Save up to 50 percent on any-day Los Angeles County Fair tickets with Metro

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Discover the Los Angeles County Fair–the largest county fair in the country–with Metro and Metrolink. The fair takes place from August 29 through September 28 at the Fairplex in Pomona. You’ll be able to enjoy Luminasia, a larger-than-life Chinese lantern festival, Grinding Gears dance club, live animals, a carnival with more than 70 thrilling rides and more!

Discounted tickets to the Los Angeles County Fair are available for Metro riders. Use the exclusive promo code when buying tickets online and save up to 50% on any-day fair tickets.

To get to the fair on weekends, take the Metrolink San Bernadino Line to Fairplex Station. A free shuttle will take you from there to the Yellow Gate Entrance. Metrolink is offering a late-night train service back to Los Angeles Union Station on Saturdays and Sundays while the fair is in session so you can stay and enjoy the concerts, nightclub and evening entertainment.

All San Bernardino Line weekend trains will stop at the Fairplex Station except for trains 351, 352 and 353 on Saturday and train 351 on Sunday. Take advantage of the special Metrolink weekend pass discount for trains that run to and from Union Station.

For weekday service to the fair, use the Pomona (North) Station and transfer to Foothill Transit Bus 197.

Metrolink to offer special “Rail Series” service as Angels take on the Dodgers   

Watch the Dodgers take on the Angels August 4 and 5 at Dodger Stadium. Metrolink is offering special $7 round-trip tickets on the Orange County Line on game days. From Union Station, you can hop on the Dodger Stadium Express to get to the game.

Here’s the press release from Metrolink:

LOS ANGELES - Metrolink has partnered with Metro to provide special train service to the Los Angeles Dodgers versus Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim interleague play on August 4 and 5 at Dodger Stadium. This is the second year the special “Rail Series” train service will be offered through a special grant from the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee (MSRC).

This service was offered earlier this season as well, when the two teams squared off on March 27 and 28.

Special $7 round-trip tickets can be purchased the day of game at the ticket machines along the Orange County Line. Fans attending one of the Rail Series games will board Metrolink Orange County Line train 609 or 689 to Los Angeles Union Station.

From Union Station, fans will board the Dodger Stadium Express shuttle to Dodger Stadium at no additional cost. Following the game, fans will ride the Dodger Stadium Express back to Union Station to board the special Metrolink train making all station stops, except Commerce, back to Oceanside. The Rail Series special train will depart L.A. Union Station one hour after the end of the game.

This is the fifth consecutive year Metro is offering the Dodger Stadium Express bus service from Union Station to Dodger Stadium. The Dodger Stadium Express picks up Dodger fans at the Patsaouras Bus Plaza adjacent to the east portal of Union Station and continues to Dodger Stadium via Sunset Boulevard and Cesar Chavez Avenue.

A two-year grant of more than $1.1 million ($1,169,000) was awarded to Metro by the MSRC last year to fund the operation of the Dodger Stadium Express service for both the 2013 and 2014 Dodgers baseball seasons. The funding is made in support of clean fuel transit service to link Union Station to Dodger Stadium. The MSRC awards funding within the South Coast Air Basin from a portion of the vehicle registration fee set aside for mobile source projects that result in emission reductions.

Funding under the MSRC grant will be used to offset the cost of fares on the Dodger Stadium Express bus service for passengers possessing a Dodger ticket. Service will be provided starting 90 minutes prior to the beginning of the games and will end 45 minutes after the end of the game.

For additional details on the service and train schedules, please visitwww.metrolinktrains.com.

ABOUT METROLINK (www.metrolinktrains.com)

Metrolink is Southern California’s regional commuter rail service in its 21styear of operation. The Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA), a joint powers authority made up of an 11-member board representing the transportation commissions of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties, governs the service. Metrolink operates over seven routes through a six-county, 512 route-mile network. Metrolink is the third largest commuter rail agency in the United States based on directional route miles and the eighth largest based on annual ridership.

Transportation headlines, Wednesday, July 30

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! 

ART OF TRANSIT: Very nice photo of the under-photographed Green Line, which runs mostly down the middle of the 105 freeway. Photo by Matthew Grant Anson, via his Flickr stream.

ART OF TRANSIT: Very nice photo of the under-photographed Green Line, which runs mostly down the middle of the 105 freeway. Photo by Matthew Grant Anson, via his Flickr stream.

Metro fare increase postponed, will take effect September 15th (Streetsblog LA)

The fare increases and changes approved by the Metro Board in May will begin on Sept. 15, a couple weeks behind the originally targeted date, reports Joe Linton. At that time, the regular fare will increase from $1.50 to $1.75 and also include two hours of free transfers. The cost of regular daily, weekly and monthly passes also increases — meaning that riders really need to consider whether it’s a better deal to pay per trip or still purchase a pass. Students who pay the discounted cash fare — which will not increase — don’t get the free transfer, according to a Metro staff report.

Senate tees up last-minute showdown on transpo funding (Streetsblog Network)

The Senate and the House continue to bicker over a short extension of the federal transportation funding bill. The House has a plan to keep it limping along until May, the Senate wants to shorten that time until December and get rid of some financial tricks — such as “pension smoothing” — that would keep the Highway Trust Fund from becoming an empty balloon.

Long story short: neither bill really tackles the main problem, which is that the federal gas tax — which hasn’t been raised since 1993 — doesn’t cover the nation’s transportation funding program anymore.

California high-speed rail project considering a tunnel under San Gabriel Mountains (Daily News) 

In its ongoing studies of the Palmdale-to-Burbank segment of the bullet train line, the California High-Speed Rail Authority will study a tunnel under the San Gabes in addition to a route that largely follows the 14 freeway. The tunnel would be a more direct shot but, presumably, would come at a higher cost. It currently takes Metrolink trains about two hours to travel between Union Station and Lancaster — that’s a two-hour train trip that never leaves Los Angeles County!

83-year-old good Samaritan scores rare victory in fight against City Hall (L.A. Times) 

Columnist Steve Lopez gets the bat squarely on the ball in a column that efficiently chronicles the difficulty in getting a curb painted red in a no parking zone and a certain major utility letting its sprinklers run all day in a drought before….just read it.

Op-Ed: is bicycling the new rude (Glendale News-Press)

Peter Rusch isn’t too thrilled with spandex-clad cycling groups that run stop signs, saying he doubts they would behave that way if behind the wheel of a car. No doubt there are some cyclists who flout the law. And that’s wrong. But pleeeeeeeease. There’s equally no doubt it would easy to write a column every day about motorists who blow through red lights, stop signs and who illegally nose their cars into crosswalks — and who far outnumber cyclists on the road.

MBTA adding wi-fi to commuter rail system (Metro)

Free wi-fi will be available on 14 commuter rail lines in the Greater Boston area, including some stations. A contractor is installing it for free — they hope to make money by getting people to pay $15 a month for premium wi-fi that would allow customers to stream video.

 

Transportation headlines, Tuesday, July 22

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! 

Reward to be offered in fatal beating at Blue Line station (L.A. Times)

TEMPLATE Board

The Board of Supervisors has approved a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of two women who assaulted artist John Whitmore at the Blue Line’s Willowbrook station early in the afternoon of Friday, June 13. Whitmore, 65, died one week later of his injuries. Anyone with information regarding the slaying is asked to call detectives at (323) 890-5500.

Funding feud means end of the line for four Metrolink trains between L.A. and San Bernardino (Mass Transit) 

After the San Bernardino Assn. of Governments refused to provide the full funding request from Metrolink, the commuter rail agency has cut four trains between Union Station and San Bernardino. They’re all off-peak hours and include the 11 p.m. train from L.A. Metrolink says they targeted low-ridership trains. Each of the five counties served by Metrolink — Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura — contribute funds to the agency each year.

Metro Committee OKs dismal walk/bike plan now, funding report later (StreetsblogLA)

I missed this post last week, when it was first published. The Metro Board’s Planning Committee moved a draft of the agency’s short-range transportation plan (which covers the next decade) to the full Board for its consideration on Thursday. Advocates for active transportation — i.e. walking and biking — partially filled the Board room and protested that the short-range plan lacks a dedicated funding stream specifically for active transportation.

Members of the committee were sympathetic and Mike Bonin introduced a motion calling for Metro to develop an active transportation funding strategy by Jan. 2015. The issue here is that Metro does supply funding for pedestrian and bike projects — but this is mostly done on a discretionary basis. For example, 15 percent of Measure R receipts are returned to local cities for use on transportation-related projects, which may include active transportation. It’s obviously an important issue, given that Metro recently released a first-mile/last-mile strategy that places emphasis on better connecting transit stations to surrounding neighborhoods.

Uber takes credit for drop in drunk driving, but police are skeptical (KPCC)

Interesting story. The ride-sharing service cherrypicks some statistics — including the number of times patrons vomited in their cars — to argue that drunk driving has been cut as Uber has grown more popular. The police say that’s a very hard thing to prove and some of the drops in DUIs in places such as Seattle may be attributed more to concerted crackdowns by law enforcement. Excerpt:

In Los Angeles, KPCC found DUI citations over the last five years issued by the California Highway Patrol peaked the year before Uber arrived and have fallen both years the company has been on the roads here. (Uber started operating in Los Angeles in April 2012. The low-cost UberX expanded here a year after that, along with competitor Lyft.)

Interesting, but anecdotal. The drop roughly coincides with Metro also offering more light night rail service on weekends — but I don’t think you can draw any firm conclusions from that. I suspect some of this also involves the fact that young people are driving less, according to numerous studies and statistics.

Perhaps what matters most is that there are viable options — taxis, ride-sharing and transit — for those who are too tipsy to drive. Metro Rail and the Orange Line operates until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights; timetables are here.

 

Metrolink introduces 91 Line weekend service

From our friends at Metrolink:
A New Way to L.A.

Traveling to L.A. and Orange County on the weekends just got easier. Beginning July 5, Metrolink will offer weekend service from Downtown Riverside to L.A. with stops in between at La Sierra, North Main Corona, West Corona, Fullerton, Buena Park and Norwalk. Experience L.A. and beyond like never before with day trips to Chinatown, Hollywood Walk of Fame, Pantages Theatre, L.A. Memorial Coliseum, Universal Studios, L.A. Live, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Old Town Pasadena and much more when you take the 91 Line to L.A. and connect on the Red, Purple, Expo and Gold lines. The 91 Line weekend service offers a new way to see L.A. and experience all that L.A. has to offer.

Due to this schedule change, San Bernardino Line weekend trains (351, 367, 364, 376) will no longer start or end at Riverside-Downtown, also effective July 5.

Metrolink $10 Weekend Day Pass

Metrolink offers a Weekend Day Pass for only $10. This pass allows a passenger to ride anytime, anywhere systemwide on Saturday or Sunday. The Weekend Day Pass includes free connections to most rail and bus lines throughout Southern California.

Inbound to L.A. Union Station 751 753
RIVERSIDE-DOWNTOWN 7:40 AM 9:00 AM
RIVERSIDE-LA SIERRA 7:50 AM 9:10 AM
NORTH MAIN CORONA 7:58 AM 9:18 AM
WEST CORONA 8:04 AM 9:24 AM
FULLERTON 8:29 AM 9:49 AM
BUENA PARK 8:36 AM 9:56 AM
NORWALK/SANTA FE SPRINGS 8:44 AM 10:04 AM
LA UNION STATION (arrival time) 9:20 AM 10:40 AM

Outbound to Riverside-Downtown

752

754

LA UNION STATION 3:15 PM 7:15 PM
NORWALK/SANTA FE SPRINGS 3:36 PM 7:36 PM
BUENA PARK 3:42 PM 7:42 PM
FULLERTON 3:49 PM 7:49 PM
WEST CORONA 4:13 PM 8:13 PM
NORTH MAIN CORONA 4:20 PM 8:20 PM
RIVERSIDE-LA SIERRA 4:29 PM 8:29 PM
RIVERSIDE-DOWNTOWN (arrival time) 4:52 PM 8:55 PM

Transportation headlines, Wednesday, July 2

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! 

Photo: Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Photo: Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Garcetti’s anniversary spin (on Metro) includes World Cup stop (L.A. Times) 

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti recognized his first anniversary in office by tooling around L.A. on Metro Rail on Tuesday, including a stop at Buffalo Wild Wings in the Crenshaw District to watch the USA-Belgium match. Excerpt:

On the trip, Garcetti lamented getting “stuck in City Hall,” saying quick, unplanned encounters with people help him gauge people’s concerns and can build trust with residents, particularly in his early years as mayor. “Most people don’t want a half-hour meeting with the mayor,” he said.

The mayor will also serve as the Chair of the Metro Board for the next year (the Board Members take turns). It will be interesting to see what kind of agenda he pushes at Metro — and think a good starting place is to talk to folks who ride the system and pay the bills here. Semi-related: a great way to gauge people’s concerns about Metro is to also read our general Twitter feed, including tweets from riders.

Metro commits to deal ensuring subway won’t hurt Disney Hall acoustics (L.A. Times) 

The agency and Disney Hall agree to several mitigations to ensure that the Regional Connector — running 135 deep underground and adjacent the concert venue — won’t cause vibrations that could impact acoustics. Tests last year established the ambient noise in Disney Hall and Metro has agreed to limit vibrations to well under those standards.

Burbank-Palmdale segment added to bullet train timetable (L.A. Times) 

In response to criticism and doubts from state lawmakers, the California High-Speed Rail Authority wants to accelerate construction of a Burbank to Palmdale segment of the bullet train project. Such a segment could reduce travel time for trains from more than an hour to 14 to 16 minutes.

That said, there remains considerable challenges. The first is finding the funding — the L.A. to Palmdale segment is estimated to cost more than $13 billion and that could rise if a more direct tunnel to the Antelope Valley is built under the San Gabriel Mountains. The segment would presumably later connect to Union Station and Bakersfield and the segment being planned between there and Madera.

My three cents: I think there are plenty of reasons to remain skeptical about the ability to build a $68-billion project between San Francisco and Los Angeles with the major funding source a $10-billion voter-approved bond. That said, if funding is limited, it sure would be great to see commuter rail get a boost in populated and taxpayer-heavy Southern California, an area where commuters are already riding trains on a daily basis.

Contractor for 405 sues MTA over cost overruns, delays (Daily News) 

Kiewet filed the lawsuit in May, seeking $400 million in costs, according to the Daily News. Excerpt:

In a statement, Metro spokesman Dave Sotero said that “Metro does not believe this claim complies with those contract requirements. However, Metro continues to negotiate in good faith with Kiewit to resolve specific outstanding claims under terms of its contract.”

Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who represents this portion of Los Angeles and has publicly blamed Kiewit for the project’s delays, declined to comment Tuesday.

 

Jenna Hornstock shares refinements to Union Station’s Master Plan (The Planning Report) 

Jenna is heading up Metro’s team of planners working on the Union Station Master Plan. In this interview, she talks about the many details of the emerging plan that were released last month (Here’s a Source post about the plans).

The Planning Report saved perhaps one of the juiciest questions for last, asking Jenna how the Master Plan would be funded and if there could be money available from a potential Measure R 2 sales tax. As Jenna wisely pointed out, the key word with Measure R 2 is “potential” and that it’s impossible at this time to say what will or will not be funded by it. As if often the case at Metro, projects are planned before all the funding is secured — the agency often needs to have firm plans in in order to get money to build them.

Donald Shoup, parking guru, on how L.A. should manage its meters (L.A. Times) 

Interesting interview with the UCLA professor who literally wrote the book on big cities and parking policies (a book highly critical of big cities, that is). There’s nothing fantastically new in the interview but it’s always fun to revisit the question of whether developers should be required to build parking or not (they almost always are for both residential or commercial properties). Parking is very expensive to build and maintain and folks such as Shoup believe it results in a lot of expensive, free and unnecessary parking that consumes a lot of space that could be better used for other purposes.

In other words, if someone in a city wants a car badly enough, they’ll find a parking place and the money to pay for it. Agree or disagree, Angelenos?

 

Metrolink to offer new 91 Line weekend service, adjust San Bernardino Line

Metrolink riders will now have more weekend travel options. Metrolink is adding new 91 Line weekend service between Downtown Riverside and Los Angeles. From their press release:

This Saturday, Inland Empire travelers will now have additional options to reach destinations in Orange and Los Angeles Counties, with Metrolink beginning new 91 Line weekend service.  Four new trains will now run between Downtown Riverside and Los Angeles on both Saturdays and Sundays, with interim stops at the Riverside-La Sierra, North Main Corona, West Corona, Fullerton, Buena Park and Norwalk stations.

With this added service, San Bernardino Line weekend trains 351, 367, 364, and 376 will no longer start or end at the Riverside-Downtown Metrolink station. The first 91 Line weekend train leaves the Riverside-Downtown station at 7:40 a.m., while the final train returns at 8:55 p.m. For a complete schedule, visit metrolinktrains.com.

The added service will give Inland Empire residents more options to travel into Los Angeles and Orange counties.

As always, once riders reach Los Angeles Union Station, individuals can transfer to the Metro light-rail and many bus lines at no additional cost to access attractions such as Chinatown, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Pantages Theatre, Universal Studios, L.A. Live, Old Town Pasadena and others.

The 91 Line weekend service also offers riders access to attractions near Orange County stops such as Knott’s Berry Farm and Downtown Fullerton. The San Bernardino Line and 91 Line weekend services complement the existing Inland Empire-Orange County Line, which provides two round-trips between San Bernardino and Oceanside each Saturday and Sunday.

Metrolink to operate special holiday service on July 4

Reminder: If you’re making travel plans for Friday, July 4, please consider that Metrolink will only be operating two special round-trip trains on the Antelope Valley Line. Regular service will resume on July 5. Here are the details from Metrolink:

In observance of Independence Day, Metrolink will not operate service on Friday, July 4, with the exception of two round-trip trains on the Antelope Valley Line. The special Metrolink service will run from Lancaster to Los Angeles Union Station and back.

Antelope Valley Line train 262 will depart Lancaster at 8:55 a.m. and arrive in Los Angeles at 11 a.m., while Antelope Valley Line train 268 will depart Lancaster at 2:25 p.m. and arrive in Los Angeles at 4:30 p.m.

Making the return trip to the Antelope Valley will be train 263, departing Los Angeles Union Station at 11:40 a.m., while train 269 will depart LAUS at 5:25 p.m. The trains will reach Lancaster at 1:50 p.m. and 7:25 p.m., respectively.

The four trains will make all stops at the 11 stations along the Antelope Valley Line.

Regular service will resume system-wide on Saturday, July 5.

Bob Hope Airport officially opens Regional Intermodal Transportation Center

Bob Hope Airport held a grand opening ceremony this morning for the $112 million Regional Intermodal Transportation Center (RITC). The RITC took two years to complete and is the largest capital project in the airport’s history. It also establishes the first direct rail-to-terminal connection at any Southern California airport.

The RITC is located immediately across the street from the Bob Hope Airport Station served by Metrolink and Amtrak. It will house a new bus transit station and rental car facilities and is connected to the passenger terminal via an elevated walkway.

Transit officials also announced the plans for a pedestrian bridge between the RITC and the existing Metrolink station along Empire Avenue. You can read the Metro staff report on the project here.

Metro projects helping improve commuter rail service in San Fernando Valley

There has been a nice variety of commuter rail projects in the San Fernando Valley on Metro Board agendas in recent months, including one that was approved today to add a new pedestrian bridge for the Metrolink station at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank.

To help provide a bigger view of projects that Metro is helping plan, fund and coordinate, here is a quick list:

•A pedestrian bridge between Bob Hope Airport and the existing Metrolink station along Empire Avenue. The bridge will also connect to the airport’s new Regional Intermodal Transportation Center, that will include bus stops and a rental car facility. Metro staff report

•A new station to serve Bob Hope Airport along Metrolink’s Antelope Valley Line. This will allow both Metrolink lines in the San Fernando Valley — the Antelope Valley Line and the Ventura County Line — to provide service to and from Bob Hope Airport. Earlier Source post

•A second track  for 6.5 miles approximately from Woodley to DeSoto streets along the Ventura County Line. This will help eliminate a long-standing bottleneck in the Valley and increase capacity of trains along the Ventura County Line. Staff report

•A new center platform between the two tracks at Van Nuys station and a pedestrian under-crossing to help passengers reach the new platform. This will provide service to both existing mainline tracks rather than the existing single track service. Staff report

There is another project in the works that will benefit all Metrolink riders: Metro is planning to eliminate a long-standing bottleneck at Union Station that requires all trains to enter and exit the station via tracks on the north side of the facility. It currently takes trains about 15 minutes of turn-around time because of the current track configuration.

Metro’s Southern California Regional Interconnector Project (known as SCRIP) would allow trains to enter and exit the station via its south side by running four tracks over the 101 freeway and connecting to the existing tracks along the Los Angeles River. In other words, trains would be able to enter and exit the station in either direction.

There are several benefits. The turnaround time of trains would be greatly reduced, increasing capacity by 40 percent to percent and allowing trains to get into and out of the station more efficiently. Also, the reduction of idling times for locomotives will decrease greenhouse gas emissions.

The SCRIP tracks would also improve train capacity at Union Station by 40 to 50 percent and, equally important, allow trains to get into and out of the station more quickly. That should benefit all Metrolink and Amtrak riders in the future.

Metro’s Regional Rail team is looking at other projects in the SFV that will better serve Metrolink customers increase safety and mobility. More projects are planned for the area such as additional double tracking and grade crossing enhancements.