Metro working to improve Dodger Stadium Express after tough traffic Tuesday

As the above tweets show, the Dodger Stadium Express had a rough outing for Tuesday night’s game. A few trips before the game exceeded 75 minutes between Union Station and the ballpark.

The game, which featured a hoodie sweatshirt giveaway, drew a big crowd for a Tuesday evening with more than 53,000 in attendance according to Major League Baseball. Traffic was bad and there were two problems for the Dodger Stadium Express:

•Even with enforcement from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, many private vehicles used the bus-only lane on Sunset Boulevard — making it difficult for buses to reach the stadium in a timely manner. Even though a few citations were issued to those illegally using the lane, Metro will be working with the city of Los Angeles to improve signage and keep cars out of the bus lane. One possible solution may be to use pylons to mark off the lane.

•The other problem occurred at the Patsaouras Transit Plaza at Union Station. Crowds arrived early to take the bus to the game and ultimately — and unfortunately — two separate lines ended up forming. It was confusing and some people rightly complained. To avoid similar problems, Metro staff will be at the transit plaza two hours before game time to ensure that there is one, well-organized line for those waiting to board buses.

Please keep in mind that he Dodgers are expected to keep pulling big crowds throughout the season. Metro appreciates everyone’s patronage and the agency will try to make the bus shuttle faster and easier to use, as it has frequently been in recent seasons.

For more information on taking the Dodger Stadium Express, please click here. The bus service is free to those holding a game ticket.

21 replies

  1. A few years ago I used to park on Bishops Rd right next to the 110 and walk up the hill from there. You have to walk thru a hole in a fence and past a couple bums with dogs, but it is a pretty direct shot as it dumps you right at the parking booths at the Downtown Gate entrance. You can pretty easily get to the Pavilion or the right field seats from that side.

    To me it makes the most sense to do the following:
    1. Create a “game day only” stop on the Gold Line at Bishops Rd/Broadway (if not have people walk from the Chinatown Station
    2. Tear down the fence, kick out the bums, and build either a walkway/stairway or a large escalator directly from Bishops Rd up to what is referred to on Google Maps as “Downtown Gate” rd.
    3. Build another escalator going up from Downtown Gate rd to the parking lot above it, so you don’t need to walk around where all the cars go.

    This way people can easily walk from the Gold Line to the stadium using a direct straight line from Bishops Rd to the stadium. Look it up on a map. It is the most obvious solution. They just need to add some lighting and some police presence so it isn’t as sketchy.

  2. Steve, yes, it does sound like Wednesday night was better for the Dodger Express, based on what I am reading here. However, it was still a frustrating experience for me. It took 30 minutes to travel about 3 miles.

  3. They also need to extend the bus only lane past Figueroa. If we truly want the express bus to be an option for 5 – 10,000 fans a game, then it needs to be dedicated all the way and get fans from Union Station to Dodger Stadium in less than 20 min

  4. Light rail really does help. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has more then 2 million attendees over a 20-day period. Houston’s MTA runs express buses from outlying park and ride lots around the city, and quite a few people use them. But the locale is also served by light rail. The light rail cars are often standing room only in both directions and are real crowd-swallowers. There is no bus rapid transit in Houston, but light rail is run more like streetcars than LA. The closest thing LA has to a Houston-style LRV operation is 3rd Street in east LA, without the subway. Even though the tracks run down the middle of streets, no one drives on them like they probably would on bus-reserved lanes.

  5. Just want to add in that I took the bus on Wednesday night and the experience was great. Granted, it wasn’t a sellout like Tuesday, but traffic was pretty terrible and the bus lane was kept open and clear (for the most part) by LAPD and LADOT (for once!).

    It did take 30 minutes from start to finish, but about 20 of that was in the stretch between Alameda and Figueroa where there is no bus lane. In fact, nearly all of that 20 minutes was just between Grand and Figueroa. Once we made it to Fig, the bus lane did its job wonderfully.

    Also, to boarding process was simple and fast, with a couple busses waiting and a short line of people with a few staff people helping load quickly.

  6. For those who are curious, the Dodger Stadium Express seemingly had a better night on Wednesday. Thus far, I’m unaware of any complaints to the blog or our Twitter feed.

    Steve Hymon
    Editor, The Source

  7. Steve, this “one comment per person” rule is ridiculous and negates the whole point of having a comments section. Why do you care if 2 or 3 or 10 people want to discuss an issue back and forth? Just because other people aren’t “participating” by adding a comment, doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy or value the discussion! We like to read the comments and discussions and they are often very interesting. If people start getting into a petty fight and start name-calling, throwing insults, etc. THEN you should step in, but if they’re just discussing a LEGITIMATE TRANSIT-RELATED matter, then who are you to curtail the discussion? It’s not like these posts regularly get 50+ or even 30+ comments that you need to start deleting them!

    • Most of the multiple comments I’ve seen are the direct result of commenters refusing to give someone else the last word. This is the first time I’ve heard of anyone saying they “enjoy” reading some of these long, repetitive threads. Most readers I’ve spoken with say they skip the long comment threads that are dominated by one or two people making the same point over and over and over again.

      As I’ve said in the past, I may allow a second comment here and there. But I’d rather one comment per reader, which I think makes for a more interesting and informative comment board for the vast majority of readers.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  8. Another related problem is overcrowding on the gold line. I haven’t run into a dodgers game yet this year but in the past it seems that despite the dodger express ad blitz, metro does not actually increase capacity on the gold line by one butt cheek. Running longer trains would double or triple capacity for pretty much negligible cost.

  9. The Dodgers don’t help it when they only have 40,000 hoodies for 53,000+ fans in attendance. In the past most giveaways were for the first 50,000 fans, which covers almost everyone, but apparently shorting 25% of your fans helps pays the bills now.

    The gondola thing was studied and while it might work for getting people to the game, the capacity getting out is worse than just running buses. My solution would be to have buses come from the west and use the closed Scott Avenue gate, but logistically this is difficult. The better solution may be to sign a walking route using the Chinatown bridge to the stadium. It is not well marked unless you know how to get there. Sure it’s a good 25-30 minute hike but at least you won’t feel agitated being stuck in traffic. Leaving the stadium, unless the game was a blowout and crowds have cleared out, I generally walk down the hill and catch a Sunset Boulevard bus. Much faster than waiting for the lines at the bus stop, and easier if you are coming from Top Deck or Reserved.

  10. Steve,

    Why can we only write once? It eliminates the opportunity for discussion, one of the main reasons for the comments to begin with.

    • I’ve tried to use discretion and allow some back and forth in the past — and every time that I do, two or three people submit multiple comments arguing back-and-forth over the same one or two issues and the discussion devolves into something that seems to interest few, if any, readers. I think the board is more readable and enlightening when everyone chips in their two cents and leaves it at that.

      I understand the desire for the comment board to be a discussion but I think the public is better served if the board attracts more views and opinions. I may still allow a second comment but I really want to keep the comments shorter and more to the point — so they can be enjoyed by everyone.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  11. Hi folks;

    Henceforth, only one comment per reader.

    Steve Hymon
    Editor, The Source

  12. Steven White: You’re right about the 101, but the 2nd St tunnel’s pylons are still *mostly* intact. I just used the bike lane during CicLAvia. That said, I’ve contacted to ask for the missing pylons to be replaced and they said the pylons will all be removed and replaced in the next few weeks due to a special event where they are creating soccer fields (!!!) inside the tunnel. Random.

    revjohnflores: I think the shuttles are now allowed to exit stadium grounds using the nearest exit to each of the shuttle stops. That said, last year the exit procedure was horrible. Hopefully this new method will help.

  13. I figure that Metro isn’t taking seriously the idea of a gondola, but it could be done in a year, at a relatively low cost, and guarantee a set of time to get from point A to point B. Why this couldn’t be done in a public-private partnership with the Dodgers is beyond me. It could connect through the Metro Gold Line Chinatown Station and drop folks off at the top of Dodger Stadium. Frankly, it’d be an instant tourist attraction and could easily fetch $3-5/roundtrip fare, which would add up to tens of thousands a week and over a million by the end of the year.

    But, I feel like I’m just dreaming here and instead we’re gonna keep going with useless pylons and traffic cones in hopes that anxious and selfish drivers won’t just continue making the rest of us miserable.

  14. That was horrible last night! I was on the shuttle for 80 min and no sweat shirt to show for it!

  15. @Biff: Huh? The Red Line already goes to Union Station. Did you mean to say you want to see a rail line from Union Station to Dodger Stadium? Because you’ve got my buy-in on that for sure!

    A grade-separated line down Sunset with a stop at Dodger Stadium would be awesome, but I don’t think it’s on anyone’s radar … except ours, of course. 🙁

  16. It also takes a ridiculously long time for the Express shuttles to exit the stadium after the games. The pick up spot should be near the exit.

  17. you need a light rail option from union station to the red line!

  18. While I wish pylons would work, I have a few concerns that even that won’t help if drivers won’t respect the lane:
    1. They’ve been using cones for the bus lane in the past… if cones don’t help, why would pylons?
    2. Anyone seen the pylons for the bike lane in the 2nd Street Tunnel or for the construction on the 101 N near the Spring Street Exit lately? Nope, because they’ve all been run over and torn off.

    I’m headed to the game tonight, so I sure hope it’s better than it has been in my past experience and better than it seems it was last night.