Vae Viator33

 From   your Mole, to all who see this, below are his end of year greetings.
¡Feliz Navidad y Prospero Año Nuevo!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année!

To those who want better transportation in Los Angeles, Thank you for helping bring Measure J down to defeat!  It is just incredible that the LACMTA would even think of asking to keep its’ hands in our pockets for so long, and spending our money to propagandise us.  Especially since their concept of service and respect for its ridership are so flawed.  For example, at the LAXCBC the LACMTA knows that bus operators need rest rooms but for its ridership, well, they can figure it out, right?  Then there is the safety issues which su Topo has frequently pointed out at 96th Street and Airport BL, where cars, rent-a-car shuttle buses, taxis and etc. drive over a white line and endanger pedestrians and bus passengers alike.  Yet, Mr. Leahy is unable to focus the attention of the area policing agencies on stopping these scofflaws.  When there is an accident, the LACMTA asks that you submit your claim which, unless you can find an attorney who will represent you on a contingency basis, the claim will be rejected and you can just figure it out for yourself.  

What is needed here is an open and ongoing class action against the agency, one that would attract legal talent and force the LACMTA to fairly settle the many claims that leave the hard working, cash-strapped ridership to pay for their own care and leave poor operators in the driver’s seat because no one can afford to bring suit and put the spotlight squarely on marginal operators.

Where are the people who claim to support LACMTA ridership in these all too frequent accidents? 

I have been on board Metro Buses and seen, first hand, accidents where the operator stonewalled and gave out only her ID number and name.  Then she took the names of witnesses who supported her version of the accident.

I accompanied someone who was injured to the Taj Mahal and experienced exactly what she experienced.  She was denied access to on-board camera records that could have shown the driver to be in fault.  I heard the results of her futile trip to submit a claim only to have it rejected. I listen to her story of trips to find legal representation, being told that she would have to pay of all the medical tests “up front”, before the attorneys would take her case.  She suffered with pain for months getting by with over-the-counter headache preparations until; at last, she was well enough to go back to work.

Tons of money spent on Nextrip NextBus yet hardly a dollar spent on improving on-time bus performance.  The agency should learn the meaning of metrics, i.e., tools to measure performance.  A good start would be to publish a monthly on-time report by bus line.

None of these “worst practices” are documented in any of the colourful, expensive glossy brochures that waste funds and overflow from the racks on buses and trains.

Your Mole has been out of town on a project this past month and asks your understanding and forbearance, because this month has just not had time to do justice to his topic.

But he will return next month with some new ways to illustrate the failures of the LACMTA.

 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!

December 6th, 2012 was a cold rainy morning.  On the way to the LAX a photographer took the two pictures shown below. 
Scoff-Law 1 of 2

A perfect shot of a car cutting accross the white line in front of a bus, under the most dangerous of conditions.
Scoff-Law 2 of 2

Another car follows the first one!  One would think that some policing agency could put a stop to these scoff-laws.  Are the policing agencies run by Inspector Clouseau?

Although the bus operators say that their cameras record everything that happens in front of the bus.  But Mr. Leahy must be too busy to take action to keep his passengers and drivers safe.  It is unfortunate tha tother places like this one at 96th Street and Airport BL exist. 

Non-tariff barriers at LAXCBC


LAXCBC - Barriers
The photo above asks the question: Exactly how ignorant and insensitive can one be and still work as a facilities planner for the LACMTA?
When one understands that the LAXCBC will be used by sight challenged passengers, the answer is apparent; it is: pretty ignorant and/or insensitive!
The physical barriers are shown above, I know of five or six, perhaps more. These are barriers that might slow down the IMEF (First Marine Expeditionary Force) a tad, but could cause real problems and potential injuries for people with poor vision or who are blind.  This is the agency that wanted our taxes for another thirty (30) years!  For projects like this?  Bike racks planted in the middle of open space, and as seen in the right foreground bikes locked to bus bay signs which have been out of use for a year, and posts for schedules that have been disused and vandalized.  Way to go LACMTA!
<<L'impossible est le refuge des poltrons.>>

Napoléon Bonaparte: (1769-08-15~1821-05-05)

[The impossible is the refuge of cowards.]

The Mole reads the papers and other things, obviating the necessity of your doing so.
The Times (Weikel) does some nice investigative reporting on safety at the LACMTA.  The most telling sentence is the lead; Hundreds of Metro transit workers -many of whom operate trains and buses that carry 1.5 million riders daily - say they have concerns about their on-the-job safety."
  This Mole knows only to well of the dangers that exist due to: cracked glass overhead at the Mariposa Green Line Station; lack of law enforcement on the notorious turn on the 111, Line at Airport Bl and 96th Street (something that is well documented by the on-board front-facing bus cameras) and on and on.

The piece continues with the expected denials from the agency and giving non answers to questions.  I reply to driver comments like "[Drivers] complained that sheriff's deputies are seldom seen and ride only a few [buses]." Agency officials cite statistics on the number of bus rides and etc., rather than a metric like a deputy is on board a bus for x miles of every miles driven. 

There is not much print coverage, so it appears that the Los Angeles Times is on holiday too! :-) 
The LACMTA must have read this Moles instructions on how to use their fare machines.  Which machines represent the best technology of the 1980s.  To see exactly how clunky pick up one of the expensive, glossy brochures like "How to pay fare on Metro Rail using tokens" (How).
Or you could read about the new El Monte Station in "Introducing the the new El Monte Station" (October 2012).  I wonder if "the largest bus facility west of Chicago" has public rest rooms? 
One wonders why, exactly, they needed a separate, expensive, glossy brochure when the information was included in another even more expensive, glossy brochure, viz., the October issue of the "Metro Insider" (Metro).  Again this is maybe not the case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing, but the left hand not even knowing that there is a right hand.

The Times may have taken a holiday from Metro reporting, but the LACMTA has not.

In the November 2012 issue of Metro Insider (November 2012) there is yet another blurb for the TAP.  Which project must be the longest effort to continue in spite of not achieving success.  It will cross the five year mark in two months, yes in February 2013 it will be five full years.

In an informal study the other day, la Taupe found that five out of six of the passengers he observed paid with cash.  Then too, we have the Expo Line stations without access control.  When one thinks of the LACMTA, two words immediately come to mind, "poor management".


¿Musica? How about a Tahitian song. 

You can turn this youtube.com video into a kara-oke.
Thanks to youtube.com and to Lanicornification for the upload!
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 on-board announcements will likely make you dizzy, nauseous and frighten you. 

Yes, even little Taiwan has a high-speed rail link to its airport, CKS (Chang Kai Shek).  And a nice modern train it is, too!  Poor Los Angeles, all we have is the Fly-A-Way bus which the LACMTA allows to cannibalize its Metro traffic.
Thanks to youtube.com and to SuperBertram for the upload!


Here is an interesting article along with a great diagram which helps us visualize the history of our universe.


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

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

It is difficult to reide the LACMTA "system" when one is not in town :-( 


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; 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.  

74004 F[+8] 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. Print.

There are no exceptions.

Date: 2009-06-24                  S/LametroMole                  

Works Cited

"How to pay fare on Metro Rail using tokens". ©LACMTA. 13-0350.

"Introducing the the new El Monte Station". ©LACMTA. 13-0530MR.

"October 2012 Metro Insider". ©LACMTA. 13-0481PS.   Print.

"November 2012 Metro Insider". ©LACMTA. 13-0683PS.   Print.
Weikel, Dan. "MTA workers report safetyy issues". Los Angeles Times. Nov. 24, 2012:AA. Print. 



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