Vae Viator26

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.  The 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.  P.S. The stop still needs a trash can!

Su Topo will lead every post with the above until BBB corrects the problem. 

Where, exactly, are those responsiple for making a Metro bus ride SAFE and what, exactly, are they doing about scofflaws?

One would assume that the LACMTA would be devoting significant time and resources to ensuring safe and convenient transportation for their ridership.  Alas, that seems not to be the case.  Take for example the extremely hazardous bus stop located at 96th St. and Airport BL., where it seems that an endless procession of rent-a-car shuttles, taxis and other vehicles cross a solid white line and cut in front of buses which are discharging passengers.  In the montage below we examine the area in detail. 

Can I cross a solid white line? Go for it!♪

Above, viewed looking north, we can see all the elements of the problem: the solid right line on the right, the choke point formed when a Metro bus is stopped to discharge passengers and unseen in the left foreground a pedestrian crosswalk. 

After that, can I cut in front of a bus which is discharging passengers? Why not!♪

Here, looking south, we have a better view of the crosswalk, the sign warning of pedestrians and the arrows, which somewhat obliquely, ”invites” us to stay in the proper lane.

Here is an example.♪

In the photo above one can see the positioning in progress; the bus will soon stop creating the “choke point” and shielding the passengers from view as some hurry to the crosswalk.  This stop serves the Renaissance and other hotels in the general area.


Here is the usual situation, with the Enterprise shuttle (or Hertz shuttle or lots of others) seemingly ready to cross the line and cut in front of the bus as this Mole has seen them do any number of times.  This driver did not, perhaps seeing your Mole with his camera up made him change his mind or perhaps he was one of the 2% of good drivers who are given a bad name by the rest?

Oh, well.♪

Su Topo chose another point from which to take pictures and sure enough, it wasn’t very long before another Enterprise shuttle performed the maneuver shown above.

Why does this continue to happen?  This Mole believes that it is because of exceedingly poor enforcement of our driving laws.  The drivers of these shuttles all hold Class 2 licenses, as do taxi drivers, which are necessary for their livelihood: how many would have to lose their licenses before these drivers would change their habits?  I submit that it would be very few and the word-of-mouth would do the rest.  In the meantime, where is the LAPD?  Where are the Airport Police? Where are the Sheriffs

And importantly, where are our politicians?  Likely, too busy, out fund raising so that they can be reelected and continue to "serve" the public.  Or could they be worried about offending the rent-a-car companies which might be considered a source of funds?  That is, hypothetically, IF the politicians were contacted would they respond??  I know! Let's consider this posting as a notification of an existing transportation problem which could easily affect the saftey of Metro passengers.  So, politicians, if this is your patch, "Let's get busy!"

And while we have the topic under discussion, where does the LACMTA stand in this matter?  LA Taupe believes that they are mostly sitting on their big, fat, umm, chairs.  The drivers are certainly not reporting these incursions which potentially endanger passengers.  And why not? Likely because Metro operators believe that they are paid to drive not to report things – until, no doubt, someone is killed or badly injured.

Many, if not most, Metro buses have cameras with unknown functionality.  Too, our weak LACMTA, unlike San Francisco’s Muni, does not take a proactive stance; this Mole believes that they are genetically incapable of doing do.  While the Muni, which is light years ahead of the LACMTA by almost any metric which you might choose, is already installing cameras to detect this very problem (reported here on 2012-02-29). 

«La bonne musique est trés proche de la langue primitive.»
Denis Diderot (1713-10-05~1784-07-31)

[Good music is very close to primitive language.]

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

The Los Angeles Times (Bloomekatz) has a great piece which supports this Mole’s thesis, i.e., that the LACMTA cares nothing about system maintenance.  In the piece the current and prior LACMTA heads “explain” why they are not to blame. Leahy who is the father of “NexTrip”, is quoted: “We need to start trying to catch up with that deferred maintenance.”  Which statement this Mole categorizes as “weak”. His predecessor, Snoble, is known for spending on a “new logo” for each of the many bus stops and for spending our money to propagandise us on “Measure R.” Snoble, via an indirect quote: ’… agreed on Friday that budget problems occurred, but said that maintenance for bus and rail systems was a high priority for his administration.’  Of course neither of these officials saw a need for restroom facilities for passengers, rather, forcing them to use the dumpster enclosure at the LAXCBC as a “facility”. Although, bus drivers do have actual restrooms at the LAXCBC.  The more things change, the more they remain the same at an organization which should adopt “Ineptness R Us” as a motto.

Your Mole believes that monies spent on building projects have a, how shall I say this? better return on investment.

What does lack of maintenance mean to the ridership? Dirty equipment, possibly unsafe equipment, lack of even the most basic conveniences –although that might also belong under the rubric “poor or inadequate planning of shortsighted economies (readers’ choice J ).

Another Times piece (Bloomekatz) covers the opening of the Expo line.  You Mole finds this short article somewhat less than he expected considering this Mole covered the same opening (below).

The two facts denoted by the Mole supplied exponents, that must be emphasized are embedded in the following quote from the piece: “Nearly two years behind schedule1 [and counting, Mole] and almost $300 million over budget2, the first phase of Los Angeles’ newest rail line opened to … the public on Saturday … “.
¿Musica? How about Beethoven’s 8th Symphony

To follow that, Hank Williams, giving new meaning to eclectic:
http://grooveshark.com/s/I+Can+t+Help+It+If+I+m+Still+In+Love+With+You/1g6yxk?src=5  Thank you Grooveshark.com !

Then there is my favourite version by Ms Linda Ronstadt, a lady who is now a little older than she was in this youtube recording, but who still beautiful and has the same great voice.  She is accompanied by Ms Emmy Lou Harris.

Thank you youtube.com !!

As an encore let’s hear some later Linda Ronstadt.  What could be greater that tremendous voice singing en Español with some mariachis in the background J  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOaHLJDEfzo&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PL5A0DF8E0218B99B1

¡Muchas gracias youtube.com!

Ear to the Rail 

Paris Match has an excellent photographic presentation on the steps required to restore a beautiful work of art, “The Virgin, the infant Jesus and Saint Anne” by Leonardo de Vinci in 1508~1510 and displayed in the Louvre in Paris. http://bit.ly/I94K0n


It is worse than I thought!  Although a piece in Discover (Grant) suggests that with proper inter-stellar vehicles humanity could sort of hop-scotch between stable red dwarf stars which are more stable than our sun and longer lived as well.

The bad news?  Stars need hydrogen as a fuel and sadly for our possible future descendants: “Roughly 100 trillion years into the future, they will have exhausted the universe’s hydrogen stockpile. As existing stars consume their last drops of fuel, they will wink out one by one, and the light of the universe will almost entirely disappear.”

What then?? It will be off to the brown dwarfs and the ultimate end can be put off for another “… 10 billion billion years.”

In order to understand the nature of the universe one must read. Science Daily is an excellent source for such data.  It is also a great source for other topics, one of which I will include here.  It is about a technique used by teachers to assist children to learn to read better and more quickly.  Please see it here: http://bit.ly/IaEot8

You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore. – César Chávez, UFW

The Mole rides again, so you don’t trip as you exit an Expo Line train.
(All times are expressed in the 24 hour system.)

2012-04-04 Aboard an east bound 125 Line bus, number 11022.  The driver, like many contracted MVT drivers must be all but deaf.  The ASAS is set to max volume and everything else is too.  The LACMTA should issue ear protection to those of us who must ride on buses contracted to MVT.

2012-04-22: Earth Day at Mariposa Station.  A young man with a “Patron” drawstring bag on his back goes over to the “emergency telephone” and asks “When is the next train for Redondo Beach?”  Su Topo queries him: “Is that what you use the emergency telephone for?”  His answer: “Yes, they said in twelve minutes.”  They lied, it was more like twenty minutes.

En alabanza de las Méxicanas

She is seated in the row ahead of mine.  This middle-aged woman’s day likely started much earlier than mine and she is headed for work.  Yet she wastes not a second of her day, Ella fue tejiendo.

We exit the bus separately and board the same bus.  As soon as she is seated she begins working on her project again.

No Louis Vuiton bag for her knitting, it is a simple bolsa de plástico from Superior Grocers.

Another bus.  A mother with a baby boy and a very young daughter boards and seats the baby between herself and his sister.  Travel by bus is really no fun, and with children it is something else.  But this youthful mother remains relaxed and cares for her children in every sense of the word.  She speaks softly to the children.

The sister plays with her brother and he laughs.  Perhaps travel by bus can be fun!

She is neatly dressed in a dark blue shirt and jeans with her hair, clean and shiny, fixed in a pony tail.  While others on this bus carry on a cell phone conversation above a shout and regular conversations at a shout, she and her son sit and talk quietly.  They debus at a shopping center and walk away hand-in-hand.

Expo Line Opening Day Montage

2012-04-28 morning: I ride the Green Line and exit at the Harbor Freeway Station, intending to ride the Silver Line (it’s a bus folks!).  What a mistake that was!  However, I do learn the three secrets of successful transportation systems: signage, signage and signage.

I wait and wait for a Downtown bound bus with a group of people.  No bus. I must be at the wrong stop.  I cross the “island” and check out the arriving Silver Line bus which has “via Downtown” as part of his headsign.  Wrong again this was a southbound bus from El Monte via Downtown.

One would think that with all the electronics onboard that the LACMTA would automatically change the headsign to, perhaps, “Southbound” and eliminate the “via Downtown" after they entered the freeway.  Although there are no signs anywhere around either bus stop the driver informs us that the northbound Silver Line buses aren’t using the freeway this morning.   One of the party calls Metro and relays the information that “the northbound Sliver Line will use the freeway again ‘in half an hour’”.  Your Mole opts for the more likely option and heads for street level. 

My group arrives at street level 745 Rapid Line bus stop and are greeted by the sight below.

 Leahy's Basura♪

Truthfully, Mr. Leahy, aren’t you ashamed at the job your organization is doing?  Filthy bus stops and also, as indicated by the lack of information about the Silver Line “detour” described above, confusion created by the atrocious communication “skills” of the LACMTA!

I was disappointed by several aspects of the Expo Line:  1.  It is not rapid transit; although there are fenced off sections of the right-of-way, the train fails the definition of rapid transit because it competes for the right-of-way at intersections and 2. All of the platform heights which I checked presented a tripping hazzard, this was especially true for children, because the platforms were slightly higher than the floor of the train car.

The Mole rides the Expo Line and takes a few pictures along the way!

23rd Street Station-A♪  

Nothing special here although I doubt that the "roofing" will provide much shelter form those periods of heavy rain in Los Angeles.  That should not bother anyone associated with the LACMTA because they are unlikely to to be riding the Expo Line or any other line very
much :-) .

23rd Street Station-B♪  

Another view of 23rd Street Station.

Jefferson/USC Station♪

Su Topo snaps this photo and is back on the train.

Expo Park/USC Station♪

Some kind of event is going one here.  Your Mole is attracted to it and checks out each booth.  One of the last booths features food.  Your Mole has never met a nacho he didn't like, so he trys those prepared by nearby Chano's.  Not bad!

Expo/Vermont Station♪ 

A photo documents my visit to this station.

Expo/Western Station♪

A photo documents my visit to this station along with an interesting restaurant in the background.

Expo/Crenshaw Station♪ 

Please note that the platforms are "staggered"  I am standing on the outbound platform and the inbound plaform is behind me and to the left, across an intersection which makes correcting "passed my station" errors slightly more diffcult and dangerous to correct.

The Farmdale Station (no picture provided) was not open and was passed by my train without stopping.

Why wasn't it open?  Here is the reason supplied by the LACMTA:
"Why the delays? The big reason is that the Farmdale station was added to the project after construction had begun as a result of an agreement between the state, the Expo Line Construction Authority and the Los Angeles Unified School District."   Nice planning guys!

Here is what the Los Angeles Times said in an article by Sam Allen published on September 25, 2010 (Please see: http://articles.latimes.com/2010/sep/25/local/la-me-expo-line-20100926 )

The Construction Authority [which was constituted as the agency responsible for building the Expo Line, Mole] also struggled to gain safety approval for the part of the line that crosses Farmdale Avenue, adjacent to Dorsey High School. It was required to revise its plans and add a grade-level station at that intersection. [emphasis Mole] The California Public Utilities Commission granted construction approval in July of this year.   
Thorpe said it will take 18 more months to complete the Farmdale station, which is between the Crenshaw and La Cienega stops.”

Please decide, which is the more truthful explanition; or should I say "less nuanced"?

Expo/La Brea Station♪ 

Looking north, with a view of the 213/312 bus stop on the near right corner of the intersection.

La Cienega/Jefferson Station♪  

There were too many people to "mask" so they were "truncated".

La Cienega/Jefferson Station (South View)♪
Here is the view from La Cienega/Jefferson Station looking south.

* Best Metro driver of the month: 71248, Contractor for MVT 
* At least the best one with whom your Mole had the pleasure 
* of riding.  She was safe, smooth, quiet with all
* electronics and the usually loud dispatch radio set at an 
* acceptable level.                                              ****************************************************************

Fare Box Score Box and related Lists of Shame

I.D. Numbers of buses with Outs of Order Fare Boxes: xxxxx, xxxxx;
Note: No or few entries above do not necessarily mean all fare boxes are in operation. 

I.D.Numbers of Distracted Drivers: xxxxx (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; xx/xxx.      ;

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.   

19781 F[+6] C[Y]; xxxxx F[Y], C[Y]; xxxxx F[Y], C[Y]; xxxxx F[Y], 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.  xxxxx;

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

Bloomekatz, Ari and Weikel, Dan. “Blue Line’s woes a black mark for Metro”. Los Angeles Times. Apr. 21, 2012:A1. Print.  

Bloomekatz, Ari. “New line, new choices”. Los Angeles Times. Apr. 29, 2012:A27. Print.  

Grant, Andrew.”How to Survive the End of the Universe”. Discover. Feb. 28, 2012. Web.  http://discovermagazine.com/2011/dec/16-how-to-survive-the-end-of-the-universe/article_view?b_start:int=1&-C=

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The above is  ### 30 ###  in Braille

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