2018-02-28 Via Viator95

Our sympathies to those who lost loved ones in the aircraft crashes in

Russia and Iran.

Via Viator95

From your Mole, to all who see this in hopes 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 listed his New Year's Wishes below and hopes that the LACMTA WILL MAKE THEM COME TRUE.

THE QUESTION:  How about it, Mr. Washington? Have your organization step up and deliver!  If they rode Metro buses and trains they may even see things that need improvement.  But, based upon my past experience, I wouldn't bet too heavily on them.

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!


No Stop Number Sign here either

Here are su Topo's 2018 New Year wishes:

That the LACMTA would be more open rather than secretive. For example, reporting to us how much they spent to put up and take down the STOP NUMBER signs.  And exactly why the signs were removed. Thenagain some of the signs seem to be reappearing?  Can they make up their minds? Yes, and then again, No.

That the LACMTA would be more considerate of the needs of their ridership.

That LACMTA would provide more and better security aboard trains and buses.

Conversely, my New YEAR WISH is that the RIDERSHIP would would have better manners.  The answer to "Please remove your feet from the seats",  should be, "yes, I'm Sorry". Not a string of curses and arguments  and this from a "lady"? Is it any wonder that more usual people try public transportation and soon give up? It is a function of SECURITY and good order.  But since the LACMTA "management",except for the rare, politically motivated, photo op, how could they even know what their "service" is really like.

A Brief Rest, February 2018

Your Mole wishes that people, like the poor soul pictured above, 
could find much better living conditions than those which she is experiencing.  

People are quick to describe this as the greatest country in the world.  Can that statement really be true when we cannot supply basic human needs a warm bed, a simple hot meal and essential hygiene facilities for the most needy among us? 

Close Enough for LACMTA Work

That LACMTA would train their drivers to position their buses at the bus stop "flag" and close enough to the curb to be a safe,  easy step away.

Good Enough for LACMTA Work

That the LACMTA would supervise their bus stop cleaning contractors so that they actually clean the bus stop, not just do the absolute minimum. Shown above is an often seen condition, the dustbin inside the metal frame is emptied, well eventually.  In this case the plastic liner has been removed and positioned adjacent to, above in the photo, the metal frame is adjacent to, below in the photo.  But, within the metal frame, at the bottom waste continues to collect without ever being emptied. It accumulates in situ, over weeks or months, perhaps even years. 

The LACMTA seems stymied as to how to deal with this situation.  So, su Topo will advise them: (1) Send a letter to the CEO of each organisation which has the responsibility of cleaning bus stops.  Say, "Payments will not be made when stops show that cleaning has not been properly performed. The portion held back will represent the total owed divided by the number of stops in the contract the amount to clean a single stopmultiplied by the stops which have been inspected and found to be inadequately cleaned.;2) inspect the stops, note and photograph the deficiencies.  You should see a flurry of activity to remediate the problems.  You will also experience  a decrease in poorly cleaned stops.  There is a term for this activity, it is called MANAGEMENT!  There is also a term for the manner in which the LACMTA presently conducts business in this area.  It is called "paying good money for fourth-rate work".

That the LACMTA would supervise their contractors so that they set the volume of their on board stop announcements, dispatch radios [why can't they use the same  "telephone" system used by Metro?]at a comfortable listening level.

That the LACMTA would supervise their contractors so that the contractor's drivers would not "entertain"riders by turning off the ASA and then singing out stops.  many, if not most riders want a safe, quiet trip so that they can listen to personal audio equipment,  sleep, read or just sit quietly.

That the LACMTA would collect fares from all passengers [see security above] rather than having income be drained away it is a crime, theft of services.

That the LACMTA would disallow boarding of passengers with unpleasant body odors, dragging trash bags stuffed with recyclables, drunk and/or threatening, unruly etc., etc. [see security above].

That the LACMTA would add 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.  Presently,both CCMBL and BBB scroll their drivers numbers.

That the LACMTA would insist that their drivers regular and contractorssecure wheelchair passengers. Rather, they ask the 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. 

LAWA Flyaway Bus with a METRO tribute!

The the LACMTA is spending the taxpayers money on Rent-a-Bike programs and other adventures only tangentially related to transportation, all the while their pockets are being picked by LAWA!

That the LACMTA fosters 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.

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

Trash cans? We don't need no trash cans!

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 Enterprise Rant-A-Car Shuttles  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 about three  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 will the LACMTA solve this problem? Well, the LACMTA will 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?  La Taupe's estimate: 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.

Nextbus on my iPhone, it's GREAT!

I simply opened the nextbus.com site using my browser, it took over asked permission to use my location, which permission I granted and voilà; I was presented with all the bus availability at stops within reasonable walking distance of my position.  Shown above is on the first screen of several.  importantly, there is no need for an "app", because since Tim Cook stopped updating my iPhone at iOS6 which then froze all my apps, which, although had updates available, they were denied to me.  When this iPhone fails, I'm going with Samsung!

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." 

 They Should Have just placed the stop number as shown above

That way the numbering system would have had relevance far into the future.  it could been adapted to emergency services, 911 reporting when an incident occurs away from numbered houses or people have trouble pronouncing local street or intersection names.

But no,the LACMTA seems to act before it thinks.

Torrance Transit Uses NextBUS Too!

That is how we can tell that the LACMTA have made an error; because everyone else is using Nextbus texting and the LACMTA have removed most of their bus stop numbering signs.

LDOT has nice Stop Numbers!

This is the way the LACMTA should have done it.  Fast, simple and understandable.

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 Times details (Nelson) the LACMTA’s declining ridership.Here are brief quotes of Ms Nelson's prose: The vast majority of public transit agencies across Southern California, from modest municipal carriers to the West Coast’s largest bus system, have watched their ridership numbers fall off a cliff over the last five years.”

Their frequent theories? Cheap gas, concerns about security on transit, gentrification and the suburbanization of poverty, changing immigration patterns, and the rise of transportation companies such as Uber and Lyft.”
While those factors may still play a role, a surge in vehicle ownership across Southern California is largely to blame for the ridership decline, according to a new UCLA study.” 

Please, follow the link and read the entire article which includes graphic material. An amny.com story (Barone) shows that even the “Big Apple” has transportation problems. Here are brief quotes from Mr. Barone’s excellent work.

Nearly 75 percent of bus routes across the city received D or F letter grades from the Bus Turnaround Campaign, a group of advocates who released a new analysis and report card for 246 routes at a news conference Thursday. The group graded each route by average speed and reliability.”
Among the slowest buses are the M42 across 42nd Street, with an average speed of 3.5 mph; the M31, which runs from Yorkville to Midtown West and averages 3.7 mph; and the B63, running from Brooklyn Bridge Park to Bay Ridge mostly along Fifth Avenue at 4.8 mph.”
The average human walking speed is 3.1 mph”.
There is lots more to read in this article, so please use the “Works Cited” link and find out that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Another amny.com article (Cook) discusses transportation funding for those with low incomes.  Ms Cook writes: “Funding to provide low-income New Yorkers with half-priced MetroCards should not be subject to the “political machinations” of the de Blasio administration, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said on Wednesday.”

The borough president’s statement comes one day after Mayor Bill de Blasio renewed his call for funding the fair fares initiative with a so-called millionaire’s tax on the city’s wealthiest residents —a plan that would require approval from the state Legislature —during his State of the City speech.”
Half-priced MetroCards seems like a good idea. Please read Ms Cook’s entire article using the link in “Works Cited” and understand the options and opposing viewpoints.  

The Times reports (Etehad) on the Bird electric Scooters which operated, unlicensed, between September 2017 and just now. It seemed an inauspicious start for any business. Ms Etehad writes: “To operate the scooters, riders have be at least 18, wear a helmet and stay off sidewalks. Eligible users can download an app and pay $1 plus 15 cents a minute to ride them at speeds up to 15 mph.”

When your Mole saw the “Birds” about a month ago, he saw riders in compliance with none requirements, noted above. Walking or crossing streets in California can be dangerous because of bicyclists, skateboarders, etc. surprising one and even more dangerous with the silent Birds moving at 15 MPH on sidewalks.

The Birds are hoped, by the LACMTA, along with lots of other things, to be the answer to the “LAST Mile” home to station or station home “problem”. La Taupe believes you can easily, walk, and in Santa Monica, take a Big Blue Bus. Perhaps a LDOT like shuttle could circulate trough Santa Monica neighborhoods as a better solution one devoid of herds of teenagers threatening pedestrians with their Birds. Your Mole further believes that the City of Santa Monica too quickly dismissed their charges against Bird. They should have made dismissal be based upon good behavior for a period of one year. That way they could put this scofflaw company out of business if they reverted to form.

The Los Angeles Times covers (Lien) an Uber service which will began in Los Angeles on February 21st, 2018. Below are quotes from Ms Lien’s article
First, Uber framed itself as an alternative to taxis. Now the San Francisco ride-hailing company is rolling out a new service that sounds kind of like a bus.”
The ride-hailing company is bringing to Los Angeles on Wednesday its Express Pool, a lower-cost service for passengers who are willing to share rides with strangers and begin and end their journeys at specified pickup and drop-off locations.” Follow the link and read the entire article.

This Mole could only find the pricing for Uber Pool, $2.00+, not Express Pool. Even so, it is more than bus fare for a single bus and adds $44 for a 22 day month. The bus riders I know don’t want to pay more! They want a system which works! Into this mix we are still expecting, if Mr. Washington delivers on his promise to bring in something similar –but not Uber, another similar service. Lots of competition for a scarce supply of dollars which are available to those who must ride buses.

A Daily News piece(Scauzillo) has more bad news from a recently released study covering the LACMTA’S decrease in ridership. Here is are two quotes: “From 2012 through 2016, Southern California lost 72 million transit riders per year, most of that centered in Los Angeles County’s urban core where more than 60 percent of the region’s transit riders live, the study said.

The trend in Northern California is going a different direction. Transit systems there increased its ridership by 20 percent during the same period, the report said.

Please use the link below and learn the complete story.

In another Los Angeles Daily News covers (Scauzillo2) the LACMTA’s unwillingness to STOP tunneling under Beverly Hills High School. Pockets of gas, collapses, danger to students, inordinately high insurance rates would make a prudent person rethink the idea —but not the LACMTA.

Mr Scauzillo writes that a Metro spokesperson said that Metro was “committed to delivering the project to the public on time and on budget.” .

Which may be a first for the organization. Please follow the works cited link and read Mr. Scauzillo’s excellent work.

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune relates (Scauzillo3) that the Blue Line will
close for some repairs next year”. Mr. Scauzillo writes: “Metro is preparing to close the 22-mile Blue Line for a total of eight months next year to complete the modernization of the transit agency’s oldest train line.”

The agency plans to add four new switches that allow trains to move quicker, new signals, new tracks in downtown Long Beach and improvements at street level intersections, especially at the Washington Boulevard and Flower Street junction near downtown Los Angeles where cars have crashed into trains, causing significant delays.”

The LACMTA has performed neither significant preventative nor remedial maintenance for 25 years. Then we find that the line has been run into the ground and can’t be put in good order by working at night, so Los Angelenos will have to do without. Nice job LACMTA! Please link to Mr. Scauzillo’s piece and read it in full.

The Telegraph scoops (Torrance) our local papers on the award of $1.95 billion contract for the LAX People Mover.
A consortium including FTSE [Financial Times Stock Exchange] 250 construction firm Balfour Beatty has been awarded a $1.95bn (£1.4bn) contract to build a train network at Los Angeles International Airport.
The “Automated People Mover” will ferry passengers between LAX’s central terminal to a new car rental area along 2.25 miles of track. The building work will include six stations and a train maintenance garage.”’

So that will make transportation to LAX a 3+ seat journey FROM Union Station to LAX. Red Line to 7th and Metro, Expo Line to Aviation Station and Balfour Beatty’s piece to the Central Terminal — this Mole makes that Central Terminal, TBIT (Tom Bradley International Terminal). It appears that instead of an underground loop, like the major U.S. cities have, you’ll be on your own for the fourth leg of the Journey on “… +moving walkways to the terminals and parking garages, if it’s not TBIT.

Please use the “Works Cited” link to read all of Mr. Torrance’s writing. Where you will find out the consortium’s composition and lots more detail.
Sounds like enormous fun. Look for this Mole on FlyAway! Su Topo considers “People Movers” to be conveyor belts for people —an apt description, n'est-ce pas ?

Let’s ride a “People Mover” [“The Bouncing Beatty”, your Mole's term for it.], +it appears that the Heathrow PODS will not be in use at LAX.
Thanks to: "When I Travel The World" for the download.

Here is what Balfour Beatty has done for John Wayne Airport in Long Beatty.

It seems quite different from what they’ll do at LAX.

The Los Angeles Times reports Vartabedian).
The California bullet train project is supposed to be in the Central Valley, but one woman-owned construction firm is alleging in a suit that the project has paralyzed her company.“
Maybe it is not an economic engine for small business. One woman’s company completed 60% of a sub-contract it had been awarded, but was blocked from accessing the remaining 40% and was denied release from the sub-contract.

Please link to the full story for all the details.

Perhaps this is the point at which su Topo should mention other U.S. cities who built and maintain serviceable rapid transit with out doing it in fits and starts and maintain their systems without lengthy closures.
Who will win the mismanagement award of 2018?

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
«Bonne cuisine et bon vin, c'est le paradis sur terre.»
Henri IV(1553-12-13~1610-05-14)

[Good Food and good wine is a paradise on earth.]

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

Paul Signac (1863-11-11~1935-08-15)  comme un exemple de son travail dans le pointillisme, Voici son Papal Palace Avignon

Review additional works by Paul Signac by clicking on this link.

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


Shall we listen to Alfred Cottin's (1863-012-21-~1923-01-18) Aubade et Chant d´amour

Thank you youtube.com for allowing us to hear this beautiful performance. We also thank Honza Štěpánek 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

Serenata 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 



Thank you youtube.com and to bandaimpactokw 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!♪

Inured? You'd better be inured if your only transportation is Metro!  Look at the  rear of this bus and see that the prescient graffiti artists have warned you about the future of Los Angeles transportation.

The Mole rides again so that you don't have to take great care as to where you step at the LAXCBC.

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


Improvised Loo at the LAXCBC.

If the LACMTA doesn't provide the facility, the ridership will work out their own, less than desirable solution.  How can anyone look at this picture and not think that Los Angeles is a third world city?


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. 

2018-02-02 near a section of the in progress Crenshaw Line.  I looked up and saw an indication of the plans that the LACMTA has for its future passengers, I photographed the sight, below.

Work in process on the Crenshaw Line.

You may have to click on the photo to enlarge it so you can see the stairway, already built, no escalator here!  Remember, that this line will serve LAX.  so people with luggage will have lots of fun negotiating this station.

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, or requires too much maintenance to continue?  Think TransiTV!

Your mole has theories: Either (1) they put signs up in the wrong order; (2) the texting load was to great for the LACMTA's IT infrastructure;  (3) they found a way to charge for the service using an "app";

These sign keep reappearing, as if by magic?

As promised here are la Taupe's  estimate of the costs involved in affixing these texting Artifact signs and removing them.  But no costs have been developed for replacing some of the signs??

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 reinstalled signl).

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!

Push for NEXTBUS, er, NEXT-RIP

La Taupe took a ride to the valley and discovered this!

CLICK HERE to hear the announcement.

If would be a good idea if the LACMTA would make up its mind if it has oneabout how it would deliver bus arrival announcements.  By text message, no that seems to be mostly abandoned?  By buttons, like the one shown above; no that seem an expensive way to do it and has the additional disadvantage of being exposed to vandalism.  9

I now use text and that seem to be the way the BBB and TT have adopted.  From my computer I use NextBUS.com It produces an nice clean format as shown below.

Next Bus is GREAT!
At the bottom of the screen:
"Valid as of Monday, February 19, 2018 3:03 PM"
is displayed.  One can perform the simple addition to determine that the next bus will show up at around 15:08 and the one after that at about 15:37.

For those who like maps, nextbus offers a map option as pictured below.

Next Bus Maps are GREAT, too!

Please visit the site and acquaint yourself with the agencies it serves in the United States. It travels well! :-)

2018-02-19 afternoon: Your Mole can relate his recent experiences aboard Metro buses. On the first bus of the day, the male passenger across the aisle clipped his fingernails letting the clippings fall where they might.

On the same day on the very next bus, a different male passenger used “floss picks” dropping them to the bus floor after use. Nice? Huh?? Is it any wonder why usual people don’t want to share their ride with fellows like these.

2018-02-20 near noon: Let's take a walk through ITC and see how it is maintained.

It's alive!

2018-02-22 before 10:00:  I looked up from the Freeway Level of the freeway busway and saw, wonder of wonders, that the screen that was alway dark had come to life and was reporting Silver Line and other bus arrivals.  Somethings work and others do not.  Among the things which didn't work were the on-board bus GPS units, the entire system seemed to be down for the past two (2) Saturdays 2018-02-17 and 2018-02-24.  This meant that the ASA didn't functions and operators [drivers] had to call out stops, just like in the old days.  The head signs had to be manually setup, this was usually sensed automatically, the direction of the bus determined the head sign, outbound, inbound etc.

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.


How large can a black hole become? How about 800,000,000 solar masses?

Please read this independent.co.uk article about such a black hole.

The Weight of the sun is approximately 1.989 × 10SUP30 kg.
Multiply that value by 800,000,000 and and you'd have the approximate weight of the super massive black hole described in the piece.


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.

LDOT = Los Angeles Department of Transportation

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

Barone, Vincent. “MTA bus routes are failing when it comes to speed and reliability, report says”. amny.com. Feb 8, 2018. Web. https://www.amny.com/transit/mta-bus-service-1.16648452

Cook, Lauren. “MetroCard discounts for low-income New Yorkers should be funded in de Blasio’s budget, BP Diaz says”. amny.com. Feb14, 2018. Web. https://www.amny.com/transit/fair-fares-funding-1.16767526

Etehad, Melissa. “Bird scooter firm settles legal fight with Santa Monica”. Los Angeles Times. Feb, 15, 2018. Web. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-bird-scooters-20180215-story.html

Lien, Tracey. “Uber brings to L.A. its Express Pool service, which sounds kind of like a bus”. Los Angeles Times. Feb. 21, 2018. Web. http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-uber-express-pool-20180220-story.html#nt=oft01a-1li2

Nelson, Laura J.“Southern Californians are on a car-buying spree, and that's cutting deeply into transit ridership, study says”. latimes.com. Feb 1, 2018. Web. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-transit-car-ownership-20180201-story.html

Scauzillo, Steve. “Southern Californians, you’re buying more cars; here’s what that means to mass transit”. Los Angeles Daily News. Feb. 2, 2018. Web. thttps://www.dailynews.com/2018/01/31/southern-californiansyoure-buying-more-cars-heres-what-that-means-to-mass-transit/

Torrance, Jack. “Balfour Beatty joint venture awarded £1.4bn Los Angeles airport contract”. The Telegraph. Feb. 16, 2018. Web. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2018/02/16/balfour-beatty-joint-venture-awarded-14bn-los-angeles-airport/

An artifact of the streets of Los 

Angeles, created by a brother Mole!

### .. . ###

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


Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?