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City Proposes to Pick Up the Tab for Dodger Transit

By Eric Richardson
Published: Sunday, June 22, 2008, at 04:38PM
Dodger Parking Lots Eric Richardson [Flickr]

Cars enter Dodger Stadium through the Academy Dr. gate in this file photo from May, 2007.

The Times today includes a story saying that the city and the Dodgers have reached an agreement for providing transit into Dodger Stadium for the remainder of the 2008 season. Buses would run from Union Station starting on July 25th, the first home game after the All-Star break. The city would pick up the $70,000 cost of running the service, while the Dodgers would handle advertising.

A June 2nd DOT memo on the subject (PDF) sheds more light on the proposed service. Buses would start running 90 minutes before game time, with a five bus fleet providing for approximately eight minute headways (the time between buses). Service would likely be free, and would be contracted out to a charter bus operator.

The proposed route would run service from Union Station's Transit Plaza west on Cesar Chavez, with stops at Figueroa street and Marion avenue to connect to Metro bus service. The buses would enter the stadium via Elysian Park avenue and loop around the stadium the the Transit Plaza located behind center field. Return service would be via the same route.

Initial discussions of the stadium shuttle focused on the city's inability to pay for the service given its transit budget deficits, but the final proposal has the city doing exactly that. The June 2nd memo says that "the Dodgers have indicated that they are not interested in sharing the cost to operate the shuttle service." An attached memo cites the team's stance that the service should be publicly funded, given the amount of money the team has put into stadium renovations. The cost to run a full season of service would have been $170,000, though the DOT memo suggests that up to $90,000 could be recouped through exterior advertising.

The city would create the service under its Charter Bus Program, and the memo points to Transit Systems as a likely operator. The program and operator are the same as was used for the shuttle service required to access Griffith Observatory after its reopened.

Though many Observatory visitors were unhappy with the shuttle buses, they provide an interesting perk for this service. The DOT suggests running the service for free, citing the lack of fare boxes on the charter buses.

While the original motion asked for transit to both Dodger Stadium and Elysian Park, the current proposal deals exclusively with game-day stadium transit.

The proposal now goes to the City Council's Transportation Committee, and is agendized for Wednesday afternoon's meeting.

PREVIOUSLY: Buses, Baseball and Parks: Discussing Transit for Dodger Stadium and Elysian Park

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