The above tweets pretty much sum it up: it was slow going both to board the Stadium Express and reach Union Station after the Kings-Ducks game at Dodger Stadium on Saturday night.
Obviously, Metro apologizes for any inconvenience to fans. As is often the case when these type of things go south, there were several issues. I’ll do my best to explain:
•First and foremost, the game was sold out on Saturday and traffic was very congested in the Dodger Stadium parking lot, particularly in the post-game crunch. In that traffic, buses were treated no different than cars and a lot of our buses were stuck in the crawl out of the parking lot. The more buses that got stuck, the longer the wait for those who were waiting at the stadium for buses to return from Union Station.
•Another contributing issue: there was no enforcement by city of Los Angeles of the bus/carpool lane on Sunset Boulevard outside the stadium. Why?
•Metro usually pays the city of Los Angeles for the bus lane enforcement from a state air pollution grant that funds the Dodger Stadium Express. (the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department also helps ensure buses get into and out of the stadium). The grant, however, only pays for service to baseball games and Metro didn’t have a mechanism in place to pay for the bus lane enforcement for the hockey game. Metro did manage to find a sponsor (KNBC) to help pay for some of the Stadium Express bus service.
•The NHL — which organized the game and rented the stadium for it — raised the price of parking at Dodger Stadium to $20 for general parking (and more for premium parking), which is $10 more than the Dodgers charges. The NHL also issued a press release last week encouraging fans to take the bus to the game or to carpool because of expectations there could be a parking shortage. That probably led to increased demand for the Stadium Express.
•Metro usually runs 12 to 20 buses for baseball games. For the hockey game, Metro had 16 buses in service before the game and 20 after the game — thereby raising the question that perhaps more are needed to handle the sold out events at the ballpark. For those who asked, Metro can’t use its articulated buses in the Dodger Stadium parking lot due to weight restrictions put in place by the team.
I know these answers may not satisfy everyone but I hope the post does shed some light on the challenges involved in running service to the stadium. On the Metro end of things, agency officials say they are aware of the complaints and will keep working to improve service to baseball games and other events at the stadium.
Categories: Metro Lifestyle