Vae Viator30

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 as improvised trash cans. 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 Incursion Series%

The series of pictures below document that, and this is important, even though there is no Metro bus at the stop, a never ending stream of airport rent-a-car shuttle buses fail to use the lane as required by law.  Please note that the drivers of these vehicles all hold a class of license which allows them to transport passengers; although perhaps not safely!


The photo above was taken at the intersection of Airport BL and 96th Street.  Passengers were streaming out of the bus and headed for the crosswalk.  The Enterprise shuttle zoomed around the stopped bus, crossed the solid white line and denied the passengers the use of the crosswalk.


Here is another view of the Enterprise shuttle as it speeds on its’ way to the airport.

Hertz Waited

The Hertz shuttle and the taxi pictured did wait behind the bus – this time.  I have seen Hertz shuttles perform the same maneuver as the Enterprise shuttle shown above and taxis perform it as well. 

Citizen's Car

On another day we find that a citizen had done the same thing that the Rent-A-Car shuttle drivers regularly do, i.e., cross the white line and mennace bus passengers.  Not you will have to click on the photo in order to more clearly see the vehicle; a second click may be required in order to obtain the maximum enlargement.

Taxis, too
Taxis are also frequently seen performing this dangerous (to bus passengers) action.  One wonder why, if your Mole can catch these driveres in action, why is it the that the policing agencies cannot do so?
In all of the aboce pictures, except the one depicting the Hertz shuttle, a 111 Line bus is stopped immediately to the left rear of the photographer.
Last month I reported that Mr. Rosendahl of the 11th District, is the politician responsible for this area and I am confident that he has been contacted about this matter, but likely he is too busy to pay much attention to the plight of mere bus passengers.

« Rien ne se fait sans un peu d’enthousiasme. »

Voltaire (1694-11-21~1778-05-30)

Nothing happens without a little excitement.

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

The New York Times Magazine shows us, by means a a stunning series of photographs, exactly what is involved in building a subway.  I recommend the piece to those at the LACMTA who might profit by it.  Knowing that they will bumble on in their own inimitable manner, making their own errors and not making them part of institutional memory.

Yet anyone can make an error as the New York Posts dramatic photo illustrates.

Your Mole recently read an IBM Institute for Business Value study about “Smarter Railroads”  See: http://www.ibm.com/smarterplanet/global/files/cz__cz_cs__rail__ideas_rail.pdf.  The paper discuses how systems for railroads which are Instrumented, Interconnected and Intelligent yield “[a]n opportunity to think and act in new ways”.

Unfortunately for us, the LACMTA lacks the ability to think in terms of systems which is why, until they do acquire this ability, your Mole is not in favour of supply them with the blank check offered by “Measure R”. 

Instead, su Topo would cure Measure R by cancelling it with “Measure ”.  The lack of simple interconnection between the LAXCBC, Aviation Station and the CCTC, which once was provided by the 439 Line, is gone and apparently forgotten.  At the very least, the LACMTA should provide gratis “Muni” transfer to all passengers who arrive on Metro at LAXCBC and request one.

The Los Angeles Times covers (Bloomekatz) an accident where a Blue Line train struck a 51 Line bus.  An investigation is ongoing, although the Blue Line retains the dubious honour of being the most dangereous light rail line in the USA (Please See and Hear this report from Pacifica’s KPFK via another Pacifica station, KPFA in Berkley): http://soundcloud.com/kpfa-fm-94-1-berkeley/metro-blue-line-most-dangerous )

This unfortunate even with 32 reported injured is continuing proof that mass transit should also, and especially in the case of tracked links, rapid transit.  Even more unfortunately the LACMTA seems unable to apprehend this fact.  They continue to build with the apparent motto “Cheap is Number One!”, ignoring the fact that the best rail links are those which own the right-of-way rather than competing with other vehicles for it.


How about some musica?  Here is the Orchestra Of The Americas conducted by Benjamin Juarez Echenique playing the Obertura La Huerfanita by José María Chávez.

And to grooveshark.com, a sincere “Thank You!”

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, and/ or nauseous and frighten you.

Here are some more videos from our friends at youtube.com to help the LACMTA understand why running a light rail line along Aviation Bl is NOT running a subway to LAX, no matter what you name the station nearest LAX.

Speaking of naming stations or renaming them or is it spending money without any significant return, it appears the the “Rosa Parks” and “Kenneth Hahn” honorific names have been lost at the

Blue Line Imperial and 103rd Street stations.  They are not mentioned in the expensive, slick card (12-217KC ©2012 LACMTA).


Modern and FAST describe this short ride on the subway from

Incheon Airport.

 Nice work Korea!

Thank you, ShoZu for your upload!


Bangkok is light years ahead of Los Angeles: in ticketing machines,
platforms, access control and of course, linking the city to its international airport.  The fare mentioned in the video, fifty Bhat, is about $1.61.  The express train that didn’t stop at the station gives you some idea of how Rapid transit really operates.  Not by leaving people waiting at a bypassed stop as the LACMTA’s “Rapid buses” do.  You can see exactly how poor Los Angeles’ transportation is when look at how people in other countries are served by their transportation agencies.  In many respects, our mass transit is third world-like, sad –isn’t it?  We have the technical skills but we are freighted with an archaic political structure and, well, frankly, poor management.

Yes, with the Bangkok line there appears to be some walking involved, but, when one uses public transportation, there will be some walking.

Great Job, Bangkok!

This Mole’s appreciation goes to makemoneyrelax for his upload!

Here is a web site devoted to Bangkok’s line: http://bangkok.sawadee.com/airport/airport_link.htm


How about a trip through space?  Here is on courtesy of NASA.

Too, here is an informative article on galactic clusters and the star forming mechanism; interesting!

The Mole rides again, so you don’t have to look at old bumper stickers still defacing buses years after they ALL should have been removed.

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

Aboard a Blue Line train with incredibly loud PA announcements.
2012-08-15 Your Mole rides a 213 Line bus and finds that the LACMTA never completes a job.  This bus still has and has had for a very long time an OLD WHITE whois bumper sticker.

Renaming rail stations is sort of like rearranging deck chairs on the Taitanic, that is, nothing is really accomplished.  Ditto the NextBus, make that NexTrip, scheme.

La Taupe has notices whereas in the past the rail station scrolling signs showed ONLY date and time, now they never show it??

2012-08-24  Su Topo, along with nine (9) other people wait at a Hawthorne BL bus stop waiting for a 40 Line bus while we watch near empty 740 Line buses pass us by.  The cost to us?  The sum of the time spent waiting multiplied by the number of people, which adds up to hundreds of hours across all lines throughout the day.  The gain to the LACMTA?  Bragging rights about their “Rapid Service”.

Culver City Expo Line Station Perimeter (South to North 1)

Culver City Expo Line Station Perimeter (South to North 2)

Culver City Expo Line Station Perimeter (South to North 3)

Culver City Expo Line Station Perimeter (South to North 4)

Culver City Expo Line Station Perimeter (South to North 5)

The photos above show your LACMTA team in action.  By that I mean the CIA could not have better disguising the fact that the Expo Line Culver City Station is now in operation. They show the way the station look when I first used the station.

Truth in reporting, when I returned for some additional pictures, I found some nice big signs affixed to the screening.  One of those signs is seen below.  Better late than never, hmmm, this could be yet another LACMTA motto J.

Culver City Expo Line Station - Big Sign 

Wrapped just like Christo and Jeanne-Claude would have done, it is not until the last second that there is some hint that the station has been opened.  Not a single sign –duh- indicates where the entrance is located.  As expected, typical Metro thought went into this project which is way behind and some not insignificant amount over budget. 

Expo Line Station Perimeter Stair Climber

 Just above I have posted a photo of the stairway at the LaBrea Expo Line Station, which stairway (52 steps up/down OR one could ride an exceptionally slow elevator) could be a stand-in for any of the elevated Expo Line Stations.  There are NO elevators, NO rest rooms, NO access control gates and NO indication that building the Green Line has had any lasting impact on the institutional memory, if there is any, at the LACMTA!

I have said it before and will say it again, here:  If you work for the LACMTA, ALL your trips should be via Metro!  That is the only way that, over time, the system will be improved.

Su Topo has a smart phone but he doesnt use it for making contact with NextBus, er, NexTrip.  He did download the Metro app but found it only marginally useful. At first maps refused to download and when they did it was discovered that they were maps and only maps, the full schedule was not available. 

Metro staff, get out your bottles of aspirins because here comes another headache for you.  What the app should do is download a much compress schedule which could be uncompressed for a two-hour time period, say, thirty minutes before and one and a half hours after the current phone time or optionally Pacific time.  Most people don’t need a map of a given route but do need to know the times the bus is supposed to be at a given stop. 

You see, these Metro staff people don’t use the “system”, therefore they have absolutely no idea of what information is needed by the actual ridership.  They are likely happy as a lark that they have an “app”. L

2012-08-29 Credit where credit is due:  Today la Taupe found that "the island" at the LAXCBC was exceptionally clean - NO BLOBS OF GUM were seen; it looked better than it ever has!  Last month your Mole reported on a sidewalk cleaning machine in use in Long Beach and suggested that the LACMTA use it at the LAXCBC.  Do you think there is any connection?  You are welcome, LACMTA.  Oh, wait, no one said "Thank you M. Mole",oh well L.

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: 5145L;

~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; xxx/xx     ;

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

Bloomekatz, Ari. “32 hurt after Blue Line train hits Metro bus near downtown.” Aug. 27, 2012. Los Angeles Times. Web. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/08/dozens-hurt-after-blue-line-train-hits-metro-bus-near-downtown.html

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The above is  ### 30 ###  in Braille

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