The Mole reads the papers (and other things) so you don't have to
Pasadena has a very nice map and area transportation summary (PD025-03.06.CHK). They have several Gold Line shuttles, designated GL (Gold Link) and then a suffix indication compass direction of origin, e.g., N, S ... . They all seem to serve only the Mission station. This is a good idea, BUT, what they should be doing is running a shuttle service that weaves between more of the stations. Viewed from above it would appear to be a chain comprised of links or something like human DNA – the ladder rail portion, NOT the steps, connecting more stations. Memorial Park, Del Mar, Filmore and Mission are the stations which I believe should initially be so linked. It after some reasonable period, including tuning of the service, other down line and or up line stations could be linked as well.
It is not so much a matter of linking stations as it is of transporting passengers to some station and back to their home areas. I.e., filling in the gaps that have NO public transit right now.
The LACMTA has proven time and time again that they don't want the Gold Line to be viable. If they did they would make up unsubstantiated numbers for the ridership, just like they do for the “Orange Line” bus. If “Orange Line” ridership continues to grow it will soon subsume most of California's population :-). But I digress, running empty express trains, as they do now on the Gold Line only serves to irritate passengers who watch these express trains pass their stations. The extra few minutes which the express trains save are offset by the inconvenience to the many. So, number of passenger minutes saved times number of express train riders weighed against number of passenger minutes added to a given trip times the number of inconvenienced passengers tells the story.
The Gold Line will be a success if and only if someone says
“Hey, we have to make it easy for passengers to get to the Gold Line stations!”.
The Mole Rides Again - so that you won't have to wander around looking for a station entrance
I am aboard a line 125 bus headed for the Douglas St / Rosecrans Av Green Line station. It is my first time to use this station and upon arrival I find that there is serious construction in process, although not today as it is Saturday. There is no obvious route to the station which is visible, about ¾ of a block away, from the street. All I can see is cyclone fence and concrete barriers. The few people in the vicinity seem dumbfounded when I ask them how to get to the station. One points at the structure and says “The pick-up is over there”. Finally, I walk across an empty parking lot and find a break in the cyclone fence, step over a small ditch past a jagged piece of concrete. Now I am faced with a simple maze of cyclone fence barriers which lead to the station steps. Each of the many steps up to the, what I estimate to be, fourth floor level of the platform, is beautifully and expensively inscribed with a different phrase. The one which I especially noted was “It's always the same”.
Yes, with the LACMTA it is always the same. No transfer of information or learning ever takes place. This station is an excellent example! Not one sign, not a single arrow directs one to the station. I talk to a waiting passenger and she points out the expected route – what, from ground level, appeared to be a ditch into which pipe would be laid, from this fourth floor vantage point reveals itself to be a crude path to the station.
The Westlake / MacArthur Park Red Line station has everything! Illustrative of the lack of the word “maintenance” in LACMTA's vocabulary, crossing the entry plaza one can see urban stains and litter sui generis.
The down stairway is the same, differing only in perspective angles. The blue wall tiles are stained with grout which has been leached by leakage in the wall behind.
The same leakage is also seen when standing on the outbound (in the Wilshire/Vermont direction) platform. The best, worst? Example is seen centered around a sign, which reads “3.4 AR”. Deep gouges have been eroded into the walls. The smell, like that found in parking structure stairwells, is also available.
The LACMTA is ready to rush ahead with extremely stupid ideas like the “Expo rail line” when they cannot fund proper maintenance on the facilities currently in operation.
My First Transit driver on this Long Beach bound number 232 bus is busy. Busy on her cell phone and/or when traffic allows, working on some sort of craft item made of multi-colored thread and worked with a single needle. Her operator number is 70538. Cell phone use by drivers seems to be the rule these days. Which leads me to a recommendation for the LACMTA. In the case of an accident, the driver's cell phone should be inspected to see if it was in use at the time of the accident.
Someone told me that First Transit drivers are hired even though they would be ineligible for Metro jobs due to police records up to and including some felonies.
Under the rubric “Now I have seen everything”, the woman seated immediately in front of me on my 333 bus on Venice BL, is using a desert spoon to curl her eyelashes!
I rode the new bus on the block, the two section articulated one in use on the Wilshire BL 720 line. It did not seem to be as noisy as the unitary buses, but then again, it is new. So there has not been much time for things to rattle loose. I am not sure that I like the ride as it was, to me, somewhat like riding in a small launch on a choppy sea. The driver was cranky too. He claimed that someone had violated the yellow line at the front of the bus. I was several meters back but any line crossing seemed to have been minimal and accidental. The allegedly transgressing passenger called the driver a bad name beginning with the letter “a”.