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Go Metro to the Special Olympics World Games

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Metro is the Official Transit Provider for the Special Olympics World Games, which will be held in venues throughout LA County from July 25 to August 2. Avoid traffic, save money on parking and Go Metro to the games.

Metro is also selling Special Olympics Commemorative TAP cards through their ticket vending machines. Find out where to buy your World Games TAP card here. Cards are available while supplies last.

Are you volunteering at the 2015 Special Olympics World Games? Want to know how to get your free nine-day TAP card from Metro?

If you don’t have your TAP card already, you can pick it up at the Uniform & Credentialing Distribution Center (UDAC) July 22-29 located at the LA Convention Center. Volunteers can only get their free TAP card through UDAC, where they will also receive their credentials, waist packs, baseball caps, polo shirts and trading pins. More than 8,000 cards have already been distributed.

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In addition to Metro, TAP cards are accepted at many transit providers throughout LA County, including Antelope Valley Transportation Authority, City of Monterey Park Spirit Bus, Culver CityBus, Foothill Transit, Glendale Beeline, GTrans of Gardena, LADOT’s DASH and Commuter Express, Long Beach 18844156441_4432828566_oTransit, Montebello Bus Lines, Norwalk Transit System, Pasadena ARTS, Santa Clarita Transit, Santa Monica Big Blue Bus and Torrance Transit.

With 6,500 athletes representing 165 countries, 30,000 volunteers and an anticipated 500,000 spectators, the World Games will be the largest sports and humanitarian event in the world this year and the single largest event to be held in the greater Los Angeles area since the 1984 Olympic Games.

All photos courtesy of Metro. 

Rideshare Thursdays

Transportation Services - Hybrid Bus shoot for Brochure

Transportation Services - Hybrid Bus shoot for BrochureRidesharing isn't just good for the environment and your bank account. It can also lead to rewarding friendships with fellow ridesharers. Take Jane, for example. Jane met her best friend by taking the bus to UCLA every day. Here's her story. Thanks for sharing it with us, Jane!

Jane Skerritt

I have been commuting from Santa Monica to UCLA daily through public transit since 2011. The commute is a total of 3.5 miles, and it takes between 30 and 60 minutes each way. The positives outweigh the negatives, including:

  1. Knowing I am helping the environment by taking the bus.
  2. Saving money on monthly parking fees.
  3. Maintaining a journal I started in 2011, noting the interesting people, circumstances and events that I have witnessed or been a part of while riding the bus to/from work.
  4. I met my best friend on the bus a few years ago after we noticed each other taking the same routes at about the same times daily.

I was born and raised in Los Angeles and never commuted anywhere until I joined UCLA in 2011. It has been a worthwhile, interesting and beneficial experience.

My Commute From Koreatown to UCLA by Bike

Steve Hymon/Metro
Steve Hymon/Metro

Photo Credit: Steve Hymon/Metro

I live in Koreatown and commute to UCLA. I have a handful of routes that I can take to get there: I can drive, take the 720 Metro straight down Wilshire or ride my bike through residential streets. Now, I can also zip directly to campus on my bike in the Wilshire BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) Bus Only lane. Each has its perks, but I'm waiting on a few things for the perfect commute.

I usually choose my bike over driving or taking transit. I like to ride on calm, low-traffic streets. I've found an easy, but curvy route to UCLA taking side streets. I take 8th Street for a significant portion and then jog over to Charleville Boulevard (one of my top five favorite streets to ride in LA). I love this route, but it's not as direct as would like.

The most direct option on my bike is straight down Wilshire Boulevard in the new BRT lane. This lane can almost feel like my own exclusive, oversized bike lane for about 8.5 miles. There are a few issues that don't make this route ideal though—one of which is that a huge number of drivers use this lane as their own straightaway as well. The lane is just wide enough that if I don't ride down the middle of the lane, cars squeeze past me. They also follow behind me a little too closely. Another issue with riding in the BRT lane is that the lane is fragmented along the route; it’s disrupted and suddenly ends in a few places along Wilshire. I feel extra vulnerable and even less safe when this happens.

In my ideal world, I want to ride down Wilshire in a BRT lane that is actually exclusively used for buses, bicyclists and cars turning right. I want to see the lane entirely connected from Western to Westwood Boulevard without any breaks in the paint. This would make my commute and my route direct, quick and stress-free.

 

Metro Line 720 to Test All-Door Boarding

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metrorapidMetro will be testing All-Door Boarding at two stops on Wilshire Rapid Line 720 for faster and improved service.

Between May 18, 2015 and July 10, 2015, Mondays through Fridays, passengers with valid TAP cards will be able to TAP a validator on the street and board the bus at any front, middle or back door. Passengers will not have to TAP at the farebox at the front door unless they need assistance, or are paying with cash, transfer slips or tokens.

The two All-Door Boarding test stops will be located on Wilshire at Vermont (westbound) from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. and on Wilshire at Westwood (eastbound) from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Front-door only boarding will resume at all other times and locations.

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New faster Metro service between the Valley and Westwood set to start

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blog art metroStarting Monday, Dec. 15, the new Valley-Westside Express, also known as Line 788, will offer nonstop service to and from the Valley’s Orange Line and Westwood! Metro predicts the new service will save riders up to 20 minutes in each direction.

The Valley-Westside Express will include stops at Metro’s Orange Line Stations, with free park and ride lots at Sepulveda Blvd. and Van Nuys Blvd. The service will depart weekdays every 20 minutes during the peak hours of 5am – 9am and 3pm – 7pm.

In addition, Metro will be eliminating Line 761 and 741 for the creation of Line 734 and Line 744, the Valley “U”.

Line 734 will mirror Line 761’s current route into UCLA via Sunset Blvd. and Hilgard Ave., providing service between the Valley and the Westside via Sepulveda Blvd. UCLA Valley-Westside Express riders with Go Metro Passes, can transfer to the new Line 734 at Westwood Blvd. and Lindbrook Dr. to reach campus via Hilgard Ave.

UCLA Transportation subsidizes at least 50% of transit pass costs for eligible UCLA students and employees on six transit agencies, including Metro. Starting winter quarter 2015, the Metro TAP card price increase will take effect for UCLA students and employees.