Vae Viator42

The photograph below documents the situation at the Maxella AV and Lincoln BL stop on the BBB 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 include this comment in every post with the above until BBB corrects the problem.  For quite awhile BBB has been charging for intra-line transfers, reversing the long standing policy of free transfers to other BBB lines.  And lots money to build a big headquarters on Colorado BL just east of 4th Street.    Mr. King, just a few dollars for a trash can, you might need a few more to cover other bus stops too, will erase this section.  After all, it is Marina Del Rey! :-)

BBB Maxella Trash Fix?

White Line Incursion Series 

Su Topo uses video to highlight the problem of scofflaw drivers endangering Metro bus passengers yet, no authority seems to want to take ownership of the problem.  The issue is not unique to the particular site which this Mole documents, but is illustrative of a general problem.  Your Mole encourages you to report similar problems to the appropriate agencies in your area(s) and hope that you will have better luck than he.  In the youtube.com videos linked below one can see exactly what happens when the policing agencies fail to enforce traffic laws.

The 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 see two vehicles and a Taxi drive over a solid white line and cut off a 111 Line bus.  N.B. that the taxi has very little space to pass ahead of the MOVING bus!  See the youtube video here.

Then, on a reverse angle, less clearly, a video show an SUV (watch for the flashing right turn signal) tries to pass the bus and cut in front of it.  The bus is moving so the scofflaw driver pauses to the left of the MOVING bus, then drives across the solid white line and follows the bus.  The www.youtube.com video is here.
In spite of the potential for these violations to occur several times per HOUR, I have never seen a police presence at this location.  One would think that with a bus schedule taped to the dashboard one of the several policing agencies would have made some arrests by now.  Unless they have "more important" work to do, than protecting bus passengers. 
Although you Mole has proposed a simple solution to this ongoing, dangerous situation, viz. move the bus stop forward so that the bus will be stopped with its front bumper on the "stop line" just before the crosswalk hatching.  What has the LACMTA done about this essentially no-cost solution?  In a word, nothing!
La Taupe feels that it is appropriate to dedicate the video(s) to ALL the agencies who should be protecting us.  So, I dedicate  dedicated to (1): Airport (LAWA) Police,  the L.A.P.D., the L. A. County Sheriff’s Department and Mr. A. Leahy who is CEO of the LACMTA.
The scene of the crimes: 96th Street & Airport BL
Above, looking north, we can see the unsafe, un-policed, ignored by the LACMTA intersection where scofflaw drivers headed south make a right turn, cross a solid white line and cut in front of buses with impunity, which buses are  are stopped and discharging passengers.

Subway Building by those that know how to do it

Crossrail is a London subway building project.  Here is an video overview .

Then, rich in detail, we have a presentation which really puts one in the picture.

Here are some Crossrail project pictures, see these first and you will have a better understanding of the audio below.

Some terms used in the audio, defined

4 and ½ KM  =  about 2.8 miles
1.6, 7.1 7 etc. metres, just think yards and you will be close enough for LACMTA work J
5 millimeter accuracy based on 25.4 millimeters per inch = 5/25.4 = .19685 = approximately 2/10 inch
Loo = bathroom
A to Zed, A to A means complete.
Chunnel (Channel Tunnel) – the tunnel between London and the European continent, which makes landfall at Brussels Belgium in 1 hour and 51 minutes add another 24 minutes and you can be in Paris.   For information on the trains which use the "Chunnel" please see.
The audio and video links below would equal several thousands of my words,
audio link here. 
Video link1 and Link2

The point of this is that the London transportation professionals have an intimate understanding of transportation systems and subway building.  This is a magnificent engineering feet and I can’t thank the BBC enough for the materials they provided to help me understand and introduce the project.  
 To www.youtube.com, Thank you very much!
When one uses the estimate of two weeks to bore 1 KM machine capacity quoted above, relative to the approximately seven miles (12KM) of tunnel needed to build the subway to the sea VA Hospital it would take about twenty four weeks to do the tunneling.  A a Red Line extension start date in 2009, the year when Crossrail began, would likely mean that we would be riding that subway TODAY!  But of course, if you want to see project end dates recede and cost estimates skyrocket just place the LACMTA and a group of politicians in charge.
This lack of significant large project experience and political fingers in the mix, is why our Bullet Train, although pretty all much above ground,  already is a disaster.

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

In a "slim" article the Los Angeles Times reported(

In the August 7th issue, the Times showed a photo(Schaben) of officials looking down into the track area., so apparently the man fell, jumped or was pushed onto the tracks.

This is a first, something that can't be blamed on the LACMTA.  A Times article(Weikel) informs us that $268,000,000 earmarked for the LACMTA is being held up until the State of California brings its' pension law is made to conform to the requirements of the Federal Transit Act.

Ms Laura J. Nelson, who is this Mole's favourite transportation writer at the Times, addresses the LACMTA asymptotic approach to providing public transportation to LAX.  This topic was also covered last month in this space.  It is a great piece, so please read it.  You will find nice diagrams in support of the story and writing that places the spotlight squarely on the "can't do" LACMTA.

Su Topo would like to quote a single item, the sub-head of the article: "Crenshaw Line will almost get travelers to the airport.  But last leg, to be decided by planners, is years off. [emphasis mine]".  And to, the startling conclusion of a LACMTA official: "Preliminary Metro studies have shown that ridership would be highest if the airport link did not require and additional transfer to get to the terminal."  Brilliant!  I wonder of that LACMTA official has counted up the seats required to go from Union Station simply to get to the Crenshaw line?   It is 2!  Red/Purple line to 7th/Metro and the  Expo Line to the Crenshaw line.  Then a ride on the Crenshaw Line and a transfer to something else, for a total of FOUR seats in total.  The LACMTA is so far, performing exactly as expected, uh, poorly!

Speaking of performance, the Los Angeles Times covers (Vartabedian) some additional delays in the "bullet" train construction.  They are only being held up until sometime in 2014 (insert raucous laughter here) by not yet having identified a construction company and the "lack of key federal permits."  Do read this very nice article, find that there is humour in the news and you will discover that incompetence loves company.

Perhaps some of the roadblocks to providing public transportation to LAX, sadly it won't be rapid transportation, are the work of  the Los Angeles airport commission.  According to the Times (Weikel) Mayor Garcetti will be replacing all but one of the commissioners.  La Taupe would like to quote an interesting paragraph from the story: "It was unclear whether the house-cleaning was meant to send a message to Gina Marie Lindsey, the executive director of Los Angeles World Airports, which operates Los Angeles International Airport, LA/Ontario International Airport and Van Nuys Airport."  Please read the entire article.  There were past controversies associated with the Seattle-Tacoma $4.2 billion expansion which was managed by Ms Lindsey.  Here is a link to a piece which was contemporary with the Sea-Tac expansion project.

Representative Janice Hahn (D-San Pedro) addresses the major problem with the LACMTA's thinking about public transportation, in addition to its not being RAPID TRANSIT, in an opinion piece in the times.  Please read Ms Hahn's crystal clear, succinct letter, headlined "Rail to LAX, now", here.  

This has been a busy moth for the Times transportation reporting (Vartabedian(2)) and a bad month for the bad idea of the CHSRA, their behind-the-curve "bullet train".  This time they have apparently not dotted some "i"s nor crossed some "t"s vis-à-vis funding requirements and environmental reviews.  Again, illustrating when politics trumps rational thinking and planning.  Mr. Vartabedian's does an excellent job of covering the many problems of this butchery in the guise of a train.

Another excellent reporter exposes (Marcum) the problems encountered by a small business when it is in the right-of-way of the bullet train.  A Fresno couple who own a diner are being displaced by the CHSRA's eminent domain process.  Ms Marcum shows the effects on people of this project. 

That the LACMTA's failure to prioritise  projects is well documented (Simon) by the Los Angeles Times.  In this case the Executive and Legislative budget battles will result in a brake being place on the LACMTA's free-spending ways.  Had the "Subway to the Veteran's hospital been started promptly rather than the hodge-podge, mass, NOT RAPID light rail building program adopted by the LACMTA we would be seeing progress on the subway.  Instead it appears that several of the projects will stall.  The only bright spot is that the "Downtown Connector" will also be halted, this Mole can only hope that this poorly conceived, atrociously planned and yet-to-be executed mess will end at a permanent halt. 

The Times seems to have an excellent group of reporters working the Transportation Beat.  I offer this challenge to them: Investigate why LAWA is involved in bus transportation.  I have noted that the only direct LACMTA transportation between Union Station and LAX, well as far as the the LAXCBC anyway, the 439 Line was first shortened over several years and then cancelled.  Yet today, one can take a direct Flyaway and money that should be used to enhance LACMTA transportation is flowing into the pockets of LAWA!  At $7, one way, which charge is almost 4.7 times the cost of the standard $1.50 LACMTA fare.  This Mole thinks that if anyone is running a direct bus for $7 to LAX, it should be the LACMTA.

Sadly, the Hollywood Reporter (Shiliaci) and other media outlets are reporting that Ms Linda Ronstadt  -- it hurts me to write this-- has lost her singing voice due to Parkinson's Disease. 

<<Un pessimiste, c'est un homme qui a travaillé pendant trois mois avec un optimiste.>>

Robert Beauvais (1911-03-06~1982-02-23)

[A pessimist is a man who has worked for three months with an optimist]


Let's listen to two songs by Ms Linda Ronstadt, because we still have access to all of her recorded works.   First, a  beautiful song, a simple title: "Mexican Song".  

Then a country song, which demonstrates Ms Ronstadt's beautiful, powerful voice and popularity as a performer in a number of genres.  It is: "I can't help it if I'm still in love with you". 

I would be remiss if I didn't thank our friends at www.grooveshark.com for making this great music available to us!


I found an excellent, fairly short and relatively easy to understand article on multiverses.
It covers a great deal of ground and discusses infinate universes, bubble universes, parallel universes, daughter universes and marhematical universes.

All of these concepts require one to accept them without being overly critical.
The piece is inked here

The Mole rides again, you don't have to stare at your computer screen and wonder why the LACMTA thinks that "Hawthorne Station" is "Hawthorne Academy".

(All times are expressed in the 24 hour system.)
2013-08-06: I ride a 117 Line bus to South Gate.  After a visit there, I retrace my route back to the Blue Line Station at 103rd Street.  I conduct some business in Long Beach and then ride the Blue Line back to the Artesia Transit Center.  I wait 20+ minutes there, spending time counting cars coupled to the passing freight train whose tracks parallel those of the Blue Line.  Oh, there were 95 cars :-).  Then I listened to an aggressively friendly woman who called out "Where are you goin'?" to passing men.  She had to put up with some rejection.

Just can't get it done

Aboard a 108 Line bus which is still, after several years, defaced by a bumper sticker as shown above.  The LACMTA just can't seem to get their act together be it cleaning or any other task or project.  The fare box on this bus (#5155)  won't accept coins, so when a passenger boards the driver refuses to sell him a transfer.  He is unhappy but like many passengers on this organization 

Standing room only

I am waiting for a slow-to-come 704 Line bus on Santa Monica BL.  The stop is just across the street from this foreground picture of a stop used by Big Blue Bus.  You should have a better idea of the distance if you enlarge  this picture (click on it).  There is no seating at the stop so one is forced to stand and wait, which was not pleasant on this especially hot day.  "Metro Working for You."

Just below you can see an approximation of the variables I entered in searching for the appropriate route to a location in Hawthorne.

Trip Spoiler Variables

Another Trip Spoiled

As you can see, the "Trip Spoiler" thinks that "Hawthorne Academy" is synonymous with "Hawthorne Station".   

2013-08-20 11:30 @ LAXCBC:  I wait for a CCMBL #6 Line bus for a short ride to meet someone for lunch in Culver City.   I assist two Italians find the most cost effective route to their hotel.  They are from Northern Italy, a city about 80 Km to the east of Lake Garda.

2013-08-21 06:00@LAXCBC; headed for LAX.  As I walk to the shuttle depot on this dark morning, a black car pulls up and drops off a bus passenger.  This is just another example of non-existent policing in the area.
2013-08-27 around 14:00:  As I wait at the LAXCBC yet another civilian vehicle pulls in and asks directions of the Metro group, mechanics and drivers, gathered around a stalled bus. As I ride out of LAXCBC I see an unusual looking vehicle, it is a FlyAway van which can carry perhaps 20 passengers; it drops a group and shortly afterwards follows my bus and passes it.  At that time I can see that the FlyAway sign also has "Westwood" written on it.  At this rate FlyAway will offer better service than the LACMTA. 

This van seems to approximate part of the route previously covered by the old 439 Line.   More investigative work, please add it to my challenge to the Los Angeles Times reporters (vide supra).

2013-08-31 08:00: La Taupe rides the green line to the Harbor Freeway Station.  The elevator is stubborn this morning, so multiple flights of stairs must be descended.   I arrive concurrently with the Silver Line bus and am on my way.  A passenger blocks the door area as he chats with the driver.  She is number 79780 and has a "partial" nose ring.  He is doing most of the talking, really non-stop.   She isn't saying much, but neither is she asking him to sit down and not block egress.

Ear (and Eye)  to the Rail, and for today -the road.

Must See 
I’m placing this video last in position; not because it is unimportant and trivial but because it is so important.  It is also true that nothing less important can follow your viewing of the material. 
Viewing this documentary is not a pleasant experience, it is not for children! But if you drive you should view the video in its entirety and encourage others to see it as well.  If you text and drive, it is must viewing for you.  The question you should ask yourself is not “IF”, but “when”.

Here then, isWerner Herzog's new documentary on the dangers of texting and driving is long for a PSA at 35 minutes, but worth watching. It was sponsored by AT&T and created with the help of AT&T's agency, BBDO New York. “ (Adweek).
If you text and drive please stop now; in any case, please advise as many others as possible to see this powerful documentary.

If viewing the material just above didn’t do it, here is a link to an app which may keep you from texting while driving.  

Fare Box Score Box and related Lists of Shame

 I.D. Numbers of buses with Out of Order Fare Boxes: 5138;

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

 I.D.Numbers of Distracted Drivers: 79780(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: 5155;

~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 the 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 Lack of 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:  25102(J)/2013-07-23; 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 Monicas Big Blue Bus
CHSRA = California High-Speed Rail Authority, which is the equivalent, in more ways than one, of the LACMTA.
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

ITC = Inglewood Transit Center

LAWA = Los Angeles World Airports.
LAXCBC = the LAX City Bus Center.
OCTA = Orange County Transportation Authority.

OOS = Out Of Service.
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 Topos 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 dont.  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 dont, 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.  

Then too, there are mysterious "error messages with out a code or any indication at all about the nature of (my) error and how to avoid or correct it!

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.  I do try to provide feedback.  But, 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.

Your Moles Copyright Statement

All photographs and original written materials are copyrighted © 2007~2013 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 Moles 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 is 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

Adweek. “Top 10 Commercials of the Week  Aug. 9-16”.  Aug. 16 2013. Web. http://www.adweek.com/
Los Angeles Times. Aug. 6, 2013. Web. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-man-struck-by-red-line-train-20130806,0,4180452.story

Marcum, Diana. “Derailed by the bullet train". Los Angeles Times. Aug. 18, 2013:A25+. Print.

Schaben, Allen, J. "Red Line Death" Los Angeles Times. Aug. 6, 2013:AA6. Print.

Linda Ronstadt: Parkinson's Took My Singing Voice” The Hollywood Reporter. Aug. 23. 2013. Web. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/linda-ronstadt-parkinsons-took-my-613673
Simon, Richard. "Major transit projects at risk" Los Angeles Times. Aug. 18, 2013:A25+. Print.

Vartabedian, Ralph. "Extended delays for bullet train" Los Angeles Times. Aug. 12, 2013:AA1+. Print.

Vartabedian(2), Ralph. "Bullet train is dealt a new setback" Los Angeles Times. Aug. 16, 2013:AA1+. Print.

Weikel, Dan. "Transit funding withheld over legal dispute". Los Angeles Times. Aug. 11, 2013:A32. Print.

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