2005-10-22 (More system integration topic, deferred)

In the news:

Los Angeles is suing the LACMTA for illegally discharging pollutants into the storm drains. The source of the dumping is reported by the “Los Angeles Times”(1) as the Vermont/Beverly Red Line station. This is further proof that oversight of facilities is not the LACMTA's strong suite.

From the LACMA's Marketing Department:

A rare LACMTA flier touts the benefits of the TTV which will be installed aboard all buses by next summer. The lead paragraph promises, among the expected headline news etc., a “line-specific route map using the GPS system to indicate what stop is next”. I have seen this system about a half dozen times so far but, have NEVER seen any route maps! Titled, “New TV Monitors Will Inform, Entertain Metro Bus Riders” and identified by a marginal code of “05-2543mm”, it bold headings claim that:

Riders Are Quieter - the people apparently at the LACMTA Marketing Department have not been aboard the same buses that I have, with loud cell phone conversations, loud music bleeding through other passenger's headphones, the clanking emanating from the garbage bags of the bags of bottle and can collectors and the verbalizations of people with diminished capacity. One such passenger sat behind me on a Wilshire 720 bus last week. He repeated: “Where is the farm? Delta X-ray November Fiver Bravo, over”, approximately once a minute for most of the long ride. This made it next to impossible for me to read my book on French history – although it is bad enough now, ambient noise level wise, things will get worse under the TTV system.

From the flier “ Some of the programming has sound, Operators [drivers] will have the ability to adjust the volume but are not required to do so”.

Less Vandalism – they cite an 80% decrease in vandalism is several other, mostly smaller, (what do they know about grafiti in Milwaukee?) cities. I have found that experienced transit riders will touch the graffiti on seats to see if it will stain their clothes before sitting down. This item probably represents wishful thinking on the part of the LACMTA.

No Cost to Metro – This seems to go against the “there is no free lunch” concept. The first loss, if not to the LACMTA, than to its passengers, is either the present parcel stowage located above the right front wheel or the rack of bus schedules, behind the driver, of lines which the bus which one is currently riding crosses. The guaranteed minimum of $100,000 which the LACMTA will receive from TTV, is printed in this section. By my calculation this amounts to just under $17 per bus per year which equates to just under five cents per bus per day, which seems incredibly cheap. On my to do list is: Find out how much an on-board display card ad costs - probably lots more than 5 cents/bus/day! I have not seen any figures on what increase in staffing costs will be incurred in managing the accounting for this “scheme” .

(1)No Attribution. “City Sues Transit Agency Over Alleged Pollution”. Los Angeles Times 19 Oct. 2005:B4

Next Posting: Riding the Orange Line (2005-11-02)

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