COVID-19 update and Metro News; April 28, 2021

Good afternoon, folks.

A few updates on where things stand service- and COVID-wise…

•Metro added trips to 30 bus routes earlier this month and we’re planning to add back more bus service in June — and then return to pre-pandemic bus service in September. More info here.

•Ridership climbed in March and looks to continue to slowly be going up as the pandemic in our region eases. To my eye, I’m seeing more people on buses and trains around town.

•Best way to stay safe wherever you’re going — whether it’s transit or anywhere else: get vaccinated, wear a face mask (Metro requires them on board buses and trains) and bring hand sanitizer to keep hands clean.

•The Transit app — Metro’s official smartphone app — now shows vaccination sites near Metro Bus and Rail stops and stations for anyone looking to take transit to get their shot.

•Metrolink has shot clinics at both their Lancaster and Palmdale stations — and also has a web page that shows vaccination sites near their commuter rail stations.

•As of last count, almost 30 percent of residents 16 and over in L.A. County had received both shots, according to the county. That’s on par with the latest national numbers.

•Here’s the L.A. County website to get a vax appointment.

•With the Dodgers hosting fans again (about 15,000 per game currently), the Dodger Stadium Express is running from both Union Station and the South Bay. The Dodgers are headed on a road trip after this afternoon’s game — they finally beat the Reds —  and return home Tuesday, May 11, against the Seattle Mariners. 

•The Clippers, Lakers and Kings are again hosting some fans at Staples Center, a very short stroll from the A Line (Blue), E Line (Expo), J Line (Silver) and many other bus lines. And LAFC returns home against the Galaxy on Saturday, May 7, at Banc of California stadium, an easy walk from the E Line, J Line and local buses.

•Planning a transit trip to see sports in person? As mentioned above, try the Transit app, available in the Apple store and Google Play for those with Android phones.

In other Metro news…

•Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) on Tuesday announced the hiring of Metro Chief of Staff Nadine Lee as their next President and CEO. Here’s the Source post. Nadine will be on familiar turf: DART is opening a new light rail station soon, is studying putting light rail underground in downtown Dallas and recently launched on-demand shuttle service, a la Metro Micro.

•The first of three virtual meetings for the Crenshaw Northern Extension project runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. tomorrow (Thursday, April 29). More deets here. The meetings are a chance to offer your three cents on what should be studied in the project’s enviro study.

•The Oscars were held at Union Station last Sunday. On TV, the last certainly looked great with most of the show coming from the Historic Ticketing Concourse and the North Patio. I think some in the TV audience who have never been to the station will likely want to visit — and that’s good. Some transit riders, however, complained about detours and station access, reports the Hollywood Reporter.

In the news…

•California can continue to set its own vehicle emission standards, so says the U.S. EPA. Our rules are followed by other states and consider more strict — which perhaps is one of saying smog in Cali would be even worse without them.

USA Today says private officials say high-speed rail between Las Vegas and Victorville could break ground this year. Or maybe Amtrak will add a route between L.A. and L.V. Color me a tad skeptical.

•LADOT’s chief said earlier this month traffic is about 90 percent of pre-pandemic levels. I’m not driving a ton, but that sounds about right — and I think it’s still easier to get around than prior to March 2020.

•The city of L.A. is looking at improving bus service on Valley Boulevard in the San Gabe Valley — using funds potentially from the 710 tunnel never built, reports Urbanize LA.

Ballpark Digest wonders if the Boring Company’s tunnels between the B Line (Red) and Dodger Stadium are dead.

•Should the Biden infrastructure plan put dollars toward transit given falling ridership, asks the Pew Charitable Trusts. Probably, but perhaps money spent on improving buses will help those who need transit the most, the story suggests.

 

 

 

2 replies

  1. As usual, Metro provides little assistance to riders who do not have “smart-phones.”
    Metro’s own periodic surveys of its bus passengers has shown that close to half of its bus riders DO NOT carry smart phone with them when traveling on Metro (likely because they do NOT own a one).,

    Metro, however, clearly does not care, since it has not provided printed bus (or train) schedules for over a year.

    Does Metro brass have any plan at all to provide printed schedules ever again?

  2. Excellent point. I hadn’t noticed the lack of printed schedules until you mentioned it. Maybe it was a covid thing where the schedules were being frequently updated? I’ve noticed that pdf files of schedules are also harder to find online these days. They’re there but most transit agencies prefer to direct you to a trip planner first.