Metro, Kiewet to open first two rebuilt Wilshire ramps three weeks early

Here's the news release from Metro:

Los Angeles, Calif. – The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) and its contractor, Kiewit Infrastructure West, plan to open two key ramps — the Westbound Wilshire on-ramp to the Northbound I-405 and the Northbound I-405 off-ramp to Westbound Wilshire — on Friday, August 31 to L.A. motorists, approximately three weeks earlier than scheduled and just in time for Labor Day weekend.

The ramp closures, popularly known as “Ramp Jam” or “Rampture,” were originally scheduled for 90-day closures that officially began on June 22. They were originally scheduled to reopen September 22.

Kiewit benefited from built-in contract incentives to complete work early in efforts by Metro to reduce the duration of traffic impacts resulting from major construction activities. Work crews worked day and night to demolish and rebuild the ramps. Additionally, the project team scheduled the work after UCLA’s quarter ended in June, resulting in lighter local traffic conditions that allowed construction crews to take all needed lane closures and accelerate their work.

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Your playbook for taking Metro to USC football

Tomorrow is a big — no make that huge — day for the Expo Line. The University of Southern California is opening its football season at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum as the number one ranked team in the country and the game against Hawaii is the first chance for Expo to take people to the game and avoid the usual traffic quagmire. (News release and video here).

Below you will find a very good guide put together showing how to take Metro trains and/or buses to reach the Coliseum from different parts of Los Angeles County (pdf here).

There is free or paid parking at a number of Metro Rail stations. Here's the link to parking info for each line. In addition, there are numerous public and private parking lots and garages near Metro Rail in Culver City (Expo Line), Hollywood (Red Line), Old Town Pasadena (Gold Line), Long Beach (Blue Line) and downtown Los Angeles (Red, Purple, Blue and Expo lines). There is also public parking at Union Station for $6 a day.

For those concerned that transit could put a crimp in their ability to tailgate, here's an idea: grab some food to go, arrive early and stake out a picnic spot in Exposition Park or on USC's campus. There's no eating or drinking on Metro trains or buses — it's the best way to keep them clean — but you can bring food in a bag.

Finally, give yourself a few extra minutes and load enough money to cover the cost of your fare on your way to the game; it will make leaving the game easier. It's obviously a big game for the Trojans for a whole lot of reasons and a huge crowd is expected. There will be significantly more trains running than usual, but there could still be lines, particularly after the game when everyone tries to head home at once. Metro will do its best to get everyone home safely and quickly.

Go Metro Guide to USC Football

 

Tech issues on metro.net today

As some of you may have seen by now, metro.net is having problems this afternoon and, to be perfectly blunt, isn't working. I think The Source is okay as long as people access the blog directly and don't go through the Metro website.

 

The tech team here at Metro HQ is working on it and hopefully everything will be back in working order soon. The agency apologizes for any inconvenience.


Transportation headlines, Thursday, August 30

Sorry for the delay in posting. I hit the trifecta this morning with transit delays — and my phone ran out of juice, to boot. One of those days, people.

Beverly Hills school board prepares for federal suit (Beverly Hills Patch)

The BHUSD school board voted to increase the pay to a Washington D.C.-based law firm, saying they plan to file suit against the Federal Transit Administration in federal court. The district has already filed a suit against Metro in local courts, challenging the agency's environmental study of the Westside Subway Extension under state law. The school board has now spent more than $500,000 on legal fees in their attempt to change the subway's route so that it doesn't tunnel under parts of the Beverly Hills High School campus.

Lawsuit seeks to slow AEG's football stadium (Daily News)

A coalition of downtown groups and environmentalists announced they plan to file a suit against a state law intended to expedite the environmental studies for the proposed Farmers Field adjacent to Staples Center and L.A. Live. Whether the lawsuits produce more studies — and whether those studies tell us anything we don't already know — is another question.

World's longest bus debuts at 98 feet (Tecca)

The three-part bus can carry 256 people and is set to hit the streets of Dresden, Germany, this fall. Officials say it's as easy to drive as a regular bus and has sophisticated technology to help with turning.

 


Artists of the Metro Orange Line exhibition opens October 11 at Los Angeles Valley College

Detail of Liquid Light: Flowing into the Future by Sam Erenberg, at Roscoe Station. Photo: Sam Erenberg.

 

Metro is organizing an exciting new exhibition in collaboration with Los Angeles Valley College. Opening on October 11, Translations: Artists of the Metro Orange Line features the works of twenty artists commissioned for the Metro Orange Line and demonstrates how artists enliven the public space of transit.

Artworks that reflect the artists' studio practice in relation to their Metro commissions will be on view, providing insight into the many ways artists translate their practices and material selections to create works of art for public transportation sites.

Featured artists: Lisa Adams, Sandow Birk, Caryl Davis, John Divola, Roy Dowell, Sam Erenberg, Jud Fine, Ken Gonzales-Day, Phung Huynh, Anne Marie Karlsen, Margaret Lazzari, Laura London, Daniel Marlos, Michele Martinez, John O'Brien, Renée Petropoulos, Roxene Rockwell, John Roloff, Pat Warner and Jody Zellen.

•Opening Reception & Artists Panel Discussion: Thursday, October 11, 2012, 6–9pm

•Panel with artists Lisa Adams, Ken Gonzales-Day and Anne Marie Karlsen at 7pm

•Moderated by Jorge Pardo, Director, Metro Art & Design, and Phung Huynh, Assistant Professor, Valley College Art Department.

Valley College Art Gallery is open Monday through Thursday, 11am-2pm and 6-9pm (5800 Fulton Ave. Valley Glen, CA 91401). (Closed for the Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving holidays)

The gallery is located in the Art Building on the northwest corner of campus. Map. The exhibition ends December 13, 2012. Read the exhibition press release here.

View images of all artists’ Orange Line artwork here.

 

Go Metro to USC Football this season

 

The first USC home game is this Saturday and Metro and USC are hoping lots of potential drivers abandon their cars and take the new Expo Line (via other Metro bus and rail) to this game and others. Not only is it the green way to travel, it will take the pressure off hunting for a parking space since Saturday's game is already sold out. Here's a release from this morning's press event at USC.

Steve Lopes, USC Senior Associate Athletic Director, and Metro CEO Art Leahy were joined today by members of the USC Song Girls and the Spirit of Troy band for a pep rally announcing enhanced service to University of Southern California home games this season. The first game — this Saturday, Sept. 1 at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum — is sold out, which means 92,000 fans could be searching for parking.

Unless they Go Metro. The morning pep rally at Pardee Plaza on the USC campus celebrated the first season of Expo Line service to Trojan home games. Metro's new Expo Line is the perfect vehicle for getting to the games since two stations — Expo/Vermont and Expo Park/USC — serve the university. And game day enhanced service, which includes “event guides” to answer questions, has been designed to make it easy for fans to avoid traffic and parking hassles while taking Expo to the games.

“We want potential new riders to know that Metro staff will be on hand to help riders successfully navigate the system on game days,” said Metro CEO and USC graduate Art Leahy. “And we're adding more trains to make sure travel is smooth. Whether riders are carrying a picnic basket or not, we know they'll see that this new way to the games is convenient and enjoyable. And you don't have to worry about driving home after a long day.”

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Extra late-night service for Labor Day Sunday and go Metro to USC Football

 

Monday, Sept. 3 is Labor Day, which means Metro buses and trains will be running on holiday schedule. It also means that Metro will run extended late-night service on Sunday, Sept. 2.

All Metro Rail, the Metro Orange Line and Metro Silver Line will run until 2 a.m. on Sunday, perfect for those who want to take advantage of the long weekend and stay out late or those going to the FYF Fest at the Los Angeles State Historic Park this weekend.

FYF Fest takes place Saturday and Sunday from noon to midnight both days. Take the Gold Line and hop off at Chinatown Station for easy access to the festival.

In addition, the first USC Football home game of the year is on Saturday, go Metro to avoid the traffic and hassle of parking. The Silver Line will be running enhanced service on game day, and of course there's the Expo Line (Expo/Vermont, Expo Park/USC and Jefferson/USC). With a sold out game (that's over 90,000 people milling around the area), it's going to be crowded, and we really want everyone to have a fun – and safe – experience. So plan ahead and keep an eye out for approaching trains.

And that's it! Have a great Labor Day weekend!