2010-03-30

 
Vae Viator


Please note my contribution, The lead headline, above, to the LACMTA as a possible new motto, this one is Latinate, which imparts a certain cachet.  The meaning, well, it’s really better for them if they don’t know.

The photo above (♪Please click it for a larger view) shows that a graffitist has been at work.  But can he be all wrong?  Not when one is dealing with the LACMTA, where it is a case of the 98% giving the rest a bad name.  This month, I hope to support the graffitist’s thesis with photographs that show the typical efforts of the LACMTA.  If that isn’t enough you can page through past postings and check for photos which fill-in other areas of the agency’s numerous shortcomings.  Of course, all the LACMTA needs to do is publish a list of ALL their projects which includes the planned and actual completion dates along with the amounts budgeted and expended to date, then we will have a clear picture of the their effectiveness.  Failing that, we could use a local newspaper that serves to inform the public, not simply as a vehicle for full-page movie advertisments.




I have written about this Expo Line overpass before.  The more I look at progress, the more concerned about the stability of the structure I become.  It is held up by heavy wooden beams, some with cracks running through them --no steel, no concrete, no “rerod (reinforcing rod’s that, when embedded in concrete  “stiffen” it).  Not long ago we experienced a magnitude 4.4 earthquake –what about 5.5?   I have not performed a stress analysis mainly because I don't know the loading (the weight of the steel which is used on the superstructure) and other important data. 


Clicking on the photo above will hopefully present you with an enlargement.  What one can see is steel girders banded together on the top of wooden supports.  These big wooden beams are approximately 30cm X 30cm (1 ft X 1 FT).  Who designed this overpass?  Who is performing this work, i.e., building it?   Who is inspecting it?  Your Mole prays that it isn’t somebody’s brother-in-law, but who can tell?? There is no signage that tells us, as we can find on most if not all government projects.  I have spent time in the area and can find nothing that is marked as belonging to B-I-L Contractors or anybody else.



Lots of the beams have long cracks (Please see the photo above and click on it for more detail).  This is worrisome, at least for right now.

The photos here are intended to show what, to me, is an unusual way of building such a structure, i.e., they are building the  top –the superstructure first, then apparently they will build the supporting base (if any), the substructure.




The last time I was on-site they were working on the tear down of the supporting structures, pictured above.  There is speculation that the LACMTA originally intended to support the overpass during construction with bales of $1000 bills, fortunately the LACMTA found a more expensive way to do it. 
    



And here we can see the supporting piers/columns.  It appears that the actual crossing over La Cienega will be a single span with no supporting piers.  The span will be 100 feet long.
It is possible that the approximately 100 foot segment could be self supporting.  But what su Topo imagines is two heavily loaded trains passing on the overpass just as an earthquake strikes –just remember back to the 1994 earthquake and the collapse of portions of the Santa Monica Freeway  Please see: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2c/Northridge_earthquake_10_frwy2.png which picture is n the same general area, not very far away from the Expo Line Overpass.




Above we can see a view of all the lumber used in providing a base upon which to build.  Another worrisome thing to this Mole is the secrecy which seems to surround these projects.  There are no proudly designed by “X” using all the improvements learned by the Loma Pieta earthquake, no happily built by “Y” using the finest in materials.  For example, the supports in the center of the street do not use big screw jacks which could be screwed down, just a little, to allow for piece by piece dis-assembly.  What I saw, in the eastern portion was workers ramming into the support with a "Zoom Boom" and a kind of “quick and dirty” or brute force dis-assembly.

In use, the overpass will be regularly subject to the forces applied by rail cars weighing in the neighbourhood of 54 tons each, more when fully occupied.

With the LACMTA's approach to projects, anything is possible.  I will just say of all the places I don't want to be during an earthquake, under this thing is right near the top of the list.

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

An amNY.com piece(1) by Ms Heather Haddon although primarily focused on service reductions necessitated by a budgetary shortfall, also shows the way it should be done here.  A sidebar provides information vis-á-vis public feedback meetings: there are five spread over three days in early March, in different Boroughs, all starting at 18:00.  An 18:00 start time makes attendance possible in NYC’s relatively compact area.  And, by way of this link home page link www.mta.info amd on  http://mta.info/mta/news/releases/?en=100216-NYCT24 one can see how the New York City MTA communicates train (read subway) arrivals to its’ ridership.   This is more like the signage in San Francisco’s Bart System (Please see: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_XffgzF7d4Z0/SKxNurTjwiI/AAAAAAAAAP8/4P4n0F57E_k/s1600-h/BartSignageSFO2.JPG than the “Lame-O-Matics” in use in Los Angeles (Please see: http://lametromole.blogspot.com/2007_09_01_archive.html.
When you compare these clear and understandable signs with our own (Is puky a word?) puky mixed message signs, once again the LACMTA ends up the loser.  But the signage in Los Angeles may be cheaper –although that should hardly be a basis for comparison.  The NYC system decided on their signs well after the LACMTA did and still ended up with, what to this Mole is, older but yet completely serviceable technology.

I urge you to read this “NOTICE OF CLASS ACTION AND PROPOSED SETTLEMENT” which is the result of a class action lawsuit entitled “Boggs v. MTA” at: 
http://brailleinstitute.org/sites/default/files/Class_Notice.pdf
.  The proposed settlement which avoids a trial for the LACMTA makes for interesting reading.  All of the settlement terms seem to require the LACMTA (“Metro”) take action.
Although “Metro” according to the pdf to which I have provided a link (Vide supra) says “Metro [the defendant] disputes the claims and denies that it has violated disability access laws or otherwise discriminated against the visually impaired.”
The terms to which “Metro” have agreed, of which there are nine (9) –termed “service improvements”  would make one think otherwise, coupled with the fact that there are no requirements for the class.  Each of the terms are good and to this Mole necessary and would expected of any public transportation  organisation, even one which was not constantly self promoting themselves as “America’s Best” years after they received the undeserved title.

Su Topo like all the terms and especially number 5) which commits Metro to “enhancing its undercover monitoring program …”. 
But one requirement is missing, i.e., that Metro would ensure that the Automatic Destination Announcement (on) Door Opening (ADADO) is made functional systemwide!

I have noted on the 232 Line that drivers have been calling out stops –at least sometimes.  BUT, some buses on this line the operation of which is contracted to First Transit, do not have the plaques with the bus number in Arabic numbers and Braille.
Su Topo’s opinion?  This be a way for the LACMTA to dodge their responsibility citing “... our settlement agreement doesn’t extend to contract lines” –N.B. lawyers who used to sue the LACMTA for the BRU.

Attempts to find out who produces the reliable ADADO used by Montebello Bus Lines, which is helpful to all riders in that people at crowded bus stops can hear the destination of a given bus, were ahhh, stonewalled!   Perhaps they believe in Lincoln’s advice: “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt”.
I did some personal research and found that the system which su Topo calls ADADO may be manufactured by AESYS http://www.aesysinc.com/products/transport/destline_voice_announcement_system.html ; and called the “Destination Line voice announcement system”.  At least, their system seems to do what the LACMTA’s does –if and when it operates.  The Los Angeles Times reinforces this Mole's thesis regarding the LACMTA in an article last month(2) which gives us some idea about how the agency and its' “brain trust” of politicians conceptualize “the concept of “Return on Investment.  The sub-heading tells the whole story: “The agency has spent $34 million but might win just half that in a 15-year-old [legal] fight with a Red Line contractor”.  

The Santa Monica Daily Press reports(3) that “Angeles Flight” is back in operation after a nine (9) year hiatus.  This could have been an LACMTA project [it wasn’t] since it took the nine years and a reported $3.5 Million to put it back in operation.  When I walked past about mid-morning one day, there was only one passenger.   I think of it as the railway to nowhere and with a fare of just a quarter, it will be paid off with expenses, maintenance and operating costs covered by, let me think, …ummm, never?  This really could be an LACMTA project! 
USA Today's Forum page offered a thoughtful piece(4) on Michelle Obama's health oriented “Let's Move” campaign.  The writer is “who also writes a blog, Latina Lista http://www.latinalista.net/palabrafinal/ , in part says: “For starters, Let's Move needs to be available in Spanish as well.


As the purpose of comedy is to correct the vices of men, I see no reason why anyone should be exempt.
Molère (1622-1673), French playwright and actor
Ear to the Rail
The audio quality of the on board announcements on the on the Red-Purple Lines, although "improved" are still sub-substandard.  To illustrate what is possible here are two foreign announcements one from Kharkov and one from Tokyo.  Note how clear they are even though you do not, I assume, speak the language.  Listen to the announcement from Kharkov, Ukraine here and the Tokyo announcement hereAmerica’s Best? 

Cosmology
Here is a link to an excellent photograph of “The Needle Galaxy” http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap100304.html hosted by the excellent Astronomy picture of the day.  It is far away though, at the speed of light it would take one 40,000,000 years to reach there from earth. 


The Mole Rides Again, so that you don't have to feel uncomfortable among people who you would not have the occasion to meet elsewhere –even if you wanted to.

2010-03-10 I’m riding a 117 Line bus to the LAXCBC, we’ve just passed the 103rd Street/Kenneth Hahn Blue Line Station.  My fellow passengers could be gathered anywhere, but most likely would be seen at a casting call for extras in a gang related movie. 
There are lots of wheel chairs boarding and I witnessed a driver deny boarding to potential passenger.  The driver explained his reasoning which is too long and not easily translated for a blog which is family friendly.

There are a number of young ladies dressed in the blue uniforms of their medical assistant training school.  There is a lot of “ink” to be seen on this ride, too –even on the arms of one of the ladies in a blue uniform. 

Three other young ladies in “civilian” clothing demonstrate their familiarity with, how can one say, “earthy language”?

One of the men, who entered with two others, all of whom may have been in a “State sponsored” body building program, has a tattoo that started under his chin, wound around his neck under both his ears then, up the back of his neck and covered about three-fourths of the crown of his head –different.

The bus is very full and surprisingly quiet, most conversations especially most of those carried on in Español are not at all loud.  Even the cell phone calls, always annoying, are subdued. 
That said, if the LACMTA wanted to offer familiarization rides to first time bus users, I would not suggest the 117 as a likely tour bus, east of Crenshaw anyway.




As usual, it seems that the LACMTA has forgotten, if they ever knew, what an access control gate should look like.  The one at the Mariposa Station on the Green Line is missing important features.

The agency is ever focused on doing everything “on the cheap” even if the result proves ineffective.

Here, is how it’s done in Tokyo, a city that knows how to do mass transit.

N.B. that they have a two to one exit to entry ratio.



OR

OR (self referentially) from a trip to San Francisco (2008-08-29).

And here:

2010-03-05 @ 09:10: I ride a 115 Line bus, #5102, as I board I greet the driver but he ignores me. 

2010-03-07 LAXCBC 09:30: On this cold and windy morning, q woman in short sleeve T-shirt stood watching aircraft and laughing on this cold. 

A wanna be rapper, whose language contains many N-words walks by.
My driver, who arrived in a relief vehicle, waddles –sorry, it's true– over to her waiting bus.

At Mariposa Station a woman, with a cough, wearing a fur coat, and reading something, sits directly on the east bound platform.

Standing near me chattering away, in Tokyo dialect, some tourists give me an opportunity to update my current Japanese slang.

Aviation Station @ 13:00: A woman smokes and makes unusable, for this Mole anyway, the chairs which are warmed by the sun and somewhat sheltered from the wind.   A man walks as he talks on his cell, pacing and gesticulating.

The woman lights another cigarette, she will smoke three, in the  fifteen or so minutes that I wait, which keeps me standing while writing this.



Regarding access control gates (above –The Green Line Aviation Station entry (East) and below –The Green Line Aviation Station entry (West), things are worse than I thought!  The gates are installed but, there are no barriers to entering the station.  If they intended to use this [find a softer synonym for ignorant] approach they could have simply installed the gates at the top or better yet, the bottom of the stairways or escalators.  ¡Dio mia! This is what happens when politicians design/change transportation systems (or any other kind, say health care) systems :-)




As a reminder for those who work for the LACMTA and have limited short term memory, here is what a serious access control gate looks like.




Aboard a 117 bus: A drunk passenger is free with his compliments to the ladies on board, who seem unappreciative.  He is sipping from the contents of a bottle which is concealed in a paper bag.
Transit TV seems to be getting by, using amateurish on-air staff who read prepared reports for a probably low salary and “the experience”.

A man's contribution to his cell phone conversation seems to be “heh-heh-heh”.

2010-03-13 @ 06:00:  Lily wakes me up at six.  Well, not Lily Regalado personally, it is her voice announcing the start of Alma del Barrio on KXLU (88.9FM).  And a lovely voice it is too –in either Spanish or English.  She call us (the listeners) famalia a nice touch so early in the morning and gives my day a positive start.

2010-03-14: I board a 439 line bus whose head sign reads "Aviation Station" when it turns right when exiting the LAXCBC I realise, even if the driver doesn't, that he forgot to set it up properly. I walk the 2 longish blocks back to the LAXCBC.

The LACMTA and the seamless application of technology –I don't think so!   With all the GPS outputs available to them, the logical one would be to condition the headsign display based upon direction of travel.  This would slightly reduce the driver's workload and make it easier for the ridership too.  Apparently, it is not a priority at the Taj Mahal.

Bus #11032  on the 232 Line driven by # 76796 who delays our 09:35 departure so he can step off bus to take cell call –which tells me that new policies re on-board cell calls are in effect.

At the LAXCBC: Line 111 buses seem to either be “missing in action” or running with a thirty second interval –are these drivers taking coffee breaks together?

2010-03-15 @ 07:00 LAXCBC:  An apparently homeless man wanders around wearing what might be a woman’s white blouse thrown over the shoulders of his raincoat.  He is asking random people whether today is Monday or Tuesday.  He is an excellent example of the lack of security here at the City Bus Center.  It is a location that deserves even demands more frequent patrols by some of the several policing agencies in the area.

Aboard a 439 Line bus:  Most of the passengers aboard this bus are dressed for work.  One man wears an open-weave pith helmet as his fashion statement, it is sweat stained.

Mess Transit





At Union Station I assist a man in negotiating the stairway down to the tunnel level (Please see the photo above.)   and over to the top of the escalator to the Red Line.  This stairway could also be a problem for a sighted person who isn’t very careful.  To see how Tokyo’s first class transportation system provides assistance to the visually impaired please see: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bahoofgaggler/1048830019/

Those involved in the design and construction of this section of Union Station could have maintained the art deco look and feel of the building while providing for handicapped safety and accessibility.


In this respect, the suit (Vide Supra) against the LACMTA which seemed to focus on buses was too narrow.  The attorneys should have had all aspects of the organization’s operations surveyed and included in the litigation. 

The barriers described above are unintentional, of course.  But the inept LACMTA fails in establishing intentional barriers as well as we saw in the case of access control gates (above).  It
Here is another reminder about how a properly designed access control system should appear, just for the LACMTA.
Here is what a true access control gate (in Tokyo) looks like:

LACMTA? Get the idea??  I’ll take that “duh” as a NO!
We could have this kind of access control system here too, but of course, the NIH (Not Invented Here) syndrome is always prevalent when politicians are falling all over each other trying to take credit for one or more “great” ideas.  The LACMTA needs clear headed engineering talent and professional management much more than the grasping politicians who are currently involved in mess transit here in Los Angeles.  
I board the Gold Line at Union Station.  After several stops the operator finally gets the station announcements in synchronization with the physical stops.  The super-sized passenger next to me forces me to take notes in a cramped position. 

2010-03-17 @ 11:30: I return from downtown on-board a 439 Line bus, number 6442 driven by [1 or 2]8443. A passenger in the far right front seat pours popcorn from a bag into her left palm, then selects and eats one kernel at a time.  Finishing, she picks her teeth with a wooden toothpick.


I am quickly getting a headache because the driver has his personal two-speaker radio positioned on the “dash board” behind the fare box, playing loudly –Fox Sports, I believe.  This is in competition with the cooking program being broadcast by the too loud, as usual, Transit TV. 


The driver reaches for his belt removes his cell phone and takes notes –all the while “driving”, in fact he had to jam on the brakes to avoid rear-ending a car immediately ahead of us.  His English is accented –perhaps from the Caribbean or even Nigeria— I can’t tell.  He also jokes and chats with the popcorn eating passenger, but not like the nonstop talkers which are frequently my METRO drivers.

Waiting at the LAXCBC, I can’t help but overhear a young couple talking.  He is outfitted like a skateboarder, she has lots of ink on her back and her contribution to the conversation, from the little I care to hear, is laced with rough language. 
2010-03-18 10:40 Driver #25642, on bus #7163, a 439 Line route took a break, smoked and talked on her cell phone.  She seems to have ended the all before she got behind the wheel.




This is the fourth (4th) time I’ve taken pictures in the same general area of the track at the El Segundo Green Line Station.  And yet, the repairs are incomplete –note the unjoined pipe  and exposed wiring.  Oh, and the sand on the track?  It likely dribbles out of the sand dispensers found on the trains, some of these rail cars are destined for areas that have ice and snow.  Sand improves traction under those conditions and due to a lack of understanding of the word “maintenance” these spills and LOTS of other messes never get cleaned up.

Is it any wonder that your Mole talks about I.Q.s which are lower than body temperatures or projects which never are finished? 

This morning, March 22, 2010, as I transited the Imperial Station on the Blue Line, even though the South gates were installed –but not operational— movement was held up, I made a mental note to avoid this station during rush hours, because the potential for serious problems due to bottle necks is that great.


Here is the typical LACMTA "fix", this for the leaking skylight about which la Taupe reported last month (2010-02-28).  Either the contractor did not use materials suitable for the intended use OR the correct materials were installed improperly.  In either case the cost for the repair should NOT be paid by the taxpayer.  But knowing the LACMTA's track record in court or just generally, I can understand why they would not press the issue.




The photo above shows the real photovoltaic panels on the right side –they are darker— and you can note the wiring. 
While, on the left, the picture above shows, well let's  call them the PVP (Phony Voltaic Panels) --Look, no wires!  Your Mole asks:  "How much did it cost for this deception?  The area covered, and this applies to both sides of Lake Street, would seem to shelter about 200 people, per side of the street, under sardine like conditions.

This exceeds the maximum number of people su Topo has seen waiting by more than 180 people per side.  Had they better matched the canopied area with the expected occupancy, then the cost Phony Voltaic Panels could have been avoided.

2010-03-22 @ 10:15: Aboard a Line 79 bus, #7703.  The headsign says "On Detour" but the driver doesn't seem to know why.  Su Topo guesses that is an artifact of yesterday's marathon.  The Transit TV is on max volume and the two women in front of me speak as if they are mutually deaf.



2010-03-24 @ 7:30 at the LAXCBC:  Vor is working this morning, he arrive in his personal METRO vehicle, one just like the relief drivers use.  He hauls, I only saw one iteration of this process but likely there were more, a partially filled trash back into the locked employee only rest room area.  Once inside I assume that he culls the trash for recyclables.  When he exits he starts sweeping, his pattern seems to be to clean the northern half of the “island” that comprises the bus center proper.  This half is delineated by a bisector running from the south-west to the north-east.  The other half, a roughly triangular shaped area, may or may not be swept later.

He moves to a stationary trash can and uses his “grabber” to transfer trash an article at a time, into his wheeled garbage can, leaving the used plastic liner in place in the stationary container.

He discovers a brown paper bag, opens it and extracts a discarded sandwich.  Vor shreds the bread and scatters it on the concrete in front of him, a familiar pattern, at least to the flock of seagulls which forms to eat the bread crumbs.  He mashes, what I believe to be tortilla chips, in their bag and distributes these crumbs as he did with the bread crumbs.

During this period he is acting more a a litterer than a cleaner.   I leave Vor and board a 439 bus.  Before long I am joined by two men who seem, to this Mole, to talk more than most women --MMes et Mlles, Excuse-moi.  Verbose is a word too weak to describe these guys: “… he is a very energetic guy … walks up to the 17th floor 2 or 3 steps at a time.  …vodka on-on-the-rocks … when I saw him last he was still wired …” and on and on and on. 

I note that a Dash vehicle is marked with the Metro logo and also has “Veolia” is reddish letters, all on the right rear side just behind the right-rear wheel.

2010-03-24 @ 12:30: I am downtown at the City National Plaza and hungry.  It was a good opportunity to try “El Coche” in the lower level.  The food is good and the price bearable.   They
have a small but tasty salsa bar which includes one of my favourites, salsa verde.

2010-03-25 @ 15:00: I return on a 439 Line bus, number 6443 driven by operator 14223 –AKA, to La Taupe and his readers, as “Mr. Tape-it-up”.  As usual he has pieces of trash bags taped over the top portion ot the left front windshield, the rear, top, half of the driver’s side (left window) with his uniform jacket hung over the visor, draped so that it covers the bottom half of the window.

He is neither careful nor very skilled and although the freeway is only moderately busy he is having difficulty merging into the right lane so that he can exit to the WLATC.  It seems that it requires more than a mile to accomplish the lane change.   When he is driving a straight path he keeps his right hand on the steering wheel and droops his left hand over the bottom half of the front half of the driver’s side window or resting in his lap.

I deem that action careless, because, given his apparent vision problems and the additional time required to react and reposition his left hand in an emergency, he potentially places his passengers in jeopardy.

He is also prone to inattention to the task at hand, driving, given his tendency to carry on lengthy conversations with passengers –although today he is strangely quiet.   Unfortunately, a young woman carries on a very loud, animated and lengthy cell phone conversation which was annoying.

He descends Green Valley Circle to Sepulveda in a series of jerky manoeuvres.

At the CCTC, always a confusing stop because passengers don’t understand the headsign and are always making inquiries about the destination for a given 439 Line bus.  Mr. Tape-it-up, with his accent, seems to have difficulty in explaining where he/we is/are going.  His use of Spanish is strange too, saying “Bienvenido” when people exit.

Metro could address the passengers’ confusion by putting up better signs or do as the CCMBL does, make separate bus stops for the North bound and South bound routes.

Metro would do well to better supervise driver 14223, possibly  transfer him to a job to which he is better suited, given his vision limitation and definitely assign management personnel, who are unknown to him, to evaluate his on-the-job performance. 

The very least they should do is ensure that LACMTA buses are kept in a standard configuration, not "tricked out" with taped up garbage bags, schedule documents and etc.


2010-03-26 around 13:00:  The ride on this 439 Line bus, # 7616,
is fairly quiet –until about 15 minutes out of the LAXCBC. At
that point the driver, # 25642, starts a cell phone conversation
which lasts beyond our arrival at the bus center.  Operator: “I
want to do it on E-bay, but how do I handle the money transfer?
… Well they could send bad [counterfeit] bills.  Cashiers
check?  Couldn’t that be bad too?  …  Anyway I want to keep
12 and spend 3 on a Harley [I believe the unit is thousands of
Dollars, because $300 is too little for a Harley], maybe the
proceeds from the sale of a car”.

I have noticed that fewer drivers have been making cell phone
calls or answering them.  But this operator, let’s call her
Harlene, apparently wanted to quickly get her hands on a
motorcycle.


Dedicated to the Dulcinea of my dreams
’The inn was all in silence, and in the whole of it there was no light 
except that given by a lantern that hung burning in the middle of the 
gateway. This strange stillness, and the thoughts, always present to 
our knight's mind, of the incidents described at every turn in the books 
that were the cause of his misfortune, conjured up to his imagination as 
extraordinary a delusion as can well be conceived, which was that he 
fancied himself to have reached a famous castle (for, as has been said,
all the inns he lodged in were castles to his eyes), and that the daughter 
of the innkeeper was daughter of the lord of the castle, and that 
she, won by his high-bred bearing, had fallen in love with him, and had 
promised to come to his bed for a while that night without the knowledge 
of her parents; and holding all this fantasy that he had constructed as 
solid fact, he began to feel uneasy and to consider the perilous risk 
which his virtue was about to encounter, and he resolved in his heart 
to commit no treason to his lady Dulcinea del Toboso, even
though the queen Guinevere herself and the dame Quintanona should 
present themselves before him.  
 
“… he went on to say in low, tender voice: Would that found myself,
 lovely and exalted lady, in a position to repay such a favour 
as that which you, by the sight of your great beauty, have 
granted me; but fortune, which is never weary of persecuting the 
good, has chosen to place me upon this bed, where I lie so 
bruised and broken that though my inclination would gladly comply 
with yours it is impossible; besides, to this impossibility another 
yet greater is to be added, which is the faith that I have pledged 
to the peerless Dulcinea del Toboso, sole lady of my most secret 
thoughts; and were it not that this stood in the way I should not 
be so insensible a knight as to miss the happy opportunity which your 
great goodness has offered me."’
 
Miguel De Cervantes (1547-1616), Don Quixote (1605), http://www.literaturecollection.com/a/cervantes/don-quixote/1/ ,
Chapter XVI

Fare Box Score Box and related Lists of Shame
I.D. Numbers of buses with Out of Order Fare Boxes: 6365;
Note: No or few entries above do not necessarily mean all fare boxes are in operation. 
I.D.Numbers of Distracted Drivers: (i)(ii)(iii);
25642(ii).
Codes: (i) Extended conversation(s) with passenger(s) or (ii) cell phone call(s).  Frequently, details can be found in the text above, (iii) Self-distracted.  This code will ALWAYS be explained in the posting.
I.D. Numbers of Buses Defaced by WhoIs stickers: 9367UR; 6344+UR; 6378;
~UR or +UR = (+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. +L = an old (legacy) sticker black letters on a plain white background –these are the original form of defacement.
* Another reason for displaying the operator's ID on the internal display and the headsign.

ID numbers of Buses whose Head and Tail signs disagree: 6343  146 San Pedro/42 (the side sign reads 42 Out of Service and a “wild sign on the windshield reads “117; 5215 108/207;
Format is Bus number followed by Headsign number/Tailsign number.

La Taupe's Abréviations
ADADO = Automatic Destination Announcement (on) Door Opening. This feature is installed on many buses and operates on extremely few.  Another “money down the toilet” LACMTA investment.  La Taupe that this is intended for the visually impaired because people who can see can read the “head signs”.
ASAS = Automatic Stop Announcement System the GPS (Global Positioning System) driven mechanism for generating audio for the upcoming stops. N.B. Because of the low power (read weak) processors used in the on-board stops may be too close to identify stops separately.  This is know as a granularity problem.  Then too, if the driver operates the bus at speed above the speed limit you will find the system “back announcing” stops which you have already passed.  I find that this will NOT keep some drivers from complaining “that you didn’t signal (ring) in time.  They don’t understand their relationship to the system and how, by driving faster than the GPS computer, they can bias it. 
BBB = Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus
CC or CCMBL = Culver City (Municipal) Bus (Lines)
CCTC = Culver City Transportation Center this is the place formerly known as FHMTC = the Fox Hills Mall Transportation Center (Sepulveda & Slauson)
FFE = Full Fare Equivalent (presently $1.25)
LAXCBC = the LAX City Bus Center.
TT = Torrance Transit.
T1 = the normal type of driver/staff.
T2 = is the non-stop talker type of driver/staff, on the phone or to passengers,
T3 = the uncommunicative type of driver/staff, sometimes surly.
WLATC = the West Los Angeles Transportation Center (Fairfax & Apple)
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.

FAIR USE NOTICE
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 Statement
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.
There are no exceptions.
Date: 2009-06-24     S/ LametroMole                  

Bibliography/References
(1) Haddon, Heather. “Bus riders are dreading ‘doomsday’www.amNY.com . 1 Mar.2010:p4. Last Viewed: 03/01/2010 12:30 PM PST
(2) Bloomekatz, Ari B., “MTA's long legal battle draws fire”. Los Angeles Times. 14 Feb. 2010:A37.
(3) Nguyen, Daisy. “Tiny LA railway back on track years after crash”. Santa Monica Daily News. 16 Mar. 2010:3
(4) Trivño, Marisa. “Latino culture a key to childhood obesity”. USA TODAY. 12 Mar. 2010:9A.

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