More Expo Line art installed

Nice shot from the Expo Line Construction Authority’s Flickr page of art being installed at the 23rd Street station.

10 replies

  1. @Y Fukuzawa: Metro Isn’t meant to make money, its there to get people from one place to another, but recently has to take on another role, attract new riders. One way to do that is through art. What better way to slightly boost the economies of local communities than make their stations more attractive for riders to get off at and create a sense of community. Business plays its role in the world, but even you take time off from work to sleep and eat (and thus give up money! oh no!). Art plays its role of actually making the world interesting.

    Btw i noticed you want to go to a coffee shop by a metro station. 7t/Metro, Little Tokyo, Union, and many more have Starbucks next to them. Mission has a great one next to them as well.

  2. I don’t get the complaints about art vs. ads.

    First of all, the art budget is TINY. It’s a fraction of what Metro spends on rail construction. They could probably save art installation until the last minute, but it looks to me like they do that already.

    Los Angeles could probably stand to have a few more ads, but too many ads can turn people off.

    Tokyo has plenty of ads, but they have public art in stations as well.

    Tokyo’s transit system is surprisingly, largely private (with lots of public-private partnerships by public-minded corporations). But it is also huge. Gas taxes are high. I wouldn’t recommend privatizing Los Angeles Metro until we reached similar levels of service, density and gas taxes.

    Life without art would be very, very gray.

  3. And that’s why public transit in LA never makes any money. In the business world, we seek every opportunity to earn revenue.

    What good is art if it just gets boring after a few views? Sure it may get some oohs and aahs the first several times, but the flair wears off. Then it’s just wasted space that just sits there doing nothing but collecting dust and more taxpayer money being wasted for maintenance.

    If you want art that actually does something then digital ads themselves are hundred times better. They not only bring in revenue stream but they also actually contribute to our economy.

    You want community involvement, then use the same art space for digital ad space for community dentists, lawyers, museums, etc.

    Why is Metro even giving info on Metro discounts here on when you can reach out to thousands of riders everyday with digital ads with QR codes linking info to discounted museum rates for TAP users?

    Walk through a terminal at an airport and you see really nice ads that can be construed as art. Ever been to the American Airlines terminal at JFK? Beautiful digital ads by Microsoft bringing in aesthetics, music, and visuals.

    How about London Heathrow? Millions use that airport every year so it’s prime location for corporations pay MILLIONS in ads. That’s a lot more revenue than zero. And those MILLIONS that corporations pay for bring in revenue to keep Heathrow running. The same should be done for Metro. MILLIONS in ad digital ad revenue should go a long way in making this city more transit oriented, no?

    The same could be said for train stations. Thousands use them everyday, it’s prime real estate for companies to place ads.

    Walk through any train and subway station in Tokyo, London, Seoul, Taipei, Hong Kong and you see artsy ads that does stuff useful like “Tokyo Science Museum, discounted admission using your Suica card,” “Dentist from north exit,” or even public relations ads to keep stations clean.

    Like I said before, has anyone in Metro ever looked or visited real transit oriented cities to see how they make money and keep them running? Anyone who has visited Tokyo, London, Seoul, etc. would notice this first hand and click this into their heads.

    • I’d be interested to see a list of public transit agencies in the United States that “makes money.”

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  4. Art used to enhance public transit may seem wasteful, but I think it is important for each rail station to tie into the community. Metro uses local artists to add not only atheistic but community to these huge rail projects.

    I particularly like some of the art on the east LA extension of the Gold line.

    We don’t want to live in a world dominated by corporate brands that just want to sell us stuff.

  5. Yawn, another “art” that doesn’t do anything that’s at best wasted tax dollars.

    So how many thousands of taxpayer dollars was put into these art that doesn’t bring in any single cent of extra revenue and just cost money to clean and maintain throughout the years?

    The same money could’ve been used to put a vending machine or retail space for a Starbucks or something. At least that brings in money.

    • I don’t believe the purpose of public art is to turn a profit. If every piece of public infrastructure was only built to serve its basic purpose — that is, aesthetics were never a consideration — than I think we’d live in a world a lot less appealing to live in.

      You could say the same thing about many bridges. The ones that I walked across on my visit long ago to Florence, Italy, may not have generated any real revenue for hundreds of years. But they make Florence a more appealing city and one that I chose to visit over the thousands of other cities I could have traveled to.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  6. Seriously Metro. Get your priorities straight. I can care less about the art. Let’s get some trains running. While you’re at it, can you start construction on the part of the Gold Line that matters? You know, the inland part that ALREADY HAS TRACKS FOR YOU TO USE!

  7. If as much emphasis was put into getting the train up and running, as opposed to “installing art” at the stations the train will stop at, the “Expo Line” would be UP AND RUNNING by now!