Metro to run more Gold Line trains every six minutes from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends beginning Jan. 27

The Gold Line adjacent to Los Angeles State Historic Park on a recent afternoon. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

The Gold Line adjacent to Los Angeles State Historic Park on a recent afternoon. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

Gold Line trains currently run every 12 minutes during the day on weekends so this is a big-time improvement. Here’s the news release from Metro:

Beginning Sunday, January 27, Metro will operate more frequent service along the Metro Gold Line, improving train service from every 12 minutes to every 6 minutes on Saturday and Sundays from approximately 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Patrons using the Metro Gold Line, operating between East Los Angeles and Pasadena via downtown Los Angeles, can now enjoy more frequent service on the weekends with less waiting time between Gold Line trains.

The enhanced Gold Line service will encourage patrons to enjoy Old Town Pasadena, Chinatown, Little Tokyo and East LA over the weekend, making better and faster connections.

New timetables are now available on board trains. Plan your weekend on the Metro Gold Line by using Metro’s Trip Planner.

This isn’t hugely surprising, given the surge in ridership on the Gold Line in the past two years — which was helped by increasing the frequency of trains during weekday peak hours in June 2011.

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Transportation headlines, Thursday, Jan. 17

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.

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ART OF TRANSIT: A northbound Gold Line train leaving the Chinatown station last week at sunset. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

Congressman says Najarian should remain on the Metro Board (L.A. Streetsblog)

Rep. Adam Schiff urges local officials to vote to keep Glendale Ara Najarian on the Metro Board of Directors. Najarian’s vote to put Measure J on the ballot and opposition to a tunnel to close the 710 gap has raised opposition to him serving another term on the Board.

Highland Park TOD to be discussed (The Eastsider LA)

A small apartment and condo complex near the Highland Park Gold Line station is to be discussed by the Highland Park Neighborhood Council. It’s been in the works for five years and features about 80 units to built atop city parking lots behind businesses on Figueroa Street. Seems like a great place to build — it’s literally a 12-minute ride on the Gold Line to Union Station — and having more residents in the area would help merchants on Figueroa. But it sounds like Highland Park is taking the same route as South Pasadena and minimizing the number of people living near its central business district and transit. Hmmm.

The disturbing and sometimes tragic challenge of walking in America (NRDC Switchboard blog)

Getting around on one’s two feet may be historic — but in too many parts of America, it’s also become inconvenient, dangerous, an afterthought or illegal. Watch this video about a pedestrian who “interfered with traffic” in Woodbridge, Virginia:

Transportation headlines, Tuesday, Jan. 15

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.

Fares increase in Chicago (Chicago Tribune)

Excerpt: “A CTA 30-day pass will cost $100, up from $86, and a seven-day pass will increase to $28 from $23. Three-day passes will cost $20, up from $14, and one-day passes will increase to $10 from $5.75.” The base fare remains $2.25.

By comparison, the Metro base fare is $1.50, a 30-day pass is $75, a seven-day pass is $20 and a day pass is $5. Those are the regular fares; there are deeply discounted passes for students, the disabled, Medicare recipients and senior citizens.

BART struggling to meet surging demand (San Francisco Chronicle) 

The heavy rail system in the San Francisco Bay area is serving about 390,000 average weekday riders and ridership is expected to keep rising after some recent improvements. As a result, many passengers have to stand on trains for longer amounts of time and the agency’s infrastructure at times is having a difficult time handling the load. Officials are mulling several improvements — including a signal upgrade that would allow more trains to run through tunnels under San Francisco Bay. BART is also in dire need of new rail cars.

Another TOD planned for Gold Line in Pasadena (Curbed LA)

A developer just purchased a plot of land adjacent to the Sierra Madre station in eastern Pasadena and is planning a 212-unit apartment complex — next to the existing Stuart Apartments. Pasadena, to its credit, has pushed for more housing near rail stations and hundreds of units have been built near the Del Mar and Lake stations, in particular.

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The Apple Store at Grand Central Terminal in New York. Photo by Brigham Yen.

Using NYC’s Grand Central Terminal as a model for Los Angeles Union Station (DTLA Rising)

Blogger Brigham Yen just returned from a visit to the Big Apple and thinks that Grand Central Station should inspire the Union Station Master Plan. Brigham believes that Union Station needs to serve as a destination — not just a transfer point — and he believes that will happen when many more stores are added to the Union Station complex. GCT is home to 68 businesses, including an Apple store. As many of you know, a master plan is being developed for Union Station — more info here.

LA Travel Show and Pasadena Cheeseburger Week

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California’s largest travel show will return to the Long Beach Convention Center on January 12 – 13, 2013. The show will feature prominent travel speakers, interactive family-friendly activities, exhibitors from around the globe and more. Go Metro to the Los Angeles Travel and Adventure Show and receive an exclusive discount.

Daily admission tickets are only $8 for Metro riders when purchased online; enter the promo code METRO when checking out. Tickets will cost $12 at the door. Children under age 16 can enter for free. The Los Angeles Travel and Adventure Show will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. (Metro Blue Line to Long Beach Transit Mall or 1st Street Station, Long Beach Transit Bus 71 or 72 to Ocean/LB Blvd)

Don’t miss the start of Pasadena Cheeseburger Week this Sunday. Many of Pasadena’s best restaurants and burger joints, including the newly opened Umami Burger on Colorado Blvd., are participating with specialty cheeseburgers. Meals are prix fixe and range from $15 – $25 for lunch and $26 – $44 for dinner. (Metro Gold Line to Del Mar Station, Memorial Park Station or Lake Station. Pasadena ARTS buses stop by many of the participating restaurants, check Trip Planner for more routes and connections.)

Gold Line scores points with Roses on New Year’s Day

Parade goers exit as Rose Bowl fans arrive at Memorial Park Station. Photo by Gary Leonard.

Parade goers exit as Rose Bowl fans arrive at Memorial Park Station. Photos by Gary Leonard.

Coming and going: Gold Line scores on New Year's Day.  Photo by Gary Leonard.

Coming and going: Gold Line scores on New Year’s Day. Photo by Gary Leonard.

Metro once again offered plenty of service to both the Tournament of Roses and the Rose Bowl game on New Year’s Day. Ridership was pretty typical and Metro was able to clear lines at the Memorial Park station in Old Pasadena within an hour of the parade ending. Post-game crowds were particularly strong. For those who used the Gold Line yesterday, how was service? Comment please!

Metro buses await exiting parade crowd.

Metro buses await exiting parade crowd. Photo by Gary Leonard.

Go Metro to the Tournament of Roses and the Rose Bowl

Click above to see larger.

Click above to see larger.

The Gold Line will be running all night on New Year’s Eve for those who want to view the floats tonight as they line up on Orange Grove Boulevard or those headed to the parade or game on Tuesday.

Four stations in Pasadena (Del Mar, Memorial Park, Lake and Allen) are within a five- to 10-minute walk of the parade route along Colorado Boulevard. Follow the crowds — it’s kind of hard to miss!

As someone who lives very close to the parade route, I’ll say the same thing to motorists that I say every year: driving to Pasadena and parking in residential neighborhoods near the parade route is hypothetically possible — especially for people who arrive before 6 a.m. The problem comes each year after the parade when all the parade-goers gets stuck in long, long, long traffic jams complicated by the fact that a lot of people are trying to drive into Pasadena at the same time to attend the Rose Bowl game. You’ve been warned, people!

Some details:

•From East LA-Atlantic or Downtown LA-Union Station, board the Gold Line toward Pasadena-Sierra Madre Villa, then exit at any of the following stations which are within short walking distance of the parade route: Del Mar, Memorial Park, Lake and Allen.

•From Sierra Madre Villa, customers should board any train, then exit at any of the following stations which are within short walking distance of the parade route: Allen, Lake, Memorial Park and Del Mar.

•Customers are encouraged to purchase an ALL DAY PASS before beginning their trip to avoid long return lines to purchase tickets.

•Longer and more frequent trains will operate between Downtown LA-Union Station & Pasadena-Sierra Madre Villa.  Please use the entire boarding platform when boarding.

•Please click here for more information on Metro’s schedule between December 31 and January 1, including OVERNIGHT 24-hour rail service from December 31 into January 1.

The 99th Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio – 2:10pm

•All customers traveling to the Rose Bowl Game should exit the Gold Line train at Memorial Park. From East LA-Atlantic or Downtown LA-Union Station, board the Gold Line towards Pasadena-Sierra Madre Villa, then exit at Memorial Park.

•From Sierra Madre Villa, customers should board any train, then exit at Memorial Park.
In anticipation of higher ridership, longer and more frequent trains will operate between Downtown LA-Union Station & Pasadena-Sierra Madre Villa. Use the entire boarding platform when boarding.

•After exiting at Memorial Park, walk 3 blocks west on Holly Street (turn right upon exiting station), past Fair Oaks Avenue to the free Rose Bowl shuttle that leaves from the west side of the Parsons parking lot along Pasadena Avenue. Again, it’s hard to miss.

Shuttles run continuously from 10 a.m. until about two hours after the end of the game.
This shuttle is NOT operated by Metro. Shuttle info is provided as a courtesy and subject to change without notice.

•Customers are encouraged to purchase an ALL DAY PASS before beginning their trip to avoid long return lines to purchase tickets.

•Please click here for more information on Metro’s schedule between December 31 and January 1, including OVERNIGHT 24-hour rail service from December 31 into January 1.