As has been the case the past few years, many people used Metro on New Year’s Eve — service was free from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. — and on New Year’s Day, in particular to reach the Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena.
On New Year’s Eve, there was obviously a lot happening all over the region with the Grand Park celebration bringing thousands to downtown Los Angeles.
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Some tweets from the past couple of days are below. The photo taken by Zach Behrens gives you a pretty good idea of what New Year’s Eve looked like:
The bus system is way too complicated. We need a simple grid system with fewer routes and better off-peak headways. Why do we have so many routes with 5-10 minute headways during the day that suddenly go to every hour at 9 p.m. ? Routes operating 24/7 (there are about 25) should be important enough to have at least 15 minute headways through the late evening ! This is common practice in other large cities.
We also need a much better regional bus and rail network. Metrolink should operate at least every hour during off peak periods, nights and weekends as is common in most other large cities. Regional Express Buses, similar to FlyAway should fill in the gaps in rail service.
Of course, this all takes resources and it would probably take a 5-county Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) and sales tax to accomplish. What can be done now is a vision and service plan with a hierarchy or routes and services that can start to be implemented by shifting current resources.
[…] Metro Takes a Victory Lap on New Year’s Eve Service (The Source) […]
The trains were way too crowded. Metro needs to either add more rail cars or re-arrange the seating patterns on the rail cars themselves in order to maximize the number of passengers getting on the train.
More people are turning to transit. But space is limited on board. Metro needs to keep up with the growing demand by adding more rail cars or re-arranging the seating patterns.
My family and I took Metro to the Grand Park NYE event. The NYE organizers made it very inconvenient to exit from the Civic Center station and get into the event. Metro riders, exiting from the station, had to walk a very long, circuitous route through a pathway of chainlink fencing to get to the security checkpoint. For 2015, how about rewarding Metro riders by stationing a security checkpoint right at the top of the subway stairs with a direct access entry into the event?
Good point, and something we can work out with Grand Park!
Writer, The Source
I read this on the skyscraperpage.com forum, a user writing about getting home from the Grand Park event:
“My big complaint was the Gold Line ride back to South Pasadena. Metro was stupid for not running 3-car trains, instead only running 2-car trains. The platform at Union Station was extremely crowded; two trains passed us up because nobody could get on, people were packed into the trains like sardines. When we did finally get on, we all had to squeeze into the trains. I couldn’t even stand completely straight, I felt like I was leaning on somebody for a good part of the ride.”
I wanted to take the bus in to NYELA, but the bus stopped at 8:30ish and didn’t return back to Eagle Rock. The trains are more frequent and I didn’t have to worry about the trip home. I applaud Metro for giving the free rides!
Did Metro estimate ridership during the free period ? If so, how did this occur ? Were there staff with clipboards doing manual counts in palce of the TAP gates ?
I don’t believe manual ridership counts were done during the free time.
Editor, The Source
Good points on the buses. Just to add another, shorter head times on the bus routes would also attract more riders. Having to wait more than a half hour when you just miss a bus is irritating. I would really like to see Metro have a longer “free” ride period also. This would encourage many more to try out metro.
Service was good for New Years Eve, but a lot of people could have used buses to get where they were going rather than crowding onto rail – LA’s bus system is still often neglected in the minds of its residents. Some at Rail Operations Center was giving updates about the status of trains to people at Little Tokyo, and the announcements were surprisingly audible and clear which is a contrast to the usual “Charlie Brown’s mom” tone of the announcements. And the Gold Line was running three car train which was nice and made for an uncrowded ride once you let the first train pass.
I think you make an excellent point about the buses. My own three cents: I think the problem is that the train system is pretty easy to figure out — there are only a few lines, the maps are easy to understand. The bus system, on the other hand, is really big and not entirely intuitive to rookies. Many routes run on several streets, meaning routes are numbered rather than go by names. I can’t just say to someone “take the Santa Monica Boulevard bus to the La Cienega bus.” Yes, there are maps around at bus stops and some online transit planning tools, but it still takes some work to figure out where you’re going versus the rail system. Going forward, I really think that’s one big challenge for Metro and other local agencies — to make taking the bus as easy as possible.
Editor, The Source