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Dodger Trolley Makes Its Game Day Debut

By Ed Fuentes and Eric Richardson
Published: Saturday, July 26, 2008, at 02:46PM
Media Time Eric Richardson [Flickr]

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Councilmembers Wendy Greuel and Ed Reyes talk to the media after getting off the first Dodger Trolley bus from Union Station to Dodger Stadium.

The new city-funded shuttle from Union Station to Dodger Stadium kicked off service last night with appearances by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Councilmembers Wendy Greuel, Tom LaBonge, and Ed Reyes. More importantly, the night seemed to be a hit with fans, who lined the sidewalk out to Alameda before the free service had even gotten underway.

At the stadium, Villaraigosa told the media that the city was excited to provide fans the "opportunity to beat the traffic, beat the high gas prices, and, very importantly, get to a Dodger game and eat a Dodger dog."

For all remaining home games this year, shuttle buses will run from Alameda street, out in front of Union Station, to the stadium. Service begins 90 minutes before game time, and runs for 60 minutes after the last out. One bus will be running circulator service throughout the game. The shuttle makes two stops on Sunset enroute, at Figueroa street and at Marion avenue.

Opening night results for the new service seem to indicate that fans are excited about this new option for getting to the stadium. Riding on the first bus, Dodgers Senior VP of Strategic Affairs Howard Sunkin told the Mayor that on Friday the team had fielded roughly 550 calls about the service.

Sitting in the front seats of the second bus -- the first one full of real fans -- were those who measured their Dodger allegiance by player eras. "I’ve been a fan since [Steve] Garvey," said Monterey Park’s Elaine Garcia. She who brought her children and parked by Union Station. She hopes the shuttle is a hit, saying "I plan to take the bus all the way in, then get on the shuttle."

Matt Taylor was quick to try the shuttle once he heard about it over a Dodger radio broadcast. "Whatever Vinnie [Dodger Broadcaster Vin Scully] says is gold," he said, adding that he’s been a fan since [Fernando] Valenzuela. He was with his father, Steve -- "A fan since Koufax" -- and both came in on the gold line from Pasadena.

Councilwoman Greuel made it a transit evening, arriving from the valley via the subway. "I had a lot of fans with me on the Metro," she told reporters. "This is a great day where we can say you can use public transportation to get to the Dodgers, support our Dodger blue, and reduce our traffic on the freeways in Los Angeles."

Councilmember Reyes, along with Councilmember Jose Huizar, in December made the council motion that led to the new shuttle. That motion asked LADOT and Metro to look at connections to Elysian Park, as well as Dodger Stadium. Reyes said that work to get transit into the park continues. "That is something that we want to continue working on," he said. "We're trying to work with MTA to see if we can alter some of the routes, some actual bus lines, to get us through the park."


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