Transportation Planning Rail Tour

Rail Tour 2018 was coordinated by Sarah Catz as a part of UPPP’s Transportation Planning course, to give students first-hand experience and contact with professionals to learn more about transit system planning, including regional train and subway systems, transit stations, and Transit Oriented Development (TOD).

Read on for students’ first-person accounts and reflections about the tour.

Our day started by traveling via the Metrolink train to Union Station. Here we met with Metro's Ken Pratt [Deputy Executive Officer for Real Estate], who immersed us in a historical tour and update of the station looking forward. A quick walk to the Metro HQ and we learned about Metro's guiding vision for their Transit Oriented Communities (TOCs). From Union Station we surfed the subway Red Line to Hollywood & Vine to visit one of Metro's TOC properties, where we were able to go to the 12th floor of The W Hotel and see an almost 360* view of the LA skyline. The rail tour provided by Sarah Catz allows MURP students to experience the pulse of Metro's expanding transportation influence by traveling on two rail options. Dynamic classroom experiences like these are what ignites students' passion for the planning field. I am glad to have had the opportunity to attend. 

- Trevor Lien, second-year MURP

I think it is important to connect concepts from class to experiences in the real world. For example, I understand how the Regional Transportation Plan connects counties, but what does it feel like to take a regional train to Los Angeles? Or, how can a Transit Oriented Development change the character of a neighborhood? My favorite part of the site visit was opportunity to walk around the part of Union Station that is normally not open to the public. We were fortunate to have professionals show us their work. 

- Daniel Herman, second-year MURP

Many thanks to Sarah Catz for providing this beyond-the-classroom opportunity, and to each of the professionals who took time to share their real-world transportation planning perspectives.