How We Roll, April 15: Blue Line, Expo Line, NoHo to Pasadena Express

Things to watch whilst transiting: Cool LAT video taken hundreds of feet above DTLA from a crane working on the under-construction Wilshire Grand.

Things to read whilst transiting: NASA gently pushes back at climate change deniers on its Facebook page, so points out the Huffington Post.

Art of Transit:


Detectives investigate fatal stabbing at Long Beach Blue Line station (LAT)

Deputies found two men on the Wardlow Station platform at 2:14 a.m. — one was deceased and the other fled and was apprehended. The final train to serve Wardlow on weekdays is 2 a.m.

The Wardlow Station was closed for the morning commute — as of 1 p.m. it’s still closed — and buses replaced trains between Willow and Del Amo. For the latest service alerts, check either the homepage or follow Metro’s Twitter feeds — the general feed or the service alert-only feed. UPDATE: The station has reopened for the Friday afternoon commute.

Expo crash spurs concern about Santa Monica crossings rail danger (KPCC)

After a train-car collision on Western Avenue this week, a USC engineering professor renews a call for crossing gates at all Expo Line intersections to prevent cars from driving and/or turning onto tracks. Expo Line Construction Authority officials say that trains run slower and are controlled by traffic signals in street-running segments, which are common on many light rail lines in the U.S.

Transit leaders make push to keep NoHo-Pasadena Express bus on track (Daily News)

A press ride with two Metro Board Members and other officials was held Thursday to encourage riders to try the express bus between the Orange and Red Line stations in North Hollywood and the Gold Line in Pasadena — with stops at the Burbank Media District and downtown Glendale.

Here’s the rub: the new express bus is a six month pilot program and officials say it needs to generate 1,750 daily riders to be continued. In its first month of service, the bus got about 500 daily riders. Those numbers need to rise, says Metro Board Members Paul Krekorian and Ara Najarian, in order to convert the line to a true bus rapid transit project. That project, btw, is due to get some funding from the potential sales tax ballot measure that Metro is considering to put before voters in November.

Here’s our post about the event, including a news release and info on transfers from the express bus to other buses and rail.

Related: Metro Board Member Michael D. Antonovich introduced a motion to study an east-west rapid bus line along Osborne and Nordhoff streets in the San Fernando Valley in order to better serve CSUN.

Garcetti supports potential ballot measure (Mayor Eric Garcetti website)

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti reiterated his support for the potential ballot measure that Metro is considering. Click above to read the text — go to page 34 for the section on transportation.

Congressional hearing about Metro gets heated (Washington Post)

Click above to watch the video. By heated they really do mean ‘heated.’

New York MTA pulls the plug on APTA (TransitCenter)

The largest and busiest transit agency in the country has decided not to supply financial support for the American Public Transportation Assn., an industry trade group that most transit agencies (including Metro) support.

The purported reasons: New York MTA doesn’t feel that APTA is fighting hard enough in D.C. for more federal funding for transit (although federal spending has increased over the past 25 years) and the New York MTA has little influence in the group despite its high ridership.


7 replies

  1. I wonder if better signage guiding riders to the 501 bus at both North Hollywood/Zev Yaroslavsky and the two Pasadena stations, plus perhaps an inclusion on the basic system map would help.

    In addition, if this is to be a continuation for the Orange Line to Pasadena, it might be nice to have the bus bay be as close as possible to either the Red Line Headhouse or the Orange Line loop. Why not even have it use the Chandler Bus Way and offer a single seat ride from Chatsworth or Warner Center to Pasadena, with the 501 buses running as limited stop service on the Bus Way?

    • Interesting suggestions. I’m not sure, but I think there’s currently a limit to the number of buses that can use the busway due to traffic signal timing issues.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  2. LADOT already runs a commuter express between pasadena and noho, so I am not sure why metro needs to duplicate the route.

    • Hi Josh;

      Metro’s bus provides much more frequent service throughout the day.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

      • Steve, Is the BLUE LINE ever going to be a RESPECTABLE route that people can feel RELATIVELY safe to use?

  3. The USC professor is just covering for incompetent drivers. Drivers have an Obligation to anticipate if they can cross an intersection safely, whether it is a roadway or rail line (CVC 22450, 22451). Nevertheless, I wish Metro would add some old school ‘warning light bars’ that span the entire roadway with flashing lights as more insurance against ‘ambulance chasers’.

    Note – the above WaPo link is for the way more dysfunctional DC METRO, not LAC.

    Coincidentally I just came across this compilation of a great many climate science studies, a lot of reading homework:

  4. RE: crossing gates. You can’t have things both ways. If you have crossing arms, lights and bells (which I believe should happen on all at-grade Metro crossings), they create noise — there’s no way to get around it. On the other hand, they prevent idiots from driving where they shouldn’t be, ignoring traffic lights, and causing accidents. The choice is obvious to me but I also admit that I don’t live next to the trains. Greatest good for the greatest number, IMHO.