Go Metro to live music: Fun.

Fun – “Some Nights”

Go Metro to see one of the summer’s hottest bands, Fun., performing live at the historic Wiltern Theatre on three consecutive nights beginning Friday, August 17th! It’s the perfect event to use Metro — the Wiltern is across the street from the Wilshire/Western Purple Line station and adjacent to the Metro Rapid 720 stop.

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Designing a subway to withstand an earthquake

Metro’s subway rode out the 1994 Northridge earthquake, but a section of the Santa Monica Freeway collapsed and other area roads suffered serious damage.

After a pair of 4.5 magnitude earthquakes were felt throughout the Los Angeles area earlier this week, a Source reader asked this question:

What magnitude are the tunnels or stations designed to withstand?

Here is the answer from Metro’s engineering and operations staff, as well as consultants who work with Metro to design projects:

There is no specific magnitude that subways are designed to universally withstand. The strength and flexibility the subway is designed for depends on the characteristics of earthquake faults in the area and their proximity to the structure being designed. In other words, the main question engineers ask is this: how strong is the ground shaking likely to be at the tunnels and stations?

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Transportation headlines, Friday, August 10

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.

Nearly 2,500 drivers hit with Olympics Lanes violations (The Independent)

The 30 miles of lanes were introduced in London to help move fans, athletes and Olympic officials around town. For the most part, other motorists have been staying out of the lanes at the times they’re restricted, but apparently not everyone can resist the temptation.

Gridlock on Avenue 64 (Pasadena Weekly)

West Pasadena residents aren’t happy with any proposals from Metro to possibly link the 210 and 710 freeways, saying even discussing it could harm real estate values. The 710 gap project is funded by Measure R and a number of alternatives for improving traffic in the gap are being studied, with the ideas ranging from a freeway tunnel to improved transit in the area.

$1 gas tax? One auto dealer says ‘yes!’ (National Journal)

Monrovia auto dealer Peter Hoffman is taking a stance unusual for his business: he would like to a see a $1 gas tax imposed in order to make the price of gasoline more predictable. In his view, a more predictable price would give increased comfort to both consumers and automakers about what type of cars to buy and produce — in this case, cars that are fuel efficient. At present, consumers are all over the place — buying fuel efficient cars when gas prices go up and gravitating to SUVs when it drops. Great article.

Go Metro Weekends, Aug 10 – 12

Celebrate Tanabata in Little Tokyo! Photo by waltarrrrr via Flickr Creative Commons

It’s going to be another scorching weekend! If all you want to do is sit and chill under the blast of AC, go check out DocuWeeks, which starts this Friday at Laemmle NoHo 7. You’ll get to stay cool and come away feeling more worldly and educated. Screenings start at noon and continue throughout the day, check DocuWeek’s website for a full listing of titles and schedule. Ticket prices range from $8 to $11. The theatrical documentary showcase will screen 28 outstanding films from all over the world over the next three weeks. (Metro Red Line to North Hollywood Station, Metro Bus 152 to Lankershim/Chandler)

Celebrate the joyous reunion of two star-crossed lovers at Tanabata Festival this Friday in Little Tokyo. Head to the Japanese National American Museum plaza for fun, food and cultural performances. The opening ceremony is at 5 p.m. on Friday, and events continue on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. (Metro Gold Line to Little Tokyo/Arts District Station, Metro Bus 40 to Judge John Aiso/1st)

Catch Alice in Wonderland on the big screen this Saturday at Expo Park once the sun – and the heat – has gone down. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., performances by Glen Iris and The Rebel Light begin at 6:30 p.m. and the movie starts at 8:30 p.m. And of course, there will be food trucks hanging around to keep you fed. General admission is $10, but if you go Metro you’ll get $3 off! (Metro Expo Line to Expo Park/USC Station, Metro Bus 102 to Exposition/University)

Olympic Rewind: How Los Angeles transported the world in 1932 and 1984

The Olympics may be coming to a close in London, but the Metro Library’s Primary Resources Blog is serving up a local double-header of Olympics history.

Back in 1932, Los Angeles welcomed the world to a much smaller affair during the Great Depression.  (Only 1,500 athletes from 37 nations took part, with the Olympic Village in Baldwin Hills).

The Metro Library’s Primary Resources blog explores in depth how the the city moved athletes and spectators around 80 years ago — when L.A. was criss-crossed by the streetcars and interurban rail lines of one of the largest transit systems on the planet.

Fast forward a half-century:  Los Angeles welcomes the world back, despite that rail system having been completely dismantled for more than two decades.

How did Los Angeles transport athletes, spectators and millions of local residents through the first Olympics staged in a city without a rapid transit system since 1960?

Primary Resources takes an extensive look at how L.A. managed to pull off a Olympic-sized feat in 1984, greatly reducing traffic and smog throughout the region thanks to a comprehensive transportation plan built entirely around a fleet of buses.


Westside Subway Extension secures Record of Decision from feds, a big step forward for a big project!

Another big milestone for the Westside Subway Extension today: the Federal Transit Administration gave its stamp of approval to the project’s environmental studies. In plain English, this means the project is now eligible to pursue the federal money it will need to get fully built.

What’s next for the project?

• A variety of activities can now commence to prepare for construction. Among other things, these include advanced soils testing in the vicinity of the La Brea Tar Pits, utility relocation, continued engineering and design, and property acquisition.

• The soils testing and utility relocation work could begin later this year.

• Metro will now pursue a full funding grant agreement for the project for New Starts funding from the Federal Transit Administration. Metro is planning to build the project with a combination of local Measure R funds and the federal money; getting a Record of Decision is a necessary prelude to getting the Full Funding Grant Agreement from the FTA.

Here’s the news release from Metro about the Record of Decision:

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA), August 9, granted the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) a Record of Decision (ROD) for the $5.6 billion Westside Subway Extension, officially certifying that the project has satisfied all federal guidelines for environmental analysis.

The action is an important prerequisite for Metro to seek federal funding for the final design and construction of the nearly nine-mile extension of the Metro Purple Line subway from Wilshire/Western to the Westwood/VA Hospital. The Westside Subway Extension will extend high-capacity, fast, frequent, and reliable Metro Rail subway service to one of the most dense and jobs-rich areas of Los Angeles County.

The line will include seven new subway stations at Wilshire/La Brea, Wilshire/Fairfax, Wilshire/La Cienega, Wilshire/Rodeo, Century City, Westwood/UCLA and Westwood/VA Hospital. About 49,300 people are forecasted to board the line at these seven stations. There would be about 78,000 new daily trips on the full Metro Rail System as a result of the opening of this line. Passengers will be able to travel between downtown Los Angeles and the Westwood/UCLA Station in about 25 minutes.

About three-quarters of the project cost will be locally funded from the voter-approved Measure R sales tax. With the ROD now in hand, Metro can request initiation of final design and commence discussions with the FTA to secure a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) providing the federal matching contribution for the project.

Preparation for pre-construction activities is already underway for the first phase which will bring the line to Wilshire/La Cienega. Initial utility relocation work in this segment may begin later this summer or in the fall. Construction of phase 1 to La Cienega could begin in 2014.

The full 9-mile project could open as early as 2022 if efforts to accelerate project funding are successful. These include the America Fast Forward Program, which seeks to accelerate project funding through a variety of loans and other creative financing from the federal government, as well as the proposed extension of Measure R. Portions of America Fast Forward were included in the recently enacted Federal Transportation Reauthorization Bill (MAP-21).

For more information about the Westside Subway Extension project, visit metro.net/westside