The Metro Orange Line Extension — a four-mile addition to the wildly popular Orange Line busway — will open to the public on Saturday, June 30 with community celebrations and free rides on the extension from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Orange Line Extension is going to connect with Metrolink and Amtrak and in so doing, further expand the regional reach of the fast-growing Metro system. And more great news for Los Angeles: The project is coming in ahead of time and well within budget.
“We’re thrilled that the Orange Line Extension will open earlier than anticipated and that the contractor is completing it well within budget,” said Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chair Antonio Villaraigosa. “It’s another great example of why building in this economy makes excellent business sense, at the same time it provides much needed jobs. And with the Orange Line Extension — the first Measure R project to be completed — we are continuing to build out a new 21st Century mass transit system for the people of Los Angeles and for future generations.”
The Orange Line Extension is the latest addition to Metro’s rapidly expanding transit system and the latest link in the plan for regional connectivity. As part of the existing Orange Line it will run from the Chatsworth Metrolink and Amtrak Station — gateway to Ventura County — to the Metro Red Line Station in North Hollywood. The Red Line connects with the Blue Line to Long Beach, the Gold Line to the Eastside and Pasadena, the Purple Line to Koreatown, the Green Line toward LAX and the Expo Line to Culver City. The rail system alone is 87 miles … all opened since 1990. And it connects with 180 Metro bus routes that crisscross L.A. County.
Welcome to Twitter Tuesday, our roundup of the latest Metro related tweets. To get our attention, add the #MetroLosAngeles tag to your tweets and subscribe to our feed if you haven’t already. For specific complaints and customer service, please use the Customer Comment Form on Metro.net.
If having problems seeing this post on your internet browser, please see part one and part two on the Storify website.
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.
Winter returned to the Yosemite high country on Friday and Saturday, but sounds like it all melted quickly. Photo by mcbridejc, via Flickr creative commons.
The two-level parking garage for the Arcadia Gold Line station will have about 300 spaces. Expanding the garage to 800 spaces — as city officials hoped would happen — would require another round of environmental studies. Foothill Extension officials say riders will find other ways to the station.
There is now some evidence that real estate prices in walkable, inner-city neighborhoods are outpacing home prices in some of the nation’s best-known ‘burbs — such as Redmond, Wash., the home of Microsoft. Proximity to transit and good bike routes in cities such as Seattle, Denver and Minneapolis seems to be helping.
One of the allegations that has been floating around for months is that the Westside Subway Extension’s station in Century City was moved from Santa Monica Boulevard to Constellation Boulevard by Metro at the request of a politically-connected developer.
It’s an assertion that is not true. The Constellation site was studied — as was required by law — and ultimately chosen by the Metro Board of Directors for two primary reasons: 1) to avoid building a subway station within active earthquake fault zones under Santa Monica Boulevard, where there is the chance of ground rupture, and; 2) because studies showed higher ridership at a Constellation station.
A Constellation station was also widely supported by a number of individuals and groups that took part in the subway planning process. Chief among them: the 11 influential homeowner associations that represent residents in Los Angeles neighborhoods in and around Century City. These are groups have a long history in local land use and traffic issues and I think it’s fair to say that they aren’t afraid of the powers-that-be and they don’t carry anyone’s water bucket.
The following statement was issued this afternoon:
LOS ANGELES – May 25, 2012 – Metro and Thomas Properties Group continue to work closely to address Thomas Properties Group’s concerns with the construction method currently approved for the Regional Connector proposed to run beneath Flower Street in front of the company’s properties in downtown Los Angeles.
Recently Metro has held productive meetings with Thomas Properties Group and the parties are endeavoring to resolve their issues soon. However, any alternate construction method to be undertaken by Metro will require additional technical studies, which will take several additional weeks before an alternate method can be finalized. The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires objections to be filed within 30 days of any decisions or approvals. Given this compressed time frame, Thomas Properties Group has filed a lawsuit to preserve its rights under CEQA. Metro is fully aware of this filing and its purpose and has committed to continue to meet with Thomas Properties Group to seek alternate construction methods.
Thomas Properties Group fully supports the Regional Connector as a key component of our public transportation network and the parties are committed to reaching a swift and reasonable resolution of their issues.
As per usual on holidays, Metro buses and trains will be running on a Sunday schedule on Monday, May 28. Timetables for bus and trains can be found here.
Have a great and safe weekend. We’ll resume posting on The Source on Tuesday. There will be little or none comment moderation over the weekend. Thanks in advance for your patience; all the same issues will still be here next week :)
Fun video by ExpoLineFan posted to YouTube this morning showing a flyover of the future Westside Subway Extension using Google Maps and animation.
Two cautionary notes: the alignment shown in the video is only a general description and is not completely accurate, particularly in the western Beverly Hills to Westwood section. Here is a link to a Metro document with maps that show the precise route the subway will take and a more general map is below.
The video is also a little overly enthusiastic and takes the line all the way to Santa Monica. The Westside Subway Extension is only funded at this time to the Westwood/VA Station.