As part of the Crenshaw/LAX Line groundbreaking in January, a building is demolished to clear way for construction of the underground Crenshaw/Expo station. Photo by Juan Ocampo for Metro.
Officials at the Crenshaw/LAX Line groundbreaking. From left, Secretary Anthony Foxx, Sen. Barbara Boxer, Rep. Maxine Waters, Rep. Karen Bass. Photo by Juan Ocampo for Metro.
After two Carmageddons, there was one final big closure of the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project when the northbound lanes were closed or reduced for 80 hours in February for repaving and other work.
Stripping away the old pavement on the NB 405 near the 101. Photo by Dave Sotero/Metro.
The end of Jamzilla in February. Photo: Metro.
The first ever “Speed Dating on the Red Line” was held on Valentine’s Day and was a big hit with riders, Source readers and the media. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.
The Metro Cupids were on hand for the speed dating event. Photo by Mark Clifford for Metro.
Early in the year, work continued on the Gold Line Foothill Extension. This was a view of the new platforms at the downtown Azusa station along with the newly realigned freight track. Photo: Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority.
Metro debuted the first of its 550 New Flyer buses in February. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.
Metro CEO Art Leahy and FTA Deputy Administrator Therese McMillan in February inked the agreements for a $670-million grant and $160-million loan for the Regional Connector project. Photo: Juan Ocampo for Metro.
Senator Dianne Feinstein announces the New Starts grant and TIFIA loan for the Regional Connector at a February event in Little Tokyo. Photo: Metro.
In February, Sheriff’s Deputies continued their crackdown on fare evasion on the Orange Line. Photo: Metro.
Metro new mobile command center on display in February. It was paid for with a federal grant. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.
In March, workers extract fossils from the exploratory shaft built for the Purple Line Extension. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.
Geoducks (ancient clams) found while digging the exploratory shaft. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.
A view of the exploratory shaft from above. Photo: Metro.
Supervisor and Metro Board Member Michael D. Antonovich and other Metro and Dodgers officials announce another season of Dodger Stadium Express service at a March media event. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.
A public speaker at the Metro Board’s fare hearing held in late March for fare changes proposed to go into effect later in the year. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.
Work was also progressing on the Expo Line’s second phase. This is a view from the bridge over Olympic Boulevard.
The 75th anniversary brought thousands to the station.
Las Cafeteras performed in the Historic Ticketing Hall during Union Station’s 75th anniversary event in early May. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.
More crowds at the 75th Anniversary.
Jennifer Keith performing in the Fred Harvey Room during the 75th Anniversary. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.
Dancing in the Fred Harvey Room during the 75th Anniversary celebration. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.
A guided bike ride held by Metro was held in May as part of Bike Week L.A. Photo by Gary Leonard for Metro.
Screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train in the North Patio, in September 2013. The event was presented in partnership with the Echo Park Film Center.
Invisible Cities’ first or two performances at Union Station in 2014, this one in the spring. Photo: Metro.
Supervisor and then-Metro Board Member Zev Yaroslavsky at a May event at the Getty to celebrate the opening of the northbound HOV lane on the 405 freeway through the Sepulveda Pass. The lane is seen in the background. Photo: Gary Leonard for Metro.
Promoting the Natural History Museum and California Science Center.
The rebuilt and wider Shoemaker Bridge reopens over the 5 freeway in late May as part of the widening project on the 5. Photo by Juan Ocampo for Metro.
A media event was held Friday morning at Metro’s Division 13 facility to promote cap-and-trade efforts in the state and the regional benefits of reducing greenhouse gases. Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas is at the podium in the above photo. Behind him, from left, are Senator Kevin de Leon, Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and then-Metro Board Chair Diane DuBois. Photo by Luis Inzunza/Metro.
A groundbreaking for the I-10 HOV lane project in Baldwin Parks and West Covina — one in a series of projects to build a continuous HOV lane between downtown L.A. and I-15. Photo: Paul Gonzales/Metro.
Many fans used Metro Rail to reach the Kings’ Stanley Cup victory parade in June. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.
Fans after the parade on the Union Station Red/Purple Line platform.
The Wilshire/La Brea Customer Center closed in June and relocated to Wilshire/Vermont. The site will be used for constructing staging for the Purple Line Extension’s first phase.
Metro CEO Art Leahy explaining the new security video screen on board a Metro bus in June — part of a new effort by Metro to deter criminals. Photo: Paul Gonzales/Metro
Fans at the Blue and Expo Lines’ Pico Station in July for Anime Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti delivering his remarks at his first meeting in July as Chair of the Metro Board of Directors. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.
A view of the old bridge over Aviation/Century after demolition had begun. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.
In July, it was time for the Century Crunch, when the old railroad bridge at the intersection of Aviation and Century was demolished to make way for the Crenshaw/LAX Line’s new elevated station. Photo: Metro.
Over the summer, the Metro Board asked Metro to explore ways to possibly speed up the Orange Line.
Installing the overhead wires that supply power to trains for the Gold Line Extension in August. Photo: Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority.
Metro CEO Art Leahy and U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez touring a work site for the Crenshaw/LAX Line in August. Photo: Metro.
Jimmy Kimmel wasn’t alone — others attending the Emmy Awards at the Nokia Theater took Metro Rail to the event in late August.
A new section of the L.A. River Bikeway opens between Winnetka and Vanowen in the San Fernando Valley opened in August. Metro contributed $5 million to the project. Photo: city of Los Angeles.
The newly opened Alondra Boulevard Bridge in August; the bridge was rebuilt as part of Caltran’s and Metro’s I-5 widening project.
Four miles of new sound walls are dedicated along the 134 and the 405 in the San Fernando Valley, part of Metro’s ongoing highway program.
In early fall, Metro signed a deal to bring a gastropub to the Fred Harvey Room at Union Station. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.
As part of a Metro Destinations Discount promoting Swan Lake at the Los Angeles Music Center, ballerinas performed at Union Station in September. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.
Track was replaced in downtown Long Beach in September 2014 as part of the Better Blue Line project. Photo by Anna Chen/Metro.
Panelists at Metro’s Social Media event in late September at Union Station. From left: From left, Alissa Walker, Steven White and Gann Matsuda. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.
The tunnel boring machine to be used on the Crenshaw/LAX Line en route to Los Angeles from Europe. Photo: Walsh-Shea Corridor Constructors
George Takei serves as the Master of Ceremonies at the Regional Connector groundbreaking in late September. Photo by Juan Ocampo/Metro.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx greeting workers at the groundbreaking. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.
Officials turn the dirt at the Regional Connector’s groundbreaking. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.
From left, UCLA’s Brian Taylor, FAST’s Hilary Norton, Metro CEO Art Leahy and KCRW’s Kajon Cermac at a Zocalo Public Square event in September about traffic in Southern California. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.
Metro unveils the first new pilot light rail vehicle from Kinkisharyo at an October event. Photo by Juan Ocampo/Metro.
Another view of the new car. Photo: Juan Ocampo/Metro.
The interior of the new rail car, part of a base order for 78 vehicles that will be used on the Expo Line and Gold Line Foothill Extension. Photo: Juan Ocampo/Metro.
Track work is completed in October for the Gold Line Foothill Extension project. Photo: Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority.
“Shoeshine” David Trejo plying his trade at the new shoeshine stand that opened in Union Station in late October. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.
Before: the old Lankershim Depot in North Hollywood adjacent to the Orange Line.
The Invisible Cities performance in the Old Ticketing Hall at Union Station in October. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.
Work on the overhead wires on the tracks between the Santa Monica Freeway undercrossing and Overland Avenue this fall in West L.A. Photo: Expo Line Construction Authority.
Over 100 fifth-graders from across Los Angeles County competed in five ballroom dances as part of Dancing Classrooms Los Angeles in collaboration with Metro Presents in the Historic Ticketing Hall at Union Station in early November. Photo by Anna Chen/Metro.
Shovels at the ready at the groundbreaking for the first phase of the Purple Line Extension outside LACMA in early November. Photo by Mark Clayton for Metro.
Officials take to the shovels at the Purple Line Extension groundbreaking in early November outside LACMA.
The new Arcadia transit plaza next to the future Gold Line station.
In early November, phase one and phase two Expo Line tracks were connected just beyond Culver City Station. Photo: Expo Line Construction Authority.
Meanwhile, work continued preparing the at work for the phase 2 Expo Line stations. This photo shows drawings for the Westwood/Rancho Park Station. Photo: Metro.
The East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor project released new renderings this fall.
The head of the tunnel boring machine to be used to dig tunnels for the Crenshaw/LAX Line makes its way toward the construction staging area from the Port of Long Beach. Photo: Metro.
After a prolonged absence, rain returns to Los Angeles last month. And we survived! Photo: Steve Hymon/Metro.
Metro Board Member Ara Najarian and Metro Deputy CEO Lindy Lee at the ribbon cutting for an extended truck lane and widening of the 5 freeway in Santa Clarita in early December. Photo: Paul Gonzales/Metro
Cutting the ribbon on the new Valley-Westside Express earlier this month. From left: Metro CEO Art Leahy, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, L.A. Councilman Paul Krekorian and Michael Cano, deputy to Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich.
Crossing the bridge over Santa Anita Avenue in Arcadia during Gold Line clearance testing in early December. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.
Clearance testing next to the old Santa Fe depot in Monrovia; the new Gold Line station is west of the old depot. Photo: Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority.
Click on photos to see larger versions please
By almost any measure, 2014 was a pretty remarkable one for transportation in Los Angeles County. In the past year, Metro’s ambitious Measure R program gained major momentum with three rail projects breaking ground as two other rail projects reached their final phase of construction. Federal dollars didn’t just flow to our county — they practically poured here thanks to matching dollars from the Measure R half-cent sales tax approved by 68 percent of voters in 2008.
The ExpressLanes on the 10 and the 110 went from a pilot program to a permanent one. The 405 improvements project over the Sepulveda Pass was completed. The Master Plan for the future of 75-year-old Los Angeles Union Station was completed and adopted by the agency’s Board of Directors. Free transfers — gone since 2007 — were restored as part of a fare increase.
The photos above and text below covers a good deal of what happened in 2014. Please enjoy the look back and feel free to add anything you think we missed mentioning in the comments section!
Metro announces that it will be spending $1.2 billion in upgrades to the Blue Line, a price tag that includes purchasing new rail cars, refurbishing others, rebuilding sections of track and overhead wire, rebuilding parts of the power supply system and renovating and upgrading train platforms. Source post
Metro breaks ground on the Crenshaw/LAX Line, an 8.5-mile light rail line that will run between the Expo Line and the Green Line, including a stretch under and along Crenshaw Boulevard.
The Los Angeles region survives Jamzilla, when lanes on the northbound 405 over the Sepulveda Pass were either entirely closed or reduced for repaving work on the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project. The successful Jamzilla operation, which compressed major paving work into a single weekend, helped enable Metro and Caltrans to meet their pre-Memorial Day Weekend opening date for the northbound 405 carpool lane.
The U.S. Department of Transportation approves a $670-million grant and $160-million loan for the Regional Connector project.
The Metro Board of Directors holds a public hearing for fare increases and changes that were proposed in January. The big change: The regular fare would increase from $1.50 to $1.75 but would include 90 minutes of free transfers (later changed to two hours). Under the then-current system riders had to pay $1.50 every time they transferred.
The exploratory shaft constructed for the first phase of the Purple Line Extension reaches 65 feet below ground and more fossils are found and identified.
Major construction begins for the Crenshaw/LAX Line.
The first segment opens of the new northbound HOV lane on the 405 freeway.
The Metro Board approves a $927-million contract with Connector Constructors (a Joint Venture between Skanska USA Civil West California District, Inc., and Traylor Bros. Inc.) to build the Regional Connector project.
The Metro Board voted unanimously to continue the ExpressLanes on the 10 and 110 freeways after the initial pilot project is deemed a success.
We post our first podcast on filming at Union Station over the decades.
Tens of thousands of people descend on Union Station to celebrate the building’s 75th Anniversary with music, kids’ activities, historic trains on display and numerous other events throughout the day.
The new northbound HOV lane on the 405 freeway fully opens between the 10 and 101. Here’s a good rundown of the project.
The Purple Line Extension secures a $1.25-billion federal New Starts grant and a federally-backed $856-million loan for construction of the project’s first phase.
The Metro Board votes to raise and change the agency’s fare structure in September but postpones consideration of two other increases in 2017 and 2020. The new $1.75 fare includes two hours of free transfers.
Metro releases a new Bike Map.
The first appearance of one of Metro’s new light rail cars under order from Kinkisharyo comes with a run on a test track in Osaka, Japan.
As part of a partnership with Metro, Zocalo Public Square holds the first of several public forums, this one on the 710 gap and possible remedies to traffic in the area.
The Metro Board approves adding a station at Aviation/96th Street to the Crenshaw/LAX Line where passengers will transfer to an Automated People Mover that will connect to airport terminals. Metro will build the new rail station while LAX will build the people mover.
New video monitors debut on new Metro buses that show riders that security cameras are recording activities on the bus. Metro officials say the monitors will serve as a deterrent to crime.
The U.S. House approves an amendment that would allow agencies that receive federal funding to also have local hiring provisions. Metro had been advocating for a change to the law as a way to help boost job creation in Los Angeles County.
The Metro Customer Center at Wilshire and La Brea closes to accommodate future construction of the Purple Line Extension’s first phase. The Customer Center relocates to Wilshire and Vermont (3183 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 174) and the lost and found is now adjacent to the Gold Line’s Heritage Square Station.
The intersection of Aviation and Century boulevards is closed for a weekend to allow Metro to demolish the old railroad bridge over the intersection, clearing the way for the new elevated Aviation/Century Station for the Crenshaw/LAX Line.
The Metro Board approves a $1.6-billion contract with Skanska, Traylor and Shea, a Joint Venture (STS) to construct the 3.9-mile first phase of the Purple Line Extension subway between the existing Wilshire/Western Station and the future Wilshire/La Cienega Station. The first phase also includes stations at Wilshire/La Brea and Wilshire/Fairfax.
The Metro Board approves a motion asking Metro staff to study ways to speed up and expand capacity on the Orange Line, including possibly an upgrade to rail (even though there is no funding at this time).
Details on the Connect US project are released to better connect Union Station to surrounding neighborhoods via bike lanes and pedestrian improvements.
Metro retires its last high-floor bus, making it easier for passengers to board and depart the agency’s fleet of more than 2,000 buses.
U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez tours the Crenshaw/LAX Line project.
Congress patches the depleted Highway Trust Fund until May 2015 when the issue of how to pay for new road and transit projects around the country must be again confronted.
A groundbreaking ceremony is held in Little Tokyo for the Regional Connector project to link the Blue, Expo and Gold Lines, making travel to and through downtown Los Angeles easier and quicker.
The tunnel boring machine to be used to construct the portion of the Crenshaw/LAX Line under Crenshaw Boulevard arrives in the Southland on board a ship from Rotterdam.
The Metro Board approves going forward with an application for federal funds for the second phase of the Purple Line Extension to Century City.
Pasadena ARTS buses begin accepting TAP cards.
Governor Jerry Brown signs a bill supported by Metro to allow bike rack that can hold three bikes on its 40-foot buses.
The replacement of tracks and other work begins in the Long Beach Loop section of the Blue Line as part of the Better Blue Line project.
The Metro Board approves a lease for a new gastropub run by Cedd Moses and Eric Needleman in the Fred Harvey Room at Union Station. The beautiful space last served as a restaurant in the 1960s and has since been used for special events and as a filming location.
Metro and Caltrans release the draft environmental study for the High Desert Corridor project, which proposes a new freeway between the 14 freeway in the Antelope Valley and SR-18 and Bear Valley Road in San Bernardino County. Measure R supplied some of the funds used to study the project.
Work is completed on the long-awaited renovation of the historic Lankershim Depot adjacent to the North Hollywood Station. Metro will eventually be seeking a tenant for the building.
The first of the new Kinkisharyo light rail vehicles is delivered to Metro’s Division 22 facility.
The Metro Board approves the Los Angeles Union Station Master Plan.
A new study ranks the Los Angeles area as third in the nation when it comes to jobs located near transit.
After roughly 50-plus years of talk and an early 1960s groundbreaking in Beverly Hills, a groundbreaking ceremony is held in front of LACMA for the first phase of the Purple Line Extension.
The tracks for the first phase and second phase of the Expo Line are joined together at Culver City Station, a big milestone for the project.
The Metro Board approves moving ahead with a technical study to refine two rail alternatives for the Eastside Gold Line Transit Corridor Phase 2 project. One alternative would go to South El Monte, the other to Whittier.
The Metro Board approves a motion asking Metro staff to study freeway corridors in Los Angeles County that may be suitable for ExpressLanes expansion.
The Metro Board approves the process of acquiring new subway cars for the Red/Purple Lines.
The Palos Verde Peninsula Transit Authority joins the network of muni agencies that accepts TAP cards.
Clearance testing begins for the Gold Line Foothill Extension. In addition, the Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority releases a very cool video of a ride along most of the 11.5 miles of track for the project that runs from the existing Sierra Madre Villa Station in Pasadena to the Azusa/Glendora border.
The new Valley-Westside Express service begins between the San Fernando Valley and Westwood using the HOV lanes on the 405 freeway for part of the trip.
Big Blue Bus announces it will begin accepting TAP cards in March 2015.
The Los Angeles World Airports Board approves a ground transportation plan that includes a people mover that will make three stops at airport terminals and also stop at a new Intermodal Transportation Facility, a station at Aviation/96th along the Crenshaw/LAX Line and Green Line and a consolidated rental car center. Here’s the news release.
The Business Solutions Center to help small businesses along or near Crenshaw Boulevard opens in late December. Meanwhile, work to finish the decking on Crenshaw Boulevard for the Crenshaw/Expo Station continues — check out this video.