Metro Updates: Quarterly Meetings & NextGen Bus Data

In the past week, Metro held two community meetings – one in person and one online webinar – to provide updates on Purple Line Subway Extension construction.  Presentation materials from the meetings are now available online.

Purple Line Updates

According to the presentations for Section 1 of the Purple Line – running from Western Ave. to La Cienega Blvd. – construction remains on schedule for the planned 2023 opening.  (Section 2 – running from La Cienega to Century City – will open in 2025, and Section 3 – from Century City to the VA Hospital – will open in 2027).

The biggest landmark reached in Section 1 since Metro’s last major update is the arrival of the two Tunnel Boring Machines, Soyeon and Elsie, at the Western Ave. connector tunnel.  They started their eastward journey from La Brea last October.  The machines are now being disassembled and returned to La Brea, where they will be re-inserted and re-assembled, pointing in the other direction, for their westward journey to Fairfax Ave.

Photo from Metro presentation.
Photo from Metro presentation.

Meanwhile, work is also continuing on the La Brea station itself, where large rings to guide the TBMs have been installed on the western wall of the station area, and crews are also building the station walls.

Photo from Metro presentation.
Concrete bus pad on Wilshire Blvd. Photo from Metro presentation.

At street level these days, Metro is restoring the concrete bus pads for Wilshire Blvd. stops at Bronson Ave., Lorraine Blvd., McCadden Pl., Citrus Ave., Cloverdale Ave., McCarthy Vista, and San Vicente Blvd.

It is also constructing a large new radio antenna pole at Wilshire and Sycamore Ave.  The pole will extend the signal strength of the the Purple Line’s radio system, which helps Metro’s operations department and the La Brea statio’s underground communications room communicate with police, fire, sheriff and Transit Security services.  The pole will be 12 inches in diameter, and will rise 62 feet above its concrete base.

Rendering of new radio pole to be built at Wilshire and Sycamore Ave. Photo from Metro presentation.
The area on Orange Grove Ave. that Metro has proposed closing for the remainder of the Purple Line construction. Photo from Metro presentation.

Moving westward to the next new Purple Line station, at Fairfax Ave., workers are installing electrical conduit and other station elements, while Metro is proposing a full closure of a short stretch of Orange Grove Ave., just south of Wilshire, for the remainder of the construction period.  The closure “will support the excavation of appendage structures and successor activities”…and Metro is now in the process of reaching out to the community and city agencies to gain approval for the closure.

In other Purple Line news (and as we’ve previously reported), Metro is seeking public input on permanent names for the new Purple Line stations, and provided these guiding principles for the effort:

• Transit system context: names will reflect the property’s location, relative to the entire transit system, and not duplicated elsewhere.
• Property area: provide specific information about the property’s location relative to the surrounding area.
• Neighborhood identity: acknowledge the communities and neighborhoods serviced by the station and stops.
• Simplicity: names will be short, easily recognizable and fit for signage and mapping.
• Character limit: preferred maximum of 24 characters to ensure ADA readability and fit within signage system.

If you have names to suggest, you can submit them at https://www.metro.net/projects/westside/name-your-next-purple-line-station/

NextGen Bus Study Information

This past week, Metro also unveiled several new features on its website for the NextGen bus study, which is gathering data and planning for the next generation of bus service in LA.  We found the data presentations among the most interesting (data and map geeks take note!).  They include:

Stop-Level Ridership – Map showing ridership (both on- and off-boards) for every bus stop in Metro’s network.

Seated Capacity – Map showing how full, on average, buses are on segments of each route.

Frequency – Map showing how often buses arrive at stops for segments of each route.

Trip Density Per Census Tract – Map showing the number of daily trip origins per census tract, “including both transit trips (recorded by TAP data) and overall trips (car, transit, etc.).”

Origin Destination Patterns – Map showing the patterns of where current transit riders start and end their trips (based on TAP card data).

Trip Length Distribution – Interactive map showing how far riders typically travel along each corridor, based on their starting point. (Click on any starting point to show the average length of trips from that point.)

Corridor Segment Performance – Map showing which segments have the most ridership and are the “most productive.”

Total Boardings – Tool that provides “monthly ridership stats, line level trends, and historical information.”

Transit Propensity – Map showing how likely people are to use transit in various areas.

All of these and more – including downloadable versions of much of the data – can be found on the NextGen Data Center page at https://www.metro.net/projects/nextgen/nextgen-data-and-analysis/ – very interesting and worth a perusal!

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About Elizabeth Fuller

Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - first in the Sycamore Square neighborhood, and since 2012 in West Adams Heights/Sugar Hill. She was long-time board member of the Sycamore Square Neighborhood Association, currently serves on the board of the West Adams Heights/Sugar Hill Neighborhood Association, spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and is the co-owner/publisher of the Buzz.

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