The art of transit

Photo by New York MTA, via Flickr creative commons

Not a super clear photo, but pretty interesting nonetheless of work last month on the future 72nd Street station for New York’s new 2nd Avenue subway line.

To submit a photo for the Art of Transit, post it to Metro’s Flickr group, email it to 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, March 5

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.

Manhattan, as seen in this 2005 photo. Photo by Jens Karlsson, via Flickr creative commons.

How many people can Manhattan hold? (New York Times)

Great story that attempts to find a very evasive answer to a big question: just how many people can Manhattan hold? Excerpt:

As much as determining Manhattan’s maximum capacity is about the art and science of urban planning, the question is in some sense much more about psychology. Given all the tradeoffs and rewards of living in this staggeringly complex, gloriously maddening city, there is no final accounting or projection. When it makes sense for our lives, we make do with less space. Like most things that are a matter of compromise and desire, it comes down to another simple question: Just how badly do you want what you want?

Manhattan’s current population of about 1.6 million is about 700,000 fewer people than lived on the island in 1910. The population, of course, more than doubles on weekdays with commuters going to work and other destinations. One expert is quoted saying that the transit system is running at capacity during the day in Manhattan and that transit needs to be expanded or trains need to be run closer together.

I’ve heard occasional talk over the years from people — mostly not-in-my-backyarders — that L.A.’s population needs to be capped. That’s crazy talk, of course, because the population density in many parts of the metro area is pretty thin compared to other metro areas around the world. When people talk like this, they pretend they’re talking about people but they really mean cars.

Baldwin Avenue to go under rail tracks (Pasadena Star News)

As part of the Alameda Corridor East project (ACE), Baldwin Avenue in El Monte will be placed in an underpass beneath busy freight and Metrolink tracks. The project just received a chunk of state funding last month. The ACE project aims to build 20 new grade separations in the San Gabriel Valley and improve safety at many others — resulting in more safety for cars and trains.

Personal car sharing comes to L.A. (L.A. Times)

A firm allows motorists to rent their cars to others by the hour or the day. The car owner and firm divvy up the rental fees, which begin at a reasonable $5 per hour. Neat idea — we’ll see if it sticks.



The Expo Line to be, at Centinela Avenue

These ‘before’ photos do not capture one of L.A.’s most beautiful locations.  Still, it is good to record for posterity what was here before a major new piece of Metro’s expanding rail network comes on board. In just a few years, this empty right of way at Centinela Avenue near W. Olympic Blvd in West L.A. will be home to the Expo Line to Santa Monica. The Expo Line will restore passenger rail service to Santa Monica for the first time in more than 50 years.

Expo right of way looking east from Centinela Avenue (Photo by Joel Epstein/Metro)

Metro Expo Line right of way (Photo by Joel Epstein/Metro)

Expo right of way, looking west from Centinela Avenue (Photo by Joel Epstein/Metro)

Work continues on new El Monte Station

Here are three photos taken this past week of construction work on the new El Monte Station, which is scheduled to open in August. The new station will have much greater capacity than the old one, be able to serve buses of all sizes and is adding a regional transit store, bike lockers and future retail opportunities.

A view of the future station. Photos by Metro.

The site of a future elevator on the station's concourse level.

The pouring of concrete at the station's street level.

Go Metro weekends, March 2-4

It’s been a pretty cold week by Angeleno standards, but it’s supposed to warm up this weekend. This is good news for those who believe in weather forecasts and want to get out and about.

If you haven’t gone to see “Three Year Swim Club” yet, you should! The play, put on by East West Players at the David Henry Hwang Theatre, has been getting great reviews. “Three Year Swim Club” is inspired by the true life story of Soichi Sakamoto, an assistant coach of the U.S. Olympic Swim Team from 1952 to 1956. The Friday night showing starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are available online or can be purchased two hours before show time at the box office. Check the website for pricing and see if you qualify for any discounts. (Metro Gold Line to Little Tokyo/Arts District Station, Metro Bus Lines 30, 42 to Judge John Aiso/1st St. The theatre is at 120 Judge John Aiso.) Continue reading

ExpressLanes video: rules of the road and enforcement

Metro’s ExpressLanes is gearing up for the fall debut of the HOT lanes on the 110 freeway between Adams Boulevard and the Artesia Transit Center. That will be followed next year by the arrival of HOT lanes on the 10 freeway between Alameda Street in downtown Los Angeles and the 605 freeway.

The project has made a series of videos explaining how the ExpressLanes will work. This one answers questions that many of you have had about enforcement — how the CHP will monitor who should and shouldn’t be paying a toll.

Here are the links to the first three videos:

ExpressLanes: It’s about time

ExpressLanes: how it works

ExpressLanes: explaining congestion pricing

The project will allow single motorists to use the carpool lanes on the 110 and 10 in exchange for a toll that will rise and fall depending on how much room there is to sell in the lanes. There’s a ton of useful information on the project web page, including this FAQ, and the videos also do a good job explaining how the project will work.