Rendering courtesy RNL Design.
In the midst of a stifling heat wave, which experts say has no doubt been brought on by global warming, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Authority (Metro), like many other transit systems across the U.S., is preparing to go even greener with a new LEED-certified transit center.
Yesterday, some of us editors on METRO were able to get a sneak peek at the East Los Angeles project under construction, thanks to a gracious invitation from RNL Design, the design architects on the project (who worked with the design-build team of KPRS/Gensler on the structure) and Metro. We stood at the top of the new parking structure in the 90-degree heat and sun, watching construction workers make progress on the bus station, canopies and buildings that will house the transit store and bike center. While it isn’t photo-ready just yet, we were able to get some renderings to share, including this aerial view:
Rendering courtesy RNL Design.
El Monte, Calif.’s almost-complete LA Metro El Monte Transit Station is expected to be the busiest bus terminal west of Chicago when it begins operating later this fall, a Metro spokesperson told us. Construction on the project began in September 2010.
With support from a $210 million federal congestion mitigation grant, Metro is rebuilding and expanding the old station to double its current size, according to Metro officials. Currently served by Metro, Foothill Transit, Greyhound and El Monte Transit, the former facility lacked the capacity to handle additional bus service and wasn't initially designed to accommodate newer-generation compressed natural gas buses.
The new facility will include a two-level station, which will mitigate traffic congestion. It will accommodate nearly double the number of passengers, from 22,000 to 40,000, as well as almost twice the number of buses (from 16 to 30). Bikers will have an easier commute with bicycle lockers, storage and maintenance kits available. The transit center also earned LEED Gold status for its solar panels, LED lighting, use of natural light and drought-resistant plants in the landscaping.
A winner of the 2010 American Institute of Architects “Next LA” Citation Award, the project also features a regional transit store; building space for future retail opportunities; new way finding signage; and serves 40-foot and 60-foot articulated buses. It also supports additional bus service on the I-10 El Monte Busway to enhance the performance of the I-10 Metro Express Lanes Demonstration Project.
We often read and report on similar projects
, but it’s still impressive to get to see one in progress. It’s encouraging to think that maybe someday, with these extra efforts being made, some of the heat of climate change will subside.
In case you missed it...
Read our METRO blog, "SEPTA helps community farm grow" here.
Agencies that use Twitter to respond to users’ complaints or answer questions get more positive Twitter reaction and more civil discourse online, according to Lisa Schweitzer the author of a recent study analyzing tweets of public transit agencies. “It’s about the marketing potential of social media — a lot of public transit agencies are simply tweeting their problems to the world by blasting out late service announcements. That’s not a good use of Twitter,” she says. “Transit agencies can influence the tone of the discussion by interacting with patrons online,” Schweitzer explains. “It gives people something to respond to, and it reminds people that somebody is listening.”
Usually by early January, I will hopefully have taken down the last of our holiday decorations and eaten or given away the remaining sweets that have become a part of my regular diet during the month of December. Then, of course like most people, I’ll think about ways I want to improve myself for the coming year. Whether it be exercising more (walking from the parking lot to my office doesn’t count), eating less ice cream or managing my email better. The latter practice alone would help improve my efficiency at work immensely. I’m sure you probably feel the same way.
A new National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) study solidifies what the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) Transit Savings Report has been telling us for years now: riding public transportation can save users money.
June 20 will mark the 8th annual National Dump the Pump Day sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association, in partnership with the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Driving a bus never looked easy. Living in California and being stuck in my car as much as I am, I’ve always had tremendous respect for the men and women who operate buses on a daily basis. So, when the call came that I would get my shot to drive in Sunday’s APTA Bus Roadeo, I was both excited and nervous.