Vae Viator52

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 further instances of scofflaw drivers, some in convoy, cutting in front of Metro 111/311 buses.
Please see the www.youtube.com videos here
and here

Please carefully note that the pedestrians can be pinned to the curb by the vehicles that cut in front of the bus —as a result these pedestrians are illegally denied the right-of-way. Which right-of-way would be unchallengeably theirs IF, and only if, Mr. Leahy would have one of his staff explain su Topo’s  simple solution (vide infra) to him.  More scofflaws can be seen 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.

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 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.

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

Times reporter (Rocha) covers an Expo Line crash which involved an automobile and injury to a single passenger on the train and one occupant of the car.

This unfortunate incident illustrates exactly what is wrong with mass transit that is non-rapid, i.e., shares the right away with other vehicles and pedestrians.  Rapid transit involves grade separation1 and would, if the LACMTA understood the concept, prevent the sort of accident described in Ms Rocha’s piece, and its future repetitions.  A good example of grade separation is our freeway system and the surface streets.  These two roadways do not intersect, so that users of the freeways can zip along without worrying about what is occurring on the surface streets.  Of course, this is not the case with the Toonerville train system cobbled together by the LACMTA where except for the Green Line; all other surface lines are NOT grade separated.

1 Regarding “Grade Separation” please see this, BUT the document should not be accessed by LACMTA staff, management or politicians because they will find it confusing and disorienting.

(Subordinate to LAWA)


Every Which Way But Right!


Four Seats to LAX!


The LACMTA Tries Again: Asymptotically to LAX!


The World’s Most Inconvenient Way in Which to Travel From City Center to an Airport!

The Times reports (Nelson) another chapter in the LACMTA’s asymptotic approach to LAX.  This “idea” seems to borrow from San Francisco International Airport’s approach.  As I understand it one would ride the Red Line from Union Station, the Expo Line from 7th/Metro Center to the Crenshaw Line to what what is termed a "people mover".  As su Topo envisions a trip to LAX in the far distant future, a visitor to Los Angeles would somhow arrive at Union Station, travel to the 7th/Metro Center Station haul his luggage up from the depths up a level and ride the Expo Line to the Expo/Crenshaw station and drag his luggage on board a Crenshaw Line train and ride to 96th Street/Aviation Blvd Station then struggle with his luggage aboard a another conveyance.  Are we having fun yet?  This is far from a single seat ride; I hope that the LACMTA is not shocked to hear that.  TheLAWA Executive Director has been reporter to favout this four-seat option.  Could it be because it presents no threat to FlyAway's lucrative revenue stream?  The Mayor, too speaks in support of it, but then again, he will probably never ride it.

Those also serve who show us the way not to do it and certainly the LACMTA has aptly demonstrated that they cannot plan single seat transportation from Point A to Point B!   They seem to be following their most recent solution, that is, the Downtown Connector model, viz., build it, then try to glue it together in the least sophisticated most costly way possible.

La Taupe is especially disappointed, because try as he will to educate the LACMTA on the way it is done at every place in the world, they can’t figure out a way to bring transportation directly to LAX; sigh.

In a related story the Los Angeles Times documents (Forgione) the fact that the LAWA FlyAway buses (why are they in the bus business?) will offer service between LAX to Santa Monica and Hollywood.  Is your Mole too suspicious OR is he correct in assuming that the $8/head collected for each trip could induce the LAWA management to be against a train that ran directly from downtown and served all LAX terminals, as systems do in modern cities?  Hmm, someone should be thinking about that and why exactly, is LAWA a competitor of the LACMTA. 

The old, now defunct 439 Line, could be reestablished along the lines which were proposed in the past by this Mole; Union Station-West L.A. Transportation Center-Culver City Transit Center –possible service to LAXCBC or a nearby stop-then loop the LAX departure level.  Metro could charge $4 for those passengers with luggage and provide racks in an articulated bus and passengers without luggage could pay regular fare.  It could be a win-win situation, except for LAWA who, anyway, should not be picking the pockets of the incompetent LACMTA and taking their fares.  

In short, our taxes, some of which are cycled back from the Federal Government, support the dysfunctional LACMTA, which in turn subordinates itself to the surface policies of LAWA.

The online community (Nolte) says that whites use public transportation in Los Angeles less than do people of colour and that “One explanation is government-sponsored discrimination.”  Doesn’t that bus riders’ organization say just the opposite??  In any event, please follow this link and decide for yourself.  

Dear Reader, please ask yourself —and this is a question that no one associated with the inept LACMTA as asked herself— Would you like to get on a FlyAway bus at Union Station, sit back for a short ride to LAX where you and your luggage will be dropped near your departure terminal.

Or would you perfer to go through the four-seat ride (described above) working like a stevadore to get your luggage on to the next train.  Then have the opportunity to repeat that action THREE TIMES?  

La Taupe proposes that ALL construction be halted and the LACMTA be managed and subordinated to a professionally cedentialed Transportation Board.  The professionals would represent: transportation planning; budgeting and industrial engineering; all supported by appropriate staff.  Freeway issues would be handled by a organizational chart box on the same level as Mass (hopefully RAPID) transit with additional professionals added to the Transportation Board.  Politicians, to the largest extent possible would be factored out of all planning.  Step ONE would be to appropriately route single seat trains to LAX over existing right-of-way with only two construction projects, performed in the fillowing order: (1) link the Blue Line track with a swichable spur that would join the Green Line track using a flyover; (2) concurrently complete the Aviation spur to a desembarkation point on LAX where Interline Buses (A) could take passengers to their terminals.  The next phase would be to build the under terminal loop line that the Airport trains could use, ultimately providing single-seat transportation to the termial. 

Imporantly, LAWA would be relegated to running LAX and the FlyAway buses would, one way or another be integrated into the improved LACMTA, the sketelon of which is outlined above. 

There are many details in this propose that need study, refinement and implemtation that should invole better minds than those currently floundering about and developing sub-optimal solutions.

The Times covers (Skelton) State Senator Kevin de León’s criticism of the High Speed Rail system as presently designed [emphasis added].  Senator de León feels, as your Mole does, that the central valley site is inappropriate.

"I don't think it makes sense to lay down track in the middle of nowhere," asserts Sen. Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles). "It's illogical. No one lives out there in the tumbleweeds."  Talk about speaking truth to power! “De León, 47, will be California's first Latino Senate leader in 129 years.”   The Senator is also sensitive to pollution caused by Metro Link trains which idle for hours while waiting to depart on their next run.

This is the kind of thinking which su Topo doesn’t expect to hear from politicians from a man which this Mole can and will support —now if he would only start thinking about current technology instead of “Bullet Trains”, viz., Mag-Lev.

The Los Angeles Times follows-up (Nelson2) on an earlier piece about a man who was beaten at the Willowbrook Blue Line Station.  Sadly, that man has died of his injuries after spending a week in hospital.

Willowbrook is, how can I say?, crawling with deputies performing fare-check duties during daylight hours but after dark there is little or NO SECURITY anywhere in the system.  The piece appeals to the public for help in identifying the perpetrators of this June 13 early afternoon assault —but wait a minute!— what about all the platform security cameras?  What??  The cameras are dummies or out of tape??  This Mole cannot believe that the LACMTA provides even less security then he thought!  May this poor victim —a senior citizen— rest in peace.

Vis-à-vis transit security, take New York City for example, where the MTA is more transparent than our own opaque LACMTA, there are approximately 2,500 Transit Police Officers who provide security.

What can I report about transit security here in Los Angeles?  Unfortunately not much —except for the sad stores like the one above or this one about a killing on the Red Line earlier this year.

I searched metro.net using a search argument of security.  Shown below are the top results, with the most frequently occurring being the “app”; with the LACMTA it is do-it-yourself security.   There is no doubt that ‘apps” and cameras which is an historical record DO NOT replace a determined law enforcement officer determined to do his job!

L.A. Transit Security (Good Luck!)♪

Please read all of the stories cited in this posting and usually include links in the “Works Cited: section on the ultimate page..  Every one of these stories is written by hard-working professional reporters.  I like to read in print where possible, but since I travel, I don’t see a paper copy of the Los Angeles Times that often.

Holiday Greetings for July 
(Click the links below for the presentation)

Happy Fourth of July! And now our National Anthem. 

Joyeux fête nationale! Vive la belle France! 
On this 14 juillet fête national française, let’s listen to La Marseilles.

You can find the official government complete lyrics in French along with other historical information here.

«  L’État est incompétent en matière d’art. »

Gustave Courbet(1819-02-07~1877-12-31)

[The state is incompetent in matters of art.]

Merci bien à http://evene.lefigaro.fr/

Ars longa vita breva

Here is a link to a  (Les Cribleuses de Blé), an 1854 painting by Gustave Courbet.  We can see more of Courbet’s work here.   The document is in French, but art is understood in its’ own universal language, n'est-ce pas?
Courbet’s  Les Casseurs de pierresere inspired me to find some stone related music.  So here is something by Carla Bruni

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

The Mole rides again, you won’t have to be turned down for a free ride on “Dump the Pump Day”.
(All times are expressed in the 24 hour system.)

Reserved I♪

2014-06-04 early morning: I stand and wait for a bus on Century BL – stand because the bus bench is in use.

Typical Lax Area Hotel♪

2014-06-06 @ 14:00:  I was in Beverly Hills on business and on my return trip I met an Australian couple who were returning to the LAX area, so I rode with them.  They were from Tasmania; you know, the large island South of and part of Australia. It was an interesting ride for me.  I walked a few blocks from the nearest bus stop with them toward their hotel before saying goodbye.

2014-06-19 @ 8:00: I board a Metro bus and say “I’m here for a free ride on Dump the Pump Day”.  The driver replies: “I’ve never heard of it!”   The American Public Transportation Association listed some events associated with “Dump the Pump Day”.  The LACMTA is the only organisation which celebrated the day by destroying something, a gasoline pump estimated to cost $700~$1000!  They could have given away 200 day passes and perhaps won some people over, instead they performed a foolish and wasteful stunt. Telling, isn’t it?

CCMBL Onboard Poster

Culver City Municipal Bus Lines shows us the way to do it!  Every bus that I rode had this poster on display well in advance of June 19th.  Is there a  better way to introduce the public to mass transit than giving and introductory free ride?  Certainly crushing a gasoline pump may expose the thought, processes of the LACMTA, but it is much less a positive introduction than CCMBL approach!

CCMBL Fare Box on Dump the Pump Day

There was no mistaking that the rides were gratis on June 19th!  There were a lot of smiles on the faces of the recipients.

Reserved II♪

2014-06-24 early morning: I stand and wait again.  The “sleeper” was in the nearby convenience store but her possessions marked the spot.

2014-06-26 @LAXCBC 15:10:  I assist three German tourist from near Hamburg plan their trip to Hollywood.

2014-06-28 @LAXCBC 8:25:  I map out a route to downtown Los Angeles for a Korean student here on summer holiday.

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.

With the World Cup being held in Brazil, it is appropriate to see how they connect one airport, São Paulo International, with São Paulo.  After all, the LACMTA shows the world so many ways how NOT to do it —all at our expense!

The video is linked here.  

Thank you youtube.com for the video!  Obrigado!  to “Brazilowcost” who uploaded the video.


Warp drive?  It appears that in a situation where life imitates art, that it may be possible- at least NASA, DARPA et al have a goal to make interstellar travel possible by 2112, ahh, don’t plan to make the maiden voyage.  Learn much more 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 xxxx/xxxx;
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[+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).
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

Forgione, Mary. "LAX to expand FlyAway bus service to Santa Monica and Hollywood". The Los Angeles Times. Jun. 19, 2014. Web.

Nelson, Laura J. “Report urges new light-rail station, circulator train for LAX
travel”. The Los Angeles Times. Jun. 16, 2014. Web.

Nelson2, Laura J. “Los Angeles man dies a week after assault at Metro Blue Line station”. The Los Angeles Times. Jun. 16, 2014. Web.


Rocha, Veronica. “Metro train collides with car in downtown L.A.; delays expected“.  The Los Angeles Times. Jun. 12, 2014. Web. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-metro-train-car-collides-20140612-story.html

Skelton, George. “Next Senate leader Kevin de León wants Brown to rethink bullet train”. The Los Angeles Times. Jun. 22, 2014. Web.

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The above is ### 30 ### in Braille 

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