Vae Viator35


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.  The 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 

This posting is the first issue in which su Topo uses video to highlight a problem.  In the videos below one can see exactly what happens when the policing agencies fail to enforce traffic laws.

The series of videos linked below document that, and this is important, a never ending stream of vehicles fail to use the lane as required by law. 

Neither are the policing agencies active when it comes to protecting us by bringing these obvious and frequent traffic law violations to an immediate halt.  The LACMTA is derelict as well, in that they fail to use the near hourly proof of the violations captured by the on board cameras, mentioned here and discussed at length in the posting of 2012-05-31. 

In the following video we can see four (4) vehicles cross the white line and cut ahead of a bus which has stopped to discharge passengers.

Su Topo feels that it is appropriate to dedicate each one of these vehicles to a specific agency.  So, in sequence, the scofflaw cars are dedicated to the: Airport (LAWA) Police; L.A.P.D., L.A. County Sheriff’s Department and finally, of course, the CEO of the LACMTA, Mr. LeahyVideo link.

 << C’est légal parce que je le veux.>>

Louis XVI: (1754-08-23~1793-01-21)
[This is legal because I want it.]
Louis 16th, King of France from 1774 to 1792, played an important role in America’s revolution.  He provided both money and material, amounting to $13 billion at today’s rates, to our revolutionaries.

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

 How it is done in the “Big Apple”.  

 Take a look at the “Top Five Best Transit Events of 2012.  You can use this PDF file to help you understand them.   N.B. that TWO of the top FIVE events are related to improving the system!  It is advised that LACMTA management and staff NOT try this exercise.  It demands that one specifically understand the definition of the word “system”.  I can assure you that the LACMTA management and staff ABSOLUTELY do not have the prerequisite understanding.  After all most of their effort goes into breaking links between transit centers and rail in other words de-systemizing mass transit here in Los Angeles.  Instead they support foolish ideas like a seven block street car line on Broadway OR yet another method by which nothing is really linked to LAX.

While the New York City MTA attempts to join lines, note the usage of “[l]inked” and “connected”.

In a fit of nostalgia, or something, the “Downtown Streetcar Moves Ahead … downtown residents voted last month to tax themselves to finance up to $85 million in bond START-UP money.” (Metro Insider January 2013).

 There seems to be no end of bad ideas that can be generated by an agency whose only motivation seems to be to spend money without regard to ROI (Return On Investment).  This streetcar scheme is worse than bad in that as a 3.8 mile loop, which covers about 1.2 miles over the ground: assuming that the loop is a circle.  EIGHTY FIVE MILLION DOLLARS just to start this unneeded “ride”.  The LACMTA can somehow convince people to tax themselves for this mindless dodge.  It probably sold this as the first step in the San Franciscoization of Los Angeles.  If the LACMTA really feels that wasting the public’s money on a streetcar, with its many drawbacks, will cause tourists to flock to L.A., they had better lie down until the feeling goes away.

 Although it would fit in with my hometown’s other tourist attractions: Venice Beach, The Walk of Fame, Whatever they now call the Chinese Theater now and the Broadway Streetcar.

Just how ineducable must one be to work on these projects?  I will let the reader make that decision.  But, $85,000,000 for a 14 block streetcar and almost NO PUBLIC RESTROOMS ANYWHERE IN The “system”.

Here is a link to an organisation which feels as your Mole does about the importance of public restrooms. http://americanrestroom.org/

Additionally, the “Expo Line” which is in itself a bad idea when contrasted to the subway to the sea, I mean, the subway to the VA Hospital, contains no access control!  So, that will be another expensive retrofit, If someone at the LACMTA remembers what access control is and why we have it.

¿Musica?  How about a high energy version of “Hey Baby Que Pasóby Coyote DAX
 Thank you to our friends at Grooveshark.com!

Thank you youtube.com! 

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.  Additionally, the concept of having a DIRECT LINK to the airport should place you in a state of “cognitive dissonance”, which occurs when two cognitions complete.  Cognitive dissonance results in the case where Cognition 1, “It is impossible to directly link a city to its airport” and cognition 2, “many cities are directly linked to their airports”.

 One can learn more about cognitive dissonance here.  But again, I must caution LACMTA management and staff that they should not try this sort of psychological study at home and definitely not without the involvement and guidance of a trained professional.

An article in USA Today, entitled “More U.S. airports add rail service to downtown published on Jun. 5, 2009 does mention Los Angeles, along with several other cities, whose plans for a direct city to airport “… are years from completion.”  In fact, this Mole would go so far as to say that their the LACMTA can never achieve more than they have at this point, i.e., an asymptotic arrival. 
The USA Today article does feature Portland, OR which city does have a direct airport link.  You can read the piece here:
 We can take a ride on the above mentioned Portland train here.
Youtube.com, thank you so much for complementing my words with videos!
Thank you too, "UnitedAirlines53467" for the download!

Here is a link to a discussion of the 100 billion planets which, like us, call our galaxy home.

The Mole rides again, so you don’t have to listen to the blaring dispatcher’s radio and even louder stop announcements aboard buses contracted to MV Transportation, Inc.
(All times are expressed in the 24 hour system.)


Aisle Blocker♪

2013-01-02 @ about 11:00 I am on board a 40 Line bus, number 9535, headed south towards the South Bay Shopping Center.  I am forced to squeeze past  a big man who is pouring out his troubles to the slim black woman who is driving.  Apparently his bartender did some pouring too, before this man took his ride.  I take a seat and the man adheres to his triple purpose, distracting the driver, using her as his psychiatrist and blocking the aisle.  The driver says nothing as older people some with canes, have to force their way on board.

 One comment from her, “Sir I can’t move this bus until you take a seat would have done it.”  She is derelict in her duties AND insensitive to the needs of her passengers.  So when you hear about those LACMTA surveys that claim that 98% of riders are deliriously happy with the Metro service, you can be sure of one thing; they didn’t talk to this Mole. 

As I have been pointing out in White Line Incursions (Vide supra), the LACMTA refuses to ensure that buses and passengers are not endangered by scofflaw drivers, this month I will focus on common, unpleasant on board “situations”.


Basura On Board

Above is pictured an all-too-often seen event.  A recycler with multiple (I only photographed one, the others were on seats along with their owner) large trash bags stuffed with bottles.  Sometimes the bags leak or drip as they are dragged along the aisle; and in the worst cases smell bad as well!  An annoyance and health hazard all rolled into one. 


South Side of Century on East Side of the 405

It is axiomatic, if one rides public transportation, one walks a lot!  So the “Rides” rubric subsumes some walking comments; like those below. 

I am not sure exactly who is responsible for keeping these areas clean but I do know that this area hasn’t been cleaned since Clinton was out President.  Is it CALDOT?, LDOT?, just DOT? or somebody else who is not doing their job– but it is real filthy here!  The same is true of the other side of Century BL and the western approaches too.


South Side of Century Under the 405

Walking under the 405 here is a real treat but, not as bad as on the north side.


North Side of Century Under the 405

The walk under the 405 on the north side of Century is worse by possible a factor of five (5)!   Doubt that?  Here is another look.




North Side of Century Under the 405-II

Lots of basura!  And, although not pictured here, the homeless camp along the top of the mound shown above.

La Taupe has revisited the site after submitting a report to the proper agency.  It has been improved very much, but much is left undone.  For example the absolutely filthy sidewalks at the location, especially on the north side of Century BL as I describe just below.


North Side of Century Under the 405- Cow path

So maybe su Topo is not the world’s greatest photographer.  But the site, the dark, smelly, under the freeway location is not like a professional studio. 

The photo above could easily be confused with one of a cow path in rural India.  The embankment which slopes up under the freeway has no ground cover so it erodes away and accumulates on the sidewalk.  So step (1) is to halt the erosion either with ground cover which will tolerate the low light levels there or with some sort of concrete barrier; step (2) which may be done in parallel with step (1) is to clean the sidewalks and then step (3) improve the lighting conditions with brighter light bulbs and the application of some light coloured reflective paint both to the fencing and the concrete structure.  Of course, the painting should be done after repairing the fencing because it has holes cut in it, under it and has been torn down in several areas.  

2013-01-14 @ 12:40: I am a passenger on bus #7898 on the 102 line, driven by operator number 72592.  He is a rough driver and we jerk along.  Like many of the buses, this one doesn’t have schedules aboard.  Compounding this problem, the stupid, err, poorly designed Metro app doesn’t provide for easy downloading of schedules.

Offsetting the sloppy work (or lack of work) shown above we have the Los Angeles Libraries.  Last month su Topo featured a picture of the Los Angeles County library at work.  And what a great job they are doing!  In this case they are preserving and rehabbing part of the old Lennox County Library while adding a new section. 

 Your Mole is at Union Station and finds that the “LACMTA’s work is never done or at least, it seems, never done properly.”

Still Leaking After All These Months

It is obvious that the contractor who built the sky lights, shown above, into the Union Station Gold Line platform did a substandard job.  This is at least the second time that the tarps are out to prevent water from dipping down on users of the tunnel which bisects Union Station.
Now, this problem likely should have been remediated by the contractor.  But we the taxpayers are probably paying for it, this is su Topo’s supposition.  The reasons being:  (a) the LACMTA did not inspect the work; (b) the LACMTA did not test the work for leakage; (c) the LACMTA did not properly specify the process and materials required.   Had any of the aforementioned items been executed the contractor would have to pay.  If the LACMTA is paying for the correction of this problem than it is a clear case of breach of fiduciary!  And only one of many that comes to mind such as rebuilding the Orange Line roadway and fixing the Gold Line areas where chunks of concrete were falling off the structure.
Below, more plastic tarps are “fixing” leaks.

More Jury Rigged Leak Fixes to Construction Problems

Vehicles enter LAXCBC illegally



Night Entry

After dark, a car enters the LAXCBC, above, looking or something, and then leaves.

The signage at the Bus Center is atrocious!  Your Mole has made suggestions regarding improvements in a post almost exactly one year ago (2012-01-31), but this Mole must wait until the LACMTA can find someone to read those suggestions to them.  Or when the inevitable accident occurs, it is possible that better signage will result.


Day Entry

During the day, a car enters the LAXCBC, above, looking or something, and then leaves.

The LAXCBC is not the only bus center with problems.  Pictured below is just a sample and not a very good one either, because the Inglewood Transit Center is filthy. 



ITC Basura

Bus stops are filthy too, and many have had the trash cans taken away when the bus benches were replaced with the new type benches which apparently don’t have matching trash cans or the trash cans are not suitable having advertising plastered on them.  The stop pictured below, at Centinela and Florence, has neither a bus bench nor a trash can, er, it does have a trash bag lashed to the fence, but it is also surrounded by lots of litter.  Nice work, Mr. Leahy!



Centinela Y Florence Basura

On board a 117 line bus eastbound:  Reading and writing is impossible because Century BL is like a washboard.  Just another example of America’s crumbling infrastructure.  As we approach 103rd Street Station the obviously “patched in” gruff and different voice announces “Connection to the Blue Line”.  This unprofessional PA probably saved the LACMTA $5, but exposes them as the rustics which they are.  Any other transportation agency would have the modifications to the stop announcements recorded by the same person that did the original recordings, but not this “penny wise pound foolish” agency.

These “hacked” recordings can be heard on lots of bus lines.  For example, on the 40 Line where they butchered not only the actual Green Line stop but the one before it too.  That means that those who get off at the first stop announced as a “Green Line” connection are treated to a long walk.  They may say “Metro Works for You”, however they don’t say how well. J


Money Spent For Signage♪

Renaming lots of rail stations was/is another risible idea.  Thinking back to Snoble’s watch it ranks with his replacing the LACMTA’s “Big Orange” logo for the “Eight Ball” logo.

Just another way to spend money, like NextBus, I mean to say NexTrip, something which contributes NOTHING to the convenience and comfort of the ridership.  Now if the LACMTA truly cared about its ridership, they would provide public restrooms at such places where public restrooms are obviously needed. 

 If the County of Los Angeles had an Inspector General they would soon find that they needed them in company size groups for the LACMTA alone.

 This spending likely resulted in a double waste.  Unneeded costly glossy brochures will end up being dumped, while things that are needed, such as schedules, are unavailable on many buses.  Another LACMTA glossy brochure, which seem to be more prevalent than passengers hauling recycling materials on board buses.



Glossy Brochures♪

One of the brochures, shown above, invites us to listen to TranstTV using our headphones attached to personal audio devices.  Su Topo can only assume that they think that will reduce the noise level on buses.  The point they seem to have missed is that not everyone has such a device and if they do they probably want to listen to programming of their own choice; which many do even if they do not have headphones.  So, TransitTV will blare out loudly or softly depending on some outside influence, which drivers say is out of their control.

Money spent on adapting TransitTV to rebroadcast on 87.5 FM and on another glossy brochure with no environmental change!  Metro Works for You – but kind of ineffectually, ¿es no?

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:5207-311/450;

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.  

xxxxx F[Y] 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

Metro Insider January 2013.  LACMTA©.  Jan. 2013. 13-1133PS. Print.


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The above is  ### 30 ###  in Braille

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