2017-07-31 Via Viator89

Via Viator89

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. 

Revisiting→I note that various contractors clean bus stops.  In too many cases, they seem to do a less than adequate job.  In spite of that, I'm sure that you pay them. Below, you can see tow photos, one which I've emphasised with an arrow [some of this detritus may have been there since the Nixon administration], that shows that however simple the cleanup, your contractors lack the work ethic to perform the task.  The steps required to do a complete cleanup  are thus: 1. remove the trash bag;  2. remove the metal can insert; 3. using a broom, sweep the accumulated filth under the metal ring at the base of the enclosure; 4. sweep the trash into a scoop shovel and pour it into the old trash bag; 5. reinsert the metal can;  6. install a new trash bag.

This is why your Mole suggested taking before and after photos so that you pay for vast cleaning NOT half-vast cleaning. 

Work ethic?  What does that mean

In this case it seems to mean that minimum effort should be expended.

The area around the dustbin and bench are FILTHY

Nor is it necessary to be observant and suggest that the sidewalks are disgusting and need to be cleaned, stat!

Another filthy bus stop

Providing two containers does not mean that the stop will remain cleaner for a longer period of time.  The individual (choose one) "recyclers", "salvagers" or "scavengers" certainly bear the bulk of the responsibility for the conditions which prevail at bus stops.

 It was cleaned, but?

But, like many other of these "jobs" it was only a half-vast cleaning.

This one too!♪

Was only given a half-vast cleaning.  Or it might have been the by-product of some of the 200,000 [La Taupe's estimate] recyclers who are always seen on the streets of Los Angeles.  Oh, and 200,000 might be a quite low estimate.


Someone must have broken up the party before they had time to clean up! 

Another partially completed job

Two steps have been skipped: removing the metal inside container and cleaning the accumulated trash which was under that container.

Hawthorne, CA knows how to do it!

Here we don't find detritus left under the containers.  Of course, it is almost impossible to escape the gum blobs!

A dustbin  with a message.

The message says: "Contents will be sorted for recycling".  The intended meaning is by an agency, not the endless stream of individual recyclers —who, if one rides public transportation cannot be avoided.

THE QUESTION: Why is the LACMTA unable to supervise its' contractors?

A suggestion: Su Topo would humbly suggest that you and your limo driver take the president of Martin Outdoor Media or whatever contractor is responsible for these bus  stops,  a tour of bus stops and after he's seen some of his company's work, you can explain that you can no longer accept signatures stating that the cleaning has been performed; that they will have to present before and after photographs, with GPS coördinates attached, as proof of performance. 

Su Topo believes that one can determine the contractor by the type of bus stop, the stop pictured above has movie poster so the presumptive cleaner is Martin Outdoor.

You can then discuss how they can attach a high-pressure fluid cleaner to their trucks; that way can leave the bus stop looking less like a, how can I say? une porcherie?

Mr. Washington, before  you break for lunch, you might swing by the ITC, and take a look at the situation there, which I have documented in the photo below.

Gum Blob Art at ITC

This was the exact situation at the LAXCBC a number of years ago, until I —and I  will take credit for identifying the mess [2007-03-03] and the solution [2012-07-28 to cleaning the mess— by suggesting a high-pressure system to remove the blobs and provided a link to the manufacturer in the aforementioned post.

The high pressure hosing which could be done at night and leaving a newly cleaned ITC the next morning

We have revisited the bus stop cleaning which was old business, so let's move on.

Now for this week's topic.  It has been one that has been bothering me for a long time and one about which I've often commented.  You want people to use the rear exits on the bus, your announcements tell us to use care "when exiting the bus".

But many of your drivers, if not most of them, are unable to pull up to the curb with the bus equidistant from the curb and an easy, safe step away.  Stopping in this manner is especially important to senior citizens.

The photos below illustrate the problem, which problem continues without the slightest sign of improvement.  It is especially noticeable in the articulated buses which have three doors. 

THE QUESTION: Why can't you improve your driver's basic skill at pulling up to a bus stop?

A suggestion: Your on-board scroll should show the operators I.D. number, just as CCMBL has been doing on-board its' buses for a long time. The ridership can and will then easily report, rudeness, poor driving skills and other unpleasant characteristics of your drivers —like completely ignoring greetings such as, "Good morning!"  Further, pasengers won't have to attempt to read the driver's I.D. from his/her shirt sleeve, while at the same time risking an attack by the driver.   Yes, I have seen drivers react violently to being questioned about their I.D. number.




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!  Oh, you are very welcome Mr. Washington!

It would appear that the LACMTA CEO has put his plans, which resulted from an unsolicited proposal, out ahead of the organization. He discussed his plans for an “Uber like” service that would involve contractors to supply the “business process [your Mole’s understanding] and Metro drivers. The service is intended to boost the agency’s declining ridership by addressing the last mile  [home to bus stop, subway or rail station] with “curb to curb service” near the rider’s residence and the nearest Toonervile Trolley [this Mole’s term for rail service which stops for traffic lights; which is everything, built or planned, except the subways and the Green Line.

[A]head of the organization means that this “plan” will require LACMTA Board approval —which apparently, has yet to be obtained.

Your Mole, using information from a reliable source, believes that he has identified the contractor who submitted the unsolicited proposal with which, at least, the CEO has become enamoured. This Mole believes that the contractor is the supplier of a service similar to that which is described for Los Angeles, in New York City, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

The CEO’s presentation also included references to Wi-Fi on buses and subways, coördination of traffic lights across political (city) boundaries resulting is a smother bus flow. Although Los Angeles' 4,398 traffic signals are under the control OF THE Automated Surveillance and Control (ATSAC) system, the costs to control signals County wide will not be insignificant!  Please, let's diverge for a minute to look at computerised traffic control systems.

Physical Data Flows For Traffic Management

The diagram above is intended to somewhat indicate the complexity of the traffic control system.  It was excerpted from a longer document, somewhat dated, but still interesting and available here.

A more state-of-the-art description is available from the U.S. Department of transportation, Federal Highway Administration, here.

Back to the "plan"

This “plan”, at least the Uber like part,  The “plan” has the feel of LACMTA’s prior bêtise, such as TransiTV, bike rentals etc. targets a demographic which is just a fraction of the total ridership; in the end the “plan” adds lots to OPEXP and CAPEXP while adding very little to revenue :-0.

But Mole, you are being negative. Au contraire !, la Taupe just believes that with the LACMTA, the past is the best predictor of the future.

If the LACMTA wanted to do something which would have almost immediate benefit to its ridership, the agency could begin to instal TAP Card sensors at the rear door of all buses.  Doing so would speed up loading an serve to mitigate delays due to wheelchairs.  Such sensors have been installed on the Silver Line, it's a bus folks, for quite a while and seems workable. Su Topo has made this suggestion before.

Su Topo hopes that one of the great Los Angeles Times reporters will further develop the plan to start an Uber like operation story. If the Times passes on this story, your Mole will provide additional details in the August 31, 2017 posting.


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.


In this video you will see a  rent-a-car shuttle and cars, cutoff a 111 Line bus  some of the cars may cutoff a bus while it is discharging passengers.

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.

The Los Angeles Daily News, informs us (Bartholomew) about the dangers and unsanitary conditions along the Orange Line busway route. Two brief sections of Ms Bartholomew’s prose, quoted below, outs us in the picture. 

One can ride “… along the Orange Line bike path — past syringes. Broken glass. Garbage. Homeless encampments. Even human waste.”

[... A] mountain of trash littered the path north of the busway. Shopping carts piled with broken bicycles and cast-off clothes. Mattresses. A derelict gas barbecue. Stuffed animals and half eaten rolls.”

The San Francisco Examiner tells us (Bay) about the homeless problem around the Civic Center Bart Station.

San Francisco city officials moved this week to clear homeless residents from the areas around Civic Center BART station entrances. The Department of Public Health issued a notice on Monday declaring the areas within 50 feet of the entrances a public health nuisance because of issues including an alleged increase in drug sales and gave people 72 hours to vacate.”

It seems to have gotten worse since su Topo’s last trip to the City.

The Times communicates (Dolan) that yet another legal barrier has arisen on the "Bullet Train's" rocky road. Ms Dolan together with Mr. Vartabedian relate the details.  Here is a quote from the piece: 

"In a 6-1 ruling last week written by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, the California Supreme Court decided that federal rail law does not usurp California’s tough environmental regulation for state-owned rail projects."

Apparently CHSRA 
The Los Angeles Times reports (Nelson) that the LACMTA plans to spent $138 million on an initial order of 95 electric buses. Ms Nelson applies her keen intellect, seemingly lacking in the political members of the LACMTA board, to the question of risk and writes: Metro’s ambitious goal, at a time when no other major U.S. transit agency owns more than a handful of battery-powered buses, would make Los Angeles a proving ground for a relatively untested technology.”

The Times covers (Nelson²) the initial electric bus order.

Ms Nelson writes: ‘Though the technology has evolved in recent years, battery-powered buses still can’t travel as far as their natural gas-powered counterparts, which can run 400 miles on a tank. In a recent report, Metro employees said that electric buses as they exist today pose “significant risks to service and operation.”’

To address technology questions and concerns about how far the vehicles can travel, Metro’s first electric buses will only run along the Orange Line busway in the San Fernando Valley and in the 29-mile Silver Line carpool lane along the Harbor and San Bernardino freeways. Both routes will have chargers where buses can stop if their batteries run low.”

The 95 bus order will be split among two suppliers, 60 units to one and 35 to another; which, to this Mole unnecessarily complicates maintenance and incurs the unnecessary costs of maintaining double the number of spares.  While at the same time building recharge infrastructure that will be unused in future when battery technology evolves. 

As some people say: "Your spending pattern is more flexible when it is not your money."  Su Topo is apt to see this as breach of fiduciary.

The Times relates (Rochas) the story of a fire at the 7th and Metro Center Station which disrupted service on the Blue and Expo Lines.

Then, in a related Times piece (Rochas²) it is reported that repairs have been made and the Blue and Expo Lines are back in service.  Your Mole likes succinctness where it is possible and these stories are brief and complete.

We welcome Ms Rochas and her work to this blog; Please follow the links in Works Cited and read both of her reports in their entirety.

The Times covers (Weikel) a suit file against the City of Los Angeles by a plaintiff who operates parking lots in the LAX area. The plaintiff challenges several aspects of a plan whose participants likely include, but are not so identified in the piece, LAWA and the LACMTA.

It is good to be able to quote Mr. Weikel’s prose on these pages again: LAX officials plan to reduce traffic congestion in and around the airport with an automated people mover in the central terminal area and two transportation centers east of the airport to handle shuttle buses, taxis and travelers using a new light-rail connection.

Those who read this Blog know La Taupe’s position on the multiple seats of mass, not rapid, transit transit to LAX. They also know that LAWA’s FlyAWAY bus service will be the primary beneficiary or the proposed patchwork $5 Billion “plan”.

Please follow the links in Works Cited to read all the work of these fine, hard working reporters!

Our Own Crumbling Infrastructure

Elevator at the Harbour Freeway Busway Station

Note how filthy this thing is.  The LACMTA never seems to fix or clean anything.

The Los Angeles Toonerville Trolley experience

«“Les rêves sont seuls les réalités de la vie.»

Xavier Forneret (1809-08-16~1884-07-07)

[Dreams are the only realities of life.]

Merci beaucoup à http://evene.lefigaro.fr pour la citation! Et merci bien à google.fr pour le matériel biographique.
Ars longa vita breva 
Honoré Victorin Daumier était un artiste talentueux et largement qualifié. (1808-02-26~1879-02-10)  voici son Don Quixote et Sancho Panza 

As this painting is on display at the Hammer Museum here in Los Angeles, I will plan to visit it soon :-).

Review additional works by Honoré Victorin Daumier by clicking on this link.

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


Ici est LeGrand Pieces de Violes par François Couperin (1668-10-11~1733-09-11) avec Philippe Pierlot  jouant au viola da gamba. .
A lengthy [1:03:37] and beautiful work.

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

Thank you!" to www.youtube.com for allowing us to appreciate this beautiful music. We also thank The Gravicembalo who uploaded the audio. 

Here is something from a different musical genre which you may like.

N.B. Here is the URL for KXLU's embedded player

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.  Several weeks ago Mole listened to a great version of "Solemente una vez" on the broadcast.  That version was not available to me. So, here is a version by Los Trio Panchos who are frequently heard on Seranata de Trios.  Thank you youtube.com Angel E. Prieto for the upload! ¡Muchas gracias a Serenata de Trios y KXLU!

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

Metro Area – Lower your expectations!♪

The Mole rides again, so that you will not have to pass the sleeping homeless.

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

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!

2017-07-20 At the LAXCBC, morning: As su Topo changes buses, he gets to see the sleeping beauties who are undisturbed by even the hint of security.  This is the introduction to Los Angeles for many tourists who take the airport shuttle to the LAXCBC and plan to take a Metro or other bus to their hotel.

Sleeper 1

Unbothered by the LAPD.

Sleeper 2

Unbothered by the Sheriff's Deputies.

Sleeper 3

Unbothered by the Airport Police!

Metro's "Naming Conventions"

My iPhone directory as it appears after downloading bus schedules from metro.net  is listed above.

Your Mole's Naming Conventions

Note that the Effective date (EF) 2016-0-27 has been added to the file name.
Not all schedules change every shake-up period.  The way things stand one must either download the file, determine whether the effective date has changed then make the change.  If the LACMTA did this for us, we would need only to check if the date on the LACMTA's file. IF it was the same as our file, meaning that we had the most current schedule for that line, there is nothing to do for that line..  If the date was different —expected to be more current— then we would download the file.  It would really be better if they color coded the download link so that it was, say, green if the schedule had changed since the last shakeup or the original colour, if it had not changed.  

One would instantly know, download the green links, ignore the blue, unless you were building your initial smart phone library or adding a line which was not in your database.  In which case you would download all lines in which you were interested in maintaining on your smart phone.  

2017-07-24: Your Mole rides aboard a 115 Line bus.   The man in the seat forward of and diagonally across from him is practicing using verbal input.  He says "it" about a dozen times while the phone seems to ignore him.  I want to suggest using the keyboard, but decide against it.

The man on the same side of the bus , two seats ahead has a butted, one-third smoked cigarette behind his right ear.  

Directly across the aisle, a woman with blue braids and yellow nails is practicing her dance moves while seated;  she claps intermittently.

Not an atypical group thinks la Taupe as he happily leaves this bus a few stops later.

2017-07-29: La Taupe is aboard a 17 Line bus.  He picks up a schedule and finds that was effected on December 13, 2015.  A check of metro.net provides a download the schedule as shown below.

With the LACMTA, nothing is simple.
The file transferred with the longish name ae0aa... which is useless as an identifier. It required a look into the file to see the effective date and then make the name change to a more meaninful one..

 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 you.tube.com Mag-Lev primer on German and Japanese Mag-Lev variants. Let's review some written material; starting with a paper which describes the myths and reality of Mag-Lev, found here (2010).

Here is a table with a side-by-side comparison of the German and Japanese approach (2006).
This site will describe some differences between the suspension systems used used by the competing systems and some pros and cons of the two approaches (2004 est). 

Finally, we can read about "How Mag-Lev works" here (2017). 

Although the costs of building a Mag-Lev system are NOT insignificant, the greater speed which allows for more round trips during a given interval and hoped for future economies should make this option one to be considered when the California "bullet train" fails.


Quantum Mechanics 101 is a good place for the novice to begin his/her study of the subject. Please see this link to start.

If you, like I, have an interest in quantum computing, please follow this link to the University of Waterloo's Quantum Computing 101 presentation.

Fare 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
1. 237 / N/A   (2017-07-31 12:24); South Bound
2. 794 / 8071 (2017-07-31 15:00); South Bound
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 = (+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 bloger 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

(Bay City News) “SF moves to clear homeless from Civic Center BART station entrances”. San Francisco Examiner.  Jul. 13, 2017. Web. http://www.sfexaminer.com/sf-moves-clear-homeless-civic-center-bart-station-entrances/

Bartholomew, Dana. “‘It just doesn’t feel safe’: Residents demand cleanup of Orange Line bike path”. Los Angeles Daily News. Jul. 16, 2017. Web. http://www.dailynews.com/general-news/20170716/it-just-doesnt-feel-safe-residents-demand-cleanup-of-orange-line-bike-path

Dolan, Maura and Vartabedian, Ralph. “Bullet train may hit more legal hurdles”. Los Angeles Times. Jul. 31, 2017. Web. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-high-speed-rail-court-20170728-story.html

Nelson, Laura J. “L.A. Metro wants to spend $138 million on electric buses. The goal: An emission-free fleet by 2030”. Los Angeles Times. Jul. 21, 2107. Web. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-metro-electric-buses-20170721-story.html.

Nelson², Laura, J and Emily Alpert Reyes. “Metro agrees to buy 95 electric buses, in the first step toward an emissions-free fleet”. Los Angeles Times. Jul 27, 2017. Web. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-metro-electric-buses-20170727-story.html

Rocha, Veronica. “Small fire interrupts Blue and Expo service in downtown L.A. for Metro commuters”. Los Angeles Times. Jul. 27, 2017. Web. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-metro-service-shutdown-fire-20170727-story.html

Rocha², Veronica. “Blue and Expo line service resumes after fire disrupts operations in downtown L.A.”. Los Angeles Times. Jul. 28, 2017. Web. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-blue-line-metro-service-restored-20170728-story.html

Weikel, Dan. “Ground transportation improvements planned for LAX challenged in court”. Los Angeles Times. Jul. 3, 2017. Web. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-lax-transportation-plan-20170703-story.html

An artifact of the streets of Los 

Angeles, created by a brother Mole!

### .. . ###

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

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