When we get around to it

Please double-click on all photos for an enlarged version and a much closer look at all details.

The raw looking fence at the Green Line El Segundo-Nash Station stands as a mute testament to the LACMTA’s inability to either/both enforce contractual terms with suppliers or inspect “completed” work and a whole host of other faults.

An additional photo and discussion (vide infra) shows and discusses work done on the West side of the Lake Street 210 Freeway overpass in Pasadena that was painted –although it took about five (5) months to complete what to this Mole looks like a month of work. The price therefore, was likely five times too much.
The Mole reads the papers (and other things) so you don't have to

Barbara Ehrenreich, in a New York Times opinion piece entitled “Is It Now a Crime to Be Poor?” discusses the criminalization of poverty.  She is the author of “Nickel and dimed: on (not) getting by in America” published in 2001 by Metropolitan Books. In that book she describes how she tried to survive by working at minimum-wage jobs –your Mole read it and found it very informative.  
In the same vein, USA Today reports that “The [Honolulu] City Council is considering a bill that will make it illegal to "bring onto transit property odors that unreasonably disturb others or interfere with their use of the transit system, whether such odors arise from one's person, clothes, articles, accompanying animal or any other source." 
 http://www.usatoday.com/news/offbeat/2009-09-02-honolulu-bus-odor_N.htm?csp=34 Last accessed 2009-10-16.

Su Topo has written about his unpleasant experiences aboard LACMTA buses with people who are unable or unwilling to spend much time in the shower –or who drag trash bags filled with smelly recyclables behind them. So, perhaps such a law is called for here as well.

The more things change the more they become the same: "The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread." A quote from LE LYS ROUGE –The Red Lily written in 1894 by Anatole France (1844-1924) – nom de plume of Jacques Anatole François Thibault.

The media is wall-to-wall with the “Balloon Boy” story. Molette and I listened to the tape of the 911 call made by the boy's mother, Mayumi (Ma-you-me). Molette says that it is a hoax [written 2009-10-17 13:45PDT]. She bases her opinion on the fact that Mayumi's English is far from perfect, so why would her husband have her make the call when communication at such a time is critical –other than for dramatic effect. If Molette is correct I offered to treat he to a delicious lunch, this is not “bet”, as such, because if she is wrong I get nothing :-). She has got me convinced!

CNN is calling it a hoax at on Sunday morning and at 11:30 AM RawStory.com headlines “Police to file criminal charges in balloon case“. Molette will be treated to lunch. La Taupe feels that the Heene family is in for a world of hurt. There is the “contributing to the delinquency of a minor” aspect to this and I believe, there is a strong possibility that, like su Topo, the Feds will see a terroristic aspect to this, whether intended or not –minimum charge interfering with aviation. Molette devines that Mayumi will say that she was coerced and a divorce will follow soon thereafter.

Even the LACMTA knows that its’ “Trip Planner” is ineffective and in its’ “Metro Monthly” of September 2009 (10-0232TR) recommends Google. Could they be reading this blog? Your Mole covered his experience with the “Trip Spoiler” [La Taupe’s term for what they call the Trip Planner] 2009-08-31. I’m sorry but I consider most of what the LACMTA “Marketing Department” a waste of money. Anyway, why do they need a “Marketing Department”? To convince us, in the style of the book, “1984”, that bad is good, with their harping about “America’s Best” it certainly has that feel. My feeling, fire the lot and use the money to fix the bus seats that have somehow come loose. Oh, before you fire them be fair, and judge them on ridership increase that they spurred, one calendar quarter should be enough. Then fire them.


Then there are expensive brochures, like the “Public Hearing for New Line 910 Fare Structure” (10-0450BD) which seem to turn up the day after the hearing. Or “Help us plan the future of the Crenshaw Corridor” (10-0201CMC). Why not help them the highly paid LACMTA certainly doesn’t seem to be able to do it themselves. Your Mole will help –here it is: “A. DO REAL NEED SURVEYS FIRST and B. THEN RUN BUSES OVER THE PLANNED ROUTE AND SEE IF TRAFFIC MATERIALISES. If it doesn’t go back to A. Finally, keep the POLITICIANS out of the process!


¡Nuevo! Torniquetes en Metro Rail” (09-2432JL) about the access control turnstiles that will be installed at “some” stations. They want you to “Tap on the right” but the cover photo has the LEFT tap point emphasized in the foreground. These turnstiles are two-way, no doubt to do it on the cheap, that means exiting passengers will run into those who are entering. And what is the suggestion from “America’s Best” marketing department”? Tada! “… please be courteous” and “… (Again, be prepared for two-way traffic and please be courteous.)”. Even though NOT A SINGLE ONE of these devices is yet installed, the brochure is preparing us for the fact that universal use of the TAP is not expected when they are installed. This is another case of the LACMTA’s inability to coordinate efforts even when both these projects are theirs! From the brochure: “Pass directly through the turnstiles. You don’t have to TAP now, but you will in the near future; soon …”. Su Topo cannot tell you how the LACMTA defines “near future” and “soon” but he is pretty sure that it doesn’t use the same definitions as we do.

The New York Times prints an editorial(1) which discusses high-speed trains. It talks about fast trains in other countries, but neglects to cite France's TGV (strange). But it does explain that “Spain will invest [the Euro equivalent of] $140 billion over the next decade to develop a network of [the kilometer equivalent of] 6,200 miles of high-speed rail lines.”
The monies being allocated for similar trains in the U.S. Is laughable, $8 billion, perhaps less, for the ENTIRE COUNTRY. Even the automobile manufactures received a bigger bail-out. So politically, from this Mole's standpoint, our leadership is looking backward rather than forward –more cars and more pollution with a lack of focus on targeted growth. That means that people, the logical ones anyway, will tend to gravitate to the areas which offer good, economical transportation. Without that attraction they can and will disperse themselves according to some other and less controllable parameters.

The Los Angeles Times has a print nibble(2) on the FlayAway service that will take people from Orange County to LAX for $25. Su Topo thinks that the $7 one way fare to LAX from Union Station is too high. Although it the 439 Line takes a little longer (about an hour in total) it will cost less than one third of the $7. Your Mole wonders why they couldn't make every other 439 and express stopping only at the WLATC and the LAXCBC but skipping the FHMTC. Passengers could be given a free Muni Transfer which would allow them to back-track back to the FHMTC on the CC #6 bus or the 439 route could allow for transfers to the CC #6 by crossing Sepulveda at say, Slauson –very near or even through the FHMTC. Or they could simply ride the 439 to FHMTC on its return trip. Of course if someone could devote brain-power and wanted to accomplish a more rational route that could eliminate this wasteful competition between the FlyAway and the LACMTA, then it could be done.
By the way, FlYAway now accepts credit cards, it appears that their enlightened management believes such cards are here to stay :-);

Oh, and MetroLink wants to place cameras in all train cabs. That is wrong headed thinking. They want to use the filmed record to prove liability when in reality; they should be focusing on accident prevention. Well, maybe after Solow is fired, the new head will bring that kind of pre-emptive approach with him. Oh and the union (the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen) according to the LA Times nibble(3) feels that cameras are an “invasion of privacy”. Although La Taupe strongly believes in unionism, why would one need privacy on such a job??

The Los Angeles Times covers(4) the difficult task of planning a high speed rail line to Union Station yet minimizing its environmental impact on, but not necessary limited to, the Los Angeles River. Please search out and read about these issues.

The Official Publication of the UTU (United Transportation Union) has a piece(5) on banning cell phone use by bus and truck drivers. It is pointed out that the NTSB (the National Transportation Safety Board) has include such a ban on its list of important safety measures. The implementing agency for such rules, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, has only studied the issues –paralysis by analysis?, I wonder. A single quote from the piece, the NTSB chairman [sic] says “When you are texting and talking on the phone, you might be going through the motions of doing what you need to be doing, but your head is not in the game.” Please, LACMTA, Nota Bene! See more from and about the UTU at www.utu.org or www.utuia.org.

Ear to the Rail

On Sunday 27 September, I listened to the weakest broadcast on transportation in SOCA which I have ever heard. Now, I'm sure that the hostess, Ms Muller, is probably a very nice lady. But why she ever thought that she had the credentials to discuss mass transit remains a mystery to me. But, don't let su Topo bias you, listen for yourself http://www.scpr.org/programs/town-hall-journal/ The broadcast was entitled "Mass Transit: The Promise and The Reality”, it covered the promise, sort of lightly, but in no way tackled the Reality – well, not in the way that this Mole does. She interviewed Art Leahy, by telephone, and tossed him the softest of softball questions. She referred to a study of rider satisfaction done by the BRU (Bus Riders Union). As one might expect, the BRU report shows a high percentage of dissatisfied riders who issued lots of “D”s and only a single “C” on their report card. Do a www.bing.com or Google search for “Bus Riders Union +BRU” and it should appear early in the list for more detail. But, Mr. Leahy countered with “... we had twice as many respondents and most (over 80%) said that they were satisfied, I didn't see that coming --were they all employees? Ms Mueller just let it pass and went on with the program, which la Taupe feels was a 100% waste of time.

A Times piece covered here instead of above http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-bus-riders29-2009aug29,0,5598191.story covers the report in fair detail.

The article quotes an MTA survey as saying “... 85% were either satisfied or strongly satisfied” with the bus service. Which make this Mole wonder if those were the only two choices.

After you check out the Times story, you might consider downloading the KPCC MPP3 just to hear how people who live by the “gets” on radio must treat the “gotten”, like Leahy.

How about a break for a song? This will take a little time (because I'm testing some linkage) –But it is well worth the wait! http://filebin.ca/xuxohw

¿Uno Mas? ¡OK, here is a song by Trish Hinajosa! http://listen.grooveshark.com/#/song/Con_Su_Pluma_En_Su_Mano_With_His_Pen_In_His_Hand_/1052280

This Mole was disappointed that Kim Baldonado is no longer the weekend anchor on KNBC4. The have imported an Easterner, Alycia Lane, who will assume the weekend anchor duties. You can read more about Ms Lane’s personal background and some of the reasons why she ended up on a vector to Los Angeles, if you wish to, here.  

Ms Baldonado will anchor weekday newscasts called the “Midday Report,” and airing 11 to 11:30. Sigh, I will have to Tivo those broadcasts.

Well, the universe is said to have more entropy (a measure of disorder) than was thought previously. As you check out this link to Science News you might consider, as su Topo did, if it is possible that much of it is embedded in the LACMTA? http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/48010/title/Universe_has_more_entropy_than_thought

Just when you thought theories couldn’t get any stranger, along come Messrs Neilsen and Ninomiya. In what la Taupe will simplify as, “the future will protect us from bad things which might happen”. .”. Here is one of their papers: http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0802/0802.2991v2.pdf

The lead sentence of which says: “Each time an accelerator is used to investigate a hitherto un-investigated regime such as collision energy or luminosity, there is, a priori, a chance of finding new effects that, in principle, could mean that a well-established principle could be violated, in lower-energy physics or in daily life.” [One such effect might be a kind of ZAP, you are gone! Mole’s comment]

The New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/13/science/space/13lhc.html?ref=sciencein a relevant piece written on Oct. 13th quotes Einstein” “For those of us who believe in physics,” Einstein once wrote to a friend, “this separation between past, present and future is only an illusion

Equally strange, yet demonstrable is this about creating black holes from a piece in the New Scientist, in-line. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17980 If I’m not around to write next month and you are not here to read –no one will ever know why, just another black hole in space.

The Mole Rides Again, so that you don’t have to watch buses whiz by showing the “Discharge Only” headsign, then wait some more

2009-10-03 10:00: At LAXCBC (see La Taupe's Abréviations, below) I watch Metro Operator ID#: 74686 toss her cigarette stub into the street, blissfully unaware of her and all the other LACMTA drivers’ contributions to global warming. In this area, like many others, the LACMTA seems NOT to have a policy on the public behaviour of its drivers. Badly needed is some sort of pre-on-the-streets training to, how would one say?, housebreak??, its staff??

In contrast the driver of the Torrance Transit (TT) bus which I board is and excellent smooth driver. She also has overcome the lack of a trash container by affixing a paper bag, with its' top neatly turned down taped to the fare box with four strips of “transparent adhesive tape”, I didn't use the trade name, which has become the generic name for that kind of tape –but you know what I mean. Her only bad habit was incessantly touching?, scratching or (ugh) picking at her face. Someone should tell her that this is an easy way to contract swine flu or god knows what.

On my return trip I find that other TT buses use the same type of trash bags mentioned above.

Back at the LAXCBC I am happy that there is only a twenty minute wait, until 17:52 PM, for the next 111 line bus. It doesn't show up neither does the 111 scheduled for 18:29PM. I finally give up and find another way and count myself among those who give a “D” or lower to Leahy's LACMTA!

It is no secret that TransitTV annoys your Mole. So he did some research in order to find out what kind of company thinks that bus riders represent a demographic who are a potential source of revenue. Please remember that the first owners went bankrupt.

As far as I can tell the resuscitated Transit TV is owned by Tezo System (the name in the D & B ratings service database), AKA the more widely published “Tazo systems”. It is southern CA company.

Su Topo believes that more often than not, the past is a good predictor of the future. Therefore, he doesn’t see a bright future for this iteration of Transit TV. The usual person will be able to take six months or so of loss making so I predict dark screens again within ten (10) or fewer months.

Seen at the LAXCBC: Driver #7709 was so heavy or in some other way incapacitated, that she had to enlist the assistance of another driver to board her bus, and operate the wheelchair lift so that she could ride it up and board. I assume that she had to reverse the process when she was ready to “dismount”. I wonder, with such limited mobility whether she was really fit to behind the wheel of a Metro bus charged with the responsibility for the safety of its passengers??

2009-10-06: I leave the LAXCBC on a 439 Line bus which was scheduled to leave here at 7:49AM, but it is late. The driver ID #29708 is listening to KRTH (I think) it is LOUD! This noise is accretive to that produced by TransitTV –which is advertising, ummm, how great it is to advertise on TransitTV. I feel a headache coming on, caused by the dissonant audio streams. They have ripped up Sepulveda BL in Westchester again and although it seems just months since the lengthy widening project ended, the reason for this work remains a mystery.

The driver is Type 3 (T3) uncommunicative, T2 is the non-stop talker on the phone or to passengers, T1 is normal. I have given up attempting to read as two women, who have positioned themselves about six feet apart, diagonally across the aisle, begin what turns into a lengthy conversation without regard to other passengers. Al last, one leaves the bus at the WLATC. The driver cuts short his eastward turn onto Apple and jumps the curb with the rear wheels. It was a sort of “If you don’t like my driving stay off the sidewalks” moment. He doesn’t collect the freeway fare check tickets. I don’t know if that is because he has a great memory or because he didn’t issue any. I thought that that extra money was used to offset taxes because this bus uses the 10 Freeway –anyway, one of Metro’s mantras is “Our system is we have no system”.

As if to underscore that thought the Gold Line train I board is operating with side signs and likely a head sign that says “Test Train – No Passengers”.

Under the heading TMI, a young woman talks to a friend using her cell phone and a voice that demands to be overheard about: her drinking; her interrupted treatment at a clinic that is now forcing her to find another clinic; problems with her boyfriend and other males; and a host of other things that anyone with basic manners would not discuss in such a public venue.

I am waiting for a 485 bus on the 210 overpass on Lake street in Pasadena, under the structure which took over five (5) months to complete. Some CalTrans workers are reading plans and discussing something nearby. One passes me and I ask him who the contractor was on the lengthy project. His reply was “Metro handled the contracting”. I am not surprised, once again the LACMTA has demonstrated its skill in vitiation. But, at lease –as you can see this work on the west side of the 210 overpass, is painted unlike the El Segundo-Douglas Station on the Green Line where the raw metal is still to be seen years after construction.

Your Mole looked over the mostly completed work and was disappointed with what he saw. The picture just below shows the unfinished metal work. Not shown is the crude painting with paint that ran down and dried in place or formed bubbles OR paint was applied over areas that had not been properly “prepped” yielding an rough surface. Note in the picture below that NO ROOFING material is in place and the the framework holds, well ..., air.

Shown above in what I believe is the second of another five months of spending taxpayers dollars on unnecessary construction, the work on the 210 overpass adornment continues.

Here we have the culmination of five months work and this is the best they could do with the drain. Right, it doesn't rain much in SoCA but this is poor work BUT, really no different from the street side drains at the Taj Mahal where just as it does here the water flows directly on to an area where people are always waiting for buses.

There is NO doubt that the LACMTA's ability to build facilities vastly outstrips their ability to maintain them. Going to Mariposa Station? Watch your head!

I transfer at Lake and Del Mar and wait for my next bus in front of a Walgreen's store. The exterior has large historical photos depicting the Walgreens of bygone years displayed in the north-facing windows.

One appears to be more like a combined cigar/liquor store (circa 1909); an in-store soda fountain in the late 1920s; a perfume counter of 1939 which displays a largish bottle of “Eau Perfumée” named “Mais Oui” and a 1940 War Bond Drive held in front of a store.

Su Topo is fascinated by these frozen moments in time. Some of the participants are long departed, others may not even retain a memory of the moment but there they are captured for all to see and not digitally like this Mole's pictures, which are mostly designed to spend all their time as mega pixels. Never, like the the Walgreen's pictures, displayed in real life affixed to pages in old photo albums, with those triangular mounts like my grandmother used.

I will link the 1909 picture here, but if possible, please see the real life display in Pasadena. http://www.walgreens.com/images/about/hist2c.jpg

Back to Union Station via the Green-Grey cars of the “Gold Line” –please remember this is the LACMTA. One can see the crude “MASHlike” sign, maybe they didn't have enough money left for signage.

Speaking of crude signs here is how the LACMTA announced that something was changing on the 111 route due to construction on Arbor Vitae. Se if you can figure out exactly what they were trying to tell us. Bad news for someone, Manchester and Arbor Vitae are parallel streets and do not intersect. Perhaps if someone had the mental agility to draw a map but nooo –please remember that this is the LACMTA.

My penultimate ride of the day is aboard a 439 driven by “Mr. Tape up the Windows”. Today he has only a single side window on the front door panel covered –he uses a Metro schedule to do it.

He used to swivel around to talk to passengers. But he stopped doing that. Oh, he didn’t stop talking to passengers; he stopped swiveling around to face them. Now, in order to maintain eye contact with the Oriental woman to whom he is talking, he lifts his eyes to look in the mirror and see her. That’s better isn’t it? No, I don’t think so either. His eyes are off the road and the bus is moving forward. Talk about distracted drivers … . See a picture from the bad old days and more descriptive text vide infra.

I am glad that distracted driving is getting so much press, maybe the LACMTA will get the idea that a driver chatting away on his/her cell with a bus full of people is NOT a good mixture and take action. They just need some undercover staff to check out the drivers.  You can see a photo and read more about this, in su Topo's opinion, very unsafe driver in the 2008-06-28 post.
My recommendation is that the first offense for distracted driving would be punishable by loss of job and loss of the Class B license with a notation entered on the individuals driving record. There will be no second offenses. The public would be much safer under this plan.

2009-10-12 (Columbus Day): If ever a driver needed to be retrained or even given initial training if he slipped through the cracks the first time, Operator # 18770 is the guy. His driving consists of alternating between the accelerator and brake. I have nicknamed him “Lurch” –there is no point of my trying to read, write or do much of anything with him at the wheel.

I transfer to a Big Blue Bus, the passenger next to me is holding a book called “Cathedral” it can’t be that interesting because she is sleeping. My research shows that it is about terrorist hostage takers in New York City and was written in late 1990. The passenger in front of me turns a potential woman seatmate away with “mojado” –then smiles after she cannot see. He gets a cell call in English so I wonder if he knows any other Spanish? He leaves the bus on Pico and when I leave, I touch the seat, it is completely dry. ¿Como dice “jerk” en Español?

2009-10-16: I stand at a bus stop on Sepulveda BL as a 232 Line bus speeds by with the headsign displaying “Discharge Only”. On the spot, I wondered whether the LACMTA has a mission statement of not. If they have one is it: Our mission is to keep the buses on schedule and as a byproduct, irritate our riders? Or, Our mission is to provide transportation to the public? Your Mole votes for the former.

2009-10-18 9:50AM: LAXCBC, a 232 Line bus #11045 on layover is left to idle while the driver leaves to have a conversation with another driver. Your tax dollars being wasted furthering global warming.

On the subject of the 232 Line, one after the street alignment allows for a better route, it still makes the time, money and resource wasting “loop” around the Mariposa Green Line station. The difficult takes a little longer and the impossible just can’t be done at all.

After YEARS, they have finally worked out a stop at the Plaza El Segundo shopping center. BUT, only if you are coming from Long Beach –for which the should get one and a half cheers— or are capable of plotting a route using a compass and GPS equipment Boo-Hiss <http://filebin.ca/xwnwf>.

Which mean that they still have not figured out how someone can travel from the LAXCBC via the most direct route, which is ONLY via the southbound 232 Line, to a stop on the west side of Sepulveda. They have used every excuse for a project which, basically, entails: (1) Planting a bus stop “flag” on the west side of Supelveda at South Hughes Way; (2) installing a walk sign system on both sides of Supelveda at South Hughes Way and (3) painting a cross walk. The time and money can come from a rationalization of the northbound 232 Line route and eliminating the “loop” described above.

Some postings ago (2009-07-31), I described the noise levels due to the irritating and mostly unnecessary announcements at the Mariposa Green Line station. One of which is my favourites! Is when they broadcast, and please remember that you are standing on the station platform when you hear this, a request that you call a 310 number to report suspicious packages and etc., completely ignoring the fact that EVERY light rail platform has an emergency telephone system! How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb?? No, no, It should be how many LACMTA employees must contribute their IQs, in order to sum to 100?

Sometime ago I promised a recording of the irritating announcements too often heard at the rail stations. The photo above as taken from the patio of the Hilton Garden Inn and shows its “neighbor” the Mariposa Green Line Station, about 100 feet distant, in a straight, line. If you study, the photo, it will reveal one of the 22 speakers located at the station. There are 11 on each side of the 180’ platform, or one for about every 16 lineal feet!

Molette offered to tape some of the announcements. Unfortunately, they seem not to broadcast when people are actually on the platform.

Here is what she obtained. Our audio engineer has compressed her work and much shortened the time-line but, other than you not having to listen to long stretches of “not much happening” the recording faithfully reproduces what she heard.

Above and below, are pictures of the sad state of repair of the Mariposa Green Line Station. Note the peeling paint, the corrosion, the cracks in the glass which form part of the roof structure.

There is NO QUESTION that the LACMTA spends money that should be spent on maintenance of existing facilities, building new and to this Mole’s way of thinking, often unnecessary things –which will not be maintained either.

The poor (actually nonexistent) maintenance is matched by the filthy Green Line trains which traverse it. See my posting of (2009-07-31) but please understand that the trains look MUCH dirtier when viewed from the platform.

I grant all usage rights to these two pictures, for use in legal actions against the LACMTA, to attorneys representing clients injured at the station due to lack of proper maintenance by the LACMTA.

Now, the LACMTA is not the only political structure to be derelict about maintenance and disinterested in its citizens and visitors safety. Given its much smaller size and budget the City of El Segundo appears not to have eyes to see or FIX problems either.  I have written about it before (2008-06-28) and included photos as well, of the unsafe sidewalks and lack of crosswalk signal maintenance at the Sepulveda BL and Mariposa AV intersection.

Just above this text you can see a picture of the present state of the cross-walk signal control on the south-east corner of said intersection. It has been reported a number of times and it appears that injury or death will be required before someone take action. The control pictured has NEVER been properly installed, it was always loose and now the face plate which covers the wiring has been taken. What is required is that an engineer will see that a method of firmly attaching the control to the light standard is developed –it must be a method which will not allow normal usage to cause the unit to loosen. Right now there is more than one-half inch of play in the unit. This signal control is directly across the street from the Hacienda Hotel which has many guests who cross the street to the shopping center on the east side.

Below (appearing for the second time) is one of the areas where tripping hazards are present. Newspaper vending boxes were sloppily removed leaving all manner of metal things to trip over.

As I said above, here too, I grant all usage rights to these two pictures directly above, for use in legal actions against the responsible part/y(ies), to attorneys representing clients injured at the due to lack of proper maintenance by the those responsible. Note to the City of El Segundo, PLEASE attend to this needed work and don't forget the SE corner of Grand and Sepulveda and any other sites as well. You know, before someone is injured.

Above is the definitive picture of the UR (Ugly Residue) left when people try to remove the whois signs. The gift that keeps on giving! Also note that TransitTV is blessedly out of order on this bus!

Driver 20744 is putting together a recipe for choking. I wonder who will drive the bus if she does choke –she is pouring sunflower seeds out of a package into her mouth AND chatting on her cell phone (hands free) at the same time,

Look for a Culver City Line 6 Rapid Service to debut on 2010-01-04 according to an on-board information card.

I ride a Culver City Line 6 bus. A Fedex worker dozes, no doubt coming off the night shift at LAX. His mouth is wide open and he takes up two seats on this crowded bus.

I will close with a picture of an empty 715 Line bus seen on 2009-10-28 before 8:30AM –except for the driver it will travel that way from the LAXCBC to Inglewood. A few minutes before I took this photo a 715 was headed to the LAXCBC with no more than a handful of people aboard. The LACMTA's idea of economy in transportation in action!

Dedicated to the Dulcinea of my dreams
A slight breeze at this moment sprang up, and the great sails
began to move, seeing which Don Quixote exclaimed, "Though ye flourish more arms than the giant Briareus, ye have to reckon with me."

So saying, and commending himself with all his heart to his lady
Dulcinea, imploring her to support him in such a peril, with lance in rest and covered by his buckler, he charged at Rocinante's fullest gallop and fell upon the first mill that stood in front of him; but as he drove his lance-point into the sail the wind whirled it round with such force that it shivered the lance to pieces, sweeping with it horse and rider, who went rolling over on the plain, in a sorry condition. Sancho hastened to his assistance as fast as his ass [mule, Topo] could go, and when he came up found him unable to move, with such a shock had Rocinante fallen with him.”

Miguel De Cervantes (1547-1616), Don Quixote (1605), Chapter VIII
See: http://www.online-literature.com/cervantes/don_quixote/
Fare Box Score Box
I.D. Numbers of buses with Out of Order Fare Boxes: x;
Note: No or few entries above do not necessarily mean all fare boxes are in operation.
I.D. Numbers of Buses Defaced by WhoIs stickers: 6380UR; 5301; 7166; 7370; 6336+UR; 5104; 5210; 5301; 7166; 6326; 6353; 6377+UR; 6348;
+UR = whois sticker and the ugly residue left after passengers partly remove the sticker. ~UR = Only the ugly residue left after passengers almost completely remove the sticker.
ID numbers of Buses whose Head and Tail signs disagree: 6458 117/000; 6577 115/210; 6575 117/blank; 5185 115/212; 6306 117/ ;
Format is Headsign number/Tailsign number, 3 digits each.

La Taupe's Abréviations
FHMTC = the Fox Hills Mall Transportation Center (Sepulveda and  Slauson)
LAXCBC = the LAX City Bus Center.
TT = Torrance Transit.
T1 = the normal type of driver/staff.
T3 = the uncommunicative type of driver/staff, sometimes surly.
T2 = is the non-stop talker type of driver/staff, on the phone or to passengers,
WLATC = the West Los Angeles Transportation Center (Fairfax and Apple)
(1) N/A. “America's Not-So-Fast Trains”. New York Times. 1 Aug. 2009:A14.
(2) Grad, Shelby. “Bus service to LAX to start soon”. Los Angeles Times. 21 Oct. 2009:A12.
(3) Willon, Phil. “Union sues over cameras on trains”. Los Angeles Times. 21 Oct. 2009:A12.
(4) Bloomekatz, Ari B. “Plans for trains river may collide”. Los Angeles Times. 18 Oct. 2009:A33. 

Su Topo’s Disclaimer and apologia 
Your Mole always attempts to write an easy-on-the-eyes page using text input. Blogger.com however, has other ideas and will often not stay with a single font type or point size, produces extraneous spacing and etc. I wish I had time to debug the HTML which they produce, it is NOT the straight text which I pasted into the form, but I don’t. Therefore, I apologize on behalf of Blogger.com for the changes which they make, of which I do not approve. Sometimes, what I see, thankfully you don’t, is 24 point type –it is giant and other times they swallow my text, although it still seems to be there. In fairness to them, things seem better, although this is partly because I do understand which of their “features” do the most damage to me and consequently do not use them. Communicating these problems to them, for me, is something like having teeth extracted without the benefit of anesthetic, actually it is less fun than that. By their design, there is no simple e-mailing them with "Please look at my say, posting of 2009-06-28, it is weird!” I am hoping that one of their developers will some day read this, copy my code and improve their text to HTML engine. Until then, lo siento. 

Mole’s Copyright Statement

All photographs and original written materials are copyrighted © 2007~2009 by LAmetroMole. Clicking a photo will often* present you with an enlargement. *This feature is dependent upon the Internet browser which you use and possibly other factors. 

This site contains or provides links to copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, sustainable development, environmental, community and worker health, public disclosure, corporate accountability, and etc. We have often included relatively brief quotes from articles and etc., sometimes in addition to a simple link, because we have found that links frequently go "bad" or change over time. We believe this constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without fee or payment of any kind to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes and to those who access the site via any and all other channels. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. Music or other recorded material on this site, or referred to by this site are copyrighted by their respective artists and are made available here for evaluation purposes only. Please support the artists you like by buying their commercial CDs, MP3s and downloads.

Your Mole’s Conflict of Interest Statemen

 This is to certify that I, the blogger who is known as the LAmetroMole, with respect to this blog, except as described below, am not now nor at any time during the past year have been, nor it my current intention to ever be:
1) A participant, directly or indirectly, in any arrangement, agreement, investment, or other activity with any vendor, supplier, or other party doing business with any of the entities about which I have written, which has resulted or could result in personal benefit to me.
2) A recipient, directly or indirectly, of any salary payments or loans or gifts of any kind or any free service or discounts or other fees from or on behalf of any person or organization engaged in any transaction with any of the entities about which I have written. Any exceptions to 1 or 2 above are stated below with a full description of the transactions and of the interest, whether direct or indirect, which I have (or have had during the past year) in the persons or organizations having transactions with any of the entities about which I have written.
  1. There are no exceptions.

    Date: 2009-06-24 S/ LAmetroMole


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