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No MTA Talks Set; Strike Expected to Disrupt Workweek

Transit: About 200,000 passengers are stranded Saturday. Ethnic business districts draw far fewer shoppers than usual, but taxi firms are swamped.

September 17, 2000|DOUGLAS P. SHUIT and JILL LEOVY | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

MTA BUSES: The MTA operated 40 buses along five lines Saturday through contracts with private bus companies. The lines in operation were: Line 218, from West Hollywood to Studio City via Laurel Canyon Boulevard; Line 603, from Rampart to Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena; Line 605, from Grande Vista Street to the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center; Line 96, from Los Angeles to Sherman Oaks; Line 167, from Plummer Street to Coldwater Canyon. The MTA said its ability to maintain a limited schedule would depend on strike developments.

In addition to the regular customer service number, 1 (800) COMMUTE, the MTA has added another, (213) 626-4455. Customers can also check the Web site at http://www.mta.net.

A consumer group set up an all- purpose information website to provide information on different bus lines. The Web site is http://www.socaltip.org.

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NON-MTA BUS LINES: Foothill, Long Beach, Torrance and Norwalk Transit, Metrolink, Santa Monica Big Blue Bus and the City of Los Angeles (DASH, Community Connections, Commuter Express and Smart Shuttles) will honor MTA bus passes.

Los Angeles County Municipal Operator's Coalition's (LACMOC) 16 bus agencies will provide additional service: Foothill Transit will add five morning trips to its service to downtown Los Angeles originating from the Pomona Fairplex and four evening trips originating from 9th and Figueroa streets in downtown; Torrance Transit will add additional service to and from downtown Los Angeles; Gardena Municipal Bus Line (GMBL) will operate additional services on its line 1 and 2 and will accept MTA tokens; Montebello Bus Line will provide additional service to East Los Angeles on Line 10 and will also add trips on Lines 40 and 50 to downtown Los Angeles.

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METROLINK: Metrolink, the commuter rail service that runs trains into downtown Los Angeles from Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange counties, will add eight trains to serve more passengers.

Metrolink trains will honor MTA monthly, semimonthly and weekly passes, as well as passes for seniors, disabled riders and students.

"Red Line Special" buses provided by Metrolink will operate weekdays from the Metro Bus Plaza at Union Station. The bus stops will be at each Metro Red Line Station from Union Station to Westlake/MacArthur Park, with two additional stops at 4th and Hill streets and at 9th and Hill streets, marked with special signs (see map). Signs and Metrolink personnel will direct passengers to the bus plaza area at Union Station to board the buses. One set of buses will operate to the Westlake/MacArthur Park Metro station. The other set will operate to the 7th Street/Metro Center station. A limited number of buses serving customers on a first-come, first-served basis will operate all day, from the arrival of the first train each morning until the departure of the last Metrolink train in the evening. Waiting time is unpredictable and passengers are encouraged to give themselves enough extra time to complete their commute. Although bicycles are normally allowed on trains, because of space restrictions, bicycles will not be allowed on the buses.

Metrolink commuters can call 1 (800) COMMUTE for information on ridesharing options. Commuters can obtain updates by calling 1 (800) 371-LINK, or visit Metrolink's Web site at http://www.metrolinktrains.com.

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OTHER TRANSPORT: Call your local municipal bus lines for more information.

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SHAWN HUBLER

The MTA has plenty of money to spend on itself, but offers crumbs to its workers. B1

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