Transportation headlines, Monday, July 16

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.

Nice video on eating along the Expo Line from Willy Blackmore, the L.A. editor for Tasting Table.

Subway line meets an obstruction: Beverly Hills High School (New York Times)

The dispute between Metro, the city of Beverly Hills and the BHUSD gets front-page treatment in the print edition of the NYT although the story is simply a ‘he-said, she-said’ account. The reporter doesn’t make any attempt to verify what sources say. If you are interested in reading about the subway or the many associated reports, please spend some time at metro.net/westside.

In related subway internet news, here’s a Huffington Post opinion piece in which a junior-to-be at Beverly Hills High argues for dropping the lawsuits against Metro. And in this piece in the Beverly Hills Patch, a Beverly Hills elected official requires only 2,368 words to argue that he’s civil.

San Fernando Valley commuters flock to Expo Line (Daily News)

Reporter Dakota Smith rides the Expo Line and finds more than a few Valley commuters who are using the Red Line subway from NoHo or Universal City to connect with the Expo Line to travel west or south to jobs and other attractions. Metro doesn’t have any hard numbers to show how many Expo riders have trips originating in the Valley, but there is anecdotal evidence that a lot of people are transferring from the Red Line to the Expo Line at 7th/Metro Center.

Jim Newton: Villaraigosa’s tarnished transit triumph (L.A. Times)

Newton credits Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for pushing his America Fast Forward idea to Congress but faults the mayor because it falls short of the goals he set it — i.e. a Measure R extension is still needed to accelerate all of the Measure R transit projects. I understand his point that the AFF ultimately approved doesn’t quite match some of the rhetoric (which came from all quarters). But the big picture remains this: Here we are in July 2012 with a chance to accelerate the Measure R projects, none of which had any funding whatsoever before Measure R was approved in 2008.

Go Metro Weekends, July 13 – 15

Historic Core Farmer’s Market. Photo by Shannon V. via Yelp.

The circus comes to the city as Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® presents DRAGONS at the Staples Center. DRAGONS celebrates the Year of the Dragon with a blend of mythic dragon lore and authentic circus feats. There are shows on Friday at noon and on Saturday and Sunday at 11:30 a.m. Go Metro or Metrolink to “the greatest show on earth” and save $8 on regular admission. Use the promo code TRAIN* if buying tickets online. (Metro Blue or Expo Line to Pico Station, Metro Bus 81 to Figueroa/12th. Metrolink connects to Metro through Union Station)

This week’s Eat|See|Hear movie is Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, and it’s taking place on Saturday at Bloch Field in San Pedro. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and tickets start at $10. For $20 you can guarantee yourself the best seat in the house even while arriving fashionably late. Max and the Moon will be performing at 7 p.m. and some of the food trucks attending the event include Rebel Bite, Fatmobile and Sweet E’s. (Metro Bus 246 or 450 to Pacific/15th, walk 4 blocks west to the field or Metro Bus 450 to Harbor Beacon Park Ride and transfer to Red Car to Port O’Call Station)

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Metro to run all trains and Orange Line busway until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights!!!

In the nearly three years that I’ve been running this blog, I’m pretty sure the most requested service change from readers has been for more late night rail service, particularly on the weekends.

Metro CEO Art Leahy has decided to do just that. The specifics:

•All Metro Rail lines will run until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. That includes the Red/Purple Line subway, the Blue Line, Expo Line, Green Line and Gold Line.

•Trains will run every 20 minutes between midnight and 2 a.m.

•The Orange Line will run until 2:40 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights in order to meet the last trains at the North Hollywood Red Line station. The Orange Line will also run every 20 minutes between midnight and 2:40 a.m.

•The plan at this moment is to begin late-night service on the weekend of July 27-28 but Metro is also working to determine if late night service is needed on the Silver Line, as well as working with Metrolink on the possibility of extending their service to connect with Metro’s.

Metro will provide more details on scheduling later in the month and there will be a considerable p.r. push to let everyone know about the new service. Suffice it to say, this is good news for workers and those going out on weekend nights, whether it’s to restaurants, bars or the many events in the region.

Here’s a statement on the new service from Los Angeles Councilman and Metro Board Member Jose Huizar:

“I’m very pleased that Metro is extending late-night, weekend train service hours to 2 a.m.
In 2008, my office launched a similar, public/private partnership extending Red Line service hours during the winter holidays. Following the popularity of that program, I’ve heard from many people for the need to permanently extend Metro train service hours. In Downtown Los Angeles, Metro’s extended Friday, Saturday evening hours will allow more customers to enjoy the many exciting late-night venues we offer, as well encourage more people to use public transportation.”

Transportation headlines, Friday, July 13

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.

Happy 100th, Woody.

California bullet train gets its own folk song (Curbed L.A.)

Check out the accompanying video. Well edited with some great train footage. It’s also the kind of great p.r. that beats the tar out of most of what the pros have thus far produced.

Desperately seeking shelter (bus shelter, that is) in South L.A. (L.A. Streetsblog)

Great post and accompanying photographs by Sahra Sulaiman on the dearth of shade at many bus stops in South Los Angeles. Sahra also helps explain which stops get shelters and why they get them.

While we’re on the subjects of shelter and music, here’s an appropriate tune from another old-timey band. Happy 50th, Rolling Stones!

UCLA study of Japan’s bullet train raises questions about California project (L.A. Times)

The Times takes another swing at the pinata that is the bullet train. The study says the Japanese bullet train didn’t spur that much economic growth whereas the California High-Speed Rail Authority says 400,000 jobs will be created by the project here. The Authority stands by its numbers.

 

Photo: New York MTA.

Metro North railroad to test smartphone ticketing this summer (New York MTA)

The new system would allow riders to buy and display tickets on their smartphones. It’s a way for passengers to avoid ticket machines and fumbling with cash on the train when purchasing tickets from customers. Metro North runs commuter trains between Manhattan and New York’s northern suburbs.

 

The art of transit

photo by Steve Hymon/Metro

I took this one on my recent road trip to Oregon, just north of the California-Oregon border on Route 39. I recently invested in a nice wide-angle lens — a Nikon 10 to 24 mm lens — and this puppy delivers some crisp photos. The light and clouds were perfect on this late afternoon — all I needed was a train to come along. This is apparently a very seldom-used stretch of track.

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.

Metrolink introduces rewards program for riders; businesses throughout region offer patrons exclusive offers

Here’s the news release from Metrolink:

LOS ANGELES – Metrolink has partnered with local businesses near its stations to allow riders to take advantage of discounted goods and services, adding more value to patronage. The program is also a way for Metrolink to support local businesses in the communities it serves.

The campaign, called Metrolink Rewards, offers perks for businesses, including being featured on Metrolink’s site under the corresponding station page and inclusion in Metrolink’s Offers and Promotions monthly marketing newsletter that reaches more than 12,000 subscribers. In exchange, businesses offer Metrolink passengers exclusive discounts.

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Ben & Jerry's now open in Union Station!

If you’re passing through Union Station on this hot and muggy day, grab yourself an icy treat at the brand new Ben & Jerry’s ice cream shop! It’s located next to Famima! and adjacent to the Amtrak ticket windows.

The waffle cones are made on site, and the tempting smell of them cooking up will definitely lure in passing travelers. You can try free samples of the flavors as well – which proved to be my downfall, as I immediately ordered a scoop of the banana peanut butter frozen greek yogurt after trying it.

Ben & Jerry’s will be open from noon to 8 p.m. every day, making your commute through Union Station just a little bit sweeter.