Vae Viator59

America’s Worst♪

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???♪

 Why a trash container is needed♪
The photo above shows exactly what people will do when a trash container is not provided.  They will jury rig something.  What they did in this case is rip off the tape which covered the plastic pipes at the base of the utility pole and stuffed their trash into the pipe, nice, huh?

Edward F. King,  Director of Transit Services
City of Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus
(Photo: www.bigbluebus.com)
 The man pictured above could ensure that trash containers are installed along BBB routes with a simple three-line memorandum. 
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(s) we see further instances of scofflaw drivers, cutting in front of a MOVING Metro bus. 
Please see the video of an auto crosses the solid white line and  cuts off a Line MOVING 111/311 bus. 

Please carefully note that, in some videos, pedestrians are 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 unchallengeablely theirs IF, and only IF, Mr. Leahy would have one of his staff explain su Topo’s  simple solution (vide infra) to him. 

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, than protecting bus passengers, to do.

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.

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

The Los Angeles Times reports (Masunaga) on the initial tests of a sixty-foor electric bus called “Lancaster – which is the good news.  The better news is that the bus is manufactured in Lancaster, California.  The perhaps, not so good news is that BYD is headquartered in China.  This means that profits will likely be repatriated to China rather than circulating in the United States and adding to our GDP.  Please read Ms Masunaga’s story for lots more detail.

Another Times story reports (Nelson) that the LACMTA CEO, Art Leahy is leaving the agency when his contract expires in April.  Leahy said that leaving Metro was his choice.   Ms Nelson’s reporting makes one wonder about Leahy’s assertion.  She writes: “Arthur T. Leahy’s performance as chief executive has been under confidential review for more than six months and a majority of members were ready to let his contract expire in April according to sources familiar with the negotiations.  Please read Ms Nelson’s detailed piece.

Ahh, the history!  I can remember when Leahy replaced Snoble at the LACNTA.  You remember Snoble, he was the one that was investing taxpayer funds to propagandise the public in favour of Measure R —which measure was a tax redistribution plan, taking a 1% tax from the taxpayer and giving it to the LACMTA, apparently to spend as they saw fit.

Let’s hope Leahy is replaced by a transportation professional who has more on his resume than MTA bus driving and leaving OCTA like this
Your Mole paused and reflected on Leahy’s contributions to the LACMTA’s ridership over the years.  Higher fares, forced transfers to complete trips due to line discontinuances and cancellations —please read you Mole’s hopes for 2015 in the 2014-12-31 posting.  But just a minute, those are all negative items and to be fare I’ll have to list an equal number of Leahy’s positive contributions to the LACMTA ridership’s comfort, safety and economy, so here they are: <This space intentionally left blank>.

It appears that Metrolink wants Leahy even if su Topo doesn’t; that is according to an L.A. Times piece (Weikel).  Apparently, they want him to “work his magic” on Metrolink.  I recommend that you read the article in its entirety.
The Times features a piece (Nelson2) which relates Metro ridership to low gas prices.  It turns out, that “[f]our in five passengers don’t have access to a private vehicles and more than half of riders live below the federal poverty threshold …”, so lower fuel prices don’t necessarily translate to a decrease in ridership.  

« Quelle musique, le silence! »

Jean Anouilh (1910-06-23~1987-10-03)

 [What music, silence!]
 Merci Beaucoup http://evene.lefigaro.fr/

Ars longa vita breva

Jacques-Louis David, 1748-08-30~1825-12-19, was mature at the time of the French Revolution.  Here is his "Consecration ofNapoleon”, "BelisariusReceiving Alms" and "Portrait of Jeanbon Saint-André". 


François Francoeur (1698-09-08~1787-08-05) was a French composer and violinist.  Here is his “Largo Cantabile, Sonata in E  Major”.

Thank you very much! to our good friends at www.grooveshark.com for always providing the appropriate music for us.  Frankly, this Mole doesn’t know what he’d do without you!

The Mole rides again, so you don’t have to wonder if it’s safe to lock your bike to the LAXCBC racks overnight (It is not!).
(All dates are ISO8601 format, times use the 24 hour system.)

2015-01-05 I ride a 115 Line bus, number 8472, whose fare box is out of order.  I needed a Muni transfer, but purchases were disallowed!

2015-01-08 @ 15:25: Driver number 84800 gives us a nice smooth ride from the South Bay Center north on Hawthorn Blvd., which had long stretches under construction —he is a professional!

Protect your bicycle properly

Some lady returned to the LAXCBC only to be disappointed when she saw her wheel-less bicycle.   It was a sad lesson, but one needs to carry both a cable with a lock and and longer —I use a six-foot aircraft control cable and thread it through the wheels— the I thread end of the lock cable through the two ends of the lock cable (or U-Lock).  But, unfortunately, nothing is guaranteed.

2015-01-22 @ 07:00 aboard a CCMBL 6 Line bus:  This bus has standing room only! I don't understand why CCMBL takes four (4) seats out of service on their buses?  This means that four (4) passengers must stand up.  CCMBL, PLEASE don't turn in to the LACMTA, PLEASE, place these seats back in service.

2015-01-26 @ ITC: I am trapped here for a while, so I am able to photograph examples of bad bus positioning.  Buses are not built for an easy step down to the street surface,  They are meant to be positioned parallel to the curb so that it is an easy step down to the curb for passengers.  However some drivers are either unwilling or unable to provide this service.  This Mole sometimes feels that it it the 98% which gives the rest a bad name.

Bad Parking

 Please note the plight of the lady in the rear door as she contemplates exiting the bus.

An improvised papelera

This light fixture on the street fronting Plaza El Segundo has become a container for basura.  It was likely too much trouble for someone to carry their trash to a place where proper disposal was available.

Bottle drainers work

2015-01-13 @7:55 @Hawthorne/Lennox Station: A young man walks toward the eastern exit stairway, he is holding an inverted water bottle, draining it as he goes -arrows mark trail.

Ear (and Eye) to the Rail

I ride a 181 Line bus West on Colorado BL in Pasadena.  It appears to be fairly new but has no RancidTV installed, er, I mean TransiTV.  It appears to be the correction applied by time to yet another LACMTA pipe-dream.  I asked the driver about the lack of TransiTv —which seems to have been replaced with a monitor displaying the on-board security camera. Passengers watching passengers watching passengers … .  She told me that it was not being installed on new buses while I’ve seen many older buses with installed inoperative, un-repaired systems.

As if blaring ASAS and high-volume dispatch-radio noises layered on LOTS of ambient internal bus noises were not enough, the LACMTA thought we needed TV and they would become rich on percentages of sales generated by the advertisements.  

Su Topo’s prediction? An irreversible slide had begun.

Transit as unseen and unimagined by the LACMTA

The LACMTA (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 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.

Osaka is Japan’s second largest city, after Tokyo (37.1 million) with a population of 17.0 million it is slightly larger than Los Angeles with 14.1 million.  It is light years ahead of my home town however!  Today’s ride from Kansai International Airport to the city of Osaka offers several nice features: an operator’s eye view from the driver’s seat; a sample of Japan’s pleasant, rider friendly, DETAILED, easy-on-the-ear announcements —even an on-board English version; this is a non-bullet train that is still rapid transit and orders of magnitude better than Los Angeles’ “Toonerville Trollies”; this video is an introduction to how it should be done for those who can comprehend it.

Please enjoy this ride because the probability of experiencing the same sort of trip in Los Angeles is, for all intents and purposes, ZERO —for the foreseeable future, at least.

Thanks to our host www.youtube.com and どうもありがとうございます to  "Video Mitch" for uploading  this video.


Mystery loss of font and size sent to Blogger - Smaller than a tennis ball?  That is the estimated size of our universe immediately before the big bang. Here is a nice, fairly easy to understand which discusses "gravitational waves", the Big Bang and other aspects of the creation of our universe along with comments by noted experts in cosmology.  Please read about it here

Hello neighbour! Our home galaxy (the Milky Way) welcomes a new member of out "local Group" of galaxies.  Please read this article
Fare Box Score Box and related Lists of Shame
I.D. Numbers of buses with Out of Order Fare Boxes: 8472;
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.
79054 F[-8] 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 and/or equidistant 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)date; XXXX-XX-XX(-);
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.

BART = Bay Area Rapid Transit – Please note the use of the word “Rapid” because it is a word we almost never hear in Los Angeles.

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 $1.75)

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].

T= 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. [Addendum 2014-07-31]: Things have been much better lately.  There is a more responsive feedback system now.  If things keep this way, I may have to delete this "Disclaimer and apologia" section in the near future.  Almost immediately after writing the preceding, the system "returned an error" on a save.

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

Abdollah, Tami. “A quick decline, and bleak future, for O.C. transit agency”. Los Angeles Times. Aug. 20, 2009. Web. http://articles.latimes.com/2009/aug/20/local/me-octa-woes20
Masunaga, Samantha. "An electric power trip". Los Angeles Times. Dec. 27, 2014:AA3. Print. Searched Google: "An electric power trip" +site:latimes.com
NOT FOUND! The actual headline used was:
“Metro takes extra-long electric bus for test drive on the Orange Line” and the article is found at: http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-electric-bus-20141227-story.html   Ah consistency!

Nelson, Laura J. "MTA chief Leahy to step down".  Los Angeles Times. Jan. 7, 2015:AA1. Print. WEB. 

Nelson2, Laura J. "Low-cost gas may not hurt transit".  Los Angeles Times. Jan. 20, 2015:B2. Print. WEB. http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-california-commute-20150120-story.html 

Weikel, Dan. "Metrolink board courts MTA chief".  Los Angeles Times. Jan. 10, 2015:AA5. Print. Web. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-metrolink-chief-executive-20150109-story.html

### .. . ###

The above is ### 30 ### in Braille 

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