2017-08-31 - Via Viator90

Via Viator90

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


 Bienvenue !


добро пожаловать, 
хорошего дня!


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. 


Continuing with the LACMTA's "Uber" like service which you announced last month: Your Mole has done some research: here are the results.  This Mole believes that you are considering contracting Via to provide the "curb-to-curb" service.

Via's least expensive rides in Chicago cost $3, while in New York City, the least expensive rides cost $5.  For purposes of discussion let's use the the average of the two cities cost, i.e, $4 as the cost of using Via in Los Angeles.

Using 22 days as the typical work month, and $8 as the cost of the daily Via round trip, the monthly cost would be $176.  To that we should add the cost of a basic monthly Metro pass, $100, making the total cost $276.00.

That's expensive! Many people do not even buy a monthly pass now.  Assuming that one would ride only ONE Metro line morning and evening and pay the current $1.75 in cash or with cash stored on his TAP card, he could spend the same amount and use two Metro lines; riding the second one with his (currently) free transfer.  This would cap his Metro fare costs at $77 each month.  If you could contract with Via for a $2 ride —perhaps a stretch. Then his total commute costs would be Via: $88 and METRO $77 which sum to $165.  

Other downsides are: Via has quite a bit of fine print and in Los Angeles, it will not be a simple matter to deliver deterministic commute times.

THE QUESTION: Wouldn't it be better and more economical fro the LACMTA to eliminate contractor and run periodic circulator service between given neighbourhoods and their nearest station?

In fact, you already have this kind of service!

Above are presented just a few of them.  I believe that there are more, but a broken link yielded the result below.

In any event, here is one of the lines, the 612, and its' route.

The 612 Circulator Route

Since you planned to use Metro drivers anyway, and apparently you have the skills to run this kind of service on-board already, why would you involve a contractor —especially in light of the addition costs to potential riders, estimated above. Riders could use a monthly pass and with judicial use of the free transfer policy may even be able to travel to and from work for $3.50 per day.

A suggestion: Preview this plan with Meto buses as circulators or pilot it in areas that have Dash service and see how it works out.

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!

Photo credit: LACMTA, Edited to show bicyclist not wearing helmet.

Does the LACMTA underestimate the risk?

This Mole thinks so!  Biking without a helmet anywhere, but especially in Los Angeles indicates a strong death wish!  Just crossing a Los Angeles street as a pedestrian can be a harrowing experience. But the LACMTA wants to rent bike and no doubt, senses a strong cash flow just ahead$ along with a strong desire NOT to let reality intervene and scare away any customers. $They always have that feeling.  Think TransiTV! 


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. D

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 Times reports (Nelson) on an estimate of the status of LACMTA projects when Los Angeles host the 2028 Summer Olympics.

The article states that the Metro Rail covers 105 miles.  Your Mole would like to restate this as 20 miles of rapid transit —the Green Line— and 85 miles of mass transit.

This is an excellent overview of the transportation in Los Angeles, past, present and future.  It provide links which exposes some of the past "thinking" which led to the current situation.  All-in-all Ms Nelson has produced a beautiful report with artist's conceptions of what transportation will be like in 2028.  

As I look at the schematic of the Downtown Band-aid, er, Connector, I wonder if anyone has thought to run operational simulations to determine the scheduling feasibility of the plan.  In all likelihood, the LACMTA has only a "SWAG" as to what transportation patterns and ridership will be under usual conditions, i.e, non-Olympic. 

Of course, this Mole has never though much about the LACMTA's plan for transportation between Los Angeles proper and LAX.  It certainly doesn't look like that which services the New York City area, Chicago, Atlanta and any number of world cities which have been covered in these pages.

Poorly planned, crudely implemented and lacking in basic amenities are all reasons why la Taupe bets on LAWA's FlyAway bus service to be the transportation money maker in 2028 and beyond.  Stow your luggage in the cargo compartment, board the bus at Union Station, your hotel and other locations, then ride directly to your LAX terminal via single seat travel;  Versus hauling your luggage on multiple trains to the final indignity of the "people mover".  Based upon the LACMTA's inability to deliver projects on time and under budget and, in this case ,a minimum three seat ride, with lots of possibilities for missed deadlines due to any number of infrastructural delays.

"Brava Ms Nelson!" Please read this well crafted piece by using the "Works Cited" link.

The Wall street Journal covers (Harrison) a decrease in ridership experienced by U.S. bus lines.  It seems that routes and service are decreased in order to reduce costs.  This causes ridership to decrease and more cost cutting is applied, ... repeat ...  

Here is a brief quote from Mr. Harrison's excellent work: "I call it the transit death spiral,” said Darrell Johnson, chief executive officer at California’s Orange County Transportation Authority. “It’s a never-ending pattern, and pretty soon you’re at a bare-bones service."

People want deterministic travel that is exactly what is not being provided when one expects to ride one bus to work and then finds that she must board three! Please follow the link is Works Cited below and read more about a problem we are experiencing here in Los Angeles.

Why can't riders have deterministic travel?  If the mode of transportation has to stop at street level for AUTOMOBILE TRAFFIC, then by definition, the travel times cannot be determined in advance.  So, buses, rail lines, except for the Green Line¿ and subways, are non-deterministic. ¿At one time the LACMTA knew how to build deterministic transportation but they either forgot or thought that building on the cheap was the way to do it?  Which do you think is the reason?

The Dailymail online reports (Reuters) that: “China has sent an 'unbreakable' code from a satellite to the Earth, marking the first time space-to-ground quantum key distribution technology has been realised, “[China’s] state media [Xinhua] said on Thursday.”

Ultra secure communication, until now, has been one of the unrealised promises of quantum computing. As your Mole searched for the number of qbits required for secure communications, he could find no definitive number, but 70% of the papers were authored exclusively by those with Chinese names.

Please use the link provide in “Works Cited”, below, and read this excellent piece by Reuters and Ms MacDonald.

Amny.com covers (Castillo) the ongoing infrastructure renewal project at Penn Station; saying that the project is ‘a little ahead of schedule’; something we never hear from the LACMTA. “The summer long project, which is supposed to wrap up over Labor Day weekend, follows a series of major service disruptions caused by infrastructure failures — including three derailments since March in the "A Interlocking area.”

To see the "A Interlocking area" which the gothamist.com describes in their headline as a “Tangle and Mangle of tracks” at Penn Station use this link

Then use the full screen mode offered on the picture for a nice view of Gothamist Photographer Sai Mokhtari’s work; After that read the gothamist's reporting (Whitford) on the Penn Station Project.  Ms Whitford provides us with lots of detail, links to an "A interlocking Area" map and an appreciation as to why su Topo calls what we have here in L.A. a Toonerville Trolley system.

The Washington Free Beacon informs us (Kredo) that: “The al Qaeda terror group's chief bomb maker has published a blueprint for new attacks on U.S. transportation systems, including planes, trains, and boats, which the terror group views as "prime targets," according to a copy of a lengthy manifesto that provides a guide for would-be terrorists to launch attacks.” Mr. Kredo’s piece continues: "When referring to transportation [targeting - Mole] we refer to air, sea, and ground transportation—both local and international.”

This is a must-read article since it leaves no doubt as to Al Qaeda’s intentions and their idea is available to any of the other “bad guys” to freely appropriate. Please use the link in “Works Cited” below to read Mr. Kredo's excellent article.

The Los Angeles Times reveals (Nelson²) the LACMTA's plan to use metal/explosives detectors at Union Station. Here is a quote from a LACMTA spokesperson:

"While we’ll never become a fully secured environment like you’d have in the airport, we do want to find a way to more effectively screen passengersMetro security executive Alex Wiggins said. "We are trying to stay ahead of the threat."

La Taupe interprets the statement as an advertisement for the inherent weakness of the plan a lowering of expectations.

Just one more quote from Ms Nelson's article: "The technology would likely be held in reserve for days when security officials suspect a heightened risk of attack, Wiggins said. Backpacks, briefcases and luggage would probably still need to be searched by hand."

Holding the technology in reserve, in light of what the Washington Free Beacon published just a day earlier, is not a comforting idea.

Here is su Topo's question: Shouldn't these security arrangements be handled by the TSA?  Or at least, the TSA should be involved in an advisory/consulting role??

Please read Ms Nelson's article in its entity, where you'll find the relevant "speeds and feeds" documented, by using the link supplied below.

The Today.com website tells (Rosen) us about germs in transit.  Here is what the found in Los Angeles  —N.B. 100 is passing, higher scores mean more germs. 
"The metro [subway - Mole] in Los Angeles was about as germy [sic] as a New York bus. And the swab came away with visible dirt, which was extra unsettling."
"The above ground transportation wasn't much better. A bus pole the team swabbed had 259 points — over 150 more than the threshold. And the cab's credit card machine was even worse."

Hand sanitiser anyone? 

The full article is linked in "Works Cited", below.

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

A Variety story (Maddaus), which your Mole would sub-head as —they weren’t fired for trying to kill the story, it just looked that way; it was really a case of “restructuring. The
This is a great piece and does a workman’s like job of presenting an outside picture of an inside the media, series of events. Please follow the “Works Cited” link, below, and read the entire story.

In the reporting you will encounter “Tronc” an acronym which decodes as “Tribune Online Content”. This is a tale of sex, drugs and USC.

The Times communicates (Nelson³) concisely, a sad story about a death of a passenger which was likely due to the lack of defibrillators aboard a Metrolink train and what seems to la Taupe as the bad decision by the conductor, in order to keep the train from falling further behind schedule, not to rendezvous with paramedics along the way.

Here is a bit of Ms Nelson’s prose: “Metrolink’s policy for medical emergencies instructs engineers and conductors to stop at the next station or street-level rail crossing “if possible,” and to contact the rail line’s operations center. Employees can also seek help from passengers with medical training.”

We know Metrolink’s CEO Art Leahy, who worked his magic at the LACMTA until April 2015 when he joined Metrolink as its CEO.

In order to better understand all aspects of the event, please use the “Works Cited” link and read the entire article .

Location of Angels Flight

The Times covers (Nelson4) the-soon-to-be-opened Angeles Flight.

Ms Nelson covers some of the work done: "The upgrades included raising the height of the train’s doors to prevent passengers from being flung out during a sudden stop, and installing a walkway connected to the track so passengers can evacuate, if needed."

And some safety shortcomings from the past: "Angels Flight derailed in September 2013. Federal officials with the"National Transportation Safety Board later said that operators had used a tree branch to override the safety system, which had been causing unexpected stops."

 Please use the link in Works Cited, below, and read the entire article which also covers an accident which included injuries and a fatality which caused one of the line's periodic closures since its inception in 1901.

Frankly, this Mole considers Angel's Flight to be the third ranked waste of public money, after the Downtown Connector and the planned streetcar loop.

Having lived in San Francisco with its true tourist magnets, e.g., the cable cars and taken multiple rides on the tram up Victoria Peak in Hong Kong, he wonders why anyone would spend money for such an ultra short (300 feet) ride.

Perhaps because it could suddenly turn very exciting?

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

«Là où tant d'hommes ont échoué, une femme peut réussir.»

Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord (1754-02-02~1838-05-17)

[Where so many men have failed, a woman can succeed.]

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

Philippe de Champaigne  (1602-05-26~1674-08-12)était un artiste talentueux et largement qualifié. Voici son Portrait triple du cardinal de Richelieu 

Review additional works by Philippe de Champaigne by clicking on this link.

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


Ici est Magnificat anima mea dominium par Henry Du Mont (1610-?-?~1684-05-08). The only credits found indirectly on youtube.com, were "... a French choir conducted by a Frenchman". 

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 Stevanus Damawan who uploaded the audio. 

Here is something from a musical genre which I hope you''ll 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.  

A week or so ago I listened to a terrific version of Via Con Dios on the broadcast.

Search as I might, I could not locate anything close.  So I offer you the late, incomparable,Freddy Fender (Baldemar Garza Huerta, 1937-06-04~2006-10-14) and his version of Via Con Dios.

Thank you youtube.com and to Jim Gonsalaves for the upload! 

¡Muchas gracias a Serenata de Trios y KXLU for their terrific music and inspiration!

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 put up with the noise, dirt associated with the Harbour Freeway bus "stations" and then the bumpy ride on the Silver Line (it's a bus, folks).

(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!

2017-08-05:  It's early morning and su Topo is on his way to a seminar at USC.

These Bus Stations need noise barriers!

No attempt is made to mitigate the noise emanating from either side to the "Bus Station" as cars race by.  Second opinion?  It's dirty too!

Approximate Compass Heading 180°

Approximate Compass Heading 90°

Approximate Compass Heading 180°

Approximate Compass Heading 360°
An Artifact of bygone days

The graffitists have been busy here too. Perhaps the screen was originally intended to conceal all the bus stop flags??

2017-08-17 09:30 Aboard a Metro bus: Some time ago your Mole worked on a project in Phoenix, AZ.  The Phoenix bus had a light mounted outside the bus, on the roof, at about the midpoint of the operator's area.  The operator could turn on this light, which was blue and flashes, to communicate that the bus at an intersecting route should hold in place for a passenger from the bus which was  signaling.

This is a good idea in the wide open spaces of Arizona where temperatures rise to very uncomfortable levels.

In Los Angeles there is no such signaling mode and, if left up to the LACMTA, there never be one.  However, if the LACMTA really intends to make the "system" more user friendly they could install a dual level klaxon, the loud level would be the same as it is today, a warning to motorists and pedestrians.  The other level would produce a two-tone musical note.  Sounding that note would signal that the bus sounding the note had a passenger wishing to transfer.

Presently, if a passenger requests that the driver sound a klaxon signal there are four possible outcomes. listed here in probabilistic order: 1. The driver verbally refuses; 2. the driver says nothing and does nothing; 3. the driver does as requested but, the signaled bus leaves without the passenger wishing to transfer; and although I've never witnessed this outcome, 4. a successful transfer occurs.

In other case of transfers, where a bus stop at the curb of an intersection which is NOT a scheduled stop —the scheduled stop being on the opposite side of the intersection— but, passengers could easily alight, walk a few steps and easily transfer to his ongoing bus, in the majority of cases, the request by the passenger (passengers, like su Topo)  to make such a transfer will be denied.

Want a seat? Good Luck!

2017-08-24 we finish an over-night project and a co-worker drops su Topo at a mutually convenient bus stop: Being tired he'd like to sit down but, the bus bench is monopolized by a homeless man who presents a berrier  —if not physically at least by his odoriferousness— so your Mole stands and waits twenty minutes.

Walsh-Shea Corridor Constructors

Not being one to waste time, he briefly interviews the driver of the truck, above and discovered that his truck provides services to other vehicles involved in construction of the Crenshaw Line.

You can read more about Walsh-Shea operation here. what this mole found interesting on the website was this bit: 

"The Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor project is an 8.5-mile light rail line that will run along Crenshaw Blvd. and the Harbor Subdivision right-of-way from Exposition Blvd. to the Metro Green Line. The overall goal of the project is to improve mobility in the corridor by connecting with the Metro Green Line and the Expo Light Rail currently under construction. It will connect the Metro Green Line and the Expo Line currently under construction at Crenshaw and Exposition Boulevards." Succinctly put!
And this: "8.5 mile extension consisting of at grade [5 miles, 58.8% Mole] below grade [1.8 miles, 21.1% Mole] and aerial sections[1.7 miles, 20.1% Mole]". La Taupe has bracketed his calculated distance in the quote above.
This information was not easily, if at all, available from the metro.net web site. Are they ashamed of it? They should be, after all, they pick the pockets of the taxpayer and return fifth-class transportation, based upon only twenty percent being rapid transit without basic amenities. Well, 58.8 % of their much touted marvel is at grade level stopping and competing with lots of other traffic for the right of way. Or phrased another way 41.2 % of the line is possibly rapid transit.
You can check this Mole's work using this data. Which data has its iffy aspects and you can see why the LACMTA wants to keep their poor work a secret. They'd probably say: "It's better then nothing."

2017-08-25 at the ITC past 09:00: You Mole helps some German ladies, one from Stuttgart and the other from Northern Baveria, Kulmbach??, find the bus they needed. They were given ambiguous or wrong information from others —a common occurrence here. Their English was better than mine :-). If they are reading this I hope that they are having/had a great trip!

2017-08-26 morning at ITC:  The center is a mess!

ITC Mess 1

Is it a question of insufficient trash pickups?

ITC Mess 2

Or a ridership with bad aim? Or recyclers?  You can choose.


No Sense of Civic Responsibility.
2017-08-30 late afternoon on board a 740 Line bus:  The woman seated in front of me place both of her feet on the seat immediately in front of her.  The next person that uses that seeat will walk away with gum and whatever else was clinging to the soles of her shoes.  Perhaps the distressed clothing indicates something?

 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.

This section has been devoted to pointing that the LACMTA is far behind the rest of the world in rapid transit.  La Taupe has pointed out that fact on innumerable occasions.  Their approach, rather than providing Los Angeles with a transportation legacy of which to be proud, prides themselves on building cheap, loo-less infrastructure. 

CHSRA struggles with "Bullet Train" technology of the past, while the rest of the world is building high-speed comfortable Mag-Lev trains.

Here is a list of world-wide Mag-Lev projects or plans.  There is quite a bit of data available, so I'll leave it in place through the end of 2017, with the caveat that LACMTA related staff should avoid this information.  People that design and build rail where the distance covered is greater than the point to point distance due to the roller coaster like hills underpinning the rails and due to at grade contention for the route resulting in non-deterministic travel times, will neither be comfortable with the concept nor the application of Mag-Lev transportation.

Your Mole says "Thank you!" to the University of Washington at Seattle for their Website to which I've linked.


When faced with at least six extra spatial dimensions, as in string theory, what is a 4D person to do?  An article in the thegardian (Devlin) somewhat helps us to understand a possibility as how these extra dimensions might make themselves known. Please follow the link above and read about how the Virgo detector may expose the extra dimensions. 

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

Castillo, Alfonso A. “Amtrak: Penn Station repairs remain ‘a little ahead of schedule’”. amny.com. Aug. 12, 2017. Web. http://www.amny.com/transit/amtrak-penn-station-repairs-remain-a-little-ahead-of-schedule-1.14006953

Devlin, Hannah. "Tying loose ends? Gravitational waves could solve string theory, study claims". thegardian. Jul. 5, 2017. Web. https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/jul/05/gravitational-waves-string-theory 

Harrison, David. "  ". The Wall Street Journal. Aug. 7, 2017. Web. https://www.wsj.com/articles/americas-city-buses-lose-momentum-1502539200

Kredo, Adam. ”Al Qaeda Publishes Blueprint for Attacks on Key U.S. Transportation Systems”. The Washington Free BeaconAug. 15, 2017. Web. http://freebeacon.com/national-security/al-qaeda-publishes-blueprint-attacks-key-u-s-transportation-systems/

Maddaus, Gene and Lopez, Ricarado. “L.A. Times Masthead Massacre Capped a Month of Newsroom Turmoil”. VarietyAug. 22, 2017. Web. http://variety.com/2017/biz/news/los-angeles-times-firings-davan-maharaj-tronc-ross-levinsohn-1202535485/

Nelson, Laura J. “What will Los Angeles transportation be like when the Olympics arrive in 2028?”. Los Angeles Times. Aug. 7, 2107. Web. http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-olympics-transportation-20170805-htmlstory.html 

Nelson², Laura J. “Metro tests airport-style body scanners aimed at detecting guns and explosives“. Los Angeles Times. Aug. 1, 2017. Web. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-union-station-security-20170816-story.html

Nelson³, Laura J. “A fatal heart attack on Metrolink prompts calls for defibrillators on commuter trains”. Los Angeles Times. Aug. 21, 2017. Web. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-train-heart-attack-20170820-story.html

Nelson4,Laura J."Angels Flight, closed since 2013, will reopen Thursday.”Los Angeles Times. Aug. 25, 2017.Web.

Rossen, Jeff and Foster, Anneke. “Which city has the germiest cabs, buses and trains?”. Today.com. Oct. 1. 2016.Web. https://www.today.com/money/which-city-has-germiest-cabs-buses-trains-t103833

An artifact of the streets of Los 

Angeles, created by a brother Mole!

### .. . ###

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

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