Vae Viator29

BBB - Maxella Ave needs Trash Cans??

The photograph above documents the fact that there are no trash cans on either side of Lincoln at the Maxella AV and Lincoln BL stops; a visit there will prove that  neither side of the street , on their number 3 Line, have trash cans.  It is the sort of “work” one would expect from the LACMTA.  Only the north bound stop on the east side of Lincoln is shown above. BBB N.B. The stops still need a trash cans!

Su Topo will lead every post with the above until BBB corrects the problem.
White Line Incursion Series

The series of pictures below show 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!

Line Crossing

The photo above was taken from a 111 Line bus as it stopped at the north west corner of Airport BL and 96th Street.  The car in the photo cut across the white line and zoomed ahead of the stopped Metro bus.

In the event that anyone has the ability to call this lack of policing of this dangerous site, the elected politician in the leadership role of District 11 is Mr. Bill Rosendahl.  Perhaps he can motivate some policing agency to enforce traffic laws in his district.  Then again, perhaps he feels that the votes of bus riders are not equal to those who drive cars.  Or there are just not that may bus riders living in his district - so that he doesn’t have to care.  This Mole wonders exactly why it is that with scoff-laws crossing the white line at speed and cutting dangerously in front of buses, police enforcement continues to be selective.

<<Le but de la discussion ne doit pas être la victoire, mais l'amélioration.>>
Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French Philosopher

The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but progress.

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

A computer-brain interface, which allows the user to type by thinking, has been developed(Nguyen) by an Austrian company.  Called intendiX, a demonstration is just a click (below) away.

A Times piece (Megerian) tells us that California Senate approved the bullet train project 21-16.  A quote in the article, “No economy can grow faster than its transportation network allows,” seemed to indicate that our economy is suffering from a lack of transportation.  Your Mole feels that a "bullet train" between Fresno and Modesto/Madera, Plan B  will contribute extremely to Californis's economy.

The Times reports(Vartabedian) that UCLA performed an analysis of Japan’s “Bullet Train” system which creates doubts about claims made for our own ill advised train from Nowhere-Point A to Nowhere-Point-B.  Also rendered doubtful are proponents' claims for job creation estimates which are quoted as 400,000 permanent jobs.

This Mole challenges the Times’ reporters statement that ‘… the legendary Japanese “salaryman,” [sic] who commuted from a high-density apartment complex to a dreary city job aboard a crowded bullet train.’  This Mole, although not Japanese, was for several years a salaryman in Tokyo.  Like his Japanese brothers he commuted by fast, on-time commuter trains.  Su Topo commuted not to a dreary city job, but to a location in the heart of Tokyo which is more like New York City in terms of hustle and bustle.

Here is a link to a commuter train the Yamanote-sen

Here is a link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOUtbFIZ-D4  showing a portion of a Shinkansen (Bullet Train) ride between Hiroshima and Tokyo.  After viewing these two excellent videos you can easily see the difference between an intra-city commuter train and an inter-city high-speed train which is totally different.

The two types of trains are alike in these respects: clean, quiet, smooth riding with soft intelligible PA announcements. And if you paid careful attention you saw the polite, quiet efficiency of the smartly uniformed conductress.  The woman who was dispensing snacks from a cart, in an unique demonstration manners, turned and bowed to the passengers in the car she was in the process of leaving.

Japan has been building high-speed trains since before the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games period. The building of the initial Osaka-Tokyo link required six (6) years (1959-1964)!  The idea that Americans, with their lagging manufacturing capabilities and no experience at all in high-speed rail, could implement such a system within California, on time and on budget, is almost beyond comprehension.   For example, when Taiwan wanted to build a rapid transit light rail system they contracted with

Domo arigato gozaimasu to Image Japan ( http://www.image-japan.net/category/tokyo for the wonderful train ride!  A big “Thank You!” to bigpetey191 for his upload of the Yamanote-sen!  Of course we can all say “Thanks a lot!” to www.youtube.com  for hosting our rides J.

Then there was a times Opinion piece, the title of which indirectly linked the LACMTA with the “promised land”.  One would think that the author, who is Canadian and lives in Montreal, would know good transportation since that city has great RAPID transit in the form of subways. 

I won’t cover that article here because I can’t reconcile the writer’s praise for our city’s botched transportation efforts (vide supra).  The LACMTA’s plea: How do we get to LAX?) and his attempts to promote his book while flogging Measure R on the Times “opinion pages”. Lumping Angles Flight into local transportation options struck la Taupe as naïve. Further, the writer's praise of our undeserving politically centered transportation policies make this Mole, how shall I say?, wary.

I wanted to cover a Times article about the “Orange Line” (it’s a bus folks ANDNOT Rapid Transit” Mole).  But again, the LACMTA is so concerned about doing things on the cheap and not being concerned about safety and speed that we end up with a loosely linked blend of modes rather than a well integrated transportation system. And NOTa rapid one at that.  Yet the LACMTA wants to continue to tap into our tax dollars, apparently ad infinitum, which they will pour into ill conceived, poorly designed, inferiorly managed and ineptly implemented projects- the “Downtown Connector”- leaps to mind.


How about some musica from México via El Gato en Santa Monica, Alta California?  J.  http://player.streamtheworld.com/liveplayer.php?CALLSIGN=GATOFM

¿Un Poco más?  How about a blended version of “Como la flor ” by Selina Quintanilla? She is someone whose loss continues to be felt.

youtube.com, Thank you! 

Ear to and Eye on 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, and/or nauseous and frighten you.

Why in the world would the LACMTA ask its’ ridership how to link public transportation to LAX (What’s the Best) is anybody’s guess.  Although su Topo didn’t read the organization’s request until last month he had already started his answer in the end of June posting.  You can use this link to see exactly how deep the creative poverty extends at the subject organization.

Continuing here, we see how they do it in France and México.  Sooner or later someone in the Taj Mahal will review the videos below and exclaim: “Doh, I think I’ve got it!”


RER B arriving to Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2
RER = Réseau Express Régional [Regional Express Network]

Way to go Paris!

Merci bien à agladders pour l’upload!


SkyTrain International Mexico City airport

¡Bravo a la cuidad de México!

Thank you to petushqc for his upload!

LACMTA, do you get the idea? Los Angeles would do well to emulate either of these world-class cities and their public transportation to area airports!  [To be continued].

A bus that travels 300Kph?  It must be rapid transit, have unchallenged access to the roadway.


The New York Review of books offers this discussion of the search for the Higgs Boson.

Technical Topics

Your Mole has begun using Freemat, an opensource application which includes many of the features of MATLAB (MATrix LABoratory) .  MATLAB is said to be in use at over 5,000 universities.  Here is a picture of an active screen.  Click on it for the best view.

FreeMat IDE (Integrated Development Environment)

In the right pane above, we can see that, unsurprisingly, 2 times 2 = 4.

Below that is the solution to the word problem, as follows.  Suppose someone whose I.Q. is 110, rudely says to someone from a large organization, “Your I.Q. is the cube root of mine!”  The question then, is what is I.Q. of the person from the large organization?

The solution constructs the equation (10^(log10(110)/3)) which, when deconstructed says: find the log base 10 of 110: log10(110); develop the cube root of 110:  (log10(110)/3); raise 10 to that power: (10^(log10(110)/3)) = 4.7914.  The I.Q. of the person from the large organization is 4.7914, properly expresed as 4.8. 

We can prove that our cube root logic correct by cubing 4.7914, as in: 4.7914^3 = 109.9986 which rounds to 110, as in round(4.7914^3) = 110.  Please note that ^ denotes exponentiation, / is division, * is multiplication and roots can be determined by using the desired root, in this case, 3 for cube as the divisor of the log10 of 110.  Su Topo has shown you how to use FreeMat as a calculator, and it is great when used that way, but one can create “script files” which contain complex logic and load those scripts then execute them with varying input.  All of which make FreeMat a powerful computation tool.

Freemat is totally free as in gratis; two beautiful words in English and Español!  If you are interested in downloading FreeMat for your computer, please set your browser’s URL area to:
http://freemat.sourceforge.net/download.html and have fun. 

The Mole rides again, so you don’t have to damage your hearing because the LACMTA can’t moderate their too loud onboard announcements.
(All times are expressed in the 24 hour system.)

It is about a month since the “shakeup” changed the routes and schedules for the bus portion of the Metro “system”.  Given that the LACMTA had much more than the usual six months to plan, it is unbelievable that schedules are still not easily available on many buses.  As a result one is forced to ask drivers about when they will have schedules available.  Instead of understanding how important a schedule is to those who travel mostly by bus some drivers use the opportunity to either vent or demonstrate their lack of manners.  This was the case of driver who wore I.D. badge number 75460, and shouted a “No!” in answer to my query, through a closed bus door.

2012-07-17 A trip to Pasadena using the Green Line, Silver Line (It’s a bus, folks!) and the Gold line.  I return via the Gold Line and Expo Line and a bus.  Uneventful, except, as usual the PA announcements, unlike those in Japan (vide supra) are way TOO LOUD!

Now we find that the LACMTA is dissatisfied with their station naming and are renaming five (5) stations and promising that “Several other station names will be updated in the future.”(Un Nuevo)  Apparently the LACMTA felt that things were not confusing enough with their propensity to assign names to a single station poecilonymicly. 

The unnecessary expense of renaming stations is typical of an organization which wants us to renew Measure R in perpetuity so that they can continue in their spendthrift ways.  Would the LACMTA husband their funds whe could have restrooms installed in every train station and bus center which would be useful to all passengers and especially to mothers with small children. But no, the money gets dumped ito station name changes, NextBus
or NexTrip, the Downtown Connector, the planned work on the Taj Mahal - anything, in fact, which does not contribute to a safer, faster, more comfortable, more efficient ride for Los Angelinos. Please remember that the prescription for measure is Measure ℞., that is, to vote against Measure R. If you are undecided then please, ask this question of yourself: "Do you think that the transportation agencies in other cities in our nation had to ask their ridership - 'How shall we get you to our airport(s)?'"  The answer is in the videos which you have seen under the rubric "Ear to and Eye on the Rail" (above).  The LACMTA is asking US this question almost 20 years since the Green Line began.  LACMTA: The answer is to STOP asking foolish questions and to START digging!

2012-07-26 8:00: Your Mole rides the Green Line and notes several station name changes have been made.  A transfer to the Blue Line along with strange PA announcements; the system is announcing stops which are four (4) stations behind or actual position.  The operator is either oblivious to what is going out over the “air” or doesn’t know how to stop it, correct it or turn it off.   Just one more example of ineptitude heaped on the pile like old cell phone bills in the TV commercial.  Some fill-in-the-blank wakes up and finds he is not where he wants to be; in his addled mind this is an emergency so, he pulls the emergency stop switch above the door a feeble noise is emitted but the train keeps on rolling.  Now if this had been an actual emergency, then what??

As he walked down a Long Beach street la Taupe saw a sidewalk cleaning crew in action.  They were using a pressure washer.  The engineer in your Mole took over and he asked the operator “Does it clean gum off the sidewalk?”  The operator replied ”Yes”.  Mole: “Even old hardened gum?”  Operator: “Yes”.

This is definitely something that the LACMTA should be using on the gum blotched sidewalks of places like the LAXCBC, which is one of the filthiest bus centers this side of Calcutta.
The July “Metro Insider”(New Bus) proves beyond a doubt that the entire LACMTA staff and management associated with these self-promoting expensive brochures should be given the opportunity to exercise their skills elsewhere. In a portion of the brochure devoted to the new Division 13 facility on page, oops they don’t number pages, they refuse to tell us where this money pit will be located.

2012-07-27 11:45:  While waiting for my bus, I assisted a German couple find their way to Western Ave.  Then I directed two men from Macao make their way to Manchester and Inglewood Aves

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

Megerian, Chris and Vartabedian, Ralph. “Vote keeps bullet train alive.” Jul 7, 2012:1. Los Angeles Times. Print.

“New Bus Division Breaks Ground” Jul. 2012. Metro Insider Brochure 12-21884TR. ©2012LACMTA. Print.

Nguyen,Tuan C. "Computer types out messages by reading your mind". Mar. 3, 2011.  Smart Planet.com Web

Vartabedian, Ralph. “Study casts doubt on bullet train claims.” Jul 13, 2012:AA4. Los Angeles Times. Print.

“Un Nuevo nombre, la misma estatión” unk. Metro Brochure 12-2171RC. ©2012 LACMTA. Print.

“What’s the Best Way to Connect Metro to LAX?” Jun. 2012. Metro Insider Brochure 12-2064TR. ©2012LACMTA. Print.

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