Vae Viator46

When politicians involve themselves in technical matters, expect failures.
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. Too, BBB has spent lots of 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 the important fact that 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 videos we see yet another instance of a scofflaw driver cutting I front of a Metro bus. N.B. that we have chatty, distracted drivers at the wheel in the first two videos.  Please see the www.youtube.com videos here  and here.

1In 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.
La Taupe feels that it is appropriate to dedicate these videos to ALL the agencies that should be protecting us. So, they are 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.

La Taupe has recommended a simple solution to the problem. That is, have the 111 Line buses pull up to pedestrian crosswalk then stop and discharge passengers. Doing this eliminates the space in front of the bus which the always-in-a-hurry scofflaws use to cut in front of the Metro. *But with the LACMTA nothing is simple. Although the solution could be implemented with nothing more than a memo to the 111 Line drivers, it is a task for which the LACMTA is inadequate.

A simple solution? Yes.  But after months it is yet to be implemented!

The Mole reads the papers and other things, obviating the necessity of your doing so.
Our lead story (Pareene) is from the online Magazine “Salon”.  Although the article is about New York City’s public transportation “speed bumps” it gives us some insight as to how politicians are motivated.  Here is Mr. Pareene: “…we all remember how American politicians only respond to the desires and preferences of the wealthy, right?”   The entire article is definitely worth reading for insights such as this —“… every driver is worth as much as 4.5 transit riders.

The same is true of our Los Angeles politicians; the difference is that New York is able to generate proposals that are supported by hard logic and practical engineering instead of whim.

But even these proposals are defeated by the state legislature.  Just below is a picture of registered drivers by county (Albany through Shoharie Counties are not shown).   Given that the population of New York City is 8,337,000 and that the table below shows that there are 3,394,801 licensed drivers in New York City then the number of non-drivers is equal to (8,337,000 - 3,394,801) or 4,942,199.  But according to the political calculus which Salon has taught us, these non drivers are equivalent in political influence to 1,098,266 people.   This figure can be dramatically reduced even further by considering only the non-driving voters, but the point is made.

I do disagree with Mr. Pareene’s conclusion that Los Angeles is the the only place in the U.S. where “mass transit” is “growing and improving”.   First of my home town is the only major U.S. which seems congenitally unable to link its city center directly with its airport.

This Mole strongly feels that rapid mass transit is what large cities need.  No better example of rapid transit with its’ total transportation system encompassing both bus and subways with a magnificent feat of engineering, is New York City’s Second Avenue Subway.

The motto of the NYC could well be “We build rapid transportation for the future”.  Conversely, the LACMTA’s motto should be “We build mass transportation for the past”. 

Let’s take a look at a short youtube.com video of just a portion of the second Avenue Subway construction.

Thank you youtube.com !

When we will see the “walk-the-walk” part of the Subway to the VA Hospital here in Los Angeles, as opposed to the usual never ending LACMTA talk-the-talk?

Licensed Drivers in New York State

The political calculus of transportation is why, dear readers, the Mendoza family (vide infra) must spend 15 hours per day away from home; which time could be greatly reduced by better transportation.  Their hopes for a better life probably should be centered on obtaining a car rather than trusting the LACMTA to improve the bus system by better planned schedules which reduce connection wait times, reinstituting intra-system transfers and applying some least-squares* or better algorithmic system of projecting a rapid transit route ridership.  *More detail can be found here.

A piece (Nelson) in the Los Angeles Times covers a topic with perhaps more specificity than this Mole prefers.   I’ll just give you headline and a bit more, knowing that my alert readers will figure it out: “Metro hopes to stop public urination near Orange Line bus station”. From the article: “Metro staff will also study whether more subway, light-rail and bus rapid transit lines need bathrooms. Under a long-standing policy, Metro maintains public restrooms only at major transit hubs: Union Station, the Harbor Gateway Transit Center and the El Monte Bus Station.

Mr. Leahy?  What do you say?  We’ll send a day riding the loop described just above (Union Station, Harbor Gateway Transit Center and the El Monte Bus Station) and see if we are adequately served with rest rooms.  What? You prefer not to do it??

Well, let’s assemble the LACMTA genii and see if they are ready to hear the answer.  It is: LACMTA, provide you ridership with the most basic of creature comforts, viz., public restrooms!  Got it? I hope so.  We probably saved enough LACMTA staff study time and dollars to double the number of facilities with rest rooms, making six in all!

The Times documents (Vartabedian) the current list of woes bedeviling the California High Speed Rail project; which project your Mole has always opposed for the following, but not inclusive,  reasons: wrong route; wrong administrative approach; wrong contractor selection process; no concept of budgetary control and wrong technology.

If one were to build a bridge from Los Angeles to Catalina would one start from Santa Barbara?  Well, if one were the CHSRA, one probably would.  Searching these postings for CHSRA should present the posts which detail some of the other reasons why su Topo is in opposition to this money wasting project.  Such as, why use 1960s technology in 2014!

The L.A. Times reports a stunning decision by the LACMTA.  That is, they will begin locking access control gates on the Blue Line to thwart fare cheats.  What a concept, using access control gates to, ahhh, control access.  In a rare flashback or is it déjà Vu? Six (6) years ago in December 2007, la Taupe wrote ” The Los Angeles Times again, reports ([Song]) on the possibility of installing access control [as] “the first step toward installing 275 gates on the Red and Green lines and at strategic light rail stations.”. Once again we can see the brilliance of the minds at the LACMTA. They have had decades of experience with this problem and, at last, have come up with the solution that should have been implemented from day one. Most engineers, architects and other professionals will agree that it is usually much easier to design and build what is required from the start rather than retrofit later. Perhaps, the LACMTA genii laughed at the other cities and their controlled access systems and thought “we're different, we can save money”. As I discussed last month, the LACMTA can not learn from their own experience --how can we expect them to internalize the lessons which other could teach them? In a, to me, very weak attempt to rationalize the lack of due diligence in the past, the article quotes politicians as saying “While it was conceivable that an 'honor system' was effective ... 20 years ago, ... such a system is simply inapplicable in Los Angeles County today.”. The Times piece estimates that $6.77 million dollars of presently avoided fares could be collected. Using that as a basis and the estimate to install the system, “up to $30 million” means that the losses over 10 years could have paid for the controlled access gates twice over. Also noted is an annual maintenance cost of $1 million per year, which is about $10 per day based only on 275 gates –-this must be based upon fixing vandalism because smart card technology shouldn't require much maintenance. Unless, of course, it is left out in the weather or produced by the same people who make the everlastingly out of service bus fare boxes. Important to note that not all stations or perhaps not even all entrances of a given station will controlled access. What the article lacked was a simple map showing the lines and stations along with a notation as to the percentage (0~100%) of a given station's possible points of entry would have controlled access” [italics mine].

Does the above report indicate that the LACMTA has institutional memory or institutional amnesia?   The decision is yours.

A Times piece (Lopez) puts a bright spin on what is a grueling daily commute for a family of four.  No doubt, unlike the family he writes about, Mr. Lopez drives a comfortable, warm SUV to and from his job at the Times.  I will only quote a single sentence from the article: In describing the Mendoza  family at 5:35 AM, Lopez writes; “Nicole is still tired, and Andy seems to be sleep-walking, but to look at their mother [Carmen], you wouldn't know the hour was so indecent.”  

 What I would rather Lopez concentrated on and wrote about is the poor job the LACMTA does of providing transportation to hard working Angelenos.  The fact that existing lines which used to mean a single seat for most of one’s commute now, after being fragmented by the LACMTA, force the Mendozas to ride an additional six (6) or seven (7) buses daily.   I can’t tell you what the route structure before the LACMTA started dividing longer lines into shorter chunks, but I can tell you that that approach along with the discontinuance of intra-system transfers and the inception of the “day pass” were all concepts implemented solely to increase revenue. 

Here is a nice initial step Mr. Leahy, have one of you transportation engineers —oops, sorry— I forgot, you don’t have any transportation engineers.  Well, have someone analyze the Mendozas’ commute and see how it could be simplified and speeded up.  Mr. Leahy, I’ll wager that you are not riding your first Metro bus at 5:35 AM, neither are you traveling anywhere near Bell Gardens either.

The Los Angeles Times reported (Winton) that a Metro bus was evacuated one-at-a-time after reports that there was a man with a gun aboard.  The times left out the bus route number, but this Mole studied the system man and aided by the KTLA video (which wouldn’t play) estimates that the bus was either a 40, 102 or 214 Line bus.   Perhaps if the computer I was using didn’t respond with “Error: unsupported video or invalid file path” I could have seen the headsign.  Su Topo’s guess?  It was a line 40 bus for a number of reasons.

Thankfully, no one was seriously injured in this event, but it does illustrate the lack of security on board LACMTA conveyances.   This is exactly the type of situation which does NOT call for a passenger to attempt to document an alleged crime with his cell phone’s Metro Security App!  But having such an app almost guarantees that at some future time, someone will try to do exactly that.

The Times covers (Nelson2) the fact that people who live within a half mile of an Expo Line Station use the Expo Line.  The LACMTA spin on this piece would be assumed to be “Thanks to us!”  But seemingly, in an instance of ‘What the big print giveth, the small print taketh away’, we find this quote: “Researchers said they realize Los Angeles is too sprawling for everyone to live within a half-mile of a train stop, that the line is new and that residents' behaviors may yet change.”   Or rephrases as, if we build it they will come, IF they live within a half mile.

One of the challenges to transportation designers is anticipating the sources and destinations of the ridership.  The LACMTA seems singularly inept at this function too.  In the case of the Expo Line, they seem to have decided to build a line to Santa Monica even if that was not the best course of action, nor the best route.  So, in real life, whatever you build and however unsuitable it is likely that there will be some people who will use it.

Another Times piece (Holland) illustrates the LACMTA’s uneven hand at enforcement.  It disallows the homeless from sheltering at Union Station while it’s Metro drivers give free rides to those who they feel deserve it, that is, has some story as to why they shouldn’t have to pay.  Those same drivers allow those with sometimes several large trash bags packed with dripping, smelly recyclables to board and deprive paying passengers of a seat. 

Please, don’t misread your Mole's sense of compassion.  He wishes that the LACMTA would offer an alternative to simply ejecting people from Union Station and that all who wish to ride had the fare and that recycling centers were better located to serve those who derive their livelihood from picking up discarded containers which have a value.

But we live in an imperfect world.  The least the LACMTA could do, especially when the issue is shaded by their opulent headquarters AKA as the Taj Mahal, would be to offer social welfare organizations an outreach office in/near Union Station so that they could deliver services to the homeless.
But would an agency which must study the need of their ridership for restrooms, have the intellectual capacity and the will to actually take some sort of positive action regarding the homeless in and around Union Station?  I am afraid NOT!

Ms Holland’s piece is well written but sad.  In the strange, convoluted process that passes for thinking at the LACMTA, they see “… unsanitary conditions and health threats including bedbugs and scabies”  at Union Station but not in the free-riding homeless and those in the margins who collect recyclables. 

It may be that Mr. Leahy and other executives from the LACMTA see the homeless at Union Station when they lunch at Traxx,  but, since they almost never ride buses and have no meaningful security aboard Metro buses, it is an out-of-sight, out-of-mind situation.

The Los Angeles Times reports(Nelson3) that the LACMTA wants, surprise, more tax money from you.  They want to either raise the rate on the current measure R [Robbery?] OR extend the measures life.  "The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and multiple advocacy groups[*] say more transportation money would help expand the region's fledgling rail network, improve complementary service on bus lines, and speed construction and repairs on rail lines and highways."

*This Mole has found in the past that some "advocacy groups" had a not so tenuous link to the LACMTA.  For example, an Expo Line advocacy's contact person either worked for the LACMTA or although a Web site was based in Florid, it used a contact telephone wit in the LACMTA.  And we must never forget how the prior LACMTA CEO used public funds to lobby for Measure R. 

Promises, promises, promises! 

Your Mole is against giving any more money to an agency that has such a poor concept of service and has STOPPED building rapid transit in favor of a Toonerville Trolley concept.  Frankly, the type of street cars in use here were implemented in New York City at the time when horse drawn cars were discontinued, ummm the 1870s.

Let's see some rapid transit on the ground and a direct link to LAX, public restrooms where they are needed, a return to intra-agency transfers, better coordination of multiple lines for transfer purposes or a return to single lines where point-to-point traffic justifies it AND Metro connection between all Transit Centers and Transit Centers and rail (Think LAXCBC and Aviation Station).  Also give us a clear explanation as to WHY LAWA is in the bus business?  Need I say "to be continued"?

Just say "NO" to any changes, other than reductions, to tax monies which are destined for the LACMTA! 
 «Seule l'histoire n'a pas de fin.»

Charles Baudelaire (1821-04-09~1867-08-31)

[Only history has no end.]
Merci beaucoup à www.evene.fr/ .


This month we feature Linda Ronstadt.  Her memoir has been out for several months now. Below is a photo of the cover of her musical memoir, “Simple Dreams”. 
“Simple Dreams” ♪

The book is available through a link on Ms Ronstadt’s homepage and from other sources as well.  The homepage offers other interviews and much more material from this beautiful lady and fantastic musician.  Ms Ronstadt’s music is also incorporated into the “Ear (and Eye) to the Rail” below.
From her album, “Simple Dreams” here is “Camelita”.

And, importantly, Ms Ronstadt will be formally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014!  For which honor she has earned, deserves and is entitled to our congratulations!
Como siempre, Thank you! to our good friends at www.grooveshark.com for always providing the appropriate music for us.

The Mole rides again, you don't have to stand in the hot sun for long intervals on Santa Monica BL waiting for a 704 Line bus.

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

2013-12-17 around noon.  This Mole looks enviously across Barrington AV at the northeast corner of Santa Monica BL.  The Big Blue Bus has benches there  but I have to stand and watch.   I watch for almost 50 minutes, during which time three (3) Big Blue Buses service the stop.   All the while I stand in the blazing sun and  think about the nerve of the LACMTA to plaster its buses with decals which proclaim the long ago award of “America’s Best” as if it happened yesterday.  Well, it happened in 2006 and seven other transportation companies have won the award in the intervening seven years.   The 2013 recipient of “America’s Best” award is NAIPTA, the Northern Arizona Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority .


America’s Best Erased

In recognition of the poor service provided by the LACMTA, I have stripped them of the award, and wire brushed the area formerly occupied by the award back to bare metal and painted it with white primer; at least in the photo above.

In addition, I offer the following incomprehensive list of their shortcomings:

The LACMTA fails to provide the most basic of creature comforts, restrooms, at train stations, at subway stations and at bus centers --with three exceptions.  The photo below shows how quickly portable restrooms were provided for drivers once the sewage system at the LAXCBC failed.

For Drivers Only

The LACMTA lacks operational standards as to exactly how loud, and this is especially noticeable on contracted lines such as the 232 Line and others, the onboard, TransiTV, dispatch radios and Automatic Stop Announcements can be played.  My experience has been that they are mostly played at ear splitting volume forcing one to tune out the cacophonic, discordant ambience  by listening to one’s own portable audio device.  Reading is pretty much out of the question.

Buses and rail cars must be shared with an army of recyclers who drag their clanking, often dripping haul aboard these vehicles bumping into people with their stuffed trash bags or worse their wheeled carts.

I repeat my long standing criticism that the “Rapid Service” services the few by stranding the many.  The “Rapid Lines” include “service” such as the 704, vide supra, which is by no means rapid.  If the LACMTA doesn’t want to provide service past Sepulveda BL they should pass out free transfers at the Sepulveda/Santa Monica terminus and then we could ride the BBB to Santa Monica.  The actual cost of the transfers amounts to pennies and would save real money (that the LACMTA could find some other way to waste).  Bus passengers could enjoy a comfortable ride to Santa Monica, and a bench upon which to sit while they waited. 
Can the LACMTA do anything right?  You can make up your own mind.  But la Taupe's answer is , apparently not.  I offer samples of their "work" below.
Shakeup form
Did you find the error?  No? Neither did the LACMTA workers.

I can't parallel park very well
Indicative of the low skill level of lots of Metro drivers these days or is it just sloppiness?  In any event, positioning the bus in the manner shown above means that passengers who follow the directions of the on-board announcements, e.g., "Use rear exits", are faced with, in this case, a close to two (2) metre step.  The alternative is a long step down.  This is dangerous to senior citizens and any other passenger as well. 
The LACMTA's answer to the issue?  An on-board announcement that tells passengers to use care when exiting the bus or words to that effect.
2013-12-27, On board a Gold Line train to Pasadena, early morning.   I look out the window as we move out of Union Station; it is streaked and dirty as are all of the windows in this car —likely all the cars of this train.  It is something I never saw in Japan as all train cars are washed overnight.  But, as I have noted many times: the LACMTA’s only semi-proficient function is spending money to “build” thing.  Really, it is transferring tax payers money to others who will build something.   The LACMTA’s strong suite is NOT project management and it is most definitely NOT maintaining their existing plant.
On board the train a woman with a bicycle maneuvers it so as to completely block an aisle; while another woman, in an endless cycle, snuffles, waits 12 beats and repeats.
I ride a Foothill Transit bus; it is big, clean and has very comfortable seats. The drivers are able to position these big machines parallel to the curb and just an easy step out onto the curb.  Perhaps the LACMTA should hire these drivers to train Metro drivers because only perhaps three in ten of them can repeatedly perform this kind of stop.

On the return trip I ride the Gold and Red Lines to the Blue Line.  The Red Line had its usual way-too-loud on board announcements.  The English announcements were painful to the eardrum but understandable, for some reason the Spanish Language announcements were difficult to hear.  This is what happens when incompetents perform tasks.  It is like the patching in of a completely different voice into the professionally done ASA; one can understand what they are trying to accomplish --but so fifth-class. Really how much can they possibly be saving .50 per word??, $1??  My Blue Line car has almost as many vendors: cold drinks, DVDs and candy, as passengers.

I transfer to the Green line at Willowbrook Station and face a long wait.  Three east bound trains pass before a west bound one appears.

My New Year's wish is for health, happiness and prosperity for my readers and for the LACMTA to address all the issues listed above so that I can have a new list for them to work on in 2015.  Yes, I know; they will have to have someone explain exactly what the issues are before they can work on them :-)   A good starting point would be to review the Mendoza's daily travel and see if something can be done to shorten the amount of time they spend on buses.  You know?  What professional transportation providers call "customer service".

Technical Discourse

Of course, the LACMTA is not alone in its free spending ways.  But they certainly deserve on a list.  Perhaps a list such as Senator Coburn (R, OK) has produced for our Federal Government.  If a local newspaper would deconstruct some of the many failures of the LACMTA and produce a like report for it, it might cause the public to think twice before authorizing the dysfunctional agency to again slip its collective hands into the public piggybank.
Ear (and Eye) to the Rail

 Here is an excellent Fresh Air interview. with Terry Gross.  Recorded in September 2013, Terry talks to Linda Ronstadt shortly after Linda released her autobiography, “Simple Dreams”.   Please select open if you want the interview to play on Windows Media Player.  There is also a download option.  The broadcast is just under 48 minutes.


Transit as unseen and unimagined by the LACMTA

The purpose of this section is to make people aware that the LACMTA is not home to many problem solvers.  I hope to accomplish this end by presenting the solutions adopted by other cities, some in foreign countries, in solving the city to airport rapid mass transportation challenge.
Cautionary Note: Those employed by the LACMTA should NOT view the following video(s). The speed of the train(s), the fact that they neither share the right of way nor stop at stop lights, because they are truly rapid transit, will likely make you dizzy, nauseous, confuse and frighten you.

This video will show us various aspects of the MBTA’s (Metropolitan Boston Transportation Authority) Blue Line which services Boston’s Logan Airport.  The MBTA is familiarly known as the “T”.

Thank you youtube.com and this Mole’s thanks also goes to Tim M. who provided the upload!


In a Scientific American piece covered in Salon, we learn that the frequency of light, its’ colour, may determine how gravity affects it and may negate the “big bang theory” which describes one possibility for the origin of our universe.

Fare Box Score Box and related Lists of Shame

I.D. Numbers of buses with Out of Order Fare Boxes: xxxx;
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 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: Not noted xxx/xxx;

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.

I.D. numbers of drivers who are unable or unwilling to position their buses parallel to the curb, a short step from the curb an equidistance from the vehicles exits.

81493 F[+10] C[Y]; F[+7], C[Y]; xxxxx F[Y], C[Y]; xxxxxF[Y], C[Y]; N.B. distances are in metres, think yards.
13 metres is this is MORE than a bus length.  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(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 didn’t signal (ring) in time. They don’t 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

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 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 have been submitting feedback and experiences slow but positive progress.  Until all issues are resolved, lo siento.

Your Mole’s 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 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 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

Bloomekatz , Ari. Metro locks more Blue Line station gates to fight fare evaders”.  Los Angeles Times. Dec. 12, 2013.  Web. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-metro-blue-line-gates-latched-fares-20131212,0,6149913.story#ixzz2nxqlJcRg

Holland, Gale. “No ticket, no sitting at L.A.’s Union Station”. Los Angeles Times. Dec. 22, 2013:A33.  Print.

Lopez, Steve. “Buses are their route to a brighter future”. Los Angeles Times. Dec. 17, 2013.  Web. http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-1218-lopez-carmen-20131218,0,6026836.column#ixzz2nxiPiNJm.  

Nelson, Laura J. “Metro hopes to stop public urination near Orange Line bus station”.  Los Angeles Times. Dec. 6, 2013. Web. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-metro-public-urination-orange-line-20131205,0,6816839.story#ixzz2ny1o5jTPy

Nelson2, Laura J. “Residents living near Expo Line stations reduce car use, study shows”.  Los Angeles Times. Dec. 12, 2013. Web. http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-expo-study-20131216,0,6863796.story#axzz2nxbTSKKO

Nelson3, Laura J. “L.A. County transit officials plan to put sales tax measure on ballot" Los Angeles Times. Dec. 24, 2013. Web. 
Pareene, Alex. “Why mass transit is doomed in America: Politicians don’t know people who use it”. Salon. Dec. 2, 2013. Web. http://www.salon.com/2013/12/02/why_mass_transit_is_doomed_in_america_politicians_dont_know_people_who_use_it/

Song, Jason “May need a ticket to ride” Los Angeles Times 30 Nov. 2007:B1 Print.
Winton, Richard and Bloomekatz , Ari. “Metro bus evacuated after report of man armed with gun”. Los Angeles Times. Dec. 18, 2013. Web. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-metro-bus-armed-man-report-20131218,0,7122800.story#ixzz2nxdZiymG

Vartabedian, Ralph. "Foes of bullet train are gaining momentum. Los Angeles Times. Dec. 13, 2013. Web. http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-bullet-future-20131214,0,7798656.story#axzz2nxbTSKKO

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The above is ### 30 ### in Braille


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