Go Metro to the Grand Park opening and get the chance to win a huge prize package

A view of Grand Park in the late afternoon. Photos by Anna Chen/Metro

The first two blocks of downtown’s brand-new Grand Park - from Grand Avenue to Hill Street – will open to the public with a two-day celebration on July 28 and 29. Grand Park is just steps from Civic Center Station on the Red and Purple Lines and plenty of buses also have stops around the park, which means it’s easy to get there with Metro – and if you go Metro to the opening events, you’ll get the chance to win the Grand Avenue Prize Package!

Just show your Metro pass at the info booth on either Saturday, July 28 or Sunday, July 29 to enter for your chance to win. The Grand Avenue Prize Package includes:

July 28 also happens to be National Dance Day. Head to the park and get your dance on with Lauren Gottlieb, a “So You Think You Can Dance” All-Star, and Gina Grant from Zumba. The two ladies will lead the public in the official National Dance Day dance routines.

The National Dance Day Celebration lasts from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Afterward, enjoy free community dance classes and performances, a special performance by IRIS from Cirque du Soleil, other fun activities and food trucks for the rest of the day.

Festivities continue Sunday, July 29 from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with Music in the Park. The inaugural musical event will feature regional musical performers presented by Grand Performances in partnership with The Music Center.

When the third block of Grand Park (from Hill St. to Broadway) opens later this summer, visitors exiting Civic Center Station will come out right in the middle of the park.

The art of transit

photo by William Andrews, via submission

William emailed this photo over a few weeks ago — as a summer solstice photo — but I thought it would be nice to run on what promises to be a stinking hot day here in So Cal. The photo was taken in 2002 on on the Bognes-Lødingen Ferry in Norway, which is north of the Arctic Circle. The village of Lødingen is visible in the background. Very nice all-around photo.

To submit a photo for the Art of Transit, post it to Metro’s Flickr group, email it to sourcemetro@gmail.com or Tweet it to @metrolosangeles with an #artoftransit hashtag. Many of the photos we’ve featured can be seen in these galleries on Flickr.

Metro Rail ridership surges in June


The ridership numbers for Metro buses and trains for June 2012 have been released. The gist of it: bus ridership is flat (but with increases on the Silver Line and Orange Line), rail ridership is way up and overall the system didn’t reach the number of boardings in June 2010 or June 2011.

On the rail side, the new Expo Line helps explain some of the increases with weekday boardings increasing to an average of 16,569 in June even though the Farmdale and Culver City stations did not open until June 20. There was about an average of 11,000 weekday boardings in May.

There were also significant gains on Metro’s other four rail lines. Here are the charts and here is the web page with all the stats.

Rail Systemwide Ridership Estimates

June 2012 June 2011 June 2010
Average Weekday Boardings 362,904 321,626 326,663
Average Saturday Boardings 209,858 196,284 197,972
Average Sunday and Holiday Boardings 163,934 155,082 169,990
Total Calendar Month Boardings 9,326,015 8,481,237 8,658,429

Bus – Systemwide

June 2012 June 2011 June 2010
1,123,977 1,156,643 1,156,866
Average Saturday Boardings 771,183 764,436 785,518
Average Sunday and Holiday Boardings 572,376 557,394 583,356
Total Calendar Month Boardings 29,748,939 30,733,462 30,926,539

Systemwide Ridership Estimates

June 2012 June 2011 June 2010
Average Weekday Boardings 1,486,882 1,478,269 1,483,528
Average Saturday Boardings 981,041 960,719 983,490
Average Sunday and Holiday Boardings 736,309 712,476 753,346
Total Calendar Month Boardings 39,074,954 39,214,699 39,584,968



Gov. Brown signs bill at Union Station for high-speed rail funding


Gov. Jerry Bown and other elected officials gathered at Union Station on Wednesday morning to sign a bill authorizing the state to sell $4.7 billion in bonds to build 130 miles of high-speed rail track between Bakersfield and Madera in the San Joaquin Valley and fund local transit improvements in both the Los Angeles and Bay Area regions.

The Governor is scheduled to hold a similar ceremony in San Francisco this afternoon. The $4.7 billion in bonds is supposed to be matched by $7.9 billion in federal funds and local monies. Here’s the news release from the Governor’s office.

In our area, the bill signing means there will be $350 million availabe for fly-through tracks at Union Station, which should help improve Metrolink and Amtrak service. In addition, $115 million will go to the Regional Connector project and $88.7 million to Metrolink to likely be used for grade separations and new locomotives.

In their remarks, both Brown and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa defended the bullet train project as a noble endeavour that California will need in the future — and said the line will be a worthy investment in the state’s economy and mobility. Brown said those who don’t see it that way need to get their “heads out of the sand.”

High-speed rail officials said construction on the first segment of the line should begin in 2013 and that there will be high-speed rail service between the San Joaquin Valley and the L.A. area in 10 years. At present, Amtrak runs a bus between Los Angeles and Bakersfield.

Photo: Steve Hymon/Metro


Transportation headlines, Wednesday, July 18

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.

State of the climate (it’s hot) — June Analysis (NOAA)

You’ve probably heard by now that the the past 12 months in the United States (through June) were the warmest on average since records have been maintained. Here’s an excellent map from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showing the latest climate news. Worried about global warming? Take public transit — on average, it emits fewer greenhouse gases per mile than cars with single occupants.

Expo Line ridership up 50 percent (Curbed L.A.)

The Culver City station didn’t open until June 20 but average weekday ridership last month was 16,659, a big increase from the about 11,000 per day in May.

What New York City can learn from Los Angeles about the transit biz (New York Capital)

The big suggestions: get politicians behind transit as they are here, improve marketing and outreach and build coalitions with those who should also support transit such as developers, unions and museums. Of course, the Big Apple and L.A. are in very different situations, as the writer points out — L.A. is in expansion mode and New York is mostly in maintenance mode. Smart post.


Board of Supervisors defers vote on putting Measure R extension on November ballot

The Board voted 3 to 2 at its meeting on Tuesday to defer the vote until August 7. Voting to defer were Supervisors Mike Antonovich, Don Knabe and Mark Ridley-Thomas. Voting against deferring were Supervisors Gloria Molina and Zev Yaroslavsky. All are members of the Metro Board of Directors in their role as supervisors.

The Metro Board voted 10-3 at its June meeting to try putting the Measure R extension on the November ballot. Here’s The Source’s post.

Those who supported postponing the vote said the Metro Board of Directors will now have time to consider a motion by Metro Board Member John Fasana that would allow funds within a Measure R subregion to potentially be transferred between highway and transit projects.

In order for the Measure R extension to go to voters in November, the Board of Supervisors must approve putting the item on the ballot. Metro staff have said all material must be submitted to the County Registrar by August 10. The state Legislature still would have to approve AB 1446 and the bill would have to be signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.


Reminder: Angels Express service on Metrolink

Angels Stadium. Photo by Kwong Yee Cheng, via Flickr creative commons.

The Angels return home this Friday night to face the Texas Rangers, who the Angels are chasing in the American League West. The Angels are then home all next week against both Kansas City and Baltimore.

Metrolink continues its Angels Express service, offering round-trips from Union Station to Angels Stadium for $7 for all 7:05 p.m. weeknight games. Trains leave Union Station at 5:50 p.m. and then leave Angels Stadium 30 minutes after the end of the game. On Friday nights, trains leave 45 minutes after the game so fans can watch the fireworks without rushing.

The news release from Metrolink is posted after the jump with all the details.

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