive a reminder text to reload three days prior to expiration, and if necessary, one day prior to its expiration.

•Avoid paying single ride fares — currently $1.50 rising to $1.75 as early as September — by purchasing your pass before your Metro 30-Day Pass expires.

An FAQ on the TAP-TO-GO program is after the jump.

Continue reading

Go Metro Weekends, June 20 – 22

Friday

See some of the best dance troupes in Southern California at the So Cal Dance Invitational! The show takes place at the John Ford Amphitheate. Watch the Lulu Washington Dance Company, L.A. Contemporary Dance company and other modern dance groups put on a great production for all in attendance! The show starts at 8:30 p.m with tickets starting at $30 online or at the box office. (Metro Bus 156 or 222 to Cahuenga/John Ford Amphitheater)

Saturday

Check out high-flying helicopters at the American Heroes Air Show! The Hansen Dam Sports Complex will be hosting the rotary aviation event from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is free to attend. Don’t forget to show your TAP Card for 5% off of helicopter rides. (Metro Bus 233 to Terra Bella/Foothill)

Celebrate the Summer Solstice at the Culver City Arts District. The event is open to the public. Enjoy great weather, art gallery tours and live music from noon to 7 p.m. Show your TAP card for discounts at several Culver City businesses. (Metro Expo Line to Culver City Station)

Groove to the sounds of your favorite music genre at Make Music LA! Several locations throughout the county will be hosting free live music sessions between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. Be sure to look up venue locations and plan your trip. While you’re at it, use your TAP card for various discounts around town, including participating Papa John’s Pizza. (Use Trip Planner)

Sunday

Koreatown Oddity will be hosting a set at Amoeba Music this Sunday. The rapper in a wolf mask will be in the house at 5 p.m. to perform some of his most popular hits. Show your TAP card to save $3 on of any item $5 or more! (Metro Red Line to Hollywood/Vine Station then walk two blocks down Ivar Avenue towards Sunset Boulevard)

All Weekend

The Hollywood Fringe Fest is going on until June 29. This celebration of visual and performing arts takes place in over 50 venues around town. Want your Fringe Button for  cheap? Show your TAP card and save $2! (Metro Bus 4 to Santa Monica/Wilcox)

Come out to the DTLA Night Market June 20 and 21! Happening at the STAPLES Center parking lot #7, this fusion of L.A. and Asian cultures provides a great atmosphere for patrons to shop and have a great time! The night market takes place from 4 p.m. to midnight both days. Save $2 on admission with your TAP card. (Metro Blue or Expo Line to Pico Station)

Why You Ride: Bicycle Edition – biking to work is no challenge for Wesley High

Location - Union Station - Harvey House Restaurant Space

Wesley High, winner of the Bike Ambassador Award. Photo: Josh Southwick/Metro.

Each year, the Diamond Awards recognize the achievements of corporate rideshare programs in the region and their contribution toward decreasing gasoline consumption, air pollution and commuter costs. New this year were the Ambassador awards, which acknowledged commuters for ridesharing and for taking the initiative to promote transit alternatives to their peers.

The recipient of the Bicycle Ambassador award, Wesley High with Phelps, is a truly avid bicyclist. Wesley began biking three years ago on Bike to Work Day and now rides from Silver Lake to where he works at Phelps in Santa Monica—a whopping 30 miles round trip. He also founded his company’s bike to lunch club, leads a company team during the national bike challenge, and his desk often acts as a makeshift bike repair shop for coworkers.

Below, Wesley shares his thoughts on his daily commute and talks about why he rides.

How did you commute before you started biking to work? What made you decide to ride?

When I moved to L.A. five years ago, I was commuting by car from Encino to Santa Monica. When I moved to Silver Lake I started taking the bus instead, which I did for about six months. We’d get stuck in traffic trying to cross the 405 and I’d see people riding right past us on their bikes. I thought to myself “I could do that.” I did a test ride on the weekend and said “I can do that” and from that point started making it a regular thing.

How often do you bike to work? How long does the trip take? Do you ever connect to transit? 

I try to ride at least three times a week. I recently got a dog and we can bring them into work, so she has cramped my riding a bit, at least until I get her trained to ride in a trailer. The trip takes about one hour in the morning and an extra 5 to 10 minutes in the evening, depending on if I’m riding alone or with others. I use transit occasionally, mostly when I’ve encountered mechanical troubles like a broken spoke or flat tire. I just put my bike on the next bus and then repair my bike when I get to work.  

What tips do you have for making a bike commute easier?

Finding some other people who commute by bike, especially along your same route. I try to say “hi” to other people I see riding along my route and strike up a conversation. I’ve made a few friends, just because we were both heading the same direction and decided to ride the rest of the way together. Making friends while commuting to work is not something that really happens when you are driving by yourself. This is one of the reasons I joined an organization called L.A. Bike Trains, which lets you join up with experienced bike commuters along routes across the city. 

Do you have any interesting tales from your bike commutes?

I’ve seen all sorts of things. Other riders wearing only a Speedo, someone driving around with their hood up, countless people using their phones, calling, texting, watching videos. Incredible amounts of backed up traffic, one day I passed 631 cars in a 3-mile stretch of Santa Monica Boulevard in about 15 minutes. I was very happy I rode that day.

Thank you, Wesley, for your commitment to bicycling! Keep up the good work, and happy commuting.