Vae Viator49

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 video we see yet another instance of scofflaw drivers, this time it is a Hertz shuttle bus and a taxi, cutting in front of a Metro 111/311 bus. Please see the www.youtube.com videos 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 video(s) 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.

Su Topo 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 so eliminates the space in front of the bus which the always-in-a-hurry scofflaws use to cut in front of the bus. *But with the LACMTA nothing is simple. Although the solution could be implemented with nothing more than a memo to the 111/311 Line drivers, it is a task for which the LACMTA is inadequate.

Then, at the LAXCBC we can see a small blue car with a confused driver spend a lot of time waiting at the curb and more time waiting to exit the bus center.

Jobs Never Completed♪

The photo above shows that the LACMTA is unable to complete any job.  Your Mole has written about these “whois” stickers since 2008-07-29 and earlier, yet the LACMTA seems unable to remove them from all of their vehicles.  It is indicative of a lack of a systems approach to tasks large and small.
Note the bus number (5119) above (and if you ever ride it, you will probably see this artifact which may have been affixed prior to Snoble’s —remember 

Then there is the Metro app.  It has some good points, it has, indirectly at least, schedules available. I have also reported on a number of shortcommmings with the current version (V2.x) but no new release has appeared.  It is either a case of the LACMTA or the developers, or both, losing interest in troubleshooting and applying fixes to the application.   With the LACMTA, they are always initially enamoured of the idea, but, time the need for maintence arrives, the feeling has gone away.

Disallowed Items♪

Please read the placard above.  You will see that at least one transportation organization has given the rider’s experience some thought and developed a response or perhaps the Torrance Transit management reads this blog??

Could the LACMTA follow TT’s lead?  Theoretically yes, but considering the experiential evidence which I’ve obtained, the answer is a resounding NO.

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

Best Practices♪

A piece by the L.A. Times reports (Nelson) that a blind man fell from a Red Line subway platform and survived the incident even though, apparently, a train passed over him.  In Japan, those who are sight challenged have a pathway (shown in yellow in the photo above) directly to the boarding door.  Trains unfailing stop so that these pathways ALWAYS lead to a door.

Another Times article (Nelson2) discusses the fact that more people are depending on bicycles, foot-power and public transportation. 

The Daily New reports (Scauzillo) in a piece which your Mole calls “Politiciansand other non-technical people meet to ‘plan’ transportation”, and the actual piece headline calls “LA Mayor Garcetti, MTA chief and others meet Wednesday to talk traffic solutions”.

How it is done!

Cautionary Note: Those employed by the LACMTA or LAWA should NOT read  the following article. The concept of true rapid transit, boldly implemented, will likely make you dizzy, nauseous, confuse and frighten you.

The San Francisco Chronicle prints (Cabanatuan) an excellent article which should demonstrate to those of us who live in Southern California, that although some Los Angeles “transportation advisers” feel that underground construction is too expensive and dangerous and/or “dangerous and fraught with problems” and/or“costly” and “risky”. (Post of 2014-01-31).  The more dynamic San Francisco Muni seems undeterred.   They have charged ahead using “Mom Chung” and “Big Alma” to do the drilling and opened transportation nodes in new areas.  This project is not to be confused with the confused “Downtown Connecter” [Band-Aid, Mole’s term] in Los Angeles.

This piece documents progress made in San Francisco by including 19 photographs!  The four-and-a-half mile project is expected to be completed in 2019.  Nice job Mr. Cabanatuan!

La Taupe has covered other forward looking rapid transit projects; in London and in New York City.  San Francisco joins that elite group!

2019? That is just about 50 years before the planning for the last mile to LAX will be completed, isn’t it?? 

[Su Topo’s mind wanders.] Meanwhile, Los Angeles transportation visionaries meet in a progress-blocking, timidity-reinforcing session.

Talk turns to a far-future (2030) visit to San Francisco’s “new” subway.  The lady in the group offers, “I’ll supply bags of bread crumbs for each of us.”  The CEO says: “I will have balls of twine for all.”  One of the politicians asserts, “I will make sure that we each have a miner’s helmet with a head lamp.”  Another politician chimes in, “I can get us each an emergency earthquake backpack with three day’s supply of food and water.” [End mind wander.]

Please read all these articles cited in their entirety for the complete details.  The “Works Cited” section below has those links which are available to me.

« Je n'ai fait que regarder ce que m'a montré l'univers. »
Claude Monet (1754-08-23~1793-01-23)

[I only watch that which showed me the universe.]

Merci beaucoup à www.intoxitation.com .

Ars longa vita breva

The Museum of Latin American Art is featuring an exhibit entitled ‘Frida Kalo, Her Art’ which began on March 15, 2014.  The museum is located at 628 Alamitos Ave, Long Beach, CA 90802.   Here is a link to the museum’s home page 

And here, is another site devoted to Frida. 


Let’s listen to music by Intocable. From their album En peligro de extinctión,  here is Te Amo Para Siempre

¿Uno mas? Here is Intocable again, with Sueña from their album Sueños.

Como siempre, Thank you! to our good friends at www.grooveshark.com for always providing the appropriate music for us.

The Mole rides again, on Metro, so that you don’t have to experience that which is prohibited on Torrance transit.
(All times are expressed in the 24 hour system.)

Lot of time in the seat belts this month, so very little time in bus seats.

2014-03-19  09:10: A bus stop on Manchester Blvd.  A number 3 BBB pulls up and leaves when the driver feels the bus is full.  His opinion is NOT shared by a woman, whose accent identifies her as Jamaican.  Using a vocabulary rich in invective and laced with profanity she delivered a continuing rant regarding BBB and the driver's fitness for his job and etc.  After 15 minutes or so another BBB #3 shows up and she is somewhat mollified.  This bus, #4039, offers bilingual announcements scrolled in Español --the first I've seen on any area bus.  

2014-03-31 11:00 @ LAXCBC:  I ride a 117 line bus which waits interminably
to exit the west driveway.  Car after car passes and I wonder if they couldn't give the drivers an exit signal that would stop west bound traffic just east of the exit driveway and allow the buses to stay on schedule. 

Ear (and Eye) to the Rail

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 or LAWA 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.

The video linked here will take us from Oslo Airport to Oslo, via Flytoget, the Norwegian Airport Express Train; it is a high-speed rail link. Thank you youtube.com and also thanks   to “agc16” who provided the upload!


Future mergers include on many time larger than the ones we read about in the Wall Street Journal.  It is the merger of our galaxy (we call it the Milky Way) with the nearby, 2.5 million light years away, the Andromeda galaxy.

These two galaxies are moving closer together, but the actual merger is 4 billion years away.  The site, like below, features a video presentation along with an artist’s conception of what our future earth will look like post-merger.

There’s lots of time left, so, we can all relax and read the details here.

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.
82627 F[+4] C[Y];

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.
xxxxx 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).
& 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

 Cabanatuan, Michael. “Machines quietly tunneling in Muni's Central Subway project:  Machines bore holes under congested downtown area”. San Francisco Chronicle”. Mar. 8, 2014. Web.


Drake, Nadia. “Milky Way Has 4 Billion Years to Live — But Our Sun Will Survive”. nationalgeographic.com. Mar. 23, 2014. W. http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2014/03/24/scientists-predict-our-galaxys-death/

Nelson, Laura J. “Blind man survives being run over by Metro train”.  Los Angeles Times. Mar. 6, 2014. Web.  http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-blind-man-metro-survives-0140306,0,5785680.story#ixzz2wtykQa2B

Nelson2, Laura J. “More Californians ditching their cars in favor of bikes, walking”.  Los Angeles Times. Mar. 14, 2014. Web. 

Scauzillo, Steve. “LA Mayor Garcetti, MTA chief and others meet Wednesday to talk traffic solutions”.   San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Mar. 25, 2014: Web. http://www.dailynews.com/general-news/20140325/la-mayor-garcetti-mta-chief-and-others-meet-wednesday-to-talk-traffic-solutions

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The above is ### 30 ### in Braille 

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