Metro Silver Line and Foothill Silver Streak riders can soon ride either line, using the same ticket and paying the same fare

The new program begins Sunday, when the new El Monte Station is open to the public. Here’s the news release from Metro:

When was the last time something actually became easier? Soon transit riders will be able to hop aboard either the Metro Silver Line or the Foothill Transit Silver Streak using the same ticket or paying the same fare for travel between the brand new El Monte Station and downtown Los Angeles.

Metro and Foothill Transit have teamed up to offer this new easy and convenient combined service for all Silver Line and Silver Streak riders, as part of a one-year demonstration program. Beginning Sunday, Oct. 14, when the new El Monte Station opens, all categories of Foothill Transit 31-Day passes and Metro 30-Day, 7-Day or Day passes will be accepted on either Metro Silver Line buses or Foothill Silver Streak buses, and riders paying cash will pay the same fare ($2.45, one way) no matter which bus they take.

Patrons wanting to travel on the El Monte Busway can just board the first bus to arrive — Metro Silver Line or Silver Streak — show their fare media from either Metro or Foothill Transit and be on their way.

Metro Silver Line buses operate every 5-10 minutes during morning and afternoon peak periods, every 15 minutes midday and every 60 minutes late at night. The Metro Silver Line travels from El Monte Station to the Artesia Transit Center, with several stops in downtown Los Angeles. The Foothill Transit Silver Streak operates approximately every 10 to 20 minutes during morning and afternoon peak periods, every 20 minutes midday and every 60 minutes late at night. The Silver Streak travels from Montclair Transit Center to downtown Los Angeles.

For more information on this new easy and convenient fare arrangement, including cash and pass fares, visit foothilltransit.org/silver or metro.net/silverline.

Metro and elected officials dedicate new state-of-the-art El Monte Station

Supervisor and Metro Board Member Gloria Molina cuts the ribbon the new El Monte station while joined with other elected officials. Photo by Gary Leonard for Metro.

The public opening is Sunday, when the reviews from riders will start rolling in. One key takeaway here is that funding for the station expansion partially came from the funds provided by the federal government to Metro to test the ExpressLanes concept on parts of the 10 and 110 freeways (the 110 section opens next month).

Here’s the news release from Metro:

Metro joined a host of elected and community officials this morning to officially dedicate the completion of the new state-of-the-art El Monte Bus Station that has been totally revamped and expanded and is now set to open to the public on Sunday, Oct. 14.

“As part of our efforts to enhance the County’s regional transit system, this new state-of-the-art bus facility will be a major San Gabriel Valley connection point for thousands of daily commuters,” said LA County Supervisor and Metro Board Chair Michael D. Antonovich.

The upgrade of the El Monte facility, which first opened in 1973, is part of the Congestion Reduction Demonstration Program known as Metro ExpressLanes and is funded by a $210 million federal grant by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Metro and Caltrans District 7, along with Foothill Transit, Gardena Transit, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, and Torrance Transit are partnering in a one-year demonstration project during which existing carpool lanes on the I-10 El Monte Busway (between Alameda Street and I-605) and the I-110 Harbor Transitway (between Adams Boulevard and the Harbor Gateway Transit Center) will be converted to High-Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes called Metro ExpressLanes.

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A quick look at the new El Monte station

Elected officials and Metro are cutting the ribbon on the new El Monte Station later this morning, with the public opening on Sunday. I’ll post some photos of the facility later today. In the meantime, here’s a fact sheet on the station:

Click above to see larger.

Go Metro to Mission 26: The Big Endeavour

Photo by Luis Inzunza

Hankering for some more Space Shuttle Endeavour? Head to Expo Park this Saturday evening to be a part of its last mission ever and welcome the space shuttle home.

Expo Park will be the only mass viewing area for the shuttle. Endeavour fans should gather around 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13 along Bill Robertson Lane. And make sure to ride the Expo Line there as no cars will be allowed into the park. Both the Expo/Vermont Station and Expo Park/USC Station will drop you off a short walk from the official shuttle route.

The Expo Line will run at 6 minute headways from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, and the Red, Purple and Gold lines will also run enhanced service. To make the trip easier on yourself, load up your TAP card before Endeavour starts to move.

Bus service in the areas along the shuttle route will experience disruptions during the Endeavour trip. Service detours are planned along Manchester Boulevard on Friday night and Crenshaw Boulevard and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard on Saturday. For the most up-to-date service alerts, visit Metro’s website, follow @metroLAalerts on Twitter or check back here on the Source. We’ll be posting more on Endeavour bus detours in a day or so.

Other places to catch the shuttle on Saturday are The Forum in Inglewood and the intersection in front of the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza.

Are you a Ben or Jerry?

Photo from Ben&Jerry’s Official Facebook

Ben&Jerry’s opened at Union Station this July and provided some sweet, sweet relief during the hot days of summer. Now that the store’s settled in, it’s time for its official grand opening!

Swing by Union Station this Thursday, Friday or Saturday any time between 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. to celebrate ice cream.

On Thursday you’ll be able to meet co-founder Ben Cohen, and if you can prove your name is is Ben or Jerry (IDs please!) you can get a free scoop of ice cream. Friday, buy one scoop of frozen Greek yogurt during the allotted time and get one scoop free. On Saturday there will be face painting for kids and a free scoop for anyone in tie-dye. Woody the Ben&Jerry’s Cow will be there all three days for photos.

Union Station can be reached by Amtrak, Metrolink, Metro Rail and numerous bus lines. Ben&Jerry’s is located ajacent to the Amtrak ticket windows.

What's up with the Subway? There's a meeting tonight (Wednesday) to tell you

Metro will host a public meeting tonight on what’s likely to happen during the next 12-18 months as we get ready to build the first section of the Westside Subway project. That section extends the subway from the current end of the Purple Line at Wilshire/Western and adds three new stations at La Brea, Fairfax and La Cienega. Anyone who lives, works, travels or does business in that stretch of Wilshire is especially encouraged to attend.

The meeting is set for 6 to 8 p.m. tonight, Oct. 10, in the Terrace Room at the LA County Museum of Art West, 5th Floor, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., 90036. It will include an open house period as well as a formal presentation. Metro staff and consultants will be there to provide further information and respond to questions. Here are a few more details.  

 

Transportation headlines, Tuesday, Oct. 9

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.

 

A weekend called Carmageddon. By Keith Knight/kchronicles.com

The benefits of Carmageddon explained (kchronicles)

This terrific cartoon by Keith Knight says it all. Let’s not forget. And thanks to David Litvak for pointing it out. 

Caltrans says we drove more during second Carmageddon than first (Pacific Palisades Patch)

As was the concern, we hit the roads more during Carmageddon II than during I, according to Caltrans. Fortunately, the miles traveled during the 405 closure were not enough to cause serious traffic damage … although drivers stymied by the marathon might say otherwise.

High gas prices push drivers onto mass transit (KPCC Public Radio)

So there is a positive side to extreme pain at the pump.

Bikes aren’t just good for us. They’re good for the economy, too (Fast Company Exist)

Spending money on bike infrastructure can have far-reaching positive economic impacts … at the same time it benefits the quality of our air and our quads.

Target and $40 million mall to open Sunday near 7th Street/Metro Center Station (Downtown News)

Here’s another good reason to Go Metro: Target is opening in downtown L.A. next week … just steps from the Metro Red, Purple, Blue and Expo lines. Toothpaste anyone?