2017-05-31 Via Viator87

Our Condolences to all of:

 Manchester (May 22, 2017) and London (June 2, 2017).

Via Viator87

From your Mole, to all who see this in hopes that you will enjoy your visit to this site.


 Bienvenue !


добро пожаловать!


When politicians involve themselves in technical matters, expect failures.
CEO's Question Time

Based upon the Parliamentary PM's Question Time at which questions may be asked of the Prime Minister.

Questions for Mr. Phillip A. Washington, CEO Metro

Dear Mr. Washington:

I respectfully request answers to questions which puzzle me about the LACMTA operations. I would suggest that you present your answers to Los Angeles Times reporters who have my permission to edit, rephrase as long as the intent of the question is preserved and the publication rights to my questions without cost or obligation. With the understanding that the results of the Question and Answer interview be published in the Los Angeles Times. This allows the widest possible to your answers and I, as a Los Angeles Times subscriber, will also have easy access to your answers. 

I frequently ride on "contracted lines", i.e., those routes which have drivers supplied by a contractor, one can read this LACMTA publication dated 2013 for some contracted line examples.  In this particular case, Veolia Transportation is paid approximately $62,245,053◊ over a five year period —that works out to $12+ million per year for the five year contract.  The savings which accrue to the LACMTA are, your Mole hypothesizes, are a result of the contractor paying the drivers a lower pay rate.

What does the ridership get?  Su Topo, based upon his actual experience, finds they will have: drivers which vary widely in skill level, attitude and professionalism; equipment which sounds as if one is riding in a steel barrel full of loose nuts and bolts; dispatch radios and ASA which produce auditory discomfort. Complaints to the driver about the sound levels, illicit a response of "I have no control over the volume"; A written complaint about the eardrum shattering sound levels aboard the 232 line to the contractor, in this case MV Transportation, yielded no reply.  And of course, the LACMTA, has absolutely NO STANDARDS for sound levels or for that matter, anything else which could result in a pleasant ride.  

And let's not forget the drivers who have to put up with an unnecessarily high level of noise for their entire shift.  They should call in OSHA and soon will have some management action.

The question: Mr. Washington won't you please take steps to improve our ride on these contracted lines.  You don't understand?  OK, ride the 232 from the LAXCBC to Long Beach and back. 

On your ride you'll notice that Southbound there is no service provided to the busy Plaza El Segundo.  Looping the 232 through it would be an actual customer service with little of no additional distance covered, (Please see map below) 

Plaza El Segundo showing South Bound 232 Changes

So, Mr. Washington, I've only done half of your staff's job, assuming you actually have staff to do this sort of thing.  But it's easy if you know what you are doing.  And what you Mole is doing is providing much better transportation to people who want to visit Plaza El Segundo BUT who don't like to cross busy El Segundo Blvd using a crosswalk where the light begins flashing RED as soon as one's foot steps off the curb.  Then we get to cross busy Roscrans Blvd, with a more tolerantly timed crossing signal, though the same might not apply to the drivers. Then there is the walk to the entry of the shopping center, perhaps three blocks.  Try it yourself, you'll see exactly how unpleasant it is.

With this simple change the south bound 232 Line enters plaza El Segundo with a left turn from Sepulveda Blvd into Hughes Way, head south and joins the route used by the 125 Line and follow it, honouring any stops made by the 125 Line, to the exit at Park Place where it rejoins the old route.  Flags should be added for the 232 Line where ever there are the few existing 125 Line stops.

—in fact when the North bound change, proposed below, is factored in, the route might be marginally shorter.  North bound the 232 Line should turn right at Grand, left at Nash, service the Mariposa Green Line Station from the east side of Nash, turn left at Mariposa and rejoin the old route by making a right turn at Sepulveda.

It is too bad that your staff couldn't make this recommendation to you, neither could your predecessor's.  So we live with this artifact of a change in one-way streets made years ago.  All you need do is implement it by tasking this little project to M V Transportation and adding a few bus stops where appropriate, e.g., on the south side of Grand, the east side of Nash at Mariposa, etc. 

Then, to appreciate a bus company that understands customer service, ride a TT (Please see La Taupe's Abréviations, below) number 8 bus from the LAXCBC to Palos Verde and back.  You would see, by any measure of creature comfort TT far exceeds your LACMTA contracted lines and perhaps company lines as well.

This little exercise is proof that if one doesn't know what is wrong one can't fix it.

P.S. It shouldn't rquire two years to begin improving service, just have your staff read all the back issues of this blog and they will have a work list to start on, like, right away!  You are very welcome Mr. Washington!

In 2010 MV Transportation was paid $86,775,825◊ over a five year period —that works out to $17,355,165 per year for the five year contract. 
◊Due to your IT group's incredibly poor data organization, I couldn't easily find current year contracts. Had the the IT group developed a structure such as: Expenses/Contractors/BusLines/Year then comparable data could easily be  
accessed.  Perhaps you don't want us to find it??

MV transportation has little incentive to improve customer service, based on su Topo's experience he doubts that they even know what customer service means.



There are many reasons why the LACMTA can claim this title!

It wasn't even that bright but, using the vending machine was difficult.

Yes the LACMTA can purchase a machine and site it, but can they select a site that provides for optimal usability?  Based upon this Mole's experience, he thinks not.

METRO's Plans Means: More Toonerville Trolleys!

The graffiti artists have been working on the posters aboard LACMTA conveyances!  They made an excellent point as well.  Vehicles which run at grade level and stop for stop signs and signals are not Rapid Transit, no matter how much one spins the topic, the truth cannot be avoided.  Rapid transit is the first choice of major American cities, except for Los Angeles!

The LACMTA is promising a 15% reduction in commute time —although my understanding is that it will require 40 years to accomplish the task.  Perhaps they might want to add a few more years because, as one can see in the photo above, the bar is set high.

METRO's Plans Means: More Streets Torn Up with No Bus Stops!

If only these taggers worked for the LACMTA we wouldn't be experiencing half the problems.  But then these taggers ride the buses, see and understand both the problems and their solutions. 

America's Worst LACMTA Transportation: Risible, NOT Rapid!


Now that the LACMTA has a fist-full of dollars will they, at last, 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 where traffic frequently crosses white lines and darts ahead of a sometimes moving bus; 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 who 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 firings for lack of aptitude.

Providing a pleasant on-board ambiance; no LOUD audio emanating from Metro vehicle's on-board audio systems, dispatcher radios or the riderspersonal 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. 

This would be an important addition to the scroll as the ridership WILL identify the rude and incompetent drivers whereas the LACMTA seems incapable of doing so.

Many, if not most, bus drivers DO NOT secure wheelchair passengers. Rather, they ask passenger if they wish to be secured; most seem to reply "NO".  In the  event of an accident, these heavy wheelchairs could bounce around the bus and injure other passengers.  But like many items, safety to passengers is extremely low on the 
LACMTA's priority list —if they even have such a list. 

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.

In 2008 the MTA, the NYCMTA, not the one in Los Angeles County, prepared a Power Point presentation laying out a plan for the next 40 years.  You can view that presentation here.

I searched for a LACMTA 40 year plan but, rien trouvé!  Well, lots of verbiage was found and seemed to be mostly about how the LACMTA will spent the new found money that will flow from the taxpayers pockets.  You can judge the value of the plan  for your self by following this link to 81 pages of ?

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

Then, since the LACMTA is spending the taxpayers money on their Rent-a-Bike program, they appear to not be too rigorous in working through cost/benefits.  For the $240 required annually for a monthly pass, in one could buy a nice Peugeot in less than two years or so.  This is going to turn out to be another TransiTV, lots of hype on the front end and a lingering death.  A symptom of the LACMTA's failure to learn by experience.

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???

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 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
(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 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. 

Further, when the agency responsible for public transportation is so lacking in every skill necessary for success yet will apply their only tool to the job.  when you only tool is a PR flack; then every issue seem soluble by issuing a press release.

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.


Xn this video  you will see  and cars, cutoff a 111 Line bus  some of the cars may cutoff a bus while it is discharging passengers.

This video will show vehicles cutoff a 111 Line bus after having crossed the white line ahead of the bus.

These incursions happen multiple times per day so it is only a matter of time before an accident occurs.

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.

Mr. Washington, 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 a 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, "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.

AmNewYork covers (Barone) the emergency repairs needed at Penn Station.

Mr Barone writes: ‘Gov. Andrew Cuomo asked President Donald Trump to consider Penn Station’s crumbling infrastructure an “emergency situation” and to provide federal funding to help Amtrak make critical repairs.’

For a more details on Pen Station's problems, we can see the New York Times report (Wolfe).  "Amtrak officials are considering closing some tracks at Pensylvaina Station for an extended period for repairs."  Please follow the link in Works Cited, below, and read the complete article.

It is no surprise that America’s infrastructure needs work. This Mole votes for spending the Los Angeles LACMTA funds which President Trump held back at Pen Station in New York City.

Our Own Crumbling Infrastructure

Elevator at the Harbour Freeway Busway Station

Ms Nelson) of the Times informs us of the Antalope Valley bus strikes. Here is her prose: “Talks between Transdev and Teamsters Local 848, the union representing operators, have broken down repeatedly since the start of the year, when a contract extension expired. Union representatives have pushed Transdev for higher hourly wages and more employer contributions toward retirement and medical costs.” Please follow the links in Works Cited and read this excellent story.

La Taupe supports Local 848 and any drivers’ bargaining unit. Bus driving is a difficult job and the Antalope Valley routes, as I recall, involve a good deal of freeway driving. To do a good job drivers should not have to be thinking about their finances, health insurance and etc. Transdev is described as “a French Company”. I wonder if it should not be called French owned and American staffed.

French companies are well acquainted with unionisation and la grève is well known too. 

New York City bus drivers base pay might be as much as $32.32/ hour based upon a 2087 hour year, for a driver with seniority. LACMTA drivers make $19 per hour and up while M V Transportation drivers are paid $13/ hour.

The Times covers (Vartabedian) the exodus of personnel from the CHSRA. Mr. Vartabedian puts it nicely: “The organizational chart of top management at California’s bullet train authority disappeared from the agency’s website about three months ago, sending what now seems like a sign of impending shakeup.”
Please read this latest in a series of “troubles” which seem to be magnetically drawn to CHSRA. Your Mole advises “stop loss” because in attempting to build an organisation at the same time they are fumbling with construction is the perfect recipe for a loss making operation. If they insist on building a 1960’s bullet train they should hire a team of JR East retirees.Please follow the links, where provided, in "Works Cited”, below and read the work of all these hard-working reporters.

La Taupe was very impressed by the fine prose and photography found in the Times piece (Curwen with photos by Mel Melcon) on the Downtown Connector.  Although he believes that the connector itself is a wasteful idea.  First of all trips from Azusa to Long Beach, etc., maybe rarer than the LACMA'S (Smile as you read this) "statistics" indicate.  The work done by the men, hard, heavy, dirty, dangerous work is impressive too.  

Here is a quote form the article: "With its heavy machinery, cranes, loaders and excavators, the underground world was a big kid’s dream, he says.

But the work could be hazardous. Carbon monoxide and diesel soot choked tunnels. Cave-ins left men running for their lives, and bosses cut corners as they drove their crews harder and faster.

The ancient Persians pioneered tunneling techniques for transporting water, and the Romans added fire-quenching — heating subterranean rock with fire and dousing it with cold water to encourage cracking — to the engineer’s repertoire.''

Please follow the link in Works Cited, below and read all the details provided in this fine coverage.

However, the LACMTA should have known the sources and sinks [origins and destinations] of passenger traffic before the fist shovel full of dirt was turned on the third line, that is not the Blue or Red lines.  

This Mole has seen lots of Rapid transportation built in Asia and lines were always designed to cross to allow for organic transfer points.  Everyone who is familiar with public rapid transit knows that not all source and destination points can offer a direct connection with a single seat ride.  It is simply too inefficient to build that sort of system.

Tokyo has a loop, it's called the Yamanote Line (Schematic, below), but it is a big bidirectional one. Common stations provide for passenger interchange by transferring from one line to another or to buses.  It was started in 1895, so you can understand why the LACMTA must be considered neophytes in rapid transportation.

Yamanote Sen

One has only look at how the LAX transportation has been botched over the years.  And it is getting worse.  Try not to laugh as you read that people will have to carry their luggage between several Toonerville Trolleys before the final indignity of the "people mover" for the last mile. Detroit, which pioneered the people mover in 1966, 51 years ago.  Comparable data for 2009 indicated that the people mover costs $4.26 per passenger mile while Detroit bus routes cost 82 cents per passenger mile and, for comparison, the  New York City Subway system costs 30 cents per passenger mile.

Possibly the LACMTA can cobble together a LAX Connector to band aid this butchery together.  But more likely is an outcome is that LAWA FlyAway buses will continue to harvest, what should be the LACMTA's revenue stream.

The Los Angeles Toonerville Trolley experience

«On aime sa mère presque sans le savoir, et on ne s’aperçoit de toute laprofondeur des racines de cet amour qu’au moment de la séparation dernière.»  
Guy du Maupassant (1850-08-05~1893-07-06)

[One loves one's mother almost without knowing it, and one discovers the depth of the roots of this love only at the moment of the last separation.]

Merci beaucoup à http://evene.lefigaro.fr pour la citation! Et merci bien à google.fr pour le matériel biographique.

Ars longa vita breva 

William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-01-23~1905-08-19)Voici son The Shepherdess 

Thank you to https://upload.wikimedia.org for allowing us to view the exquisite detail of this painting.

Review the work of William-Adolphe Bouguereau by clicking on this link.

Merci bien à  www.google.fr pour le matériel biographique.


Laissez-nous écouter de la Symphonie espagnole, Op. 21 - I. Allegro non troppo, composée par Édouard Lalo (1823-01-27~1892-04-22),  avec Anne Akiko Meyers au violon, linked here.

Thank you!" to www.youtube.com for allowing us to appreciate this beautiful work. We also thank Chia7920 who uploaded the video. 

Merci bien à www.google.fr pour le matériel biographique.

Something from a different musical genre which you may like.

A Snippet from THE KXLU Web Site

Seranata de Trios - KXLU . Musique en Eapañol Sunday evenings Pacific Time.

One can also listen on kxlu.com at Pacific Time or at the UTC day/time noted, record the broadcast if you can.  Su topo uses VLC ) to Record Internet broadcasts for more a more convenient listening time.  On April 16th this Mole listened to a great version of "Amor, Amor, Amor" by  Trios San Jose.  That version was not available, sigh, Groveshark is long gone. So, here is a more arranged version by Juilo Iglesias.  Thank you youtube.com

Serenata de Trios on KXLU, (88.9 FM Los Angelesfeatures authentic acoustic musica, which your Mole really likes! :-)

¡Muchas gracias a Serenata de Trios y KXLU!

Metro Area – Lower your expectations!♪

The Mole rides again, so that it is his, not your, progress which will be impeded

(dates are ISO8601 format, times are expressed in the 24 hour system.)

Wilshire BL @ Santa Monica BL in Beverly Hills

2017-04-18 I rode a 720 Rapid Line bus along Wilshire BL.  Two of my fellow passengers hand not taken time to bathe in say, a week or ten days. Their clothes looked like they hadn't been washed in five times as long.  I pulled the stop signal as we neared Santa Monica BL (Point A) on the map above.  The bus stopped about 30cm from the crosswalk
 signal button. The driver told me that "It was due to construction."  Had she let me off I could have pressed the crosswalk signal button and walked across Santa Monica BL and caught a 704 Line bus (Point C) on the map.  But that was not to be.

When awards are given to transportation agencies for ignorance in the first degree, which agency will be the hands down winner?  of course, the LACMTA!  
There was no construction evident anywhere near this stop, so your Mole asked the driver: Where is the construction?  Her reply was: "Because it is for your safety." Then, to keep me safe, she dropped me off about three blocks from Point A, at Point B, also shown on the map.  

As I walked from Point B back three blocks to Point C, I repeated her mantra: "Because it is for your safety."   I kept repeating the mantra as I crossed about about five (5) streets, large and small between Points B and C.  If it was for my safety, she should have dropped me at Point A and I would have avoided four street crossings.

What is the root cause of this particular issue?  It is the failure of the LACMTA to monitor conditions along their bus routes.  They have the perfect monitoring system —their drivers.  But no, they will wait until the Grand Opening of the building, the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, which was under construction, its Grand Opening is scheduled for June of this year.  

The agency is improperly staffed with individuals who can computerise a review schedule and organise the drivers to report construction progress and supervise the lot.  Likely the "leadership" is ill equipped to propose such a system. What do you say, Mr. Washington? Isn't it time to put that bus stop flag up at the corner which I designated as A? 

That got me thinking about a one word description of the LACMTA.  What su Topo came up with was "crude".

Santa Monica Bl Looking West down Wilshire

2017-05-12 The LACMTA working for you, but not very hard.  The bus stop at the subject intersection is gone for good.  Apparently the new Waldorf Astoria Hotel didn't want buses blocking the right turn at the corner and the LACMTA, always eager to please the 1 percent agreed.  So instead of passengers walking across the Santa Monica Bl to transfer from a 720 to a 740 and vise versa. They will have to make the jaunt which su Topo describes above.  Is it any wonder that this Mole calls the LACMTA as the "world's worst?

2017-05-23  At Mariposa Station: The escalator is out of service, preventive maintenance.  In Japan, these things are always taken care of over night.  Not with our LACMTA, elevators can be out of service for weeks.  The escalator pictured above will be out of service until early June.  Preventive maintenance usually means they have a package of parts used to replace those in service which are expected to wear out soon.  then, see what happens, the graffiti artists go to work!

Similar artists have defaced the "ad card" in the above photo.  Mr. Washington, you could make it easy to find "Metro's Best" by finding the not so good.  I'll help, we'll help!  Just begin scrolling the driver's ID number and voilá, the reports will magically start to flow!

TAP de venta aquí.

2017-05-15: It appears that County Libraries will sell TAP Cards, photo above. now, if only we could convince the LACMTA to make Rapid Lines stop at libraries and other county facilities, at least during non-rush hours, it would be nice. Especially for students who could commute to libraries faster and get home sooner too.  Please see the entry for 2017-04-30  and search for "Bringing better service to others, by bypassing you♪for a more detailed discussion of needed Rapid Line stops.

Back to TAP cards sold at libraries: only the standard cards are sold and loaded —no special fare tap cards. Every transaction requires cash. The TAP cards cost $2 at libraries, just as they do at other non-LACMTA vendors.  I hope the library receives the same percentage of sales that Nix and other vendors do.  The Los Angeles County Libraries deserve it! 

                                    FlyAway bus parks at LAXCBC

This Mole can see no valid reason why a FlyAway bus should be parked at the LAXCBC.  Neither can he understand why LAWA is allowed to run a transit operation like FlyAway?                           


LAXCBC Universal Drop Off Point

2017-03-20 La Taupe Keeps hoping that the LACMTA will rationalize the organization of the LAXCBC.  This may prove to be the triumph of experience over hope.

Bringing better service to others, by bypassing you♪

So, equal taxation but unequal provision of service that is the LACMTA way.  But it is time to bring an end to that approach.  This Mole has commented on the Rapid service in the past.  Pointing out that Rapid lines don't always stop when the cross other LACMTA lines, nor do they stop at county facilities, e.g., the excellent Los Angeles County Libraries.  Why not?  Well one could ask the Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Association.
So what if the line took six minutes longer but, some students could get to a library sooner.  And while they're at it, stops should be added for Los Angeles City Libraries too!

This Is Not Rapid Transit

The photo above concretises 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.

Your Mole feels that by showing you month-by-month examples of the LACMTA's  failures, you will come to see that throwing more money at this dysfunctional organisation is not the path to solution. It is a direct path to more money wasting by the LACMTA.

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 the Airport, 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, LAWA  or CHSRA 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.

FINAL WARNING: N.B. LACMTA, LAWA OR CHSRA staff and management, avoid cognitive dissonance, DO NOT CLICK on THE LINK BELOW!

While the LACMTA attempts to hype its Toonerville Trolley system and CHSRA ponders the necessity of safety features, forward thinking planners in 2007  have already bullet trains at speeds in excess of those planned for California.

The world is full of learning opportunities which are available and economical. Youtube.com is an important source of videos which have great educational potential.   

Following on last month's TGV (train à grande vitesse) [High-speed Train] speed run, let's view a Mag-Lev primer on you.tube.  It compares the German and Japanese Mag-Lev variants.

The video reinforced my thinking that CHSRA is behind the curve in using  
steel-wheels-on-steel rails,"Bullet Train Technology". So, let's view the video and learn more about Mag-Lev. 

Thanks to youtube.com for your great support!  Also, thank you Evans Electric for uploading a superb video!


Science Alert has a great article by Fiona MacDonald from May. 10, 2017. This is the lead paragraph; "Quantum communication is a strange beast, but one of the weirdest proposed forms of it is called counterfactual communication - a type of quantum communication where no particles travel between two recipients. You can read the article here.

If you'd like to try quantum computing, here is a link the IBM Q site, supplied by IBM which has documentation and a cloud based quantum computer.  

The site is beautiful and one cannot help but learn something and perhaps have some fun too,

Score Box OOS and related Lists of Shame

I.D. Numbers of buses with Out of ServiceFare Boxes:  Date/Time, Line/Bus #, Direction, e.g.,  
route/bus#(date,time); direction

Note: No or few entries above do not necessarily mean all fare boxes are in operation.

2017-04-25 10:25 111 Line #8621 East Bound FARE BOX OOS.

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 = (+URsticker 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 occurs 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 organisation 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 organisations having transactions with any of the entities about which I have written.
There are no exceptions.

Date: 2009-06-24 s/LametroMole

Works Cited

Barone, Vincent. “Cuomo asks Trump for Penn Station funding to repair ‘emergency situation’”. www.amny.com May 21, 2017. Web. http://www.amny.com/transit/cuomo-asks-trump-for-penn-station-funding-to-repair-emergency-situation-1.13653091

Curwen, Thomas. "Climb inside the massive tunnel 60 feet below downtown L.A.". Los Angeles Times. May 14, 2017. Web. http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-me-metro-tunneling/

Laura J. Nelson. “Antelope Valley transit servi
ce stalls as bus operator strike continues”. Los Angeles Times. May 8, 2017. Web. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-antelope-valley-transit-strike-20170508-story.html

Vartabedian, Ralph.“Leadership turnover at the California High-Speed Rail Authority could signal shakeup”. Los Angeles Times. May 1, 2017. Web. http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-bullet-turmoil-20170428-story.html

Wolf, Johnathan and Levine, Alexandra S. "New York Today: Penn Station Problems, Then and Now". New York Times. Apr. 26, 2017. Web. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/26/nyregion/new-york-today-penn-station-problems-then-and-now.html

An artifact of the streets of Los Angeles, created by a brother Mole!

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

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