Vae Viator23

BBB Maxella Trash
Of course, this picture shows the area to be much cleaner than it usually finds it.
More Things for which I wish in 2012!

From Mr. Edward F. King, Newly appointed Director of Big Blue Bus:A trash can on the north-east corner of Lincoln and Maxella Avenue, 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, for months even years of foot-dragging on such a simple matter!!

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

From the LACMTA:
Reestablish the lines that linked the rail and bus centres.  Viz. the 439 line which used to run between Aviation Station on the Green Line and Downtown via CCTC.

Add additional buses to the decimated 115 and other 100 series lines that linked the southwest side inland areas and rail stations to the coast.  Perhaps even the 220 Line, which covered LAX south, Playa del Rey and Marina del Rey could be brought back.

Then too, the MVT subcontractor continues the looping of the 233 Line around Mariposa Station on the Green Line, wasting time and
fuel.  They also need to provide a more convenient stop within the Plaza El Segundo shopping center, rather than forcing people to cross the very busy Rosecrans/Sepulveda intersection TWICE and then walk six blocks to the shopping center proper. 

Without question, there are many other Metro bus lines which need to be reestablished and linked to area bus centres and rail stations; therefore, the list above is far from complete.

Re-linking bus centres and rail stations would be the one step forward following the two or three steps backward taken in the past and would serve to partly structure a transportation system.  Although, based upon his experience and analysis, su Topo finds that the LACMTA is congenitally predisposed to lack the abilities required of a system builder.

Reducing frequency on the above lines (and others) or their outright cancellation is an example of what the Los Angeles Times cited (Boomekratz, Dec. 16, 2011):  The review, released by the Federal Transit Administration this week, found that the [Los Angeles] Metropolitan Transportation Authority does an inadequate job of researching the impact on passengers when changing fares or eliminating bus lines.”  The problems describe above can also be read as a list of are things which need to be DONE, as opposed to having the LACMTA Marketing Department printing up multi-lingual brochures!

Are you listening Federal Transit Administration?

Mr. Leahy, it is really time for you to control the flow of civilian traffic, i.e., non-bus traffic into the LAXBC. Here is a link, http://bit.ly/zsV7jw , which shows exactly how poorly the entry driveway is marked and exactly why so many vehicles blunder into the LAXCBX. These dangerous incursions will eventually result in a serious accident! The steps to correct this problem are simple, uno, dos, tres and outlined for you below:

Uno – Immediately improve traffic patrols in this area. The improved patrols can ticket drivers who cut across solid lines in front of stopped buses which are discharging passengers and turning westward at 96th Street and Airport Bl AND ticket drivers who ignore the feeble signage and enter the LAXCBC. There is nothing like a $100 ticket to cause a driver to focus his attention on where he is going and to relate the unpleasant experience of receiving a citation to others. WOM (Word of Mouth) will often take care of the problem

Dos – ASAP, put the yellow stripe painters to work painting a hash mark pattern with a red “Buses Only” note in the centre. I have made a sample of this work just below. N.B. yours should look very much better since you are paying for it, mine, of course, is gratis to you.  Just picture something like this superimposed on the entry/exit of the LAXCBC linked above.

Can you see me now?

Tres – Supplement the striping with some HIGHLY VISIBLE SIGNAGE which will further discourage these dangerous incursions.

They are at it again! Just several years after tearing up the Patsaouras Transit Plaza at the “Taj Mahal” (Read: LACMTA Headquarters) entrance, the LACMTA wants to do it again. Last time, I believe, the reason was to correct the work of the contractors did not do properly; this is not so unusual with the LACMTA. Here are the details of the $9,679,000 project:

“The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority in cooperation with the California Department of Transportation will reconfigure Patsaouras Plaza in downtown Los Angeles to provide a busway station for El Monte Busway passengers. The improved bus station will include seating, shelters, lighting, information displays, elevators, and stairs connecting directly to Union Station, the main rail station in Los Angeles, providing a more convenient connection between bus rapid transit, regional and local bus service, Metro light rail, rail transit, Amtrak, and Metrolink commuter trains.”

Let’s just think for a minute. If every constituency got a proportionate share of close to $10 million spent on them, as the “El Monte Busway Passengers” will, wouldn’t things be just great?

The Passaouras Plaza looks just wonderful to me just as it is, a few bent railings and such, but all-in-all not bad. What is really needed are rest rooms at each bus center and rail station. Spending part of the near $10 mil on that project would really provide aid and comfort to the traveling public. That is, instead of further aggrandizement of the “Taj Mahal”.

For complete details see: http://1.usa.gov/x55YA5

r ce contenu Annuler
<<La parole a été donnée à l'homme pour déguiser sa pensée.>>

Voltaire (François Marie Arouet, dit) [1694-11-21~1778-05-30]

Dialogue, le Chapon et la Poularde

[Speech was given to man to disguise his thoughts.]

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

Harpers Magazine (Badger) helps this Mole become slightly more positive about “social networks” and see potential for their usefulness. Ms Badger writes about an interesting and informative analysis of “tweets” about the CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) that are useful in identifying the root causes of riders’ dissatisfaction. Then the CTA, where possible, solves the problem.

Want to bet that our own LACMTA is not so imaginative?

The Los Angeles Times reports (Bloomekatz) on an extension of the “Measure R” sales tax to be used for transportation. You remember “Measure R”, the one which Snoble used taxpayer funds to publicise.

Due to a poor economy which is mentioned in the article and poor project management on the part of the LACMTA which is not mentioned,  results in cost overruns; the dollars collected are fewer than anticipated and spent ineffectively.

In case you are wondering what your Mole felt about this extension, here it is. Giving more money to the LACMTA is like giving a quart of bourbon to a drinker, that is, no good will come of it.

The LACMTA will waste money on any scheme which strikes its’ fancy; a perfect example is the NextBus, I mean NexTrip “system” which cost quite a lot (exactly how much is not reported by the LACMTA, at least not in an accessible manner) yet contributes NOTHING to improved operations or schedules.

This Mole hopes that there are enough voters who will not vote for an extension of “Measure R” and think about “Measure Rx” which is shorthand for “basta ya” when it comes to more funds to waste for the LACMTA.

Although la Taupe has only limited experience with hospitals, in every case where he does have experience he finds the nursing staff hard working and dedicated. So slightly off the topic of the LACMTA, is Saint John’s Hospital in Santa Monica which is on the 4 Line and 704 Line and near the 720/20 Lines.

This Mole was disappointed to read (Peak) that the nurses there have been working without a contract for, I believe, eight months now. This means that patient care suffers because of inadequate coverage. Further, nurses are experiencing back injuries because they lack a dedicated team and proper equipment to lift patients. Shame on you, Saint John’s! Please give these ladies and gentlemen what they need to perform their important jobs and avoid injury.

Please read this short important article here: http://bit.ly/xryWzN

Our local papers just don’t seem to be covering the LACMTA, I wonder why that might be??


Last month we heard the work of French pianist Hélène Grimaud.

This month, let’s see her in concert surrounded by an orchestra conducted by Claudio Abbado: http://bit.ly/jx1Bvm

Then we can see the stunningly talented Valentina Lisitsa, a native of Ukraine: http://bit.ly/zSut6Y

Thank you youtube.com for this beautiful music!

Ear to the Rail

I hope that the beautiful music above will be accepted as the “Ear” contribution for this month.


Surfing the gravitational waves? In a way that was/is the plan for the downsized LISA (Laser Interferometer Space Antenna) project. The plan was for LISA to detect gravitational waves created by the merging of very large black holes. You can read the detail in a short article here: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=lisa-mission-gravitational-waves

NewScientist provides us with some more information on the (still) faster than the speed-of-light neutrinos and multiple-universes; from 10500 of them and more!

The Mole Rides Again, so you don’t have wonder why the LACMAT cannot provide security without asking for volunteers.
(All times are expressed in the 24 hour system.)

2012-01-09 @ 9:00: A 232 Line driver, # 71230, kicks paper napkins out of his bus and onto the pavement as he prepares for a southbound trip at the LAXCBC. Mr. Leahy and the head of MVT should work together on a “charm class” for drivers to ensure that (1) they don’t litter; they don’t carry on unnecessary conversations with passengers, e.g., “I go to the XYZ church every Sunday and etc.”;

Don’t allow passengers to block ingress access to the bus, everyone should be seated or standing in the main compartment; the dispatch radios AND the newly install ASAS should be at a standard level (there are engineering standards for such things which provide acceptable Db levels), however unknown they are to the LACMTA so that noise level is NOT just another irritant for passengers.

2012-01-24 @ 7:40: It is cold at the LAXCBC. A 232 Line driver allows us to board the warm bus and wait until the start of the run. His driver number, errr, I forget J.

The message scroll bar at Mariposa Stations gives us some health advice: “avoid sick people”; then allows us to volunteer to assist Sherriff’s Deputies fight vandalism, fare evasion and other crime”. That sounds like fun doesn’t it? What is the logic of placing untrained civilians in harm’s way? No doubt they will have to sign a lengthy release of liability.

Soon the scroll bars is announcing “Train Arriving”, fully 30 seconds after I saw the train coming towards us. It is just more technology which is rendered toothless by the LACMTA.

Blue Line More Trains More Often♪

[Please note your Mole’s editorial comment included as the last line in the graphic]

I connect for Long Brach at the Imperial and etc., Station. I board a Blue Line train and am happy to be in a relatively warm area. Not for long though as we are, for some inexplicable reason dumped off at the Willow Station and the train starts back up the tracks, the P.A. advises us that it is going back to Los Angeles.

Thank you Mr. Leahy! It is lots of fun :-( to wait on a cold platform, so assuming that the LACMTA doesn’t know the difference between Downtown Long Beach and the Willow Station, I am including a helpful portion of the Blue Line route below. I wonder if the customer service group (if such a group exists) subscribes to the motto – “We’re not satisfied until you’re not satisfied! Is this any way to run a railroad?

Blue Line Imperial to Long Beach♪

Attention Federal Transportation Agency :-)

While rider satisfaction is on my mind, let me, again, discuss the poor service to Santa Monica provided by the 704 “Rapid” Line on Santa Monica BL. In the time I waited around 13:20 on a weekday afternoon: there were 3 buses from the 704 and 2 buses from the 4 Line, all of which terminated on the south-west corner of the Sepulveda-Santa Monica BL intersection. Yet I continued to wait for the all-to-infrequent Santa Monica bound bus.

2012-01-20 @ 7:20. “Vor” performs his usual, to me, sub-standard cleanup at the LAXCBC. It is hit-and-miss sweeping while he avoids the gutters which accumulate lots of trash. Then he jumps into his company provided car and is off to his next assignment.

As I wait for a 108 Line bus at Lincoln and Mindanao Way in Marina del Rey, I share a bench with a homeless man who chain-smokes cigarette butts and refills his drink cup any number of times at the McDonald’s across the street. After just seconds I move to avoid his continuous stream of smoke. I remind myself to avoid the soft drink dispenser at that particular Mickey D’s location.

Fare Box Score Box and related Lists of Shame

I.D. Numbers of buses with Outs of Order Fare Boxes: 8144, 9511;

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

I.D.Numbers of Distracted Drivers: xxxxx (iii),;

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.

F[Y] C[Y]; F[Y], C[Y]; xxxxx F[+], C[]; xxxxx F[+], C[]; 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

Badger, Emily “’I Hate the Blue Line’ and Other Things Transit Systems Can Learn From Twitter”. The Atlantic. Jan. 25, 2012. Web. http://www.theatlanticcities.com/commute/2012/01/i-hate-blue-line-and-other-things-transit-can-learn-twitter/1040/

Bloomekatz, Ari. “Metro board members lecture agency over civil rights violations”. Los Angeles Times. Dec. 16, 2011.  Web.

Bloomekatz, Ari. “Extension of L.A. County transit tax sought”. Los Angeles Times. Jan. 6, 2012.  Print.

Peak, Christopher. “St. John’s Registered Nurses Continue To Battle With Hospital Administration ”. Santa Monica Mirror. Dec. 30 – Jan. 5, 2012:A6. Print. http://www.smmirror.com/#mode=single&view=33788
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The above is  ### 30 ###  in Braille

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