Safety First — but Fun a Close Second — for USC Trojan Home Games via Metro

Metro has just sent out a release on USC game day service. The release follows:

As the USC Trojans gear up for their first home game Sept. 1, Metro is preparing to carry thousands of new customers to assist the estimated 80,000 fans who crowd the games. The new Expo Line and Silver Line that stop just a short walk from L.A. Memorial Coliseum and USC, are the perfect transit to help Trojan fans avoid what can be massive parking and traffic issues before and after the games.

Metro is, of course, ramping up service and information distribution for the home games but of greatest importance is safety.

“It’s essential that Trojan fans have an easy and safe time making Metro part of their game and tail-gate party experience,” said Metro CEO and USC graduate Art Leahy. “But what we want most on game days is safety for our customers, for the students and for the fans who will be attending the games. We are doing everything we can to underscore that message.”  

More than 100 Metro event guides will be deployed to hub locations on USC home game days to answer questions, assist students and direct passengers to correct trains and stations. They will be dressed in T-shirts and baseball caps in USC colors. They also will be handing out maps and travel information and walking the route with Metro customers between the two nearest Expo stations (Expo/Vermont and Expo Park/USC) and the Coliseum, as well as between the Silver Line Station at 37th Street/USC Station and the Coliseum. Signage will also be set up in Exposition Park on game days, directing fans to the nearest stations.

Students and other Trojan fans are cautioned to look both ways when crossing the tracks; to avoid walking or riding bikes while wearing earphones near the tracks and to obey electronic crossing signals and directions issued by Metro and L.A. County Sheriff’s personnel.

The Metro website metro.net/usctrojans now includes travel tips and directions for getting to the game easily, particularly on the Expo Line to the Coliseum and the Metro Silver Line. It includes a printable map. It also links to Metro Destination Discounts to restaurants and food purveyors that can pack picnics or provide snacks for tail-gate parties at exclusive discounts to Metro riders.

Expo trains will run every 6 minutes before and after game time. Additional trains will be added to the Expo Line, as well as to the Red, Purple and Gold lines to make transfer connections efficient system-wide. There also will be additional service on the Silver Line on game days.

Passengers traveling to the games should purchase $5 Metro Day Passes at the stations where they are starting out. Or if they are riding only the Expo Line to the game (with no transfers), they can purchase a one-way fare when boarding. When they arrive at either Expo/Vermont or Expo Park/USC Station before the game, they should purchase the return trip fare, to avoid having to stand in line after the game.

For more information on USC Trojan games go to USC Trojans website. For more information on the easiest ways to get there via Metro, go to the Metro website.

Transportation headlines, Tuesday, August 21

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 bus fight between Seal Beach and Long Beach (KCET So Cal Connected)

Long Beach Transit has proposed ending all bus service between Long Beach and Seal Beach – unless Seal Beach wants to subsidize one of those lines. Why the cuts? Long Beach officials say ridership is poor and have also said that Seal Beach residents don’t want “people” from Long Beach in their city.

Divide and conquer on the 710 big dig (L.A. Streetsblog)

Editor Damien Newton suggests that some of the less popular alternatives offered by Metro as ways to improve traffic in the area around the 710 gap may be intended to show the public that a freeway tunnel is the best option. I honestly believe that the alternatives were an attempt to put everything on the table and not leave any stone unturned. Problem is, putting everything on the table is sure to mean putting some very unpopular — and perhaps unlikely — options out there.

The Panama Canal’s Miraflores Locks. Photo by Scott Ableman, via Flickr creative commons.

East Coast ports eye expansion as Panama Canal expands (New York Times)

Several ports on the East Coast think business will boom because of new locks being built on the Panama Canal, which will soon be able to accommodate much larger cargo ships. The theory is the ships could bypass ports on the West Coast in order to bring freight directly to East Coast markets. Not so quick, says some experts, who point out that it will still likely be quicker to bring cargo to the West Coast and then truck it or put it on trains for markets to the east. Also, the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles can already handle the big boats.

 

 

State Senate approves bill that would allow Measure J to go to L.A. County voters

Below is the update from Metro’s government relations staff. The bill, AB 1446 ( BY D-Mike Feuer), allows Metro to ask voters to consider extending the Measure R half-cent sales tax for 30 years beyond its mid-2039 expiration date in order to try to accelerate transit and road projects. 

The update:

Today, the California State Senate voted 24-13 to pass AB 1446 (Feuer). Senator Alex Padilla testified on the benefits of an extension of Measure R. Senator Bob Huff spoke in opposition to the bill. The bill now moves onto the Governor’s desk for signature.

 

It will be called Measure J on the Nov. 6 ballot if the bill is signed by Gov. Jerry Brown. Here’s the ballot language. The bill was approved by the Assembly earlier this year but must go back for a routine concurrence vote.

Come meet me at Metro

 

Instead of riding Metro to see a show, let the journey itself be the spectacle! Watts Village Theater Company is putting on their third annual Meet Me @Metro, a traveling theatre event that will be held along the Gold Line on the next two weekends.

Audience members will gather at Union Station in the East Portal, then be guided en masse toward East L.A. Civic Center. Six performances, designed to showcase the history of L.A. culture and art, will be held at four separate stops along the way. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes and clothing because audience participation is encouraged!

Meet Me @Metro will take place on the following days and times:

  • Saturday, Aug. 25, 11 a.m. and 12 p.m.
  • Sunday, Aug. 26, 11 a.m. and 12 p.m.
  • Saturday, Sept.1, 11 a.m. and 12 p.m.
  • Sunday, Sept. 2, 11 a.m. and 12 p.m.

Tickets are $20 and include a Metro day pass, which means after the show is over you can go explore more of L.A. by Metro. For those on a tighter budget, there are two pay-what-you-will shows: Sunday, Aug. 26 at noon and Saturday, Sept. 1 at noon. Each trip will take approximately 3.5 hours and all ages are welcome.

Get ready to experience the Gold Line in a whole new way! I’ll be attending the very first show on August 25 for those who may be interested in playing “Spot the Metro-ette.”

The art of transit

photo by Gilderic Photography, via Flickr creative commons

In my role as chief Metro blogger, I see an awful lot of escalator photos — and Metro certainly has some big ones — and most of them aren’t very interesting. But every so often I come across one on Flickr that’s pretty good, such as this one from Budapest, taken in 2007. Nice lines and use of the flat but bright light.

To submit a photo for the Art of Transit, post it to Metro’s Flickr group, email it to sourcemetro@gmail.com or Tweet it to @metrolosangeles with an #artoftransit hashtag. Many of the photos we’ve featured can be seen in these galleries on Flickr.

July ridership numbers — Expo Line continues to make gains

Looks like a trend we’ve seen in recent months continues: Metro Rail ridership continues to increase while systemwide bus ridership is flat. The Expo Line continues to increase with more than 18,000 average weekday boardings.

That’s not a huge surprise with July being the first month that the full first phase was open between downtown L.A. and Culver City.

Below are the July numbers, which on the rail side are tabulated over the prior several months and then crunched to come up with the monthly numbers:

 Ridership Statistics

 Bus – Directly Operated

July 2012 July 2011 July 2010
Average Weekday Boardings 1,032,747 1,052,088 1,058,021
Average Saturday Boardings 718,137 731,024 722,957
Average Sunday and Holiday Boardings 539,825 536,218 536,789
Total Calendar Month Boardings 27,799,185 27,914,188 28,517,171

 

Directly operated bus ridership includes Orange and Silver Line ridership.

 

Bus – Contract

 

July 2012 July 2011 July 2010
Average Weekday Boardings 42,578 41,489 42,239
Average Saturday Boardings 25,227 24,243 24,418
Average Sunday and Holiday Boardings 19,101 18,170 18,633
Total Calendar Month Boardings 1,109,651 1,060,013 1,102,262

 

Bus – Systemwide

 

July 2012 July 2011 July 2010
Average Weekday Boardings 1,075,325 1,093,577 1,100,260
Average Saturday Boardings 743,364 755,267 747,375
Average Sunday and Holiday Boardings 558,926 554,388 555,422
Total Calendar Month Boardings 28,908,836 28,974,201 29,619,433

 

Directly operated bus ridership includes Orange and Silver Line ridership.

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AAA now offering ExpressLane transponders with 20 percent discount on initial tolls for Auto Club members

Here’s the news release from the Auto Club:
Beginning today, all Automobile Club of Southern California branches are offering Metro ExpressLane transponders at a 20 percent discount exclusively for Auto Club members. Currently, Auto Club branches are the only retail locations outside of Metro customer centers where the transponders can be obtained.
Existing and expanded carpool lanes will become ExpressLanes open to both toll-paying solo drivers and carpoolers on the Harbor Freeway (Interstate 110) later this year and along Interstate 10 in East Los Angeles next year. All drivers, whether driving alone or in a carpool, will be required to have a transponder to use the Metro ExpressLanes.