Upcoming panel: Everything you wanted to know about the federal transportation bill but were afraid to ask

I thought some readers may be interested in attending a panel on Aug. 15 that will discuss the multi-year funding bill recently passed by Congress and signed by President Obama. Please remember to RSVP — these type of events tend to fill up.

Click above to see a larger image.

Video: Metro launches late-night service on weekends

Video from news conference today at the Metro Gold Line Memorial Park Station in Pasadena: Los Angeles County Supervisor and Metro Board Chair Michael D. Antonovich today joined Pasadena Councilman Chris Holden, Santa Monica City Council member Pam O’Connor, Pasadena and Hollywood business leaders and workers, and Metro CEO Art Leahy in promoting expanded late-night Metro Rail service on all Metro Rail lines and the Metro Orange Line starting tonight.

On Friday and Saturday nights all Metro Rail lines – Red, Purple, Blue, Gold, Green and Expo – will operate until 2 a.m. The Metro Orange Line busway will run until 2:40 a.m. to accommodate the transfer of riders from the Metro Red Line at the North Hollywood station. Depending on the line, service is being extended from 1 to 2 hours. The expanded service will promote more local business activity along the transit alignments and offer residents and workers the option to go out and use public transit late on weekend nights.

  • Video by Mario Noriega

MORE: You wanted it, you got it: Late-night service

Monumental sculpture, Time Piece, to be installed at new El Monte Station

Rendering of Donald Lipski’s Time Piece. The 30-foot tall clock tower will be installed in the entry plaza of the El Monte Transit Center. Rendering by RNL Architects.

An iconic, large-scale sculpture by Donald Lipski will be installed next week at Metro’s new El Monte Station, which is nearing completion.

Lipski, a renowed sculptor in the field of public art, created a monumental clock tower–with a twist. Entitled Time Piece, the artwork includes three double sided clocks suspended from a sweeping 30 foot tall stainless steel arch, using a web of thin stainless steel cables.

The functional sculpture echoes the grand clock towers historically found in transit systems, but is updated to contemporary times and the specific context of the new facility.

Built in the 1970s, the original transit center was the busiest bus-only station west of the Mississippi. The station was demolished to make way for a new two-level station, doubling its previous size and accommodating up to 40,000 daily riders. Completion and station opening is slated for late summer 2012.

Click here for a prior Source post on this artwork, and here for more information on Donald Lipski’s work.

Go Metro Weekends, July 27 – 29

This excited little boy was the first kid (of many) to enjoy the new interactive splash pad at Grand Park. Photo by Anna Chen/Metro

REDCAT’s New Original Works Festival is back, and week one features programs by Opera Povera, Poor Dog Group and Susan Simpson. Head out this Friday and catch some great theatre performances. The show starts at 8:30 p.m. at the Walt Disney Concert Hall complex and general admission tickets are $18. (Metro Red/Purple Line to Civic Center Station, Metro Bus 70 or 96 to Grand/2nd)

If you haven’t heard about Metro’s expanded late-night service yet…read about it now, and then start taking advantage of it! Go ahead and take Metro to Chinatown Summer Nights, you can stay the entire time and not worry about missing the last train home. With food, music, dancing and more, there will be plenty to keep you occupied. The first of three Summer Nights is this Saturday from 5 p.m. to midnight and it’s absolutely free. Go Metro and receive a free souvenir at the info booth in Central Plaza while supplies last. (Metro Gold Line to Chinatown Station, Metro Bus 45 to Broadway & Chinatown)

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Transportation headlines, Friday, July 27

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.

State PUC orders re-hearing on parts of Expo Phase 2 environmental document (L.A. Streetsblog)

The hearing, requested by Neighbors for Smart Rail, will deal with some procedural matters as well as whether the Expo Line’s environmental document needed to better describe an undercrossing of the 405 freeway and a pedestrian bridge in Palms. I know. I’m sure that you, like me, believes that state environmental law should concern itself with the impacts of a light rail line on a freeway undercrossing. Parents: sign your kids up for environmental law school sooner, not later.

LaHood: major increase in TIFIA funding (Welcome to the Fast Lane)

As a result of the part of America Fast Forward that was approved as part of the recent transportation bill in Congress, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced $1.7 billion in federal TIFIA loans is now available for critical infrastructure projects. By offering federal backing of loans, that money be leveraged into $50 billion overall in public and private funds. Local agencies will be applying for the loans.

California Incline to be rebuilt beginning in 2013 (Santa Monica Mirror)

The ramp that connects bluff-top downtown Santa Monica to PCH has long-needed a seismic overhaul and will get it beginning in the fall of 2013 and lasting a year or more. The closure of the heavily-trafficked incline is expected to hinder the area’s already bad traffic. The new incline, however, is touted as being safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

Why we should pay people to bike to work (Boston Magazine)

Office and retail space in the Kendall Square area of Cambridge has increased 40 percent in recent years while auto trips in the area declined 13 percent. What the what?! As it turns out, a law required employers to provide employees a subsidy they could use toward parking or transit. Many, it seems, have opted for using the extra money on transit or biking because they can pocket they money they don’t use.

Go Metro Mobile App Update for iPhone and Android – Download Now!

A new version of Metro’s mobile app for iPhones and Androids is available for download! Go Metro Los Angeles v2.2 is a significant update with new features and technical upgrades. Some of the new features are described below.

Download from App Store Now
Download from Google Play Now

Android & iPhone

Go Metro v2.2 for iPhone

Go Metro v2.2 for iPhone

  • Mode specific icons for Bus and Rail
    Now when you click the Nearby feature, you’ll see separate graphic icons denoting Bus Stops vs Rail Stations.
  • “Refresh” arrival times for Bus Stops
    Let’s say you’ve favorited your most used Bus Stops (by clicking the Start button in the toolbar). Now by clicking the ‘Refresh’ button, revised Nextrip arrivals times will display on command.
  • Station amenities for Rail Stations
    There is a new button in the Rail Stations screens that will display detailed information about a station, including the number of bike lockers, bike racks, free parking spots and paid parking spots.
  • Save a Trip Planner itinerary and view offline
    Now when you save an itinerary, you’ve saved it offline onto the device and may view it without internet connection. This is useful if you are traveling in our Rail system or when internet connection has dropped.
  • User Interface updates for all versions
    Small user interface updates to make the app more pretty and consistent in the News and More screen :)

Android Only

  • When installing the app, Android customers can choose to save the app on a SD Card rather than the device
    The app is not huge, per se, but the scheduling data that supports the app is. This feature is a response to customers who have older Androids (or devices with tons of apps) that were filling up memory-wise and this option allows the customers to decide where they want to install the app.

iPhone Only

  • View Stops / Stations nearby me on a map or a list
    A feature already in the Android version, a new button allows you to view the closest Metro stops/stations visually on a map or a text list. Some customers are accustomed to viewing a map, some customers appreciate a list.

Check out some screen grabs after the jump!

You wanted it, you got it: Late night Metro Rail and Orange Line service begins tonight!

Metro Board Chairman and County Supervisor Mike Antonovich talks about Metro’s new late night service at a press event this morning at the Gold Line’s Memorial Park station in Pasadena. Photo: Steve Hymon/Metro.

There was a media event in Pasadena this morning to remind everyone that late night weekend service until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights begins tonight.

“The new late night service on Metro Rail and the Orange Line is a win-win situation for everyone in Los Angeles County,” said Metro Board Chair and County Supervisor Mike Antonovich. “Businesses will be able to reach a new range of clientele. More people can go out to eat, drink and have fun on weekends without worrying about a midnight curfew, and more workers now have the option of taking that later shift and can rest assured they’re going to have a safe, reliable way to make it home. Los Angeles County residents will benefit from the connections to the rail system, and people from the San Fernando Valley will be able to travel to other destinations in the county such as Pasadena, Long Beach, Norwalk or Culver City late at night.”

At the event, Antonovich also added that “long range we do have a vision…we want to continue this momentum.” In particular, he said Metro needs to keep focusing on connecting to popular destinations — such as the region’s airports.

Metro CEO Art Leahy said that ridership will be evaluated after six months to determine whether late night service will be added every night of the week. Metro is currently evaluating the possibility of late night service on the Silver Line and is also working with Metrolink on the possibility of extending their service to connect with Metro Rail and the Orange Line.

Here are the times that the last trains and buses will be leaving stations tonight and here is a link to all Metro timetables:

RED LINE

The last train departing Union Station will be at 2:12 a.m.

The last train departing North Hollywood will be at 1:56 a.m.

PURPLE LINE

The last trains departing Union Station will be at 2:02 a.m.

The last trains departing Wilshire/Western will be at 2:03 a.m.

GOLD LINE

The last train departing Atlantic will be at 1:43 a.m.

The last train departing Sierra Madre Villa will be at 1:39 a.m.

EXPO LINE

The last train departing 7th/Metro Center will be at 2:12 a.m.

The last train departing Culver City will be at 1:49 a.m.

BLUE LINE

The last train departing Long Beach to downtown L.A. will be 12:58 a.m.

The last train departing 7th/Metro will be 2:07 a.m.

Service between the Long Beach Transit Mall and Wardlaw will continue past 12:58 a.m. with the last train leaving the Transit Mall at 3:07 a.m.

GREEN LINE

The last train departing Redondo Beach will be 1:58 a.m.

The last train departing Norwalk will be at 2:09 a.m.

ORANGE LINE

The last bus departing North Hollywood will be at 2:53 a.m.

The last bus departing Chatsworth will be at 1:50 a.m.