Via Viator93 2017-12-31

Via Viator93

It is with sadness that we report on the tragic accident on the inaugural run of Amtrak 501 from Portland, OR to Seattle, WA. We want to express our sympathies to those who lost loved ones and a speedy recovery to those who were injured.
It is said that ten years and $181 million were expended in preparing for the initial run.  Unfortunately, this line did not include Positive Train Control (PCT).  PCT would have halted the train if and when it exceeded operational limits on any portion of the run. When money meets safety we know which one will give way.

“Any PTC installation will consist of three distinct segments:
The vehicle segment: on-board computer (OBC), location system, digital data link;

The wayside segment: wayside interface units for defect detectors, signals, and track switches; radio towers;

The central office segment: central computers, dispatcher interface.” 

[Excerpted from a pdf file from]

These things all cost lots of money.  But, the expenditures are necessary to protect lives!

From your Mole, to all who see this in hopes that you will have a:

 Prospero Año Nuevo!

 Bonne Année !

Happy New Year!

 (Photo Credit & Thank You!:russianreport.wordpress.com/2009/12/23/1819/

And that you will enjoy your visit to this site.


 Bienvenue !


Добро пожаловать! Хороший день!


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. 


Your Mole has frequently been critical of the LACMTA  for its failure to provide restrooms in train and subway stations, bus centers.  Now, that we are facing hepatitis A, partly due to a lack of proper facilities.

THE QUESTION: I understand that, according to an article in the pasadenastarnews.com cited below (Scauzillo) that the LACMTA will spend eight million dollars on new restrooms and upgrades of the existing ones at Union Station.  However, like other information released by the LACMTA, THERE IS SOME ambiguity here, viz., how many new restrooms will be built and what about the light rail stations?  Perusal of Mr. Scauzillo's piece seems to leave the impression that only another "set" of restrooms will be built at Union Station.  That's it? only 2??  and fixing up and installing a few more commodes and urinals in the existing ones??  $8,000,000? Will they be like something out of the ciudad de oro, El Dorado?? 

This seems comparable to the drop in the bucket planned for "Skid Row", ten toilets, which are about a 150 fewer that the number recommended by the United Nations High Commissioner for refugees, as shown below.

Subset of UNHCR recommendations

How about it, Mr. Washington? Your contribution, viz., providing lots of public toilets, can quickly bring us up to third world status! 

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 bikes 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.

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 bicycle 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

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 LAWA FlyAway bus  cutoff a 111 Line bus.  

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

Airport auto rental shuttle drivers, FlyAway 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 nor 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 Line drivers, it is a task for which the LACMTA so far has proved to be inadequate.

Office of Exceptional Ineptitude

Dirty Bus Stop.

When one encounters a situation like this, try to rectify it by calling the number below which usually appears on the bus bench.  When the stop is cleaned, the detritus inside the metal framework and under the blue litter can is almost never removed. The word "third rate" comes to mind.  Also the words unsupervised and/or poorly managed play a large role in the way the LACMTA interfaces, if they do actually interface, with their contractors.

 Call for Maintenance.

Bus stop benches often have a contact number affixed to them. I can't say always because as you have seen, the LACMTA seems to lack effective processes —they could never conform to ISO 9000 requirements—.

As for calling maintenance, la Taupe called once, and surprise, no action was taken.

An Accident Waiting to Happen!

Confused drivers, pedestrians, tired Train Operators, or any combination or permutation of these, which at grade level, can cause fatalities. Note the downward slope of the tracks which can result in an additional operator workload in controlling trains. 

What bus am I riding?

The "shakeup" (bi-annual schedule changes) has been in effect for over two weeks and finding on-board schedules which match the route of the bus in which you are riding,is next to impossible.  HINT: It is NOT the 128 

Oops, trip on this OOII artifact and you'll be under the bus!

Extremely sloppy work!  A bus stop flag pole was removed here leaving the pole's foundation very near the curb, for children, the aged or anyone at all to trip over and fall into the street.  If one was hurrying, one might well end up under the bus' wheels.  Al that needed to be done here was to remove the four nuts holding the base in place, remove the base and then with a metal cutting blade saw the protruding bolts level with the concrete.  A professional could perform the job in minutes.  But the LACMTA's failure to supervise its' workers or contractors results in the situation depicted above.

How to sole this problem? Well, the LACMTA would hold a series of meeting over months and then likely forget about the problem. 

Your Mole proposes this solution: Whenever a training bus is covering a route, on the first and last trip of route training, the operator being trained and the trainer would both alight at each stop and check it for safety.  Both parties would fill out a bus stop safety report.  That way new operators would be indoctrinated into a culture of safety and know how to report bus stop safety issues; the experienced trainer would add to his/her knowledge and be able to discuss issues he/she had seen with their trainee.

Brilliant idea Mole!  Hardly that, but it is logical thinking.  

The Sign Most Dreaded by LACMTA Riders!

One can't find a loo when they are most needed!  Does anyone really believe that the LACMTA management really cares?  After all, they just tell their chauffeur to pull into the nearest coffee shop so that they can have a "break".  They are going to spend $8,000.000 on a few new restrooms and the rehab of a few more at Union Station!  When will those restrooms be ready?  It will be a couple of years and the restrooms in Union Station will likely be out of service for a long while too.  

How BBB Gets It Done!

This worker, using a high pressure delivery system leaves a clean, really clean bus stop.  Not like the messes found at LACMTA Transportation Centers, such as ITC!  And at the many filthy bus stop around the city.


BBB has nextbus!

This is not related to the Office of Incredible Ineptitude, but rather another BBB work product which serves to show how a more honest transportation provider names their supplier's product, i.e., correctly, viz., "nextbus" and they kept the stop numbers and texting in place as a benefit for its ridership.

While the LACMTA, sneakily, er, covertly did away with the stop numbers.

The nextbus site, a valuable tool!
But, where there is the will, there is a way.  Su Topo visited the nextbus page at nextbus.com: set the nextbus service provider to Los Angeles Metro using the drop down menu; set the bus route number to 130; selected the stop that I have used and will be using at some other time in the future, to Hawthorne Blvd and Artesia and voila, the stop number "00147" was filled in for me.

Now I can note that stop number and its location in my agenda and soon I will have reconstructed the subset of stop numbers which i require.

It would had been much easier if the LACMTA, stupidity, er, I mean, with lack of intelligence, had not rushed to waste money and removed the stop number signs which had cost quite a bit to install in the first place.  

Please contemplate Mole's Law Number 1: "When politicians involve themselves in technical matters, expect failures." 

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 tells us (Matsunaga) that Uber plans to by lots of autonomous Volvos, which your Mole sees as another attempt to replace people with automation. 
Unfortunately, as is said of flying, advances in aviation safety are built upon gravestones.  Su Topo fears that the same expression can be fitted for use in describing autonomous vehicle safety.   Autonomous driving modes are described, in the E.U. at least, ranging from 0 (driver only mode) through 5 (self-driving vehicle). Like aviation, which some describe as hours of boredom punctuated with minutes of sheer terror; the same can be said of autonomous vehicles., i.e., lot of debugging is yet ahead of us.

The Times reports (Nelson) that the LACMTA will direct their expertise into the area of real estate. [That is your Mole's take on it anyway.]

Ms Nelson writes: "A plan slowly moving through City Hall aims to address that goal by allowing denser commercial and residential buildings within a half-mile of five Expo Line stations between Culver City and Santa Monica."

This Mole would like to shake off the feeling that this is just another, likely ill-considered idea, that the LACMTA wants to throw it at the wall to see if it sticks and on that agency's part, it represents the triumph of hope over experience.

Please follow the link in "Works Cited" below and read this richly detailed story in order to better understand the nuances of a plan that joins housing, politics and the LACMTA.  
The San Gabriel Valley Tribune informs us (Scauzillo) that Union Station will have new and upgraded restroom by 2020 [What a sense of urgency by the LACMTA! -Mole].

Bravo, Mr. Scauzillo for calling attention to something that your Mole frequently complains about. Please read about the LACMTA's $8 million plan by using the link in "Works Cited",below.

The Daily News features (Scauzillo) the LACMTA's 28 by 28 project list.  It covers 28 projects which the LACMTA wants to complete by 2028. This would be an admirable goal if the projects represented a coherent transportation system, rather than just things on which the LACMTA wanted to spend our money.
One can read a report directly from the LACMTA'S boardroom by clicking here

The Los Angeles Times informs us (Vartabedian) that there has been more slippage in CHSRA's implementation plans. 

Mr. Vartabedian has more bad news for the ill-stared “Bullet Train”.  “The authority said it would not complete environmental documents outlining where each foot of the future track will lie as it traverses some of the state's largest cities and hundreds of miles of lush farmland until 2020, long past the original deadline that envisioned 119 miles of track built this year and a starter system operating by 2022. 

Oops, your Mole sees more management changes ahead.

Another Times piece (Vartabedian) covers the necessity of an emergency audit of CHSRA books.

The gist of Mr. Vartabedian’srticle is summarised here, in two quotes:
“The project is facing a $1.7-billion increase in costs and a seven-year delay in just its segment in the Central Valley”. 
“The state auditor last reported on the bullet train five years ago, raising a wide range of concerns about its financial condition, ridership estimates and oversight."  

To this Mole it appears that if it weren't bad news emanating from CHSRA, there would be no news at all.

Bizjournals.com informs (Gifford) us about the future of “self-driving cars. This is a great article if you are ready to start working up the autonomous vehicle curve.

Here is a sample of Mr. Gifford’s prose: “Adoption still will be a struggle, however, because people aren’t going to trust a machine to drive them and their loved ones around. The first step to public adoption will utilize some type of geo-fencing as autonomous and traditional cars don’t mix well on the road. Cities will partition their traffic grid, so autonomous-only vehicles can use a section.”  

The San Francisco Chronicle reports (Cabanatuan) that the new Transbay Transit Center will begin ramping up for a mid-2018 official opening. 

The San Francisco Chronicle takes on a deep dive (King) into the background, construction of and plans for the Transbay Transit Center.  This is a great article with lots of materials which will help you better understand the project which spans ten years.

La Taupe plans a trip to the "City by the Bay" during the late summer next year in order to see this architectural work. 

Su Topo believes that your time will be well spent in following the link in “Works Cites” to read  all of the works of these hard working reporters cited herein.

The LACMTA's Own Crumbling Infrastructure

Elevator at the Harbour Freeway Busway Station

Note the  filthy condition of this elevator.  The LACMTA never seems to fix or clean anything.

The Los Angeles Toonerville Trolley experience

«“Éduquer, ce n’est pas remplir des vases mais c'est allumer des feux”»

Michel de Montaigne (1533-02-28~1592-09-13)

[To educate is not to fill vases but to light fires.]

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

Théodore Géricault (1791-09-26~1824-01-26)  Voici son Portrait of a Young Woman.

Review additional works by Théodore Géricault and related materials 
by clicking on this link.

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


We can listen to Louis-Nicolas Clérambault (1676-12-19~1749-10-26) Le Triomphe d'Iris, Pastorale on youtube.com using the link to the left.

Thank you youtube.com for allowing us to hear this performance. We also thank KuhlauDilfeng3, for uploading this work.

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

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.  

Here is is an example of the musical genre heard on Seranata de Trios.  Here is a mix of Los Ponchos.

Thank you youtube.com and to Francisco Antony Garcia chicas 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 that you don't have to look at the outside rear of a bus and see the dreaded "MV Public Transportation, Inc." warning.

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

 The dreaded MV Public Transportation WARNING!♪

The warning means that you will be subjected to: lots of drivers with minimal training; drivers feel obligated to "entertaining" the riders; riding in rattling buses which sound like a metal barrel full of nut and bolts; dispatch radios played at eardrum shattering volume levels; ditto for the automatic stop announcements and there is no shortage of other unpleasantness either.


The graffitists have done a professional job of "tagging" this poster. We'll have to follow up on this because it appears to be a work in progress.

Bus Flags without Stop Number
This is just another example of quite a number of bus flags which don't have stop numbers indicated. The intention was to be able to text the Next Bus, oops, I mean the Next Trip system. This Mole will never understand the reason  was it was renamed  from the original developers and owners designation, Next Bus, to Next Trip. 

Stop Number as a Texting Artifact!

These signs are rarely seen these days.  But they can be found by the careful observer. 

Texting for the bus arrival times has been a highly hyped feature and now stop numbers seem to be disappearing from the flags?  

Is this yet another case of the LACMTA becoming enamoured with something that is too costly, too expensive or requires too much maintenance to continue?  Think TransiTV!

As promised here are la Taupe's  estimate of the costs involved in affixing these texting Artifact signs and removing them.

Stop Number Signs Install & remove Costs
The above is portion of my spread sheet which shows your Mole's total estimated costs in US$ for the installation an partial removal (pictured above is a missed removals).

There are 15,967 bus stops, along an estimated 2,661 miles of bus routes, transportation and labor costs.  I estimated that a 5 person crew could install 300 stop number signs per day, remove 600 signs per day and that there would be four of these crews in operation.
The LACMTA may say either (1) "we could never had done it so cheaply!" or (2) "He is way too high!" Or (3) An even larger figure if the work contracted. We will never know.  But when your read (vide supra) about the $8,000,000 they plan to spend on two new and fixing up two or three existing toilets, they will probably say (3).

Crenshaw Line - Rapid Transit

This portion of the Crenshaw Line is rapid transit, i.e., grade separated (Manchester at La Brea). 

Crenshaw Line - Mass Transit (In Process)

This portion of the Crenshaw Line is at grade (Arbor Vitae north of 
Aviation) and therfore mass transit. It is a street car that will bring traffic on this busy street to a halt and possibly halt itself and definitely proceed at a reduced sped, after the barriers are lowered and then creep across the street.  

At one time the LACMTA knew how to build rapid transit, example: the Green Line.  They stopped building rapid transit when they felt that saving money was more important. A likely decision when you consider that LACMTA management almost never ride their system.  It management rode the lines, all stations and bus centers would have restrooms!

Crenshaw Line (and other lines) as Mess Transit!

Combine rapid and mass Transit in one line and you have created Mess Transit.


Bringing better service to others, by bypassing you♪

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

 This Is Not Rapid Transit

The photo above concretises the idea that the EXPO line will not deliver deterministic travel because, look at the signals and the traffic folks, it isn’t RAPID TRANSIT.

At one time the LACMTA knew how to build RAPID Mass Transit, viz. the Green Line.  Take the Green Line ratio of aerial portions of the line to total length of the line, let's call this the Mole's Index of Rapidity [MIR in acronimic form].

 For the Green Line the ratio is 100/100!  Not so with other recently  built lines; the Expo and Crenshaw Lines which both have lower indices of Rapidity.  Any value less than 1 shows that determinate travel times are impossible. The overall MIR for the LACMTA's built portion in miles is 20/105 which is equal to 0.1904 ... much less than 1! The result is a fifth class transportation system; one befitting a third-world country.

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.

Eye (and Ear) 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.


A Discover Magazine presents a  quite readable article about quantum physics. Perhaps one cannot read it than exclaim "Now I understand"!  But it does an admirable job of explaining particles and waves and even reaches back to 1927 and the work of French physicist, Louis de Broglie and his pilot wave theory.

Techcrunch.com has a piece which covers the release of Microsoft's Quantum Computer Kit;  The article also discusses IBM'S 20 qubit machine and its 50 qubit prototype.  It should be interesting to those of us who work in IT.

Fare Box OOS and related Lists of Shame

I.D. Numbers of buses with Out of Service Fare Boxes:  
2017-12-25/15:25, 125 Line/ Bus# 5778, West 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:
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
Cabanatuan, Michael. “Transbay Transit Center to see first bus line Dec. 26”. Dec. 13, 2017. San Francisco Chronicle. Web. http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Transbay-Transit-Center-to-see-first-bus-line-12428775.php

Gifford, Daron. “The future of the automobile is autonomous, and your business is likely to feel the effect”. Dec. 13, 2017. bizjournals.com. Web.  https://www.bizjournals.com/bizjournals/how-to/growth-strategies/2017/12/the-future-of-the-automobile-is-autonomous-and.html

King, John. “Transbay Transit Center – a difficult Journey”. Sep. 15, 2017. San Francisco Chronicle. Web. http://projects.sfchronicle.com/2017/transbay-terminal/the-beginning/

Matsunaga, Samantha and Mitchell, Russ. “Volvo to supply Uber with up to 24,000 self-driving SUVs for taxi fleet”. Los Angeles Times. Nov. 26, 2017. Web. http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-volvo-uber-20171120-story.html
Nelson, Laura J. “L.A. weighs a plan to allow denser developments near Expo Line stations”. Los Angeles Times. Nov. 26, 2017. Web. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-expo-zoning-20171126-story.html
Scauzillo, Steve. “Odors, long lines, closures plague LA Union Station bathrooms, so Metro will spend millions to fix them”. Nov. 30, 2017. San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Web.



Scauzillo, Steve. “LA Metro lists 28 traffic, train projects it wants done by 2028 Olympics”. Nov. 30, 2017. Daily News. Web.  http://www.dailynews.com/2017/11/30/la-metro-lists-28-traffic-train-projects-it-wants-done-by-2028-olympics/

Vartabedian, Ralph. “High-speed rail authority says environmental reviews won't be completed until 2020”. Los Angeles Times. Nov. 15, 2017. Web.http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-high-speed-rail-delay-20171115-story.html

Vartabedian, Ralph. “Request for emergency audit of bullet-train project is denied by Legislature leadership”. Los Angeles Times. Nov. 27, 2017. Web. http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-bullet-train-audit-20171127-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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