Eat, shop and play locally during Carmageddon II weekend Sept. 29-30

This is a screen grab of the new Destination Discounts interactive map to help find good deals during Carmageddon weekend. Click above to go to the map.

As many of you surely know by now, Metro and many local officials are begging you not to drive during the weekend of Sept. 29-30, when the 405 freeway will be closed between the 10 and 101. The reason: the demolition of the north side of the Mulholland Drive bridge is demolished.

Not driving, however, doesn't mean staying at home. More than 300 discounts will be available that weekend at museums, restaurants and other venues for people who take Metro buses and trains. Show your paper ticket or TAP card at the venues to get the discount.

Metro has also created a nifty interactive map to help you find discounts both in your neighborhood and across the city.

Here's the news release from Metro:

OFFICIALS ENCOURAGE PUBLIC TO EAT, SHOP AND PLAY LOCALLY DURING CARMAGEDDON II, OFFER NEARLY 300 CARMAGEDDON SPECIALS

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Autority (Metro) has partnered with almost 300 L.A. County restaurants, businesses, venues and tourist destinations to offer discounted “Carmageddon II” specials as part of its ongoing campaign to encourage the public to “Eat, Shop and Play Locally” September 29-30.

​The destination discounts are Metro’s latest effort to cajole motorists out of their cars during the final demolition of the Mulholland Bridge in the Sepulveda Pass, when the I-405 freeway will be closed between the I-10 and U.S. 101 all weekend.

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Metrolink expands connectivity with bus partnership to Palm Desert

Here's the news release from Metrolink and the timetable is after the jump:

SunLine Transit Agency to implement Commuter Link 220 on September 10

LOS ANGELES – In its continued effort to expand connectivity throughout Southern California, Metrolink is partnering with SunLine Transit Agency, which will operate a new express bus service between Palm Desert and downtown Riverside beginning Sept. 10.

Metrolink passengers who want to travel between the Riverside-Downtown Metrolink Station and Palm Desert will be able to do so via four total trips; two heading westbound during the morning commute and two heading eastbound during the afternoon.

The weekday service will run from Palm Desert's Westfield Shopping Center and Rancho Mirage to the Riverside-Downtown Metrolink Station, the Riverside Downtown bus-transit center and UC Riverside, with stops along the way at the Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa, Beaumont, Banning and Moreno Valley.

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Transportation headlines, Tuesday, Sept. 11

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 memorial plaza for United Flight 93 in Shanksville, PA. Photo: National Park Service.

Boosting ridership by replacing buses with trains (The Atlantic Cities)

Here's a response of sorts to our post last week looking at ridership in corridors where Metro built rail. Writer Nate Berg has a couple thoughts — rail doesn't always mean geographic equity and population growth may be a factor in the ridership surge.

Amtrak in the crosshairs (Associated Press)

Even as the Republicans, including presidential candidate Mitt Romney, take aim at privatizing Amtrak, the railroad continues to set ridership records. Democrats are more protective of the railroad and the federal subsidies it requires to operate.

Transit goes hybrid in San Francisco (HybridCars)

Looks like San Francisco Muni is going to purchase 45 of the diesel-electric hybrids that are manufactured in St. Cloud, Minn. Since buses are often stopped to pick up passengers or at traffic signals, this seems to me a particular good use of hybrid technology.

 


New program aims to cut down on citations to juveniles aboard Metro

 

Below is the news release from Metro, which held a media event this morning (see video above):

On Monday, September 10, 2012 at 10 a.m. the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), the Los Angeles Unified School District and the Los Angeles School Police held a press conference to launch the new Transit Juvenile Diversion Program.

This new program targets student behavior and student safety on public transit. The goal of the program is to keep juvenile students who ride the Metro buses and trains out of the criminal justice system in the event they are cited for minor infractions and keep them in school. “We want to keep students, who may commit minor infractions, out of the courtroom and in the classroom,” said Superintendent John Deasy. “This program allows us to better achieve that goal, while enhancing student safety at the same time.”

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Metrolink unveils first train with anti-collision technology

Metrolink's Neil Brown shows PTC technology in a locomotive -- the computer screen at left is PTC. Photos by Steve Hymon/Metro.

With the fourth anniversary on Wednesday of the deadly crash in Chatsworth in 2008 that killed 25 people and injured 135 — many critically — aboard a Metrolink train, transportation officials on Monday showed media the work they're doing to ensure that something similar never happens again.

The technology is called positive train control, or PTC. It's a GPS-based system that tracks the movement of trains across the region and is capable of stopping trains before they run into trouble. Although PTC is found on a few other stretches of track in the United States, it's hardly widespread — although its implementation is mandated by 2015 by federal law for most rail providers (some of which are trying to push back the deadline).

Sandbags are being used to simulate the weight of passengers on the Metrolink test train.

Metrolink has installed PTC technology on a test train — seen in the accompanying photos — that is presently being used after hours on tracks in the Inland Empire. In addition, several SUVs capable of running on railroad tracks are testing the technology on tracks throughout the region. Metrolink's goal is to have the system fully implemented by 2013.

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Transportation headlines, Monday, Sept. 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.

A very nice video from New York artist Sophie Blackall, partly about her love of transit in New York. Hat tip to our friends at the Buzzer Blog in Vancouver for the link plus another good story — this one about a New York city bus driver who provides live opera performances for his passengers. I'm not an opera fan, but I've heard worse music on buses for sure.

Four years later, survivors of Metrolink crash still hurting (L.A. Times)

This Wednesday is the fourth anniversary of the crash that killed 25 people and injured 135 when a Metrolink train slammed head-on into a freight train; the Metrolink engineer was later found to have missed a red signal because he was texting. Many victims say their lives and livelihoods have been forever altered due to their injuries and that money from a legal settlement with Metrolink may not be enough to cover their care and other expenses. A federal law caps legal awards at $200 million per rail accident, although a Los Angeles judge said that an award would likely have been $320 million to $350 million if the case had gone to trial.

What's on TAP? Confusion, for some (ZevWeb)

The ongoing conversion at Metro's ticket machines from paper tickets to TAP cards is leaving some tourists and seniors confused. The most common complaint, acknowledged by Metro, is that the machines can be daunting for first-time visitors, especially those who want a simple transaction and don't understand why they need a TAP card and why the system is changing.

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Hollywood/Highland station closed due to police activity

UPDATE, 3:35 p.m.: the station is now reopen.

Due to police activity at this time, the Red Line subway's Hollywood/Highland station is closed and trains are bypassing the station. Please use the Hollywood/Vine station as an alternative and follow announcements.

Updates are also available on Metro's Twitter feed.