Vae Viator24

BBB Maxella Trash Fix??
The photograph above documents the “fix” applied at the Maxella AV and Lincoln BL stop on their number 3 Line.  It is the sort of “work” one would expect from the LACMTA.  They taped or caused to be taped shut the aperture in the plastic pipes associated with power poles.  These pipes were used a improvised trash cans.

The Maxella stop still needs a trash can!

And other stops along Lincoln BL

Please note that none of the above are equipped with trash containers.

Big Blue Bus, you need to provide trash containers:

Trash cans on the north-east corner of Lincoln and Maxella Avenue, and a other stops along their routes, especially along Lincoln BL, so that Big Blue Bus passengers would have some place to properly dispose of their trash rather than stuffing it in every available nook and cranny.  Shame on you, Big Blue Bus!!

Su Topo will lead every post from ths date forward with the above until BBB corrects the problem! 

Mr. Leahy, are you reading the above?  Metro bus riders need trash cans too!  I know that all the various municipalities were so eager to get their hands on a portion of the bus bench revenue that they forgot that these stops need trash cans too and, therefore, forgot to include trash cans in their requirements for the bus stop benches.  This means that bus stops like the one on the south east corner of Maxella, which had a trash can, lost it.  It probably clashed with the colour and design of the new benches. 

Oh, and Mr. Leahy, I always “Tell [you] what I think” (12-096EB).  So there is no need to send me the $250 offered by your brochure.  You could save some money simply by reading the Mole’s postings each month and implementing some of his ideas which would be great for your ridership and not so bad for the LACMTA either. 

<<Tout homme est utile à l'humanité par cela seul qu’il existe.>>
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1706-06~1778-07)
[Every man is useful to humanity merely because he exists.]

The Mole reads the papers and other things, obviating the necessity of your doing so.

The Los Angeles Times features (Weikel) a story about Metrolink’s automatic braking system which is due to be implemented in 2013. “ … meaning that Metrolink would be one of the first passenger railroads in the nation to fully deploy a state-of-the-art train control system that marries global positioning technology to computers and digital radio communication.”  Let’s hope that this system is installed and that there are no accidents, like the tragic on in Chatsworth, befoe and after the cutover to the new methodology.  If you have any interest in transportation safety and we all should, please read this excellent short article.  Nice job gentlemen!

Another reason why San Francisco has better public transportation than Los Angeles: as evidenced by this Examiner piece (Reisman) the San Francisco Muni is thinking proactively about traffic by installing cameras which record vehicles which illegally impede, one way or another, the Muni buses.

I know for a fact that many taxis, civilian autos and an assortment of other vehicles cross a solid white line and cut in front of Metro’s 111 Line buses making a right hand turn onto 96th ST from Airport BL with impunity.  

I have never seen traffic stop at the location, in spite of the fact that such illegal incursions happen almost any time the 111 discharges passengers at that stop.

While the entire Muni fleet of 819 buses will be equipped with cameras, the best the “thinkers” at the LACMTA can come up with is a method of finding out how late your bus will be, approximately how late, that is. This is an expenditure which will have an impact on safety as opposed to the LACMTA’s dumping money into NextBus, I mean the renamed NextBus, i.e., NexTrip which contributes NOTHING to operations.  A link to the Reisman article is provided below.

Google is an excellent source of transportation related data.  In an xeconomy.com piece (Rouche) one can find all the details.  The link is provided in the Works Cited section (below). 

Had the LACMTA simply waited, Google would have done the heavy lifting for them and the LACMTA wouldn’t have needed to spend money on the NextBus, errr, NexTrip system.  You know the one?  It provides information but really, make ABSOLUTELY NO OPERATIONAL IMPROVEMENTS.

The Times has a story (Bloomekatz) which aptly demonstrates that the Federal Transportation Agency is correct in its assessment or the LACMTA, i.e., that the aforementioned agency does not place the needs of its ridership in very high regard.  Su Topo has often said that the value of his monthly pass depreciates every six months, at “shakeup” time.  It is even worse for those who pay a single fare for each ride as the LACMTA cancels some lines and shortens others so that people are forced to take two and three buses to complete their trip.

Mr. Bloomekatz’ piece specifically addresses that issue as he covers the planned cuts in the 305 Line and other lines.  The very best part of the article is the firsthand statements by riders critical of the LACMTA which directly contradicts statements from the LACMTA along the lines of: “Overall, 88 percent of Metro Bus riders rated Metro Bus service as fair or better with 56 percent saying service is good or very good. Metro scored good or very good for bus safety (66 percent), route convenience (67 percent), travel time (54 percent), driver courtesy (58 percent), operator knowledge of routes (81 percent), and other measures.”  As reported from an LACMTA “Satisfaction Survey” conducted between June and December 2001.

New York City MTA is also ahead of the curve.

  This is not surprising considering the brainpower which is available in NYC.  Please follow the link below and see how a First Class transportation agency responds to the needs of its ridership.

You may link to the AMNY piece here: http://bit.ly/zpe8I4

¿Musica? Let’s listen to the beautiful and talented Ms Alondra de la Perra conduct the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas in “Mi Alma Mexicana”.  http://tny.gs/ySOBoY   Thank you www.GrooveShark.com !

We can see essentially the same orchestra interspersed with comments by Ms Perra here:  http://bit.ly/zVJgSM  Thank you www.youtube.com!

Ear to the Rail 

Thanks to GrooveShark.com we can be entertained by Frank Sinatra singing "New York, New York" along with a nice video aqui.


<Sigh> there goes my trip to Alpha Centauri. New Scientist reports "News that the faster-than-light neutrinos that caused a sensation in September may have a mundane explanation – a faulty cable connection – comes as little surprise. There has never been a convincing physical explanation for the result."  (Please see: http://bit.ly/wYsvHF )

 The Mole Rides Again, so you don’t have to invest in ear protection against the blaring dispatch radios, loud P.A. systems and etc. aboard lines contracted by MVT and others too.
(All times are expressed in the 24 hour system.)

2012-01-26 aboard a 125 Line: The P.A. system is set at an eardrum shattering level. This driver, #70538, is not very accurate on stoping near the bus stop flag either.  You can see how far off he was in the report below.

2012-02-08 @ 12:15 aboard a CCMBL #6 bus: Several loud cell-phone conversations are ongoing” “… I need to know … if somebody don’t have minutes can they still check their voice mail?”.  “… he knows how I am…”, “… no, no don’t say that to him; just say I be there by 2 PM.”

2012-02-10 @ 9:20 at the Mariposa Green Line Station.  A man whos clothing is, well, unclean, with two large trash bags stuffed with recyclables AND a bicycle boards the train at an entrance other than mine.  The man seated behind me is having a loud (need I say that?) expletive filled conversation with a woman who is seated behind him.  Forget reading!  On the Blue Line to Los Angeles: A medical assistant wearing pink scrubs gnaws on a kind of Tootsie Roll sucker.  This train is full because the last train bypassed us; it was an Expo Line test train.  Someone plays music on their cell phone, making an already unpleasant sound worse.  A neatly dressed young woman with a small child, perhaps three years old, boards at Vernon Station.  She walks down the center aisle holding a sign which reads – “I have a small kid, No money for food or rent”.  The dollars appear, su Topo’s included, and are deposited in a soft drink cup which the woman holds.  The kindness of strangers is evident this morning.

2012-02-10 aboard a northbound Blue Line train @ 15:27.  The operator of this train just can’t shut up!  He is constantly reminding us that the train has 12 doors (I believe that only six ar functional at each station) and that they should be used.  What he can’t see back here is that people don’t have the option of moving freely through the train what with other people, baby strollers, bicycles and etc. block their movement.  His constant harping has the same effect of blowing one’s horn in crowded traffic. Someone at a supervisory level should identify this guy and ask him to, ummm, “shut up and drive!”

I connect with a 232 Line bus driven by a woman, #71194,  who can neither drive well, she gives us a jerk filled ride and can’t hit the bus stop pickup points either, vide infra.

2012-02-13 Aboard a 232 Line bus.  A woman who says she is from San Diego and “ … knows nothing about Los Angeles…” doesn’t let that stop her from “helping” some German tourists.  The tourists are from Hamburg and want to see Manhattan Beach and although they should have been on board the BCT 109, they decide to take the approximately 20 minute walk from Sepulveda to the ocean.

2012-02-14 I ride a CCMBL #6 bus.  The man immediately behind me “kindly” shares the music which leaks from his headphones with me. He also shares his intermittent groaning with me.  E deboards at CCTC ad his replacement is a woman who continues talking loudly on her cell phone: “I’m not … I need you to .. But, um, I need you to get dirt on her for me.”  

Another CCMBL #6  and yet another cell phone conversation eminating from the back of the bus but easily heard all the way to the front. “… you know, like …., Haw, haw, haw, hw was like off the wall,  blah, blah, blah, …. What time is it tonight” At last, silence.

2012-02-18 aboard a BBB #3.  I ride with a French woman whose cell phone is not compatible with the U.S. system, so I offer he mine.  We discuss our mutual language, she is a chemist working on a short project here.

I ride a 704 from West Los Angeles to Santa Monica.  Aboard are two Italianas from northern Italy.  We talk about food J  It is 13:00 on a busy Saturday and I still have a lot to do.  I board a 232 Line at LAXCBC.  As usual there is a talker, a man, who talks as much as two (sorry) ladies.  One cannot play a radio without using headphones aboard a bus, but one is allowed to jabber away on his telephone??  I am only home for the long weekend and will fly out on Monday afternoon.

2012-02-21 aboard a BBB #3, bus number 3864 @ 11:00.  The driver freely shares her philosophy whether you want to hear it or not.  She is a rough driver too and swings out of her line to pass a driver stopped ahead while liberally using her horn. 

A young man tries for a free ride and is ejected with a comment tossed in by the driver.  A number of us are ordered off the bus because the driver feels that there is insufficient space to board a wheelchair bound passenger. She is not typical of BBB drivers.

2012-02-27 around 8:30: I ride a 117 Line bus.  One of the passengers started a cell call about ten minutes before we left the LAXCBC and he continues non-stop.  The driver, #18179, is engaged in a non-essential conversation with a woman passenger.

Fare Box Score Box and related Lists of Shame

I.D. Numbers of buses with Outs of Order Fare Boxes: x, xxxxx;

Note: No or few entries above do not necessarily mean all fare boxes are in operation. 

I.D.Numbers of Distracted Drivers: 18179 (i),;

None included here, but observations of a minor nature may be included in the main posting;

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: xxxx;

~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 Tailsigns disagree: xxxx      ;

Format is Bus number followed by Headsign number/Tailsign number.

ID numbers of Buses without Braille signs: XXXX;

METRO drivers Basic Technical Skills Report

The format is Driver number F[{Y/-n/+n} C[{Y/N+/-}].  Meaning of F if Y the driver stopped with the Bus stop “flag pole” somewhere between the bus front door frames.  A negative number, e.g., -3 is the approximate distance in metres (think yards dear readers) between the nearest bus door vertical frame member and the flag pole signifying that the bus stopped short of the flag.   A positive number, e.g., +3 (metres) is the approximate distance between the nearest bus door vertical frame member and the flag pole signifying that the bus stopped past the flag.    The value for C[{Y/N}], “Y” tells us that the driver stopped within an easy step from the curb to the bus, “N” means it was NOT an easy step from the curb to the bus.   It is this Mole's belief that an average experienced good driver should be able to control his bus so as to position in near the curb and with the flag pole slightly to the front of the bus.  

25063 F[+5] C[Y]; 72541 F[+10], C[Y]; 70538 F[+6], C[Y]; 71194 F[+5], C[Y];  N.B. distances are in metres, think yards.

nnnnn* = Contract Driver

I.D. numbers of drivers who are almost guaranteed to give you a Rough and Jerky (R & J) ride.  71194;

I.D. numbers of drivers who will give you a potentially life-threatening ride.  XXXXX(-); XXXXX(-);

Codes: S = not wearing seat belts; J = bad judgment (unsafe driving practices).

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 known 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 didnt signal (ring) in time.  They dont 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)

GMBL = Gardena Municipal Bus lines

LAXCBC = the LAX City Bus Center.

OCTA = Orange County Transportation Authority.

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).

R & J = Rough and Jerky [ride].

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 someday 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 (sometimes successive clicks will further enlarge the photo). *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 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                  

Works Cited

12-0926EB. “Tell Us What You Think”. LACMTA. © 2012

Bloomekatz, Ari. “MTA targets bus line serving Westside workers who live in South L.A.”. Los Angeles Times. Feb. 27, 2012.  Web. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-bus-cuts-20120227,0,2372927.story

Reisman, Will. “Muni expanding camera program to nab drivers in transit-only lanes”. The Examiner. 2012-02-10. Web.

Roush, Wade. “Google[‘]s Contribution to Transportation”. Xeconomy.com. Feb. 21, 2012. Web.

Weikel, Dan and Simon, Richard. “On track with effort to prevent crashes”. Los Angeles Times. Feb. 12, 2012:A20.  Print.  

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The above is  ### 30 ###  in Braille

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