The Red Line at the women’s march (Reddit)
Good coverage above of the massive crowds that used Metro (or tried to) to reach the Women’s March in DTLA on Saturday. The original plan was to run buses and trains on a modified Saturday schedule but as more and more and then some more people showed up, the lines grew and grew and then grew some more as Metro went into catch-up mode and began adding trains to the Red, Blue and Gold Lines.
I saw it firsthand. I went to the Sierra Madre Villa Station in eastern Pasadena a little after 9 a.m. At that point, there were still some parking spots on the roof and an extremely long line at the TAP vending machines snaking through the fourth floor of the garage. After one train came packed to the gills, I got on the next Azusa-bound train and doubled back at Duarte, which was pretty much at full capacity by the time we reached Lake Station in Pasadena — with another 11 or so miles to go to DTLA.
My own three cents: I thought the return trips home went better and, all in all, the agency adjusted as well as it could to the crowds. Still, many trains were running at full capacity, getting out of Pershing Square Station was difficult because there was no room left on the street, there were very long lines to purchase TAP cards and there was even a false rumor circulated via social media in the a.m. that fares were free (at some stations fares were waived to help deal with lines and crowd control).
We put up “thank you for your patience” posts on Twitter and FB on Saturday evening and you can see some of the reaction from riders (click below). For the most part, people were good sports as the crowd — which organizers claim was as large as 750,000 — vastly exceeded their original projections.
In hindsight, perhaps the size of the crowd and the demand on the Metro system could have been deduced ahead of time from the social media buzz about the march beforehand. As for ridership numbers, the agency hasn’t released anything yet. One definite lesson learned: for these of big events, we need to really push hard to remind folks to get TAP cards ahead of time, either from the TAP machines at stations or the locations around L.A. County that sell TAP.
Once someone has a TAP card, they can be reloaded online and used to ride the trains; you just need to load online at least an hour before riding.
Hey Southern California & Guests: THANK YOU for riding today and THANK YOU for your patience & support!!!! pic.twitter.com/U95ncdA72m
— Metro (@metrolosangeles) January 22, 2017
Your thoughts on how things went on Saturday would be helpful. Comment please.
Metro staff are asking the agency’s Board of Directors to authorize increasing the budget for the project by $199 million, bringing the total budget for the Connector to $1.75 billion. That’s 28 percent higher than the original budget of $1.36 billion.
The major problem? Costly utility relocations, according to Metro officials. The Connector is being built in parts of DTLA that have many decades of utilities underground, not all of which have an official record.
The Board will consider the budget increase at their regular meeting on Thursday. The primary staff report is below; click here for text of the report and links to the attachments. You can also listen/watch a discussion at the item at the Board’s Construction Committee last Thursday. Click here and then click on item 49 to go straight to that discussion.
Support mass transit for Eagle Rock (Walk Eagle Rock)
One of the Measure M projects is a bus rapid transit line (BRT) between North Hollywood and Pasadena that would build upon the NoHo to Pasadena Express bus that began operations in 2016. That bus mostly uses the 134 freeway to access business centers in Pas, Glendale, Burbank and then the Red Line and Orange Line station in NoHo.
Walk Eagle Rock makes the argument that such a line should travel along Colorado Boulevard through Eagle Rock — Colorado is the home to many restaurants, businesses and is near many homes — instead of the 134 freeway, which sits high above the community with no real access. Unlike Glendale and Burbank, Eagle Rock isn’t a major commercial center, but it’s obviously a popular neighborhood that, like many others in L.A., has seen a revival in recent years.
And on the weather front….from our friends up north:
— Caltrans District 3 (@CaltransDist3) January 23, 2017
Due to the intensity of this storm, all lifts are closed for the day. Stay safe and rest up for record breaking pow turns next week. pic.twitter.com/osk1wQkQF4
— MammothMountain (@MammothMountain) January 22, 2017
— Mountain High (@mthigh) January 23, 2017
— Caltrans District 7 (@CaltransDist7) January 23, 2017
— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) January 22, 2017
Categories: Transportation Headlines