Expo Line to open to Farmdale station and Culver City on June 20

The Culver City station and adjacent parking lot, as seen this morning. Photo by Anna Chen/Metro.

Here is the news release from Metro:

Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chair Antonio Villaraigosa announced today that Metro will officially open to the public both the Culver City Station and the Farmdale Station along the recently opened Metro Expo Line on Wednesday, June 20 at 12 noon.

​In addition, it was announced that patrons boarding trains at both the Farmdale and Culver City Station will receive free passes to use the Expo Line on June 20.

​“The opening of the Culver City and Farmdale stations completes the first phase of the Expo line, connecting Angelenos from the Westside to Downtown and beyond,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “We are answering the call from voters to provide more transit options and creating career opportunities for Angelenos in the process.”

​The public opening of the Culver City Station coincides with Downtown Culver City’s Third Wednesday “Summer Solstice” Happy Hour which features special offers and free goodies from over 25 participating businesses throughout the downtown area, as well as outdoor entertainment and activities. The event takes place every third Wednesday of the month from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. in beautiful downtown Culver City.

The public is encouraged to take advantage of the opening of the Culver City Station and take the Metro Expo Line, in a short walking distance to the event, to sample artisanal cuisine and cocktails, shop at unique boutiques, view art, and enjoy a variety of live music and entertainment. For a complete list of freebies, offers, discounts and entertainment, visit http://www.downtownculvercity.com.

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Transportation headlines, Tuesday, June 5

A self-portrait of one Kings fan on the trip home on Metro after last night's 4-0 triumph over New Jersey. Photo by Mark Nakata, via Twitter.

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.

How legal challenge are affecting work on four L.A. rail lines (Curbed L.A.)

Thus far, the challenges aren’t impacting work. But the post is a good round-up of the three ongoing lawsuits and one legal appeal against, respectively, the Expo Line’s second phase, the Crenshaw/LAX Line, the Westside Subway Extension and the Regional Connector.

Environmental report for downtown football stadium blasted (Daily News)

Putting aside the verbiage in the headline, some environmentalists and other residents have criticized the draft environmental report by AEG, saying it doesn’t offer enough specifics on reducing car trips to the new stadium (if it’s built). My two cents: as long as there’s a glut of downtown parking, some people will insist on driving to games. I’m not sure why that’s the responsibility of AEG or any other downtown developer.

Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council wants more barriers to high-density development (L.A. Streetsblog)

The Council says it wants to preserve the single-family home nature of the community and, besides, that Boyle Heights doesn’t have the infrastructure needed to support more developments. I humbly suggest the opposite: new development would likely improve the community, help local businesspeople and lead to infrastructure being improved. Thus far, development along the Eastside Gold Line has been lacking and that’s really a shame.

Metro officials announce advanced utility relocation work contract for Crenshaw/LAX Line

L.A. Mayor and Metro Board Chair Antonio Villaraigosa and Supervisor and Metro Board Member Mark Ridley-Thomas along with other officials at this morning's announcement.

Here’s the news release from Metro:

Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chair Antonio Villaraigosa joined Los Angeles County Supervisor and Metro Board member Mark Ridley-Thomas today to announce the beginning of the advanced utility relocation work for the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor construction project which is the first contract awarded under Metro’s  new Project Labor Agreement, a pact between Metro and the building trades to implement a targeted hiring program that will help provide jobs to economically disadvantaged workers.

“The Crenshaw/LAX light rail line will provide a vital transportation link for this community and our entire city,” said Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chair Antonio Villaraigosa. “By utilizing Metro’s Project Labor Agreement Program for this project we are getting Angelenos back to work and creating job opportunities for those who need them the most.”

 

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National transit ridership up 5 percent in first quarter of 2012

Below is the news release from the American Public Transportation Assn. — the Los Angeles area saw big gains in light rail and commuter rail ridership. That mirrors the gains in Metro’s rail ridership in April, although overall Metro ridership in April 2012 is down from April 2011 and April 2010 (complete ridership numbers here).

The APTA news release:

Public transportation ridership surged in the first quarter of 2012, as Americans took nearly 2.7 billion trips, an increase of 5.0% over the first quarter of last year, according to a report released today by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). This was the fifth consecutive quarter of U.S. public transit ridership increase, as 125.7 million more trips were taken than the first quarter of 2011.

All public transit modes saw increases and several saw significantly high increases.  Light rail use increased by 6.7 percent and heavy rail use increased by 5.5 percent. Some public transit systems throughout all the areas of the United States reported record ridership for the first quarter. (i.e. Ann Arbor, MI; Boston, MA; Charlotte, NC; Fort Myers, FL; Indianapolis, IN; Ithaca, NY;  New York, NY; Oakland, CA; Olympia, WA; San Diego, CA; and Tampa, FL).

 

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The art of transit

photo by Kurt Milam, via Flickr creative commons

Beautiful photo taken earlier today in the Volkstheater station of the Vienna subway system. The photo was taken with an Olympus E-M5.

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.

Transportation headlines, Monday, June 4

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.

 

An Expo Line train testing the tracks between La Cienega/Jefferson Station and Culver City. Photo by ExpoLineFan.

Pasadena residents weigh freeway extension efforts (Pasadena Sun)

Opinions of community members were all over the place at last week’s meeting at the Rose Bowl on the project to improve traffic in the area surrounding the gap in the 710 between Alhambra and Pasadena. Some want the gap closed, others see any kind of freeway extension as bringing more traffic to the region. Here’s the project’s homepage on metro.net.

Stalled Grand Avenue development may get a second look (L.A. Times)

The massive residential development with commercial space has been talked about for years but the developer — Related Cos. — hasn’t done anything with the recent collapse of the real estate market. Related is indicating they will adjust their plans soon. In the meantime, that part of downtown L.A., even though well connected to transit, remains the usual collection of dreary parking lots.

Young Americans aren’t the only ones driving less than their parents (The Atlantic)

New research indicates the same trend is underway in Germany, where teens and young adults are using public transit and cycling more — even among those who own cars. One factor: a rise in the cost of car ownership and parking policies in Germany that discourage driving in some places.

 

 

Bill Rosendahl: Mobility is Westside’s number one priority (The Planning Report)

Interesting interview with the Los Angeles Council member who represents the far westside of the city. Rosendahl points to Prop 13 as one reason cities such as Santa Monica, Culver City and L.A. made a push for more commercial real estate on the Westside to bring in tax revenues — and, as a result, more traffic.

 

ZevWeb features odyssey of Metro's rail team

Supervisor Yaroslavsky's website features Metro's first all-female team of operators to compete in the APTA International Rail Rodeo. Image is a screen shot from Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky's website: zev.lacounty.gov

Supervisor Yaroslavsky's website features Metro's first all-female team of operators to compete in the APTA International Rail Rodeo. Image is a screen shot from Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky's website: zev.lacounty.gov

As seen in the latest edition of Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky’s Weekly Web Flash: They were the first operators to board the new Expo Line for the testing runs. On opening day, Operator Carolyn Kelly was behind the controls in the cab of the inaugural train that broke through the banner at the Expo Park/USC Station. Operator Sheila Celestain was holding the banner, train right. A few days later, the top performers scored first and second at Metro’s Rail Rodeo, a local competition that showcases rail operating skills and also determines the team who will represent Metro at the International Rail Rodeo put on by the American Public Transportation Association. This weekend, the operator team, along with top-scoring maintenance technicians Charley Houck, Blue Line Fleet Services, and Jose Padilla and Alan Addie, both of Green Line Fleet Services, are in Dallas for the Internationals, taking on rail teams from across the nation and Canada. Go Metro!

Operator Carolyn Kelly is at the controls of the inaugural train at the opening of the Expo Line. Operator Sheila Celestain, at left, is holding the banner. Barely visible, holding banner at right, is the third original Expo Line operator, Narvolean Jackson.

Operator Carolyn Kelly is at the controls of the inaugural train at the opening of the Expo Line. Operator Sheila Celestain, at left, is holding the banner. Barely visible, holding banner at right, is the third original Expo Line operator, Narvolean Jackson.