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Friday, July 28, 2006


The Bus is Too Slow

I enjoy driving. When I do, I can take short-cuts through residential surface streets if the congestion on the main streets is too heavy.

On the bus, it's not possible, for on the bus you may be glad if you simply got onboard smoothly.
Metro buses are typically terribly slow. Even the Metro Rapid bus, which is supposed to have traffic-light censors to keep the green lights on as they approach them-- don't seem to be working. The Metro Rapid is probably infamously slow now. Somewhere near 8 miles per hour, and traffic lights seem to be slowing them down like with any other vehicle.
In L.A. with traffic getting ridiculous (it's almost faster to walk on the freeway than to drive nowadays), the bus can become torture. To sit in a packed, stinky, dirty bus that's slogging like a snail through traffic for 1 hour-plus, can be a bizarre experience. And even if it's to pick up only one single rider, the bus must halt with all its passengers, to pick that one up, and that happens at every other block. There's this sense of lingering apathy on the bus, including for the driver. People just have to swallow their frustrations and be patient. This is what pisses me off: The bus is an element of public transportation. Public transportation is a public service, not some damn boot camp. People are put to test by simply using public transportation in L.A. That's wrong!

Yet they keep investing mostly in more buses. Does the MTA board really believe that bus in L.A. is convenient? Otherwise, why would they keep behaving as if more buses, as opposed to primarily more trains and extended subways, will make life easier for residents? I believe that the leaders of the MTA suffer from delusion. Granted most of them are not in touch with reality.
You keep seeing signs that say "I Love Metro Rapid". It's absurd.

Three words: BRU Consent Decree.
Ah, The Bus Riders Union seems to be a culprit. Wonder if they care, and then too much, so that they forget about the long term interests of the city.
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