Metro to monitor service levels, add capacity if needed during Carmageddon

It's here! Carmageddon begins tonight, with full closure of the 405 freeway between the 10 and the 101 freeways by midnight. Here's a news release issued yesterday by Metro:

​​Metro will add more service as needed this weekend to accommodate increased ridership during Carmageddon II, the complete closure of the I-405 between the I-10 and US 101. ​The closure will begin tomorrow night, Sept. 28, when I-405 ramps begin closing. Freeway lanes will gradually be closed, beginning as early as 10 p.m., until all lanes are closed at 12:01 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 29.

​​During Carmageddon weekend, all Metro Rail lines and the Orange Line will run according to regular weekend schedule with the following additions:

● The Red Line will run with longer-length trains; additional service will be added, if needed.

● Blue, Expo and Orange lines will have standby vehicles to be added, if needed.

● Metro Rapid 761 (Van Nuys Boulevard/Sepulveda Pass Rapid) will run with additional buses, supplementing the existing weekend schedule.

​​For Metro travel details go to the Trip Planner at metro.net; for I-405 closure details go to metro.net/405, watch for posts on The Source at metro.net and sign up for Twitter alerts: @metroLAalerts and @metrolosangeles.


Getting around Carmageddon — how to reach this weekend's events on transit

One big difference between Carmageddon II and the original: there are several big events around town this weekend that were scheduled before the 405 closure was on the docket.

I know there will be the temptation to drive to the events. But we also remind you that all the following events are accessible via Metro buses, trains or other shuttles.

The Metro Rail and busway map is above. And here’s a map of the entire Metro system. Single rides are $1.50 and day passes $5. In order to board Metro trains, you will need to purchase a Metro TAP card at a ticket machine — it costs $1 — and then load either single fares ($1.50), day pass ($5) or a variety of cash amounts on the card. The cards are reloadable and last for three years.

Don Giovanni at the Los Angeles Opera at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Friday 7:30 p.m. and Sunday 2 p.m. The Red and Purple Line subway Civic Center station is one block from the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion — and a nice stroll through the new Grand Park. Plus you get points for taking the subway to the opera.

Herbalife Triathlon Los Angeles, Sunday morning, Santa Monica to downtown Los Angeles. The Expo Line’s Culver City Station is adjacent to the Venice Boulevard section of the bike route. The running race part of the course in downtown Los Angeles is easy to reach via the Red/Purple Line subway, the Expo Line and Blue Line.

West Hollywood Book Fair, Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the West Hollywood Library and West Hollywood Park at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard. From the fair’s website:

Complimentary shuttles will run between Plummer Park and the West Hollywood Library from 9:30a-6:30p
Shuttles will depart every 15 minutes and will pickup or drop off at all MTA stops along Santa Monica Blvd between Plummer Park and San Vicente.

Please be aware of the continuous construction and closures on various Los Angeles freeways and the surrounding areas during this time and allow extra commuting time. Thank you.

Plummer Park can be reached from the 4 or 704 buses that run along Santa Monica Boule vard between downtown L.A. and Santa Monica. The 4/704 also stops at the Red Line subway’s Vermont/Santa Monica station. Here’s the timetable for the 4 and for the 704.

Los Angeles Dodgers versus Rockies, Friday 7:10 p.m., Saturday 6:10 p.m. and Sunday 1:10 p.m. The Dodger Stadium Express shuttle runs between Union Station and the stadium and is free to those holding tickets to the game. All the details are here. Union Station is easy to reach via Metrolink, the Red/Purple Line subway, the Gold Line and Silver Line.

The Go-Gos (Saturday night) and Wilco (Sunday night), Hollywood Bowl. The Bowl offers park-and-ride shuttles from locations across Los Angeles County, including Westwood, Santa Monica, Westchester and Culver City on the Westside. Here’s info on the shuttles and departure times for the Go-Gos and here’s the info for the Wilco show. The Red Line station at Hollywood/Highland is about a .9-mile wlk to the Bowl. The Hollywood Bowl shuttle also serves the Hollywood/Highland Station and the Universal City station.


Metro Board meeting roundup; no action taken on advertising contract

Three highlights from today’s Metro Board meeting

•The Metro Board could not agree on a contract with either CBS Outdoor or Titan for a contract that would pay Metro in exchange for the right to sell ads on the agency’s buses, trains and other properties. Metro staff recommended a $110-million contract with CBS Outdoor as opposed to a $117-million contract with Titan Outdoor. Staff had concerns about Titan renegotiating contracts with other transit agencies and the projections and prices of their ad sales.

Three motions failed. The Directors could not agree to support the staff recommendation to award the contract to CBS Outdoor, the Directors could not agree to award the contract to Titan and the Directors could not agree to extend the current contract with CBS Outdoor for six months while negotiating a new deal. As a result, the item is technically dead but practically speaking, it’s very likely to be brought before the Board of Directors again in October.

•The Board approved sending a letter of interest to the U.S. Department of Transportation about TIFIA loans that Metro may apply for if Measure J is approved by voters. The loans would be used to accelerate transit projects.

•The Board approved a contract modification with NextBus — adding $629,000 to it — to provide real-time rail arrival data similar to the popular NextBus service.

 


Once more, with feeling: don't drive this weekend

A triathlete runs past the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Photo from Herbalife Triathlon Los Angeles Facebook

If you need another reason besides Carmageddon II to “eat, shop and play locally” this weekend, consider the Herbalife Triathalon. Streets will be closed from Venice to downtown L.A. on the morning of September 30, adding to your detour frustrations if you’re one of those people who just loves driving around Sunday mornings.

The race ends in downtown at L.A. LIVE, and if you’d like to attend the Finish Festival Expo or watch the winners receive their awards, go Metro. Take the Blue or Expo Line to Pico Station, or the Metro Silver Line to Figueroa/Olympic.

Metro Board of Directors meeting is underway

Board Chair Mike Antonovich gaveled the meeting to order at 9:52 p.m. and we're now in the first inning. Those who wish to listen by phone should call 213-922-6045.

 

The meeting agenda is below or download here (pdf). Looks like a robust turnout for the item on the proposed contract with CBS Outdoor to supply advertisting on Metro buses and trains.


Unprecedented TV helicopter pool planned over 405 freeway during Carmageddon II

This is great. Wish it happened more often! Here’s the news release from the Radio and Television News Assn. of Southern California:

Los Angeles, Sept. 26, 2012: Local television stations are forming an unprecedented joint operations plan to cut down on helicopter flights over Sepulveda Pass homes and businesses during the upcoming Carmageddon II weekend, according to the Radio and Television News Assn. which is coordinating the effort.

“We plan camera pools, year around, for many major court cases and other events in Southern California where cameras are restricted, but it’s always tough to arrange an ‘air pool’ due to technical challenges and the natural competitive urges of TV news departments,” said Rick Terrell, RTNA’s executive director. “This time, however, local TV news directors have made an extraordinary commitment to cut down helicopter hovering and cooperate to get news pictures for their viewers.”

The “pooling” plan calls for a single helicopter from a specific, participating station to make a fly over before the top of the hour when major newscasts are scheduled on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings and Monday morning, when the freeway is expected to reopen. The stations will not fly except for a single status-report video on Saturday and Sunday mornings, unless an emergency occurs.

Continue reading

Agenda for Thursday's Metro Board meeting

And the usual reminder that the Metro Board of Directors is back in action Thursday for their first full meeting since early August. The meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the Board Room on the 3rd floor of Metro headquarters adjacent to Union Station in downtown Los Angeles. It is, as always, free and open to the public.

If you would like to listen in by phone, please call 213-922-6045.

The meeting agenda is below or download here (pdf). The item that seems to be getting the most attention is the contract with CBS Outdoor to supply advertising on Metro buses, trains and other properties.

Sept Metro Board Agenda