The art of transit

photo by dbessam, via Flickr creative commons

Nice photo titled “anonymous,” taken on a Metro bus on Vermont Avenue.

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

Transportation headlines, Wednesday, March 21

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 Chicago Transit Authority is contemplating selling naming rights for some of its trains. Photo by Zol87, via Flickr creative commons.

CTA seeks to sell some naming rights (Chicago Tribune)

The CTA runs the Chicago area’s bus and train system. Here’s the story’s lead:

In its second effort this week to drum up money beyond the fare box, the CTA on Friday said it is seeking bids for corporate naming rights to assets including the Bus Tracker and Train Tracker, the Holiday Train and New Year’s Eve penny rides.

The CTA Board earlier this week voted to end a 15-year ban on alcohol advertising, clearing the way for liquor ads to appear on rail cars and at rail stations. Like many other transit agencies, the CTA has struggled to produce enough funds to operate, maintain and expand its bus and rail system.

Mica: talks underway on another transportation bill extension (Washington Post)

The last multi-year federal transportation bill was approved by Congress in 2005 and expired in 2009. It has since been extended eight times by Congress, often at the last minute to avoid cuts to transportation funding. The U.S. Senate this month approved a two-year bill, which House Transportation Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Florida) said Tuesday was not going to be passed in the House. Instead, Mica said, another extension of the 2005 bill would be sought. In other words, reforms and funding levels that would benefit transit agencies in the Senate bill will have to wait.

The Senate’s version of the bill includes parts of the America Fast Forward legislation sought by Metro that would increase a federal loan program that would help local transit agencies build transit projects. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa — who came up with the AFF program — is holding a media event this morning to push the House to adopt a long-term bill.

U.S. poised for passenger rail boom (Forbes)

Transit officials who gathered in Chicago recently say the nation’s highway and air systems are pretty much at capacity. Rail, on the other hand, has plenty of room to grow as metro areas around the nation add light rail systems and Amtrak’s ridership continues to soar. Here’s a good list on Wikipedia showing light rail systems in the U.S. — notice how many began in the past 25 years, particularly in the Western U.S.

Where will the station entrances be for the Westside Subway Extension?

A rendering of the staff recommended entrance at the Wilshire/Fairfax station on the northwest corner of the intersection.

The Westside Subway Extension on Monday released its Final Environmental Impact Statement/Report. The study is filled with many goodies, including these three renderings of what future station entrances might look like. It is important to note that these are the entrances recommended by Metro staff in the FEIS/R; the Metro Board of Directors will make the final decision.

It’s also worth noting that these images show the potential entrances without any future development. Given Westside real estate values, and Metro’s joint development policies, these areas are likely to be developed eventually.

The renderings and maps are all from chapter two of the FEIS/R [both pdfs].

The staff recommended entrance for the Wilshire/La Cienega station on the northeast corner of the intersection; that's La Cienega at left.

The staff recommended entrance to the Wilshire/Rodeo station at the southeast corner of Wilshire and Reeves Drive.

Maps of the entrances recommended by Metro staff for the Extension’s seven stations, as well as the proposed construction staging areas for each station, are posted after the jump.

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Transportation headlines, Tuesday, March 20

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.

Subway makes tracks toward Westwood (ZevWeb)

The article provides a detailed look at the routing of the subway through Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky’s district, which includes Beverly Hills and Century City. The piece also looks at the seismic issues involved and considers the controversy over a Century City station at Constellation Boulevard and Avenue of the Stars — a location opposed by some Beverly Hills officials as it would require tunneling under Beverly Hills High School. Excerpt:

But last year, a panel of high-profile scientific experts convened by Metro said that active earthquake faults make the Santa Monica Boulevard location too dangerous for a subway station. These experts, including Lucy Jones of the U.S. Geological Survey and Caltech, found instead that a station could be safely built at the Constellation site, which has no evidence of active faults. In addition, they said that tunneling under the high school property could be accomplished safely with state-of-the-art equipment and techniques even through earthquake zones and ground with large concentrations of methane gas.

Beverly Hills hired experts of its own to review Metro’s scientific conclusions. Those experts argue that more research is needed, particularly around the Constellation site and on the high school campus. (The city’s website has links to those reports, as well as other information on Beverly Hills’ position on the subway.) In addition, the Beverly Hills school board recently commissioned widespread trenching studies on the high school campus to determine whether seismic hazards are present; a report on that is expected soon.

Metro officials say the final environmental documents released today make it clear that it will be safe to build a subway station at Constellation, but said they will be studying the Beverly Hills reports carefully. (Updated: The Beverly Hills School District’s attorney, Kevin Brogan, issued a statement criticizing Metro for releasing the final environmental documents before receiving the results of the trenching studies. His statement is here.)


Batik-influenced designs cover the side of Kereta Api's executive-class Argo Gede train line at Bandung, Indonesia's main station. (Photo credit: Jakarta Globe)

Plans to build Indonesia’s first high-speed rail line gather steam (Jakarta Globe)

Indonesia has moved closer to building its first bullet train with a pledge by the Japanese government to pay part of the $6.5-billion construction bill. Japan is also funding a feasibility study that could take two years to complete. This would push the railway’s completion date to 2017 or 2018. The Indonesian government plans to build two high-speed trains, one connecting Jakarta and Bandung, and a second route connecting Jakarta and Surabaya.

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Go Metro to live music: Cults

Don’t be afraid to go outside and go Metro this Thursday night to see the indie-rock group Cults perform live at The Fonda Theatre (formerly The Music Box) in Hollywood. And with the Hollywood/Vine Red Line Station just a block away, there’s no reason to miss it.

Cults began as a side-project between two friends, Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion, while both were in music school in New York City. Relatively unknown prior to 2010, they’re now best known for their single “Go Outside” (below) which became an internet hit not long after they uploaded the song to their personal music sharing website. Their self-titled mainstream debut, which also features the song, was released on Columbia Records in 2011.



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Art for the Expo Line's La Cienega/Jefferson station: Engraved in Memory by Daniel González

Artisans at the artwork fabricator, Mosaïka Art & Design, working on Gonzalez’s art panels. Highly skilled artisans translated the artist’s original black and white linoleum prints into pieces of hand-carved, hand-glazed porcelain.

Daniel González’s artwork for La Cienega/Jefferson Station illustrates the history of the Ballona Creek and the surrounding environs, including the people who have called the area home.

The art panels reference the Mission and Californio periods, the film industry and contemporary art scene, as well as the Baldwin Hills dam break of 1967. The Ballona Creek flows through several art panels, constant and recognizable, visually linking the images across time. (Here’s a link to more information about Gonzalez’s work for La Cienega/Jefferson Station.)

Detail of Engraved in Memory at La Cienega/Jefferson Station

Artisan at Mosaïka Art & Design working on an art panel

More photos of the artwork are after the jump.

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