2016-05-31 Va3 Viator 75

Vae Viator75

America's Worst


Please remember to vote AGAINST any LACMTA/Metro ballot measures this fall! 

At this juncture, the ballot measure is designated Measure R2.  Su Topo will provide you with an easy "mnemonic" [many, many thanks to Dictionary.com for the pronunciation! Dictionary.com is your Mole's "go-to dictionary and thesaurus" on his laptop and cell phone!] so that you can easily remember the ballot measure —Ripoff 2!

The LACMTA/Metro doesn't deserve any additional funding from us until they begin to deliver the service which we deserve; including but not limited to:

Building restroom facilities where they are needed.  They know the locations! 
If the drivers have restrooms the ridership needs them as well;

Providing security at the LAXCBC and along bus routes especially at 96th ST and Airport BL; The LACMTA devotes lots of money to "security",which is likely NOT cost effective, but almost nothing is spend on REAL system security. Providing an "app" or a telephone number is NOT providing security!

Training bus drivers that can DRIVE, which will be partly evidenced by positioning their buses at a bus stop equidistant and an EASY step to/from the curb.  Many drivers lack a sense of professionalism and not all drivers are able to pull up to a bus stop properly; near the flag and close to the curb for the full length of the bus. It is probably just a case of the 98% giving the rest a bad name.  Also, eliminating those drivers who break then accelerate and repeat, viz. rough and jerky driving —nothing focuses attention like a few firing for lack of aptitude.

Providing a pleasant  on-board ambiance; no LOUD audio emanating from Metro vehicle's on-board audio systems or the riders riders personal audio devices.  NOT employing drivers who think they are there to provide entertainment —Silence is Golden!

Disallow boarding of passengers with unpleasant body odors, dragging trash bags stuffed with recyclables, drunk and/or unruly etc., etc.

Importantly, adding the bus drivers number to the scrolling sign inside the bus, so that riders can report those drivers who are rude, crude and have poor driving skills.  Obviously, the LACMTA is unable to make those determinations. 

The LACMTA badly needs to foster a culture of openness and transparency!  Providing quarterly and annual reports for each significant project, reporting which reflects project status in terms of ahead of or behind plan and a budget metric showing dollars over/under budget would allow the public to evaluate their competency.

La Taupe has commented a number of times on changing the drop off point ofMetro buses at LAXCBC so as to minimise  the distance one has to travel when transferring from a Metro bus to another Metro bus.  It would be a simple change.  No matter how simple or easy, the LACMTA will do —I believe— only what a court order demands.

You can review prior posts of:
2013-03; 2014-12;  and 2015-10.

Su Topo as heard from seniors on the unfair and disproportionate Muni transfer price increase forced on them.  It rurns out to be a 250% increase from ten to twenty five cents.  The fair thing to do would be to roll it back to 10 cents for a period equal to the period that it was at 25 cents, then raise it to 15 cents.  ¿Cómo esta abuelita?

Riding LACMTA services is generally not that pleasant to begin with and is only made more unpleasant by experiencing the above "punishments". 

Part of FlyAway's expanded fleet♪

FlyAway, aided by the LACMTA, Picks the Taxpayer's pockets♪

This is a topic which su Topo has often touched upon but to which he will devote still more space.  Especially since the LACMTA and seems disinclined to defend its territory .i.e., charter MD Transportation.  The aid provided by the LACMTA takes the form of its lack of a will to resist and an eagerness to eliminate any of its bus lines which might compete for even an infinitesimal fraction of the business.

Not only do the big buses not giveth the small ones take away too!  FlyAway, in reality, LAWA —a city agency continues to provide transportation to LAX from a number of origins.  The LACMTA has no single-seat bus service to LAX. When it cancelled the 439 Line it severed Metro connections between Union Station, the West Side Transportation Center, Culver City Transportation Center and Aviation Station.  This left the the field open to LAWA who could charge something greater than four (4) times Metro's full fare.

At the time FlyAway came into being Metro pass holders were allowed to ride to LAX on their passes.  The LACMTA was greasing the skids that early on!  I made the ride and it was comfortable and faster than the 439 Line.  Had they continued to allow us to ride on our passes, very likely I would have considered it a benefit that Metro was providing me and not be writing this today.  

However as time passed the pass privileges on Dash, DOT Commuter Lines were also eliminated, joined the cancelled FlyAway privileges and, how shall I say, went extinct? Along with many single-seat buses which forced us to take multiple Metro Buses/Trains to get where we needed to go.  And don't forget, we once had Metro transfers available to us.  

All those things are gone!  While the base fares have gone up making the ridership shoulder the burden of paying MORE for LESS!

What does the LACMTA have to say?  Except for their usual policy of telling us how great transportation is in Los Angeles —nothing, a complete stonewall. 

Oh, by the way, Los Angeles area papers, this could well be a Pulitzer Prize winning story for an enterprising reporter or team of reporters.  Remember the King-Drew story that won for the Los Angeles Times team? This is much, much bigger: waste; abuse ; breach of fiduciary; abdication of responsibility; lots of wasted money on things that didn't pan out (think TransiTV) and possibly fraud.

Over the years the Office of the CEO has been occupied by Snoble who spent fist-fulls of dollars on stickers for each bus stop; which stickers were almost obsolete on the day they were affixed or certainly within six months of that date. Then there was Leahy whose principle mantra was something along the lines of I was a bus driver.  Now we have Mr. Washington whose prior city boasts a mass transit NOT RAPID transit link to its airport —he will be right at home in Los Angeles.

The LACMTA should have head-hunted in New Your City or Chicago for the kind of leadership the country's second city's county;s transportation agency should have.

The very though of that kind of non-docile CEO likely makes the politicians dream of retirement.  

La Taupe dreams of the deconstruction of the the LACMTA and reconstituting it with NON-political supervision.  It would have a CEO for the LACMTA and a vice president for for the vehicular infrastructure [freeways etc.] and another vice-president for Rapid Transit.  Bifurcation would allow each group to better serve its constituency.  Although these constituencies overlap to some extent but, —for the most part, they divide along income/class lines. The premise of transit would be: we already have Mass Transit Buses, subways and the Green Line which are Rapid Transit but ALL future monies would be spent on replacing the candidate bus lines with Rapid Transit Lines and rapidising to the largest extent possible those existing Toonerville Trolleys —NOT building more of them! With all the supporting departments, including Industrial Engineers to correct many of the currently existing deficiencies. Not the least is building Rapid Transit where it is needed.

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 continue to be used as improvised trash cans. BBB N.B. The stop still needs a trash can!

  BBB Maxella Trash Fix???

SuTopo will include this comment in every post with the above until BBB corrects the problem. For quite awhile BBB has been charging for  inter-line transfers, reversing the long-standing policy of free transfers to other BBB lines. This presents the BB as less friendly to its ridership than in years past.

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! :-)

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

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 documented by your Mole, 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 video(s) 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.


Please see this VIDEO of lots of vehicles which were stacked up behind a Line 111/311 bus.  Had the bus driver hesitated just a little longer they would, undoubtedly, started driving around the bus, cutting it off.  Your Mole has had an extremely busy May so there was not much time for videos :-(

Airport auto rental shuttle drivers and others, if shown in the above videos, are all Class-B operators and should know better; but often they don't care and neither does the LACMTA and any of the policing agencies which have jurisdiction in the area.

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. Washington would review su Topo’s simple solution (vide infra) and implement it.

In spite of the potential for these violations to occur  several times per HOUR, I have never seen a police presence at this location. One would think that with a bus schedule taped to the dashboard one of the several policing agencies would have made some arrests by now. Unless they have "more important" work to do than protecting bus passengers.

Thanks to www.youtube.com or their excellent video support!
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, (2)  the L.A.P.D., (3)  the L. A. County Sheriff’s Department and (4) Mr. Washington who is the current 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, stop there 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 so far has proved to be inadequate.

Metro's Flag al revés

At sea, a vessel in distress will fly its' flag upside down. It is only right that, given the dysfunctional LACMTA, we should fly Metro's flag in that manner.
In this section it is su Topo's intention to call your attention to situations which he has observed that highlight the "LACMTA Way" of doing things.

An homage for her "contribution" to L.A. transportation.

Your Mole would like the former head of LAWA remembered for her "contribution" to Los Angeles area public transportation.   She was quicker than her contemporary, the former bus driver and former head of the LACMATA, to implement the lucrative FlyAway service and discouraged all attempts, however feeble, to bring other modes of transportation to LAX.
Too, we should memorialize her attitude vis-à-vis public transportation directly to LAX in following the transportation direct-to-airport access pattern used by many, if not most, world-class airports, to wit, "Any time you go under the airport, it is fraught with problems, ..." [hardly a get it done attitude!].

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

The Los Angeles Times features (Weikel) a story about the cost to Metrolink of sidelining engines that don't meet safety standards.  Forty freight engines were leased, at $18 million per year, to provide a more durable and safe means of propelling the passenger cars.  Each day many of these engines are idle at a daily cost of $500 each.  This lease was effected after 57 Hyundai cab cars were purchased at cost of $263 million.  The Hyundai cars were found to have a safety defect when one was involved in an accident.

In commenting on CEO, Art Leahy's, difficulty in placing leased engines into operation, the piece says: “Given the many months of delay in putting these [leased] locomotives into service, either our passengers have been exposed to danger without these locomotives on the line and we should have shut down thesservice ...or there was no real safety compromise to begin with and the CEO saddled the agency with an expensive lease without proper board authority.” 

I remind my readers that Mr. Leahy was replaced as the LACMTA CEO in 2015 and this writer has often commented on his management during his tenure (2010-2015).

For much more interesting material, please read this well reported, excellent, detailed article by Mr. Weikel.

The Daily Breeze reports (Scauzillo) on the opening of the Expo Line Extension.  The piece features quotes from riders who expect the line to solve some of their commuting problems.

Your Mole, of course, feels that the LACMTA uses an outmoded means of transportation, the Pacific Red Cars, from 65 years ago as its only model as a 21st Century transportation solution, and would like to hear what new riders think after three months of commuting.

The Times covers (Nelson) the lenth of the trip from Downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica, fifty (50) minutes. And this article is a beautiful work! It supports you Mole's observations by establishing that the LACMTA succeeded in their goal of emulating the old Red Cars.

Ms Nelson writes: “Unlike mass transit systems in other major cities, such as New York and Washington, the majority of L.A.'s 105-mile passenger rail network runs at street level, rather than elevated or underground. That helps keep construction costs lower, but means the speed of the trains is dictated at least in part by the region's infamous traffic.” She gets it! Brava!!

The Times follows up on the Expo Line's opening (Nelson2) with the not too unusual happening from an organisation, the LACMTA, which gave you the most dangerous light rail in the country, the Blue Line. In this case, an automobile impined on the Expo Line tracks and shut down the system for two hours. This incident provided an example for the LACMTA whose mantra, “It's too expensive” likely echos through the halls of the Taj Mahal but —undoubtedly the dysfunctional agency will be unable to learn the lesson provided here, that Mass Transit IS NOT Rapid Transit.

Unfortunately, this is only the first of what will be many of them before Los Angeles receives the Rapid transit that it deserves and for which it pays in one way or another.

We hear from Ms Nelson again, in a subsequent Expo Line piece (Nelson3). She reports on the lack of parking at the various Expo Line Stations and the limiting effect that that lack will have on possible ridership. The article, in part, reads “...[there] is a lingering concern: parking. Four of the seven new Expo Line stations will not have dedicated spaces for transit riders. The other three have a combined 544 spots, which are expected to fill up early.

I can't be too complementary of Ms Nelson's writing and the Los Angeles Times should be as well. In whatever form the Times takes in the future, Ms Nelson has earned a leading role in its reporting for her “tell it like it is” approach.

These are a series of must read articles, with supporting detail, graphic inserts, etc., so, please follow the links in “Works Cited”, below.
Of course, given the reasons covered

The Times reports (Vartabedian) on the fact that “… [t]he Obama administration threw the California bullet train project another lifeline Wednesday, extending the schedule by four years for construction of 118 miles of rail through the Central Valley … .”

One more quote: This is the oversight agency that is suppose to monitor taxpayer money,” said Rep. Jeff Denham, (R-Turlock) chairman of the House rail subcommittee and a longstanding critic of the project. “For them to give a blank check and authorize a cash advance is a clear conflict of interest.”

I wonder to whom else the above quote might apply??

This Mole feels that what they are attempting to building is not a bullet train but a “slug train”. The technology is already outmoded, it should use mag-lev technology —even mag-lev might be replaced by the time this thing is actually constructed. The route should be one with an immediate payoff; which payoff will continue to increase as the line is extendied. This is another politically driven project with the true professionals sidelined. Hyper loop anyone?

« L'art, c'est l'harmonie. L'harmonie c'est l'analogie des contraires, l'analogie des semblables, de ton, de teinte, de ligne…. »

 Georges Seurat  (1859-12-02~1891-03-29)

[Art is harmony. Harmony is the analogy of opposites, the analogy similar, in tone, in hue, in line.]

Merci beaucoup à http://www.premiere.fr pour la citation!

Ars longa vita breva

Georges Seurat (1859-12-02~1891-03-29) is called le père du pointillisme. His Le Cirque can be viewed here.

Merci beaucoup à Le Muese
é d'Orsay for allowing us to visit this work of art!

Composer Henry Desmarest (1661-02-??~1741-09-07) We can hear his Usquequo Domine here.

"Thank you!" to www.youtube.com for this beautiful work.  We are also grateful to Oedipus Coloneus who shared this music with youtube and ultimately, with us.

Metro Area – Lower your expectations!♪

The Mole rides again, so as you wait for a green light (twice) on the Expo Line extension, you don’t have to wonder why they didn't make it RAPID TRANSIT in the first place. 
All dates are ISO8601 format, times are expressed in the 24 hour system.)

Palms Station

La Taupe took a ride on the Expo Line Extension on one of the “free” days.  He began at La Brea and stopped at each new station.  Palms was his first stop and he visited the exhibits there.  In general, the experience was much better than that which he experienced when the Gold Line Extension was opened.  The Expo opening was better organised and less crowded than was the Gold Line fiasco. You can read your Mole's take on the Gold line inaugration here.
That said, su Topo's main emotion was dissapointment.  The LACMTA wants ridership but fails to deliver on their part of the bargin, to wit, the daily commuter wants a deterministic system.  She wants to board the first of the links at, say 7:30 and know that she'll be at work at 8:30.  The LACMTA delivers a Mass Transit option —Not  RAPID DTransit oneM- an option which impinges upon vehicular traffic, has to stop for street level traffic signals, is subjet to accidents and other traffic delays.  Just think through of problems that will result from electronic faults or power loss to the street level traffic signals.  It won't be pretty.

But since we are encumbered by the LACMTA, an agency more known for building what is cheap rather than what is needed.needed.  To fix this problem would cost multiples of what it would have taken to build it right in the first place.  Plus, it would take a forward looking, results oriented management without the political roadblocks that are always ready to be dropped in place.

So why would one give up his automobile in exchange for transportation which forces him to leave early in order to ensure an on-time arrival?  Short answer: he won't!

Westwood Rancho Park Station

The second stop was another neighbourhood familiar to me.   The stations seemed to be “cookie cutter” types with none of the artistic flairs which “personalised” other stations —think the seating of pain at Mariposa Station on the Green line.  I stopped by the celebratory exhibits and food truck area.  These seemed to be similar to the first stop so my complementary “Book Bag” gained very little weight.  Everyone who staffed the tents were friendly and knowledge in their areas.

As I left the area I looked up at the climb which was expected of all users of these elevated stations.  There were elevators but people who were determined to convert a non-deterministic trip into a deterministic one would likely dash up the steps (pictured below).  This was an additional punishment from the LACMTA. 

However there were porta-potties lined up at the station.  But, cheer down, I'm sure that they will be hauled away sometime on Sunday or Monday.  Another LACMTA punishment that keeps on delivering.

What, No Escalators?

Right, no escalators!  Why that would cost money and, even if you allow us to scoop up your tax dollars with a steam shovel, you can bet that improving the life a commuter is not even on their list.


Expo/Sepulveda Station

Please note the Porta-Potty in the background of the above photo.  But don't expect it when you stop at the  Expo/Sepulveda Station; neither will you see a real restroom facility at this or any other station.  One must remember that no member of the LACMTA management or political supervision actualy uses the METRO “system”.  If they were forced to do so, we'd soon see public  restrooms at each station. Would you like to get their attention?  Then vote against giving them more billions of your tax monies in exchange for substandard delivery of our transportaion infrastructure and creature comforts.

Another Stair Climber Workout

As your Mole left the Expo/Sepulveda Station he was, as you will be, greeted by another uphill climb.  The LACMTA knows,or at one time knew that escalators are an important part of rail stations.  But the cost money to build and maintain, ergo, they will neither be built nor maintained by the ____<fill in adjective here>____________ LACMTA!

This stairway is narrow! Two big people cannot easily pass on it!  Neither are their established rules of the road, e.g., "keep right here".  Why not?  The signage would cost money.  Money that, in the "minds" of the LACMTA, is needed for more important purposes.

Expo/Bundy Station

Above is a nice view from the platform of the Expo/Bundy Station.

26th & Bergamot Station

This is a view across the tracks as this Mole waited and waited to cross to the celebratory area.  This picture strongly implants the idea that the EXPO line will not deliver deterministic travel because, look at the signals and the traffic folks, it isn’t RAPID TRANSIT.  

This Is Not Rapid Transit

If you require proof that the LACMTA fails to understand that building half of the system as elevated, including even a few grade crossing like this one, make in NOT RAPID TRANSIT.  I can imagine a large sigh in the LACMTA.s boardroom which says “Build It Wrong The First Time”.

 17th Street SMC Station

Sorry for the washed-out image.  I have no excuse.  It seemed OK when it was checked but it was very bright out … :-( Anyway, here is the 17th Street Santa Monica College Station.

Santa Monica Downtown Station

This was the final station on my tour.  Surprisingly, they had No Celebratory area.  But they did have entertainment.  For some reason, we sat throung two traffic light cycle before we could pull in to our platform.  There were no trains blocking up but it delayed us from a timely arrival.

Entertainers at the Santa Monica Terminus♪

The group on the right had just completed their set.  The lady in the foreground right was a high-energy dancer who danced on a small platform in front of the group.  

Mariachis at the Santa Monica Terminus

Another great group that was well received by the relatively small number which gathered in front of them.

Quite a few people headed home - But not like Tokyo!

As we left the Santa Monica Downtown Station we also were subjected to a delay, the cause of which this Mole could not identify.

Billions wasted on a poorly or UN-designed transportation system but nada on badly needed public restrooms in the subway stations, rail stations and bus centers.  How about it Mr. Washington?  Let's have four or five years of improvements in creature comforts for the passengers, before you ask for more of our tax monies?


Ear (and Eye) to the Rail

Transit as unseen and unimagined by the LACMTA

The LACMTA (Subordinate to LAWA)


Every Which Way But Right!


Four (OR Five) Seats to LAX!


The LACMTA Tries Again; Asymptotically to LAX!


Metro is the worst way from the City Center to theAirport, LAX, that is!

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 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.

N.B. LACMTA staff and management, avoid cognitive dissonance, DO NOT CLICK on THIS LINK!

This month I'll also focus on good transportation system planning.  We'll look at what Auckland New Zealand is doing, and doing quite well, as they seem to understand what Rapid Transit means.

Here is a link to one of their youtube.com videos.  Then you can see the  thinking that the Kiwis are devoting to their airport link, here.

Just for your information, smaller populations do not prohibit big minds as larger populations do not guarantee big minds.
www.youtube.com, thank you so much, you are simply great!  Kia ora to Auckland Transport for your uploads!

This month instead of covering cosmological news, we can start learning about an early scientist, Mme Emilie du Châtelet here.  Then move on to better access and more detail here.  
We will return to the regular format next month.

An open letter to Apple, Inc. CEO Mr. Tim Cook

Mr. Tim Cook, CEO
Apple, Inc.
Cupertino, CA
Dear Mr. Cook:

I am writing this letter of complaint on behalf of myself and other iPhone 4 owners.

Based upon estimates available on the Internet, I believe that we number approximately 30 million people.  Our iPhones are stalled at iOS version 7.1.2.
other iPhones are able to install iOS 9.x.x which is a full two releases ahead of us.

Being stalled at iOS 7.1.2 means that we deprived of security enhancements AND are kept from installing apps (applications), which refuse to install on iOS 7 iPhones.

Since you refused assistance to the United States government,specifically the F.B.I., I don't have a high level of confidence that you will respond positively to us.

Of course, I disagree with your response to the F.B.I. who were asking help in identifying possible terroristic threats to Americans. I wonder if the reason you said “No” to the F.B.I. was that Apple lacked the technical ability to decrypt the terrorist's iPhone that the F.B.I. had in their possession.  In any event, the F.B.I was able to find an organization which could perform the decryption.

Now, I am beginning to believe that Apple lacks the technical ability to develop a software branch which could support the iPhone 4.  If Apple has the required technical ability, why have we been stalled at iOS 7.1.2 for so long?  Have you considered placing this task in the hands of a third party?

As an IT professional, I have a plan to go forward.  I will wait until the beginning  of September, (approximately 90 days), if at that time I am still stalled at a non-current level of iOS, I will purchase a replacement for my iPhone, likely it will be an Android device, one by Samsung.

Communication with Apple is pretty much one way, from you to us.  I've encountered “roadblocks” in attempting to complain about an iTunes app.  It for that reason that I have sent this open letter to you.

I hope that you find my comments germane and actionable.


Fare Box Score Box OOS and related Lists of Shame

I.D. Numbers of buses with Out of Order Fare Boxes: Direction Line, etc
125 (2016-05-28@ 10:20); Eastbound

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.

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.  At the present time (2016-05-31) there are too many drivers to name, whose skill at parallel parking is deficient .
XXXXX F[+0] 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 40 foot 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)

GTrans (Gardena transit?) formerly GMBL = Gardena Municipal Bus lines

ITC = Inglewood Transit Center

LAWA = Los Angeles World Airports.

LAXCBC = the LAX City Bus Center.

OCTA = Orange County Transportation Authority.

OOS = Out Of Service.

Rapid Transit = does not compete for right of way, that is, it will not run at grade unless it has EXCLUSIVE DEDICATED USE of the right of way).

R&J = Rough and Jerky [ride].

TT= Torrance Transit.

T1= the normal type of driver/staff.

T2= is the non-stop talker type of driver/staff, on the phone or to passengers,

T3= the uncommunicative type of driver/staff, sometimes surly.

WLATC = the West Los Angeles Transportation Center (Fairfax & Apple)

Su Topos Disclaimer and apologia
Your Mole always attempts to write an easy-on-the-eyes page using text input. Blogger.com however, has other ideas and will often not stay with a single font type or point size, produces extraneous spacing and etc. I wish I had time to debug the HTML which they produce, it is NOT the straight text which I pasted into the form, but I 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. [Addenda 2014-07-31]: Things have been much better lately.  There is a more responsive feedback system now. [Addenda 2015-08-22]: Recently, even the "Feedback" mechanism  has failed to submit problems. [2015-12-31] The feedback section disallows screen shots which show problems with the "final posting", such as, orange sections which cover blocks of text and change the font size.  All it would take is allowing and attachment.  But, ... [Addenda 2016-03-31] Since Blogger.com forced me to learn HTML 5, I can fix "many" of the problems which apparently were caused by using Word notation in "imported" files.  The mystery failure to save problem still occurrs but have diminished. [insert crossed fingers icon here :-) ].

I like blogger.com very much, and IF things ever normalise, I will consider deleting this "Disclaimer and apologia" section.

Your Mole’s Copyright Statement

All original photographs and original written materials are copyrighted © 2007~2016 by LAmetroMole. As of 2016-06-01 copyrighted photographs will include copyright text. ♪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.  Single use publication rights are granted provided the following statement is prominently displayed below the photograph: "copyrighted © 2007~2016 by LAmetroMole (http://lametromole.blogspot.com)"

This site contains or provides links to copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, sustainable development, environmental, community and worker health, public disclosure, corporate accountability, and etc. We have often included relatively brief quotes from articles and etc., sometimes in addition to a simple link, because we have found that links frequently go "bad" or change over time. We believe this constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without fee or payment of any kind to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes and to those who access the site via any and all other channels. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. Music or other recorded material on this site, or referred to by this site are copyrighted by their respective artists and are made available here for evaluation purposes only. Please support the artists you like by buying their commercial CDs, MP3s and downloads.

Your Moles Conflict of Interest Statement
This is to certify that I, the blogger who is known as the LAmetroMole, with respect to this blog, except as described below, am not now nor at any time during the past year have been, nor is it my current intention to ever be:

1) A participant, directly or indirectly, in any arrangement, agreement, investment, or other activity with any vendor, supplier, or other party doing business with any of the entities about which I have written, which has resulted or could result in personal benefit to me.

2) A recipient, directly or indirectly, of any salary payments or loans or gifts of any kind or any free service or discounts or other fees from or on behalf of any person or organization engaged in any transaction with any of the entities about which I have written.

Any exceptions to 1 or 2 above are stated below with a full description of the transactions and of the interest, whether direct or indirect, which I have (or have had during the past year) in the persons or organizations having transactions with any of the entities about which I have written.
there are no exceptions.

Date: 2009-06-24 s/LametroMole

Works Cited

Nelson, Laura J.“You can finally ride the Expo Line from L.A. to Santa Monica. Here's why the trip takes 50 minutes.”. Los Angeles Times. May 20, 2016. Web. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-expo-line-speed-snap-story.html

Nelson2, Laura J. “Expo Line, meet the real world: A car on tracks, a broken-down train”. Los Angeles Times. May 23, 2016. Web. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-expo-line-20160523-snap-story.html

Nelson3, Laura J. “Limited parking could be a problem for Expo Line riders on Westside". Los Angeles Times. May 20, 2016. Web.

Scauzillo, Steve. “Next stop: the beach”. Daily Breeze. May 22, 2016:A1. Print.

Vartabedian, Ralph. “Key construction deadline for California bullet train pushed back four years” Los Angeles Times. May 18, 2016. Web. http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-bullet-train-warning-20160518-snap-story.html

Weikel, Dan. "Idle engines are costing Metrolink”. Los Angeles Times. May 1, 2016:B1. Print.

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