Vae Viator28

Vae Viator28

BBB Maxella Trash Fix??

The photograph above documents there is no trash ca available at the busy  Maxella AV and Lincoln BL stop on the BBB number 3 Line.  The lack of a trash can was noted at a number of other BBB stops along Linclin BL. BBB N.B. The stop still needs a trash can!

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

White Line Incursions @ 96th & Airport BL

The picture(s) below document that a never ending stream of airport rent-a-car shuttle buses and other vehicles fail to use the lane as required by law.  Please note that the shuttle bus drivers all hold a class of license which allows them to transport passengers; although perhaps not safely!

Incursion 2012-06-28♪

The photo above captures a civilian auto after it has crossed the solid white line directly in front of a stopped bus and speeds away.

Le Balcon (Le troisième couplet, 1856?)

Que les soleils sont beaux dans les chaudes soirées!
Que l’espace est profond! que le coeur est puissant!
En me penchant vers toi, reine des adorées,
Je croyais respirer le parfum de ton sang.
Que les soleils sont beaux dans les chaudes soirées!

Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867)

 “The Balcony” (The third verse)

How beautiful the sun is on hot evenings!
How profound space is! how powerful is the heart!
Leaning toward you, oh queen of adored women,
I believed I was breathing the perfume of your blood.
How beautiful the sun is on hot evenings!

Translated by Cat Nilan (1999)

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

A Los Angeles Times article (Tobar) reads as if it were an appeal from the LACMTA under the guise of news reporting.  Last month you Mole prepared a digram that shows a route that need not cross under Beverly Hills High School.  Su Topo wonders why it is that the LACMTA seems not to be happy unless it is irritating someone and/or ending up in court. 

An AMny.com piece (Beja) quotes a city councilwoman who plans to have undercover police arrest those who don’t pay bus fares.  Fare optional rides happen here too, perhaps more often than you think.  On about 50% of the bus rides which your Mole takes, he sees people who ride without paying one way or another.

On a recent 720 Line ride up Wilshire BL, when the bus stopped at a stop where su Topo was one of a crowd waiting to board many of us boarded through a back door on the already at capacity bus when a wheelchair was boarded first through the front door.

Of the perhaps, six of us who boarded only one, su Topo, walked to the front and tapped his pass. 

The NYC NTA may lose millions but the LACMTA is certainly loosing hundreds of thousands of dollars this way.  Try this calculation.  Six thousand buses, one free rider per half of the buses per day and we find that: 3000 * .5 * 1.5 * 363 = 816,750 dollars potentially lost annually.  Now, New York City may lose more but over a million and half dollars but the potential annual losses in Los Angeles are significant.  One could easily envision four free riders per day on fifty percent of the buses; pretty soon we are talking about real money; in that case $3.2 million annually.

Even with paybacks such as that, which is incidentally the Measure R revenue on $320 million taxable gross sales, the LACMTA plods along in procrastinator mode making the “access control ‘system’” operational.  How many years is it since they started this “money saving project”?  And exactly how many years will it be, if ever, before it can amortize the excessive costs associated with the project and begin showing an increase in collected fares?  Perhaps this Mole should start requesting FOI documentation so that he can report to the public on what he strongly believes is just a single example of breach of fiduciary responsibility on the part of the LACMTA.

A law school teacher on a (possibly) first ride on the Expo Line has (surprise!) complaints about the service.  She is not the only one.  It bears repeating that RAPID TRANSIT does not equal mass transit.  The Expo Line is mass transit; it can carry relatively many riders.  It is NOT rapid transit because in many points along the line it competes with other vehicles with the road way.  Someone needs to find a simpler way in which to explain rapid transit to the LACMTA.  If you don’t know what it is, you cannot build it!

A Times Opinion piece (An indefinite) discusses extending Measure R.  To this Mole the two quotes which he feels bare repeating are: “Yet to approve the [November, 2012 ballot] measure would also be to hand the transit planners [that is what the Los Angeles Times calls them] a blank check which would hobble future generations with debt.” and “… but the open- ended nature of limited taxing and borrowing is worrisome.”  Please read the entire opinion piece.

This Mole has always felt that Measure R was a mistake.  It gives funds to an agency that is genetically unable to accept the fiduciary responsibility for its expenditure.  It quickly becomes enamored with any idea that presents itself.  The most recent example being the spending for NextBus, I mean, NexTrip.  Acceptance of which obligates them to spend millions of dollars (this is su Topo’s estimate because the LACMTA’s accounting records are not easily available to the public whose taxes fund it) on a system which offers not a dime’s worth of service improvement.  That is correct!  It is simply a system that estimates when the bus that is probably already overdue, may show up.  The estimate will likely vary considerably depending whether the bus is around the corner or ten miles away.  A lot of things could happen to a bus that is ten miles away, e.g., wheelchair pickups, accidents which block streets, passengers who need directions and have only a vague idea of where they are going and etc.

La Taupe has advocated for a “Measure “, the cure for Measure R, which would bring a halt to the use of public funding of any and all LACMTA mass/rapid transit funding until: (1) adults were placed in charge of the agency; (2) oversight by mature professionals of all plans and expenditures including reviews of how other large transportation agencies are dealing with similar requirements; (3) a firm BOTTOM LINE REQUIREMENT that expenditures lead to quantifiable service improvements; (4) the clear understanding that mismanagement will have consequences.

In what seems to your Mole as an astounding lapse of judgment, it appears that the LACMTA has purchased Union Station and will start pouring money into “fixing it up” including a two year effort at a master plan and the involvement of a world class master architect, Renzo Piano.

La Opinión covers (Alvarado) the fact that “Miles de familias enfrentan ruido, inseguridad y riesgos de salud” [Thousands of families face noise, insecurity and health risks] by living in close proximity to the Union Pacific right-of-way. Difficulty sleeping is just one of the inconveniences covered.  Please use the link provided in “Works Cited” (below) and read this excellent article.

Your Mole is looking at an advertisement placed by “Metro”, in the Los Angeles Times. It is called “Metro Briefs” and is strictly PR.  Why, with all the money wasted on (mostly) unread onboard publications must they waste additional money on display ads?

Another Metro ad, this one in the June 7th, 2012 issue of “Inglewood Today” touts the fit for Manhattan, unnecessary, expensive,two mile long, Regional Connector Transit Corridor.

The Los Angeles Times (Vartabedian) covers the bullet train project, which is looking more and more like a blank.  Lots of money is required to get it rolling yet the initial route, Bakersfield to Madera, appears to be one which will offer very limited ROI (Return On Investment).  It would be somewhat like a bullet train in Illinois initially running between Springfield and Peoria.  Why not build a San Francisco to Santa Barbara segment first?  Then continue on to Los Angeles if it proves economically feasible.  In the piece the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association is quoted as saying; “This is clearly a bad project. I am sure it will be mentioned in our campaign.”
Holiday Greetings for July  

(Click the links below for the presentation)

Happy Fourth of July!- Please click here for your card.

Joyeux fête nationale! Vive la belle France!  
14 juillet fête national française.
S'il vous plaît cliquez ici pour obtenir votre carte.


Performance Today (www.performanceToday.org June 22), 2012 Petrushka. Pianist Jon Kimua Parker plays a piano arrangement.

http://performancetoday.publicradio.org/listen/?year=2012&month=06&day=22  Listen to the entire Hour 2 of the broadcast or drag the indicator to about 29:00 (minutes) into Hour 2 for the Parker performance.

Ear (and Eye) to the Rail 

Cautionary Note: Those employed by the LACMTA should NOT view the following videos.  The speed of the trains in the videos, because they are truly rapid transit, their quietness, the clarity and sound level of the onboard announcements will likely make you dizzy, nauseous and frighten you. 

Wow, it goes right onto the JFK airport property, right to the terminal!  Let’s take an 8 minute train ride in 2006 to see how things are done in the Big Apple.  Good job NYC!  Nice work usji!

They know how to do it in the Windy City, too. Here is a 7 minute ride in 1997 on the Blue line, right into the bowels of O’Hare!  N.B that, at speed, this train passes cars on the adjacent highway.

Great train Chicago! A shout out to BitoftheDay for posting this!

And of course, THANK YOU to youtube.com for allowing us to vicariously experience a rail trip to an airport something we cannot do in Los Angeles even after more than 25 years of “work” by the LACMTA!

Perhaps in another 50 or 75 years some form of transportation will go directly to an LAX terminal, but don’t get your hopes up because “You Can't Fix It If You Don't Know It's Broken”.


Here is a link to an article which describes the future federation of the Milky Way (our home) Galaxy with the Andromeda Galaxy. 

The Mole rides again, so you don’t have to spend your time watching buses which are of no use to you, pass you by.

(All times are expressed in the 24 hour system.)

2012-06-05 16:44: Aboard a 111 Line bus, number 8301. TWO (2) emergency escape windows on the left side of the bus, in the rear, swing in and out.  Your Mole sees this as a real danger to small children and reports it to the driver who says that he’ll report it; apparently the LACMTA is not concerned because this is about the 6th time this kind of problem has been seen and there seems to be no fix being applied.

2012-06-06 09:10:  Aboard a 117 Line bus westwards along Century BL.  The bus is bouncing and squeaking so much that it is virtually impossible to read.  Adding to this hostile environment is a series of loud cell phone calls.  Banal is he only adjective which one can use to describe the call made by a man and which lasted from LAXCBC to La Cienega.  The Bureau of Street Services may be responsible for the bouncing but no one other than the LACMTA is responsible for all the loose hardware on the buses.

To Long Beach via the Blue Line.  A woman is shouting on her cell phone; complaining about receiving a citation for illegally crossing a rail line.  She no sooner exits the train than a woman with two small children gets on and starts playing loud Rap music on her cell phone.  Her daughter, about six years old, is playful, and to this Mole quite well behaved.  Yet her mother yells at her on several occasions, sad.

2012-06-12 Your Mole meets an old Army buddy for lunch.  But first, there is the ride up Vermont AV in a 740 Line bus.  What a ride, the bus is packed and noisy; people bring their own audio equipment and play it loudly!  The bus arrives at the stop nearest the restaurant just below Wilshire and I walk back to it.

My friend is waiting and we reminisce about the time we spent in Korea.  The restaurant IS Korean but it is serving what might be describes as Japanese/Korean fusion food. 

It is a great meal and very nice to see an old friend as well.

2012-06-07 Su Topo is waiting for a bus at Westwood and Santa Monica BL.  A number 4 rolls up but it terminates at Sepulveda.  More waiting until a 733 appears, it too terminates at the intersection of Santa Monica BL and Sepulveda.  Yet more waiting.  Another 4 line bus headed for you know where.  Wait, wait, wait until a 704 is in sight, but hold on, it is showing a “Not In Service” headsign.  Then another 4 Line bus.  Tired of standing around la Taupe walks to Sepulveda, stops for a coffee and finally rides a Santa Monica bound 704.  Mr. Leahy, who makes these poor schedules?


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: 5194; 192/42     ;

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.  

39287 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

Alvarado, Isaías. “Las dificultades de vivir cerca del tren” La Opinión. Jun. 3, 2012. Web.

Beja, Marc. “MTA needs to stop losing millions from fare beaters: Pol”. AMny.com Jun. 19, 2012. WEB.

   Xloomekatz, Ari. “Metro to run Westside subway extension under Beverly Hills High. Los Angeles Times. May 25, 2012:A1. Web.  

“An indefinite tax for transit”. Los Angeles Times. June. 22, 2012:A16. Print. 

Hawthorne, Christopher. “Gruen, Grimshaw tapped for Union Station master plan”. Los Angeles Times. Jun. 19, 2012. Web. http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/culture/la-et-cm-grimshaw-gruen-win-masterplan-job-for-union-station-20120618,0,5251423.story

Selvin, Molly.”Expo Line's halting start”. Los Angeles Times. Jun. 20, 2012. Web.  http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-selvin-expo-line-20120620,0,7886285.story=

Tobar ,  Hector. “Transit that serves all requires some to sacrifice”. Los Angeles Times. Jun. 7, 2012. Web. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-tobar-20120608,0,2603929.column

Vartabedian, Ralph and Megerian, Chris.“BULLET TRAIN FACES ‘A TIGHT VOTE’”. Los Angeles Times. June. 24, 2012:A27. Print.  

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The above is  ### 30 ###  in Braille

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