The following article appeared in the Pasadena Star-News on December 28, 2015.
For additional information on the Rose Parade, click here for the Pasadena Star-News parade guide.
How you can use the Gold Line train to get to the Rose Bowl or Rose Parade – Pasadena Star-News
By Steve Scauzillo
December 28, 2015
The 2016 Rose Parade theme “Find Your Adventure” takes on an unintended meaning for hundreds of thousands of people descending on Pasadena starting New Year’s Eve.
Driving to the Rose City — a city that more than quadruples its population during the Rose Parade, Rose Bowl game and float viewing — undoubtedly becomes an adventure filled with freeway jam-ups, road closures and parking hassles.
Metro advises skipping those unwanted adventures by reaching Tournament of Roses festivities via bus or train — while the car remains at home or at a Metro park-n-ride lot outside the city.
Four stops on the Los Angeles-to-Pasadena Metro Gold Line are near the Rose Parade route: Memorial Park and Del Mar stations are located about two blocks from the route; Lake and Allen stations are about four blocks away. Football fans attending the 1:30 p.m. game Friday between Iowa and Stanford can exit the train at Memorial Park and walk three blocks west on Holly Street to the Parsons Engineering Parking Lot B for a free shuttle to the game.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is beefing up the Gold Line with additional trains and more frequent service to accommodate large numbers of anticipated riders, said Dave Sotero, Metro spokesman.
Last year, the Gold Line set a record of 40,000 boardings on New Year’s Day. This year, the transportation agency believes that number could reach between 50,000 and 60,000, said Jackie Dupont-Walker, Metro board member during a press conference at the Del Mar Station Monday morning.
“If anyone has been to the Rose Parade in the past, you know how challenging it can be to find parking and to navigate the local streets,” she said. “I know from my many 3 a.m. attempts.”
Metro will run all its lines — the Red, Purple, Gold, Blue, Expo and Green, as well as the Orange and Silver dedicated bus lines — throughout the night on New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31 – Jan. 1) to bring revelers from Long Beach, L.A., the South Bay and the San Fernando Valley to a viewing spot along the 5.5-mile parade route, or a seat at one of the numerous bars and restaurants in Old Pasadena, without ever getting behind the wheel.
Whether ringing in the new year at a tavern or grabbing a piece of Colorado Boulevard sidewalk, Metro will provide free rides on all its bus and rail lines from 9 p.m. Thursday to 2 a.m. Friday, Jan. 1. After 2 a.m., regular $1.75 fares go into effect.
However, Metro will not allow oversized items such as umbrellas, chairs and coolers on trains that day.
For float-viewing at Victory Park from Jan. 1 through Jan. 3, take the Gold Line to the Sierra Madre Villa Station. Shuttles to the floats are located on the first level and run every five to 10 minutes. Shuttles run from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 1 and Jan. 2, and from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 3. Float viewing for seniors and the disabled will take place from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Jan. 2 – Jan. 3.
Parking will fill up quickly at Sierra Madre Villa station, said Jose Ubaldo, Metro spokesman.
Metro invited the Rose Queen and her court to ride the Gold Line, which was expanded 11.5 miles from East Pasadena to the Azusa/Glendora. Passenger service begins March 5.
“A lot of my friends will take it down to Chinatown to get food. Or they will take it down to L.A. just to do a lot of fun things like concerts. It’s always easier,” said 2016 Rose Queen Erika Winter.
During the ride from Del Mar to Sierra Madre Villa stations, Winter and the Royal Court chatted about attending a basketball game and played to nearly a dozen cameras. Winter, 18, a senior at Flintridge Preparatory School, said she was introduced to the train by her school.
“I’ve been taking it for school field trips,” Winter said. “It’s great. Fast. Easy. It’s really great.”