Golden Pylon Awards: Traffic reporters get some love from Southland transit agencies

Winners of the 2012 Golden Pylon Awards: from left, carpooling team of Nora Wells and Sioux-z Jessup report traffic on several radio stations, Total Traffic L.A. powerhouse Nick Pagliochini, Metro's reigning 'Miss Traffic' Sofia Mach, KABC Air Watch Kalyna Astrinos, CHP Officer Juan Galvin, and KFWB veteran Rhonda Kramer.

Winners of the 2012 Golden Pylon Awards: from left, carpooling team of Nora Wells and Sioux-z Jessup report traffic on several radio stations, Total Traffic L.A. powerhouse Nick Pagliochini, Metro’s reigning ‘Miss Traffic’ Sofia Mach, KABC Air Watch Kalyna Astrinos, CHP Officer Juan Galvin, and KFWB veteran Rhonda Kramer.  (Click on images to enlarge view)

16th Annual Golden Pylon Awards spotlight true-grit traffic reporters whose on-air traffic talk keeps rush-hour commuters in the know about alternatives to solo driving. Awards are prelude to Rideshare Week Oct. 1 – 5 when commuters are invited to share the ride.

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Blue and Expo lines resume normal service

Regular service resumed a few minutes ago after an earlier issue involving the overhead wires that power the trains. There will be some residual delays through about 5:30 p.m. this afternoon. Thanks for your patience with the delays.

Service alerts are available through Metro’s primary Twitter feed, the agency’s service alerts Twitter feed, the homepage, via text message or through the Go Metro smartphone apps.


Social media storms Hollywood

These days practically everyone uses social media, but are you using it to its full potential? Find out the latest trends and how to make the most of social media at Social Media Week Los Angeles (SMWLA), taking place September 24 – 28 in Hollywood.

Check out the schedule of events to see which panels might tickle your fancy. Nearly all the events are free to attend, but if you want unlimited access to all events – including the opening reception and invite-only closing party – get the Premium Pass. Metro riders get a 15% discount when buying the pass.

For transit enthusiasts, Monday, September 24 might be the best day to attend. Metro’s own Lan-Chi Lam will be speaking at A City of Angels panel at 10:30 a.m. on how Metro has adopted social media. Former Source blogger and future urban planning mogul Carter Rubin will be at Nobody Walks in L.A. at 2:30 p.m. to discuss how social media helps connect people to local communities and city services (like public transportation).

SMWLA takes place in Hollywood at both the Egyptian Theatre, located at 6712 Hollywood Blvd., and io/LA, located at 7083 Hollywood Blvd. The easiest way to get to both places is by taking the Red Line to Hollywood/Highland Station. Metro Bus 217 is another way to go; stop at Hollywood/La Brea for io/LA or Hollywood/Las Palmas for the Egyptian. Use Trip Planner to find the best route.


Service delays on the Blue and Expo lines this afternoon

Metro Blue Line patrons are experiencing delays of up to 20 minutes due to problems with the power line that feeds the trains. Metro is implementing single tracking and also has implemented an emergency bus service for Blue Line passengers between 7TH St/Metro Center and Grand stations, and for the Expo Line, between 7th St/Metro Center and 23rd Street Station. Repairs are estimated to take a couple of hours. For Service Alerts go to or follow us on @MetroLAalerts on Twitter.


Let's stop cell phone snatchers

Metro and L.A. County Sheriff’s deputies are asking patrons to watch for the person in these photographs. On July 16 at approximately 11:10 p.m. this suspect was captured on video grabbing an Apple iPad from a Metro patron as she was riding the Blue Line. When the train arrived at the Compton Station, the suspect approached the victim from behind, grabbed her iPad from her hands and fled the train car and platform northbound on foot. Please call the LASD Transit Services Bureau (323) 563-5000 if you recognize this man. He is thought to be 17-19 years old with black hair and brown eyes, 5′ 6″ or 5′ 7″, 140-150 pounds.

Aboard Metro buses and trains, thieves are snatching smart phones and other electronic devices at a growing rate and Metro officials and Los Angeles County Sheriffs are taking steps to stop it. But they need the public’s help in putting an end to these crimes of opportunity. Raising awareness is the first step.

“It’s a national trend. And we need to educate the public about how they can avoid being victims of this kind of crime,” said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Commander Patrick Jordan.

In L.A., as well as in New York, Washington D.C., Boston and Chicago, thieves are stealing cell phones and other electronic devices out of the hands of inattentive transit riders. Metro experienced a 47 percent increase in phone thefts during the first half of this year, compared with the first half of last year.

In looking at the thefts by month, they began to increase steadily in March of this year, with a low of 15 in February and a high of 34 in July. There have been 168 phone theft reports taken since the first of the year. The result has been 84 arrests.

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Metro rider survey infographic

Instead of posting the plain text from the latest Metro survey of bus and rail passengers, we  decided to give the numbers a graphical twist. As for the results, they’re pretty much in line with previous surveys. More info on how the survey was conducted below.

How the surveys are done

Every year, Metro conducts a survey aboard their buses and trains.  This is how we take “the pulse” of our riders. We send surveyors onto a sample of enough bus lines to account for 98% of our weekday passenger boardings.

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Transportation headlines, Wednesday, Sept. 19

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.

THE ART OF TRANSIT: The 181 bus on the Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena last night. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

Beverly Hills pursues bike sharing program (Beverly Hills Patch) 

The Council inquires about hosting bike rental stations, raising concerns Beverly Hills hasn’t done much on the bike infrastructure front. “Hopefully by having these bikes in the city and increasing people’s alternate modes of transport, we will come closer to the solution of bike paths,” Vice Mayor John Mirisch said. The city, of course, is suing Metro over plans for a different kind of alternate mode.

Metro staff reiterates backing of CBS Outdoors for advertising contract (L.A. Times) 

In a new staff report, Metro supports a $110-million bid by CBS Outdoors to sell advertising that appears on agency properties. Another bidder, Titan, is seeking the contract with Metro but staff have concerns over issues Titan has had with other transit agencies.

A draft of Washington’s new bus maps.

Washington’s new transit maps highlight frequency of service (Greater Greater Washington) 

The agency that runs transit in the D.C. area is tinkering with its service maps and looking for public input. The new maps place special emphasis on the frequency of bus lines, with big bold red lines indicating bus lines that run every 15 minutes or less (with some exceptions for the ‘burbs). Metro does something similar, with a 15-minute map to show buses that run every 15 minutes or less during the daytime.