I pulled off an evening Metrolink trip on Monday when rides were free. That, plus a couple of short items, make up Friday’s column.
A community meeting Monday night on a proposal by Metro to close the city’s Metrolink station drew some 300 people, all of whom were opposed. A decision may come in January. In the meantime, my Wednesday column covers the meeting.
I’ll add that frequent blog commenter SAWZ (Shirley Wofford) was among the speakers. The Montclair resident couldn’t support the idea of diverting Claremont riders to the Montclair transit center. “I use the Claremont station for a reason,” she said. “It’s a more comfortable, more fun station to come to.”
Metrolink ran its first trains Oct. 26, 1992 — 25 years ago. I explain how the system started and what happened the first day in Friday’s column.
A reader in Upland (hi, Chris!) who has taken Metrolink to Union Station more than once told me she had no idea how to get to the subway and may not have been totally aware it exists. I described its location to her, but on a recent visit, I thought to take photos. Above is a view in the station, Starbucks to the left, Wetzel’s Pretzels to the right. The subway entrance is between them. A closer view is below.
[Update: As reader John Clifford cheekily points out, out of the frame of the photo just to the left of the Starbucks is, what else, a Subway sandwich shop. Subway to the left, subway down below. What a country.]
Despite the sign, both the Red and Purple lines are down there. You take an escalator, stairs or elevator down and there are ticket machines and turnstiles. With your Metrolink ticket, just tap it on the turnstile button; no other ticket is necessary. From there, descend to the subway platform and use the maps to figure out where you should go, paying attention to the train markings for final destinations.
Chris said she thought I’d once promised in print to write all the particulars of taking the train and subway. I don’t recall that, although I did once write a How to Ride post about Metrolink. Walking you through every step in taking a subway or a bus sounds kind of tedious, and probably I’d leave out some crucial step, as in a recipe where an ingredient is missing. But at least you know where the subway entrance is now and you have some guidance once you’re there.
Update: As several of you noted, when you get off Metrolink and descend the stairs into the middle of the low-slung tunnel, running perpendicular, you can walk either left or right. Left takes you first past the Gold Line entrance and then into Union Station and the subway entrance pictured above. Right takes you to the bus center and to the OTHER entrance to the subways. See below. This one is labeled to reflect both the Red and Purple lines, but both are accessible from either entrance.
I made a foray by public transit to LACMA last week with my two Pilgrim Place traveling companions to see the Picasso-Rivera exhibit, a journey that is recounted in my Sunday column. Above, a group of students pauses for an orientation before entering the exhibit.
For Sunday’s column, I rode the Silver Streak bus from Montclair to downtown LA’s Broad Museum on Bunker Hill with a couple of public transit pals. It’s kind of a dual review of the bus and the museum. At $4.90 for me for the bus, and the free admission, it was low-cost, although the lunch spot more than evened things out.
Photo above of the Broad by Grace Moremen. That’s Jacqueline Chase and me in the crosswalk.
For Friday’s column, I write about traveling the breadth of the Metro rail network, Azusa to Santa Monica, for dinner. It was a long night, but a cheap one. Above, a view of the pavement mentioned in the column, which gives a sense of the effect. Even in the photo, it appears to rise and fall, but it’s flat, really.
Update: Metro’s transportation blog The Source linked to my column with some commentary about the length of my journey compared to NYC rail lines and about (eventual) ways such a trip will be marginally faster. I like the Google map too.
In Chicago, Champaign and St. Louis, I got around on a surprising (even to me) forms of transit, including several types of trains and buses. I devote Sunday’s column to the topic. Above, an L train shortens the Chicago Theatre blade sign into something fashionable.
Friday’s column starts off with reaction to my column last week about traveling by train to Camarillo. (I’m getting faster — two days ago I was printing comments about a mid-January column.) After that, a clutch of Culture Corner items, plus a plug for this blog.
What did I do on my week off? The highlight was an extended Metrolink trip: Not merely from home to L.A., but from L.A. to Ventura County. (And back — see photo above.) I tell how it went and how it was scheduled, which was no easy feat, in my Wednesday column.