Reminder: Metro buses and trains on Sunday schedule for Memorial Day

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 :)


Westside Subway Extension flyover video!

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.


Transportation headlines, Friday, May 25

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.

Sen. Boxer: ‘Great progress’ on highway bill negotiations; deal possible by end of June (The Hill)

It’s safe to say that I’m no longer holding my breath on this federal transpo bill. But it’s heartening to hear from Senator Boxer that the committee of Representatives and Senators of both parties that she is leading has apparently been working productively and in good faith. Boxer says they’re about 80 percent of the way to having a finished product and could wrap things up as early as June.

Designing a walking L.A.: An interview with Los Angeles Walks found Deborah Murphy (Core 77)

The work of stalwart pedestrian advocate Deborah Murphy (full disclosure: we’re on the board of a non-profit together) gets the spotlight in this interview with design magazine Core 77. While Murphy has been a champion of pedestrian safety for decades — and L.A. Walks has been around since 1998 — she says the movement has grown stronger in recent years thanks to advocacy blogs and better coordination with bicyclists. Check out the story to hear some of her ideas for how to make Los Angeles a better place to be on two feet.

Has the passion gone out of America’s fabled love affair with the automobile? (Washington Post)

It’s a story we’re hearing more and more: High gas prices and hand-held technology are respectively making Americans fall out of love with the car and taking advantage of new transportation options at their disposal. One interesting fact that the Post highlights is that it’s not just the down economy that’s depressing the amount of driving by Americans under 35 years old. Even those who are employed are driving less than past generations.

Carmageddon II date still pending (Daily News)

It will probably be late summer or later when the 405 is again shut down for demolition of the other half of the Mulholland bridge. Utility relocations has been one problem causing delays to the project that is adding a northbound carpool lane to the 405 and making other improvements.

Go Metro Weekends, May 25-28

For those of you not going out of town, take advantage of the long weekend and check out some of the great events happening around the city.

The legendary queen of Egypt has just settled in at the California Science Center. Cleopatra: The Exhibition features the largest collection of Cleopatra-era artifacts ever assembled in the U.S. The displays give a first-hand account of the famous queen’s world. After visiting Cleopatra, spend the rest of the day exploring the Science Center’s fun, interactive science exhibits. Tickets for Cleopatra are $19.75 for adults, and it’s $26 to visit the exhibition and catch an IMAX film. Go Metro and save $3 on exhibition-only tickets and $5 on combination tickets. The California Science Center is open everyday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Metro Expo Line to Expo Park/USC Station, Metro Bus 102 to Exposition/University.)

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The art of transit

photo by Metro, via Metro Transportation Library and Archive’s Flickr page

I thought the above photo of Red Line construction, taken in the 1990s, was appropriate for today’s Art of Transit. As you may have heard by now, the Metro Board of Directors on Thursday selected the route and station locations for the second and third phase of the Westside Subway Extension, thereby formally ending the environmental study phase of the project and moving it closer to actual…gasp…construction.

The photo below shows a freshly-delivered subway car. I’m not sure where or when it was taken. Anyone in ReaderLand know?

This photo was taken on one of the stations along Vermont Avenue — I’m guessing it’s either Wilshire/Vermont or Vermont/Beverly.

To see many more subway construction photos, several sets can be found here at the Metro Library’s expansive Flickr collection.

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.

Ramp Jam escape plan

Reconstruction of the 405/Wilshire Boulevard on- and off ramps will begin June 22 and it’s sure to make a mess of traffic. But Metro is reaching out to commuters who live in the area or commute there, suggesting options to help them leave their cars at home and avoid traffic caused by the ramp closures.

Among the choices: carpools, vanpools and mass transit paid for by the Transit Access Pass program supported by local employers.

“Neighboring businesses are concerned with how their employees are going to get to work and get there on time,” said Sarah Zadok, with the Metro Commute Services program. Zadok and her team are contacting area businesses to tell them about the pass program as well as other options, including alternate work hours and telecommuting.

“We’re not just going out there and saying there is only one option,” Zadok said. “We’re saying try one: the Transit Access Pass (TAP) programs, carpool options or vanpooling. So if one program doesn’t work, we can help you with another.”

Have you figured out your ramp jam escape plan? If not, call (213) 922-2811.

Board OKs gate-locking plan

At the tail end of its meeting this morning, the Metro Board approved the staff plan on locking gates at rail stations and converting ticket machines completely to TAP. In other words, the ticket machines will no longer issue paper tickets with the conversion set to begin in a few more months.

As the Metro staff explains, the gates WILL NOT be locked all at once. Rather, the agency will aim for first locking the gates at the Normandie station on the Purple Line subway in late summer and then subsequently lock the gates in the remainder of the subway stations over the following seven months.

As the process continues, Metro staff will continue to work with other agencies — including Metrolink — on upgrading fare media so that passengers can pass through the gates.

Here is the staff report on the issue.