Discussion related to commuter rail and transit operators in California past and present including Los Angeles Metrolink and Metro Subway and Light Rail, San Diego Coaster, Sprinter and MTS Trolley, Altamont Commuter Express (Stockton), Caltrain and MUNI (San Francisco), Sacramento RTD Light Rail, and others...

Moderator: lensovet

  by lpetrich
The first part of the Expo Line is now open.

Free Expo Line rides offered today, tomorrow between L.A. and Culver City - LA Daily News - Apr 28
Service extends from downtown Los Angeles south on Flower Street to Exposition Boulevard at USC, then west on Exposition and Jefferson boulevards to a temporary end at La Cienega Boulevard.

Two Phase One stations have yet to open: the Culver City terminus at Venice at Robertson boulevards, and an intermediate station at Farmdale Avenue.

That second stop -- next to Dorsey High School -- was added late because of concerns about fast trains and pedestrian safety at the school.
  by Jeff Smith
Ridership not good enough yet? I think it's too soon to tell, and this article indicates fringe benefits:

http://la.curbed.com/archives/2012/05/a ... gh_yet.php
For some, the new Expo Line light rail has been a blessing. Others are complaining that it's too slow, hitting too many traffic lights when it reaches Downtown (some finicky Angelenos also aren't happy the rail cars don't look new enough--some are old Blue Line cars). Ostensibly, a ride from La Cienega in Baldwin Hills to the Seventh Street subway station Downtown should take 26 minutes, but many are saying it's sometimes a half hour or more. At yesterday's Expo Construction Authority Board meeting, County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said he was pushing Metro to work closer with the LADOT to synchronize traffic lights so trains move up and down Downtown's Flower Street faster. He also announced that Monday's ridership was 9,000. Sounds bad, but there're a few things to remember. One, the Gold Line eastside extension also opened to small numbers in 2009, but grows every month. Before the six mile extension opened, the Gold Line was getting a blip over 20,000 riders on an average workday--the extension has helped the Gold Line double ridership and it hit a record in March with 43,136 daily riders.
  by Jeff Smith
Seems like the route's a done deal, pending litigation?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/ ... story.html
LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles County transportation officials have approved a disputed plan to route a subway tunnel under Beverly Hills High School, but a court battle over the proposed Westside Subway Extension is a virtual certainty.

The board of directors of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority heard pleas for further study and threats of lawsuits from Beverly Hills officials and parents, but voted 7-2 Thursday for the extension of the Purple Line.
  by lpetrich
Construction begins on Crenshaw light rail line - Los Angeles Wave: News: crenshaw light rail line, metropolitan transportation authority, antonio villaraigosa, expo line, green line
Construction crews Monday began relocating water and power lines in parts of South Los Angeles to clear the way for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to begin construction of the 8.5-mile Crenshaw light rail line.

The $1.72 billion project will run between the Expo Line on Exposition Boulevard and the Green Line near Los Angeles International Airport, with six stops serving the Crenshaw Corridor, Inglewood, Westchester and parts of LAX.
  by Jeff Smith
Los Angeles transit authority prepares station openings along new Metro Expo Line
On June 20, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) officially will open to the public the Culver City and Farmdale stations along the recently opened Metro Expo Line.

“The opening of the Culver City and Farmdale stations completes the first phase of the Expo Line, connecting Angelenos from the Westside to downtown and beyond,” said L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in a prepared statement.
  by lpetrich
Officials, passengers hail Expo Line's Culver City extension - latimes.com
The Farmdale and Culver City stations are now open, completing Phase 1 of the Expo Line's construction.

Construction continues on Phase 2 from Culver City to Santa Monica: BuildExpo » Construction

Looking through LA Metro Home, I found East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor - early planning for a line that would go roughly Sherman Oaks - Van Nuys - San Fernando. At Van Nuys, it crosses the Orange Line busway. They are deciding on whether they want a busway or light rail for it.

Airport Metro Connector - it will run from the planned Aviation/Century Crenshaw-Line station into LAX. They are considering a light-rail spur, an Airport People Mover, and a busway.

The Regional Connector Transit Corridor is an extension of the Blue/Expo Line to the Gold Line, connecting near Little Tokyo / Arts District Gold-Line station. They have decided on an entirely-underground line.
  by lpetrich
Regional Connector and Westside Subway Extension cleared to enter final design phase | The Source
That makes both projects a little bit closer to funding and construction.

California High Speed Rail Blog » Measure J Gets 65% Support and Doesn’t Pass
The news wasn’t all good for passenger rail on Election Day. Los Angeles County’s Measure J, which would have extended the sales tax for transportation that was approved in 2008 by another 30 years, got 64.72% of the vote – and therefore “lost” according to the idiotic rule requiring a 2/3 vote to raise taxes in California. Measure J would have allowed acceleration of a variety of rail projects in LA, and while Measure J’s failure doesn’t mean those projects are dead, it does mean it’ll take a little while longer to build out electric rail.
  by lpetrich
Catching up: Metro Breaks Ground for Westside Subway Extension [Video] - Westwood-Century City, CA Patch, Nov 13
Groundwork preparations began Tuesday for the first of seven new subway stops that will connect downtown Los Angeles to the Westside via an extension of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Purple Line subway.

Utility crews started digging into asphalt to relocate telecommunication lines at Wilshire Boulevard and La Brea Avenue, where the first new stop is located. Construction on the station itself is slated to start in 2014.
Referring back to Westside Subway Extension of the Metro Purple Line and its map,
2014 to 2023 - W/Western - W/La Brea - W/Fairfax - W/La Cienega
2019 to 2026 - W/La Cienega - W/Rodeo
2025 to 2036 - W/Rodeo - Century City - WW/UCLA - WW/VA Hospital
W - Wilshire, WW - Westwood

There's a rather curious gap between W/Western and W/La Brea.

Looking at other projects, BuildExpo » Construction features for Phase 2 of the Expo Line
  • Construction of Centinela, Sepulveda, National/Palms, and Motor bridges
  • Guideway Grading and Excavation on Expo ROW
  • Underground utility work and potholing activities are ongoing in Los Angeles and Santa Monica
From east to west:
I-10 -- National Blvd. / Palms Blvd. -- Motor Ave.
Northvale Rd. -- ((Overland Ave.)
Exposition Blvd. -- (Westwood Blvd.) -- Sepulveda Blvd. -- (Sawtelle Blvd.) -- (Pico Blvd.) -- (Barrington Ave.) -- (Bundy Dr.) -- Centinela Ave.
Olympic Blvd., Colorado Ave.: ?
() is a street which may also get a bridge.

Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor - under "Construction Notices", the construction is at utility relocation.

Feds Give Important Green Light to Regional Connector - Los Angeles Downtown News - For Everything Downtown L.A.!: News: regional connector, (July 6)
Metro can now initiate final designs and start negotiations with the FTA to secure matching funds from the federal government. Metro estimates that construction of the 1.9-mile tunnel and three new stations could begin in August 2013. The project could open in 2019 at the soonest.
  by Jeff Smith
^Thanks for the updates.
  by lpetrich
LACMTA begins utility relocation work for Regional Connector | Railway Track & Structures
LACMTA intends to seek a Full Funding Grant Agreement through FTA's New Starts Program next year, which would constitute a federal matching contribution to the project. LACMTA estimates construction of the tunnel and new stations could begin in late 2013. The project, if fully funded, could open in 2019.
  by drewh
"There's a rather curious gap between W/Western and W/La Brea."

Yes I agree. I believe it was decided to eliminate a station once it was decided the Crenshaw line would terminate at La Brea rather than Crenshaw. Of course this was to save money but also apparently to preserve the neighbourhood from over development. Personally I still think there should be a station around S Rossmore. Zoning laws can be used to limit development. Building it all at once is far cheaper than doing a backfill station 20 years later. It's twice the distance between the Western and La Brea stations as between any others from Century City to downtown and it's not like there isn't density to support it.
  by lensovet
though that map isn't exactly to scale. century city to westwood is 2.1 miles walking; western to la brea is only 1.8. i don't think you want stations spaced too closely; you're reducing average speeds as a result, and 1.8 miles between stations implies that the longest anyone will ever have to go is 0.9 miles – vs. a worst-case scenario of 0.45 miles if you placed a station at Rossmore. 0.45 miles is less than 10 minutes of walking. is it really worth it to spend the money to build another station to save people 10 minutes of walking?
  by lpetrich
These projects are all in utility-relocation mode:
Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project | Overview - should be done by 2019
Regional Connector Transit Project - should be done by 2020
Purple Line Extension - should be done by 2023

The Crenshaw Line will run between the Expo Line and the Green Line in Crenshaw Blvd., Florence Ave., and Aviation Blvd., and it will have elevated, surface, and subsurface trackage.

The Regional Connector will be an all-underground line that runs (Blue Line) - Flower St. - 2nd St. - (Gold Line). Their map states that the new routings will be:
Pasadena - Long Beach
East LA - Santa Monica

The Purple Line will be built westward to Wilshire / La Cienega, with it being built further westward as funds become available.
  by lpetrich
LACMTA begins construction of Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project | Railway Track & Structures
"Demolition of some existing structures will be among the first work done, with heavy construction expected to begin this spring."

The planning process continues for an extension into Los Angeles International Airport (LAX):
Four alternatives move forward for Airport Metro Connector project — with more study of two other options | Metro's The Source
SPAS - Specific Plan Amendment Study has a detailed map of that airport.

Four of the six alternatives involve an airport light rail system that will go, from west to east:
  • Loop at the terminals
  • The Intermodal Transportation Facility (ITF)
  • Across Aviation Blvd.
  • The Consolidated Rental Car Facility (CONRAC)
The six alternatives for Crenshaw / Green-Line light rail are:
  1. ALRS stopping at Aviation Blvd. / Century Blvd. station, with no additional Crenshaw-Line construction.
  2. ALRS stopping at an additional Crenshaw-Line station at Aviation Blvd. / 96th St.
  3. ALRS with the Crenshaw Line detouring westward to the ITF.
  4. ALRS with the Crenshaw Line having a wye just south of Arbor Vitae St. and stopping at the ITF and at the eastern terminals.
  5. No ALRS, with the Crenshaw Line going from Arbor Vitae St. to the ITF, to the western terminals, and south to the Green Line
  6. Like the previous one, but also stopping at the eastern terminals.
The first four alternatives will be advanced to the draft environmental impact study, though the Metro Board of Directors will also study the last two. LAX officials dislike tunneling underneath LAX, and they prefer the ALRS.

IMO, the first one is the best. It has plenty of airport connectivity with no extra light-rail construction.
  by lpetrich
Federal government approves $670-million grant and $160-million loan for Regional Connector | Metro's The Source This is a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA), meaning that the project is now fully funded.

The 1.9-mile line was originally planned to be above ground, but it was moved underground, thus the Federal funds.

So LA will have 5 lines under construction:
  • Expo Line to Santa Monica
  • Gold Line to Azusa
  • Crenshaw Line - Expo Line to LAX to Green Line
  • Purple Line - LA subway branch
  • Regional Connector