Go Metro to see Janelle Monáe in concert at Club Nokia tonight


Social Media Week Los Angeles started yesterday in Hollywood (who else went? wasn’t it just thrilling?), but tonight’s event takes place in downtown LA at Club Nokia.

Go see Janelle Monáe’s free concert at 7:30 p.m. To get your ticket to the show, click here and tell Nokia and SMWLA which song you think belongs on the ultimate “Social Playlist” that will be played by a DJ at the show. Remember to enter your information, and you’re on the list.

Go Metro and get a VIP Pit Pass. Just show your TAP card at the door to receive the pass. The offer is only good for the first 25 registered attendees to show up, so get there early. The Blue and Expo line’s Pico station is a short walk from L.A. Live and Club Nokia.

Panorama photos of new El Monte Station

An opening date for the newly rebuilt El Monte Station will be announced soon. Until then, here are a pair of nice panorama photo of the new facility:

Click above to see larger image.

Click above to see larger image.

Transportation headlines, Tuesday, Sept. 25

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.

Art of Transit: Nice panorama of the 405 freeway during Carmageddon I, as seen from Mountain Gate. Photo by Asim Bharwandi, via Flickr creative commons.

Gearing up for a big vote on downtown Streetcar project (Blogdowntown)

This is it: property owners near the proposed four-mile streetcar line in downtown Los Angeles will be voting by mail in late November whether to tax themselves to raise $62.5 million for the project. L.A. Councilman Jose Huizar says that without the money, there will be no project — the local funds are needed to secure federal matching funds that are necessary to pay for the $125-million streetcar. Here’s the planned route.

Busy roadways and childhood asthma (Science Blog)

A study by USC and others published in Environmental Perspectives concludes that at least eight percent of 300,000 childhood asthma cases in Los Angeles County can be attributed to living within about 250 feet of a busy roadway. The relationship between asthma and proximity to freeways has, of course, been studied previously. This research attempts to better quantify the issue. I’m not sure these results are hugely surprising. I also think these numbers suggest there’s a bigger issue: air quality in our region is improved but often still lousy — perhaps the reason that so many kids have asthma who don’t live immediately adjacent to a busy roadway.

Would funds for high-speed rail be better spent on intercity rail improvements? (Wall Street Journal)

A good debate between two experts on a key piece of Obama Administration policy: the heavy investment in high-speed rail. On the one hand, bullet trains could be a game-changing move that transforms the way people travel between cities. On the other hand, those funds could be used to fund many useful fixes in today’s rail system. I hope this issue comes up in the presidential debates: it would be a chance for President Obama to defend his policies and it would provide Mitt Romney the opportunity to say if he favors any kind of government role in passenger rail travel in the U.S.

A history of BART (BART)

Nicely done video from the agency that runs regional heavy rail in the Bay Area.

New Apple iPhone and software to transit users: get a car!

We’ve known for several months this was coming: the operating system that runs the most recent iPhones and iPads (known as ios6) has been updated with a new maps application. Gone are Google Maps and public transit directions, replaced with a map app by Apple that kicks public transit to the curb, so to speak.

What happens in ios6 when you ask for directions using transit in Apple’s maps? You’re referred to a list of apps in the Apple store that may or may not have anything to do with transit directions in the part of the world where you live.

Sigh. Welcome to the “biggest thing to happen to iPhone since iPhone!”

The photo above is Apple headquarters in Cupertino and its voluminous parking lots. Perhaps it’s not a stretch to suggest that transit directions are gone from the native map app in iPhones because a:) it takes a lot of time, effort and money to collect all the data from transit agencies and crunch it into useable software, as Google did, and; b) it doesn’t look like too worker/programming bees are taking transit to work at Apple HQ.

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Carmageddon's billboard campaign

Photo by Ned Racine/Metro.

Just in case anyone has forgotten.

Oh yeah: you’ll be seeing a lot more of these thanks to a digital billboard campaign by Clear Channel to make sure everyone knows about Carmageddon II. If you missed the announcement last week, the news release is after the jump.

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Pics from the Sunset Boulevard bridge full re-opening

Here is the video and a few pics from this morning, when the newly reconstructed Sunset Boulevard Bridge over the 405 freeway fully reopened:

The view about 8 a.m. this morning looking south with the new, wider bridge in the foreground. Photo by Ned Racine/Metro.

The last of the pylons being picked up on Sunset Boulevard early Monday morning. Photo by Dave Sotero/Metro.

The first car across the new bridge at 5:33 a.m. Monday. Photo by Ned Racine/Metro.

Metrolink adding service between L.A. and Chatsworth during 405 closure

Here's the news release from Metrolink, the commuter rail agency partially funded by Metro:

Los Angeles – Metrolink is adding seven round-trips on its Ventura County line, between Los Angeles and Chatsworth, to provide Southern Californians with more public transportation options during the second closure of Interstate 405. This service is in addition to regularly-scheduled trains on the Antelope Valley, Orange County, Inland Empire-Orange County and San Bernardino lines. Metrolink's popular $10 Weekend Pass provides riders unlimited system-wide travel privileges from Friday at 7 p.m. until the last train on Sunday night.

Special Ventura County Service will operate Chatsworth to Los Angeles Union Station, with stops in between at Glendale, Downtown Burbank, Burbank – Bob Hope Airport, Van Nuys and Northridge.

During the first closure of the 405, Metrolink experienced record weekend ridership and weekend pass sales. This year, there are even more reasons to ride Metrolink. Metrolink and Los Angeles World Airports have a partnership that allows Metrolink Monthly Passholders with a boarding pass to ride the Flyaway for free on the day of their flight. Additionally, Metrolink recently launched a retention program in line with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (Metro) “Eat, Shop, and Play Locally” theme that allows partnering businesses to offer discounts to Metrolink riders. This allows Metrolink to support local businesses, while rewarding the loyalty of valued customers. Please visit www.metrolinktrains.com/rewards for a list of participating businesses.

Riders can also connect to Metro buses and light rail at no additional charge to access destinations along their extensive network. To view all of Metro's special destination discounts for the Carmageddon Weekend and other event information available, please visit metro.net/405.

Metrolink's Carmageddon weekend schedule can be found below or online at www.metrolinktrains.com.