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Wednesday, June 28, 2006


An Inverse Renovation of MTA's buses.

With a smorgasbord of inconsistencies to pick from regarding the topic of Los Angeles MTA, here is another thing.

MTA buses have quite recently undergone a re-modeling phase. What happened wasn't that overcrowding was significantly relieved, such as would be if buses were added to heavily traveled routes, or that seats on the buses were sanitized, or that rogue bus-drivers were replaced or reprimanded or simply told to do better. But the buses were re-painted. This seems to be part of the illogical aspect of MTA's improvement agenda, where much of the resources and energy seem to be spent on areas that only give an illusion of quality, rather than actually improving quality itself.
Who knows what it cost to change colors of the buses. Couldn't that money have been spent on adding, say, at least two or three (or god knows how many) additional buses to the Metro Rapid fleet on Wilshire blvd where crowding is still beyond belief during rush hours and holidays?
While it's nice to add some new colors to what may or may not look boring or old; in terms of priorities, when all these other ills exist, wouldn't it be of a higher priority to relieve over-crowding, sanitize seats that are sometimes black with filth, focus energies on expanding the subway, placing time tables and trash cans at bus-stops, or something else that would have a tangible effect on riders, and the city as a whole?
Why focus on make-up when the service itself sucks? Wouldn't it be crazy to spend money and sweat on painting the exterior of a house if its interior was falling apart from mold and termite infestations?
Nobody would do such a thing, right?
But the MTA would. They're content about everyone from kids to the elderly riding in unsafe, and often filthy conditions. They're just fine with that and have been so for decades.
Wonder how often the leaders of the MTA use the Metro bus. It's just hypocrisy. Their service sucks. They know that mostly poor residents utilize these buses. After all, the Los Angeles city leadership (while in no way suggesting that all of them are bad or vile) is the same organ that's been standing idly by as people have gotten killed in local jails and hospitals. So much for their community competence. They should've worked for Saddam Hussein.

*I know the MTA have been adding buses, and replacing old models with newer ones. That doesn't equal great service, however.

I asked the same question when this first was proposed, and the answer may surprise you.

Buses are repainted about eight to ten years after they are first acquired, as part of their mid-life overhaul, so there is no additional cost to change them into the new color scheme when they would have been repainted anyway.

More than half of the buses in the new colors were ordered that way from the manufacturer, anyway ...
Thanks. That's cool to know of, and a sort of relief.
Definately a good thing to know transist advocate... I'm enjoying your blog "metro-la", definately plan on reading through it. I've linked you at my blog, MetroRiderLA. It's not so much a critical analysis like your blog, but a promotion of the public transit lifestyle in Los Angeles, but criticism is a very important aspect of that lifestyle.
Thanks, I'll add a link to you in return.

And, indeed, criticism is important sometimes for awakening and improvement.
(and in case of this topic, it seems overdue).
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