The Mole reads the papers (and other things) so you don't have to

Your Mole has been traveling again so this post will be briefer than he would like.

The Mole Rides Again - so that you don't have wear a face mask to protect yourself from a flurry of dandruff when the old Chinese man in the seat in front of you tosses his head

Like the movie “Groundhog Day” the construction at Pasadena's Del Mar station goes on and on. Now they have the usual direct access entries, nearest the 686 bus stop on Del Mar AV, completely blocked for no apparent reason. This forces everyone to thread their way through other ongoing construction to the “main entrance” on Raymond AV. Of course, the LACMTA has not seen fit to post any signs directing one to said main entrance. I had to dodge past a fork lift to enter the station. This is all under the LACMTA rubric, “They'll figure it out”. I did want to use the Fillmore station, I was the only passenger and even though the bus head sign displayed “Fillmore Station”, the driver said he didn't go there.

Aboard the Gold Line, scattered on the floor and on the seat across from me, were individual phony finger nails – she didn't like the color?? Near the door was another “work” product of the LACMTA's Marketing Department. A poster, featuring Rapid Lines, headed “What's not to like?”. There were pictures of smiling, perhaps drugged, passengers who are ecstatic over Metro Rapid. The text talks about easy transfers, etc. - apparently they haven't read my earlier post about transferring from the Rapid 780 to the Rapid 754 at Vermont AV and Hollywood BL.

I was aboard a 439 bus from Union Station to Redondo Beach. This is an interesting route, part freeway and part meandering through Culver City – Fox Hills Mall and the smallish shopping center adjacent to the 405 on Howard Hughes Parkway. What a cacophonous ride! First there was the always present “bleed through” from portable electronic devices played at maximum volume. Then the cell phone users in conversation with someone who must have their tin can connected by string to the network. If anyone is motivated to construct a concordance of a random sample of cell phone conversations, surely, What? And Huh? Will bubble to the top of the list. Following in order we have the TransitTV, which on this trip featured two overly cheerful guys with their “recipe”, Viz., Chili. It was basically, add a chopped onion to a half pound of ground beef, dump in a can of pinto beans and a can of kidney beans, drained, and this was emphasized, of the liquid. I won't give you any more because this recipe may be copyrighted. If you are unlucky enough to be aboard the bus for more than half an hour, you get to hear and see these guys twice. Then TransitTV feels that you must hear loud music as accompaniment for pictures of frolicking seals???

But full volume is reserved for commercials. For example, the one where a man boasts of making more than $150,000 last year and this year is better. A woman tells us how she made $8,000 yesterday! Bank robbery? No, it is a work at home scheme. Whatever happened to the promised on route maps that they were touting before installation of these useless devices. Add to all this the chatter of your fellow riders and it is impossible to read. The woman in the seat behind me was trying to work out a calendar for February by discussing the matter with herself – I made up one for her. She needed it for a court appearance – I didn't ask.

The only thing it was possible to read aboard this noise factory was the bus schedule. I have checked several and found that a complete list of stops for a given route is nowhere to be found in the schedule. This would be very helpful because some drivers don't really know all the street names for their stops. If there is both a regular and an express route, think 78/378, then the express stops should be printed in bold face type.

Speaking of Union Station, there is an new bus service in operation from berth 9 in Patsaouras Plaza there. Called, “FlyAway” it began operations on 15 March and promises a 45 minute trip directly to your/from LAX terminal for $3 one way fare. Service leaves every half hour from either end, Union Station and LAX, of the route. The buses are NEW! There is a FlyAway ticket office behind and to the left of berth 9. It is advertised as a service of the “Los Angeles World Airports”. I will use the FlyAway service on my next trip and report back to you here. I can just picture the LACMTA management slapping their foreheads and saying “Duh, why didn't we think of this?”.

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