Goodbye 439, 715, 920 and more! ♪
Click, wait, then click again for a giant size display :-)
Click, wait, then click again for a giant size display :-)
Another "shakeup" about the middles of next month and I will end up paying more money for less transportation! Some routes should end and the 715 is certainly one of them but, the 626 and the 439 are being canceled as well.
When a transportation “system” is “planned” by people who don’t, likely can’t use it we end up with exactly what we have. It took what, two years, before the LACMTA could see that they were “moving fewer slightly faster”. These are people and politicians posing as “transportation experts” or hiring those who are poseurs as well. They lack even the rudimentary skills to deal with ROI (Return On Investment) refuse to put their botched efforts out of their misery and cannot conceive a short-term trial or proof of concept to see if a route or idea is viable before making massive expenditures. Your Mole is frequently critical of the LACMTA because he knows that one can’t fix or improve what one does not understand.
The thought processes which have seized control of the agency are those from the past, those with which mediocre people feel comfortable and date from the RTD days and before, viz., bus routes. What many of us see as a system is, to the LACMTA, nothing more than a series of unconnected disjoint routes or lines.
Equal Taxation Yields Unequal Provision of Service.
The Rapid system is unfair by design since it takes away MORE transportation than it provides by having (and this varies somewhat) generally one stop per mile instead of six. Immediately, potential passengers face up to half mile walks to a bus stop virtue of where they happen to live. Further, since local service was killed or emasculated in the second sense of the word, in order to provide funds for the rapid service.
Adding insult to injury the passengers waiting for the infrequent local service or walking to a Rapid stop are forced to watch buses, often less than half full, whiz by them.
Then, if they are lucky enough to have local service they will frequently have to stand because the bus is packed with people bypassed by the "Rapid".
Of course, if anybody at the LACMTA would get up off their big fat chairs they could learn this for themselves.
The concept which the politicians and the minions who operate the
organization for them fail to grasp is that, if a bus travels 100 miles per day an carries only 100 passengers then, in effect, it is only carrying one passenger per mile. Therefore the entire fixed and variable costs for a mile of travel must be paid for by the fare collected from one passenger.
The equal taxation heading of this section may make those of you who are attorneys see what la Taupe does, a legal remedy to restore the provision of balanced service. Here is a pre-brief: (i) all LACMTA users are taxed equally (ii) there exists a sub-class, who by virtue of their place of residence, are bypassed by service to which they are entitled.
If you've passed the bar and don't yet have a job, here is an excellent case for you to take up “pro bono”; please, just remember these two words –“transportation system”.
Cancellation of a Route May be the Answer, but Not Always.
The 715 Line should be canceled moreover, its predecessor, the 315 line should never have been replaced just turned into/kept at peak hour service.
The 626 Line is being canceled but it should have been reworked since now with the cancellation of the 439 Line, there is no way to use a Metro bus to go directly from the LAXCBC to the Aviation Station and its mini-transportation center with now reduced to Metro service from the 120 Line. The 626/625 routes could have been fixed and maintained the concept of a transportation “system” while providing transportation for people who work at the western Imperial section of the airport.
For the 626 what is needed is a loop between the LAXCBC and Aviation Station which route could continue for Aviation Station to the area court building, if required. The 625 need also to be reworked while all canceled lines other than the 715 (which la Taupe hopes will be replaced with the old 315) should have been better promoted: the 625/626 to the airport employees and the 439 generally, after eliminating the CCTC stop as a faster and more economical way to reach LAX.
Further rationalization could have the “G” shuttle from LAX stop at the LAXCBC and then transport passengers to Aviation Station.
But these people can’t get together to serve the public, can the?
As with every shake-up for the past five (5) years, my monthly pass costs more because the service being provide has been reduced. Or in really bad cases the pass has gone up in price along with the service reduction.
No Alternatives are offered
One alternative would be to negotiate a mutual pass acceptance with the BBB, the CCNBL and the LACMTA. That way your Mole wouldn’t be complaining about the lack of service to Aviation Station, nor still be unhappy about the loss several years ago of the 220 Line service to Playa del Rey.
The LACMTA’s solution is for me to pay an addition fee over an above the cost of my monthly pass, for an EZPass. For this I will obtain part of the service which the LACMTA has just taken away from me. Does that make sense? I don’t think so!
By depriving me of transportation they now will have money to pump or is it dump? Into projects which were never proven to be winners in the first place and are now like the “Expo Line” which is far over budget and behind schedule.
Instead of all the hype and fanfare, think “Silver Line” here, why don’t they quietly inaugurate service on a trial basis, using photocopied schedules and a flexible route structure (pickup passengers where they are not only at major intersections) until they find out whether what they have devised is practical or not.
There will always be money losing lines but perhaps they must be maintained because they provide a needed link in the “system”.
Now, BBB and CCMBL have got Rapid right. It only runs at peak hours AND even when it is in effect the regular local line service remains in service.
The 439 Line –a victim of poor planning, poor promotion and unanswered fostered competition.
The 439 line is also being canceled. For the last six months or more service to the Aviation Station was eliminated for most of the daylight hours on weekdays.
With all the brochures, pamphlets and etc. that the LACMTA prints ceaselessly, there was almost no promotion devoted to the 439. Had it been properly publicized then travelers with limited luggage would have used it between Union Station and the LAXCBC, there after a short walk 50 steps or so they could board a free shuttle which serves every terminal.
But no, the LACMTA has been trying to kill the line for years and it looks like they have finally succeeded. What has been interesting about the service provided by the LACMTA is that they seem to have been satisfied with the service; in spite of the fact that the LACMTA provides part of LAWA's (Los Angeles World Airport) Flyaway service. Which infrastructure includes the bus stop rights, granted in an LACMTA board meeting, in the organization's Patsaouras Transit Center. You may remember that this Mole has been critical of them for their use of out-of-state bus registrations (Wyoming) when the buses are intended for service here is Southern California. Now, as they say: “What's up with that?”
The 439 line at a one way fare of about $2.20 should be full of people with limited luggage who want and need a reasonably priced trip. Flyaway charges over three times the rate. So here we have the LACMTA ignoring the clients whom they legally should be serving in favor of another organization who is in competition for the route. What was needed and simply not understood or ignored by the LACMTA was that the 439 route needed realignment, eliminating the service to the CCTC and perhaps several other stops as well. To su Topo’s way of thinking there should have been three or four departures each hour from Patsaouras Transit Center with only one, perhaps two serving the CCTC with other stops possibly eliminated as well.
It is this Mole’s believe that a detailed investigation of the agency would prove this: that the LACMTA is an organization which considers itself a transfer agent for public monies NOT a provider of world class mass transportation. As a transfer agent it spends public funds on project that frequently do not make economic sense. Take for example, linking Aviation Station to LAX.
Years have gone by while other major cities have direct subway service to their airports with Chicago's CTA serving both Midway and O'Hare! But here, they are talking about spending money on yet another, is there a polite way to say lame-brained?, light rail line. But then what would la Taupe write about if the LACMTA was efficient and effective? It seems that there is close to zero probability of that happening :-).
Note also, that there are other lines in the “system” that being canceled this “shakeup”, although there may be good reason for keeping them. However, your Mole can't be everywhere. We can also say goodbye to the 920 Line, another “moving (many) fewer, slightly faster” line.
Omerta, the Code of Silence
There is no question the LACMTA as constituted is incapable of taking the tax revenue that streams to them and provide a service that is needed by the public which depends on mass transit.
The LACMTA has better security than the C.I.A.! It is virtually impossible to find out anything. I have frequently asked:
Why the ADAODO system seems to be in operation on only one in ten buses?
Why the 232 Line makes a money-wasting loop around the Mariposa Station TWO YEARS after the one way street(s), which necessitated such a mess, were changed to two way?
Why the 232 Line does not make a Plaza El Segundo stop on the south bound section of the route forcing people to cross two (2) busy and dangerous streets and walk back nearly half-a-mile?
Why rude and or careless drivers remain in their seats?
Why public meeting are held at times and place which make it nearly impossible for the average user of mass transit to attend without losing pay?
Why the “seamless integration of technology” bragged about by the LACMTA in the past won’t allow for on-line feedback regarding routes and schedules?
Why the Marketing Department churns out an endless stream of inaccurate virtually useless materials?
Why does the 720 Line parallel the Purple and Red Lines? This Mole has suggested that the 720 Rapid be divided into an “A” and “B” section; the “A” Section would end at the first Red Line station that it encountered, while the “B” section would loop between the end of the Purple Line (Wilshire and Western) and Santa Monica which is the way it was organized pre-720 Line. Efficiency in action, isn’t it?
Why such a critical function such as TAP is handled by Communications (we’ll tell you about how good it’s going to be) instead of being part of operations department?
What is the TAP penetration, i.e., what percent of the ridership has a TAP pass?
When will the access control gates be turned on (N.B. this relates to TAP penetration)?
You do understand that, Security, Access Control and TAP are all intimately related, don’t you?
Why does the LACMTA favor LAWA’s FlyAway service while ignoring those whom it should consider to be its constituency?
What, if any, are the financial arrangements with LAWA that allows for the LACMTA to “opt out” if its requirement to provide mass transit?
Here is a simple chart:
Total boarding using TAP Total Boardings
Metro Bus | x y
Metro Rail | x1 y1
Fill it out and have the “Communications” department send it over to the Times and invite the reporters in for a Q & A about it.
Good idea? Absolutely!
I can go on and on but the answer from the LACMTA will be silence.
I believe that the questions raised above should be enough for a squad of reporters and a platoon of auditors.
The LACMTA policy as seen by this Mole is “we are losing on every transaction but we hope to make it up by increasing the volume of transactions.”
A good memory is needed after one has lied.
Pierre Corneille (1606-06-06~1684-10-01)
The Mole reads the papers and other things, so you don’t have to.
The Mole reads the papers and other things, so you don’t have to.
Who knew? The New York Post details dangerously illegal actions on the part of subway inspectors. Here is what the Post reporter wrote: “NYC Transit supervisors falsified thousands of vital signal inspections across the subway system for years, leaving strap hangers at risk for deadly collisions like the one that killed nine people in Washington, DC, The Post learned.” (Haddon) By all means, read this article and related pieces on the NY Post. Could it happen here? If the “old” Los Angeles Times still existed, you know the one – it won Pulitzers – su Topo would say it would be something for their follow-up. We have fewer total miles of track and fewer signal maintainers than the 1,000 quoted in the article above. However the correspondingly workload increase required by Federal regulations should result in the same requirement to do more work in the same time which resulted in the NYC falsifications.
The Los Angeles Times takes a deeper look at the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Connell). It reads like a case of triple-dipping based on the San Francisco to ahaa.., Disneyland high-speed train. The Times seems to be showing some of the old investigative reporting spirit vis-à-vis this project. If only su Topo could get the Times interested in shedding some light on the less-than-transparent activities of the LACMTA, GOK (God Only Knows), what they would uncover. Anyway, “Good Job!” to the Times and Mr. Connell who is the reporter on the story.
Please read this story, back issues of the Times are available at most area libraries.
Perhaps the Times has read my mind? Because they take on the LACMTA legal spending (Weikel). “County transportation officials have spent tens of millions of dollars [emphasis added – Mole] on legal fees without adequate controls or oversight to evaluate and limit the costs, according to an audit released Wednesday [2010-11-10].”
The agency’s management of contracts involving private law firms was described as “lax”.
La Taupe believes that one can replace the words “legal fees” with a blank line and then fill in almost any unit of the LACMTA and the result would be a truism.
Hoy asks whether the Gold Line extension brought benefits or not (Castro). Mr. Castro address a number of aspects of the just turned one-year-old extension including security and ridership of four of the subway lines. One person is quoted as saying “El tren no nos ha dado nada.” [The train has given us nothing. – Mole’s translation]
A perceptive “news analysis” article in the New York Times looks at the affects that political changes will have on transportation plans (Cooper). The Governor elect of Ohio is quoted: “The train is dead.” This outlook is supported throughout the piece.
Our plan, which is basically attempting to “reboot” passenger rail service having dumped such service 50 years ago, does not appear simple. Perhaps the Federal Government will clamp the brakes on, on some of our local projects.
In an article which show the fallacy of constructing an organization with dual constituencies. The LACMTA wants to make drivers happy and moving faster by adding more toll lanes. Coincidentally, making the drivers unhappy by making them pay for the faster travel. Of course, mass transit users will be unhappy because the money that is spent on the freeways won’t be spent on buses or rail.
Here is a piece about the Beijing environment (AP via NPR), which this Mole likes to preface with,“If Feng Sui [Feng Schway] really worked.”
While in New York City, their MTA continues to evaluate possibilities for its subway building program as covered by The New York Times (McGeeehan).
The piece discusses an extension of the subway system to New Jersey; which would have one terminus near Secaucus, NJ, cross to Manhattan under the Hudson River and link to the 7 train at an unspecified station, but likely at the Tines Square-42 St Station. P.S. NYC builds Mass Rapid transit while the LACMTA like to build mass transit that shares the right-of-way which makes it by definition NOT RAPID TRANSIT.
With this posting your Mole adopts the “MLA 7” (The Modern Language Association’s) Version 7), Viz., 2009 citation format; and will attempt to adhere to it (Please see: http://www2.yk.psu.edu/learncen ter/mla-july-09.pdf ). And N.B. la Taupe will only use the MLA citation format so please, don’t measure margins and etc. My readers will note little change, other than the use of the abbreviations: n.p. meaning that no publisher is specified; n.d. meaning no date of publication is specified, and that the blogger.com HTMLizer will no longer be driven crazy by FULL URLs (links) as only the site domain is required. Nor will su Topo be driven crazy by what the blogger.com HTMLizer does with his parenthesized citation numbers.
Pro forma, in text citations will appear as (Haddon) or occasionally (Haddon 12) when a page number is required. Then one can find, alphabetically, “Haddon” as the first value in an entry in the “Works Cited” section at the end of the posing.
Your Mole will continue to embed full links where he feels that they are necessary but, not as a practice, cite them. Where “Web” is the penultimate value in a citation, the final date, (still awake?) is the date that the web page was last accessed.
It is suggested that should problems be encountered in locating items in the “Works Cited” section that you consult a reference librarian at your local library. She will be familiar with the MLA citation format and usually be able to assist you in finding the original source. You can say that this writer thanks her in advance, as he thanks all librarians who have never failed to help him!
Ear to the Rail
Un monde san tabac? [A world without cigarettes?] The French smoke a lot and this appears that that may be changing. Please see: http://www.france24.com/fr/20101025-focus-sante-un-monde-sans-tabac
How about a nice song by Thalía? Here is “Enséñame a Vivir” on video. http://www.youclubvideo.com/video/135108/thalia-ensename-a-vivir
USA Today has a piece on the energy which emanates from the black hole at the center of our galaxy (Vergano). Which black hole is described as being “… about 4 million times heftier than the sun.” The gamma ray energy is thought to be emitted from the poles of the central black hole and bubbles up on either side of the plane of the galaxy for 25,000 miles.
We have another link to the same story:
C is for Canary...Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose get an urgent call from Mrs. Davis. Her canary is missing!”. Might be interesting.
Dedicated to the Dulcinea of my dreams
“Long live the memory of Amadis and let him be imitated so far as is possible by Don Quixote of La Mancha, of whom it will be said, as was said of the other, that if he did not achieve great things, he died in attempting them; and if I am not repulsed or rejected by my Dulcinea, it is enough for me, as I have said, to be absent from her. And so, now to business; come to my memory ye deeds of Amadis, and show me how I am to begin to imitate you. I know already that what he chiefly did was to pray and commend himself to God; but what am I to do for a rosary, for I have not got one?"
And then it occurred to him how he might make one, and that was by tearing a great strip off the tail of his shirt which hung down, and making eleven knots on it, one bigger than the rest, and this served him for a rosary all the time he was there, during which he repeated countless ave-marias. But what distressed him greatly was not having another hermit there to confess him and receive consolation from; and so he solaced himself with pacing up and down the little meadow, and writing and carving on the bark of the trees and on the fine sand a multitude of verses all in harmony with his sadness, and some in praise of Dulcinea; but, when he was found there afterwards, the only ones completely legible
that could be discovered were those that follow here:
Ye on the mountain side that grow,
Ye green things all, trees, shrubs, and bushes,
Are ye aweary of the woe
That this poor aching bosom crushes?
If it disturb you, and I owe
Some reparation, it may be a
Defence for me to let you know
Don Quixote's tears are on the flow,
And all for distant Dulcinea
The lealest lover time can show,
Doomed for a lady-love to languish,
Among these solitudes doth go,
A prey to every kind of anguish.
Why Love should like a spiteful foe
Thus use him, he hath no idea,
But hogsheads full--this doth he know--
Don Quixote's tears are on the flow,
And all for distant Dulcinea
Adventure-seeking doth he go
Up rugged heights, down rocky valleys,
But hill or dale, or high or low,
Mishap attendeth all his sallies:
Love still pursues him to and fro,
And plies his cruel scourge--ah me! a
Relentless fate, an endless woe;
Don Quixote's tears are on the flow,
And all for distant Dulcinea
The addition of "Del Toboso" to Dulcinea's name gave rise to no little laughter among those who found the above lines, for they suspected Don Quixote must have fancied that unless he added "del Toboso" when he introduced the name of Dulcinea the verse would be unintelligible; which was indeed the fact, as he himself afterwards admitted. He wrote many more, but, as has been said, these three verses were all that could be plainly and perfectly deciphered. In this way, and in sighing and calling on the fauns and satyrs of the woods and the nymphs of the streams, and Echo, moist and mournful, to answer, console, and hear him, as well as in looking for herbs to sustain him, he passed his time until Sancho's return; and had that been delayed three weeks, as it was three days, the Knight of the Rueful Countenance would have worn such an altered countenance that the mother that bore him would not have known him: and here it will be well to leave him, wrapped up in sighs and verses, to relate how Sancho Panza fared on his mission.”
Miguel De Cervantes (1547-1616) Don Quixote (1605), Chapter XXVI
Fare Box Score Box and related Lists of Shame
I.D. Numbers of buses with Out of Order Fare Boxes: 6377;
Note: No or few entries above do not necessarily mean all fare boxes are in operation.
I.D.Numbers of Distracted Drivers: None observed, but they are out there!;
Codes: (i) Extended conversation(s) with passenger(s) or (ii) cell phone call(s). Frequently, details can be found in the text above, (ii*) cell phone call(s) which are aggravated by some other action, (iii) Self-distracted. Codes (ii*) and (iii) will ALWAYS be explained in the posting.
I.D. Numbers of Buses Defaced by WhoIs stickers: na ;
~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: 6404 111/ blank; 6380 ?/210;
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 $1.50)
LAXCBC = the LAX City Bus Center.
Rapid Transit = does not compete for right of way, that is, it will not run at grade unless it has EXCLUSIVE DEDICATED USE of the right of way).
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
Castro, Francisco. “¿Trajo beneficios o no?” Los Angeles Hoy. 12 Nov. 2010: 8-9. Print.
Connell, Rich. “Rail leaders got consulting fees.” Los Angeles Times. 31 Oct. 2010: A43+. Print.
Cooper, Michael. “Plans for Rail Projects Around the Country Are Threatened by Midterm Results.” The New York Times. 18 Nov. 2010A14+. Print.
Haddon, Heather. "MTA supervisors faked subway inspections."
New York Post. New York Post. 20 Nov. 2010. Web. 22 Nov. 2010.
“US Embassy Categorizes Beijing Air Quality As 'Crazy Bad'.” NPR
McGeehan, Patrick. “Extend a Subway Line Under the Hudson? For Two Men, It’s Hardly a New Idea”. New York Times.
18 Nov. 2010: A27. Print
Vergano, Dan. “Galaxy bracketed by big bubbles.” USA Today. 10 Nov. 2010: 5A. Print.
Weikel, Dan. “MTA legal costs lacking in oversight.” Los Angeles Times. 11 Nov. 2010: AA4. Print.
…- “MTA may add more toll lanes.” Los Angeles Times.
16 Nov. 2010: AA+. Print.
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