Your Friday Send-off: Fall Out Boy – Immortals

Say what you will about Disney, but they sure do know how to make money. I can’t wait to fork over some cash next month to watch Big Hero 6. In the meantime, here’s the first song off the movie’s soundtrack.

If enjoying music on bus or train, please remember to use your headphones. And if you have transit playlist song recs, leave them in the comments or tweet them at us @metrolosangeles!

Bonus track after the jump: Meghan Trainor – Lips Are Moving

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Metro unveils new Kinkisharyo pilot rail car

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Metro unveiled the first of 78 Kinkisharyo P3010 rail cars this morning. The first pilot car will be used for testing to ensure it is fully compatible with Metro’s system and that there are no safety or technical issues before the remaining cars are delivered.

If all goes according to plan, Metro will receive its first production car in the summer of 2015. That car will be used for testing and training on the Metro Expo Line Phase II and Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension, and then placed in service when the two lines open in 2016. All 78 cars are expected to be in service by January 2017.

Take a brief tour on the pilot car with this video:

Source writers Anna and Joe, both transit system connoisseurs, were able to take a tour inside the pilot car this morning. Their thoughts:

Joe: The first thing I noticed when I got on the train were the blue floor decals and blue seat designs that marked the disabled/priority seating areas. I’ve seen the blue seat design on our new buses and they’re hard to miss. There’s no doubt that this area is reserved for passengers with special needs and you should be prepared to move if you’re sitting in one of the seats.

I also see potential for the monitors that were located at the front and rear of the train. If they’re ultimately used for something informational such as digital signage, it would be an excellent and efficient use of the space.

Anna: Love the shiny new yellow, it’s very eye-catching. The seat arrangement also makes the train car feel more spacious, and more similar to the Nippon Sharyo cars on the Blue/Expo Line. I agree with Joe on the designated priority seats and can’t wait to see them in use. Not sure how I feel about the emergency door open handle being lower and located on the car wall behind the priority seating. On the one hand, it’s more accessible, which is good in case of emergency. But on the other, it’s located behind priority seating…which is reserved for those who may have mobility issues.

Thing I love the most? The extra large decal showing where the designated bicycle/luggage/stroller area is. It’s impossible to miss and makes it super easy for bicyclists to know where to go when they bring bikes on board.

Keep reading after the jump for the press release on the pilot car from Metro:

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Metro to launch Eat Shop Play Crenshaw campaign at Taste of Soul

Metro will launch the Eat Shop Play Crenshaw campaign at tomorrow’s Taste of Soul, a free, family-friendly event on Crenshaw Boulevard between Stocker Street and Rodeo Road. Eat Shop Play Crenshaw will encourage the public to take a pledge to support local businesses.

Go Metro to the soul food, live entertainment and great shopping at Taste of Soul via the Metro Expo Line. The festival is accessible from the Expo/Crenshaw Station. And make sure to visit Metro’s Eat Shop Play Crenshaw pavilion, where businesses impacted by Crenshaw/LAX Line construction will be highlighted. Taste of Soul will take place from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Here’s the press release from Metro:

L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board 1st Vice Chair Mark Ridley-Thomas, Metro Board member Jackie Dupont-Walker, Metro CEO Art Leahy and Taste of Soul Founder Danny Bakewell Sr. today encouraged the public to Go Metro to the Taste of Soul festival this Saturday, Oct. 18, using the Metro rail and Metro bus system. The Metro Rail Expo Line Expo/Crenshaw Station is within sight and scent of the festival’s savory delights.

At the festival, Metro will unveil a new campaign called Eat, Shop, Play Crenshaw where the public will be encouraged to take a pledge to support local businesses. The campaign will launch at the Taste of Soul in Metro’s Eat, Shop, Play Crenshaw pavilion, located at Crenshaw Boulevard and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard where merchants from the Crenshaw District who are impacted by construction of the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project will be highlighted.

“Every year, this event grows in size and popularity, building new and stronger bonds within the community. The Taste of Soul encourages hundreds and thousands of SoCal residents to support small businesses that truly are the backbone of our local economy and promotes public transit ridership to improve traffic flow,” said Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chair Eric Garcetti.

“Taste of Soul provides an opportunity to celebrate the rich culture and diversity in the Crenshaw District and I am pleased that this year Metro will celebrate many of the local businesses on the Boulevard who have bravely endured the challenges associated with construction of the Crenshaw Line,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. “This event kicks off our campaign to celebrate and help these businesses through our “Eat, Shop, Play Crenshaw Campaign”.

“We all know that once the Crenshaw/LAX Project is completed, the light-rail line is going to benefit our community, in a big way, but right now it is hard on the local shops and stores,” said Metro Board member Dupont-Walker. “It’s particularly hard on the small businesses that traditionally operate on small margins. These are the mom and pop places we can turn to for the sorts of goods and services chain stores can no longer provide. It’s often where we find great deals and personal service.”

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A Better Blue Line: last week of work during Long Beach Loop closure

Work on the Metro Blue Line tracks along 1st Street in downtown Long Beach is starting to wrap up, and as you can see in the photos below just the finishing touches are left to be done on the stations. Metro would like to thank everyone for their patience this past month while the upgrades were completed.

The Long Beach Loop will reopen for the Blue with the start of service on Monday, October 20. However, expect upcoming weekend closures as work on the Blue Line progresses north. We will have more details posted on Monday.

Go Metro Weekends, Oct 17 – 19

Fresh fruits, veggies and more at this weekend’s Los Angeles Farmers Market!

Friday

Run for your life this Friday at Haunted Hollywood Sports at the Hollywood Sports Park in Bellflower. From 8 p.m. to midnight, you’ll get a chance to escape from the creepiest ghouls and goblins in Southern California. $30 admission will get you into three interactive mazes, a pop-up nightclub and two scare zones. For those who get away, a $10 ticket is the reward–and you can use it to pay for the privilege of shooting zombies with a paintball gun. The ticket box opens at 7:30 p.m. Gate open at 8 p.m. Don’t miss out on the spooky adventure! (Metro Bus 266 to Lakewood/Somerset or Metro Bus 127 to Somerset/Touchwood.)

Witness the rhythmic sounds of tap in a live performance from the Los Angeles based touring company, Rhapsody In Taps. The annual children’s show is free to the public and will be held at the Aratani Theatre from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Watch nine tap dancers and the six jazz musicians who accompany them showcase the rich heritage of jazz and choreographed performance. The show is designed for 4th through 8th grade students. Seats must be reserved prior to attending. (Metro Gold Line to Little Tokyo/Arts District Station.)

Saturday

Enjoy your Saturday morning with the family picking fresh fruit and veggies at The Wall – Food, Flowers, & Farmers Market located at 755 Wall Street in the Fashion District at 10:30 a.m. The event provides inexpensive food grown from some of California’s smaller farms. Show your valid TAP card and receive free admission to the Original LA Flower Market and a rose from a farmer. (Metro Red or Purple Line to Pershing Square Station and walk 4 blocks toward 7th Street, or Metro Bus 68 to 6th/Los Angeles.)

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Graphic: what it took to build track for the Foothill Extension

From our friends at the Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority, the agency building the 11.5-mile line between eastern Pasadena and the Azusa/Glendora border:

Click above to see larger version.

Click above to see larger version.

Track work for the project will be completed on Saturday at a ceremony open to the public at 10 a.m. in Azusa. Click here for a recent Source post with great video on the track work and information about the event.

 

Transportation headlines, Thursday, October 16

Have a transportation-related article you think should be included in headlines? Drop me an email! And don’t forget, Metro is on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. Pick your social media poison! 

Why the 405 isn’t any faster with more lanes (KPCC Take Two)

An economist says expanding a road — 405 over the Sepulveda Pass included — will probably mean an increase in the number of vehicles that use the road. His answer to quickening commutes: congestion pricing, a la the ExpressLanes on the 10 and 110 freeway that help discourage everyone from driving at the same peak hours.

Labor dispute kills Kinkisharyo’s AV plant (San Fernando Valley Business Journal)

The rail car manufacturer under contract by Metro to produce new light rail vehicles has decided not to build a $50 million, 400,000-square-foot facility in Palmdale. The firm had said it would build the new facility as part of its contract with Metro. But a labor-supported residents group — specifically the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 11 — tried to hold up a needed zoning change unless Kinkisharyo agreed to be a “card check” facility. “Card check is a process by which a workplace can unionize if 50 percent or more of workers sign cards stating they want to be represented for collective bargaining,” reports the Business Journal.

Excerpt:

Agency spokesman Marc Littman said he was disappointed by the company’s decision but added it would not affect the delivery of Metro’s cars.

“This is a real loss,” Littman said. “We wanted them here to help the local economy but we cannot require Kinkisharyo do (manufacturing) here.”

IBEW Local 11 was in the news in 2013 when it got heavily involved in the campaign for mayor of Los Angeles. It didn’t work. Eric Garcetti, now the chair of the Metro Board of Directors, easily won the election without the union’s support.

Metro moving forward with flawed ‘Complete Streets’ policy (Streetsblog L.A.)

Joe Linton takes a look at the Complete Streets policy being considered this month by the Metro Board of Directors. While parts of it are commendable, he opines, other parts are vague with no assurance that the policies will be enforced to encourage roads where walking and biking are safe and desirable. While street design is usually up to local cities (or the county in unincorporated areas), Metro may have the ability to influence street design in rail corridors or with projects that involve Metro funding.

California high-speed rail wins big round in state Supreme Court (Sacramento Bee)

The California Supreme Court turns away a lawsuit challenging the issuance of state bonds needed to help pay for construction of the first segment of the high-speed rail line that is eventually planned to run between Los Angeles and San Francisco. It’s good news for the project but there are other remaining legal challenges that assert the project doesn’t live up to what was promised voters in Prop 1A in 2008.

The self-driving Tesla may make us love urban sprawl again (Slate)

The key graph — and something I’ve pondered in this space before:

As driving becomes less onerous and computer-controlled systems reduce traffic, some experts worry that will eliminate a powerful incentive—commuting sucks—for living near cities, where urban density makes for more efficient sharing of resources. In other words, autonomous vehicles could lead to urban sprawl.

In other words, if you can sit in your own car and not have to drive or pay much attention to the road, would your commute seem less onerous? Yes, there still could be a lot of traffic with self-driving cars. But perhaps the door-to-door attractiveness of a car coupled with technology (i.e. playing PacMan, Asteroids or Missile Command) on your tablet will trump the yuckyness of traffic.