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Monday, October 23, 2006


Watch Out for Staph Infections On Buses & Trains

After stumbling on an online article at
about how staph infections are spreading through the Skid Row area, infecting cops, firemen, nurses, and others who work in that area......

It asserts what I've been trying to say previously. That filthy seats on buses and trains are worse than just an eye sore. While, first off, the homeless situation on Skid Row is a disgrace and a clear sign of society's indifference toward the plight of people in need, it also means something for the MTA and their seats, and consequently for their passengers. If a staph infected homeless, say, veteran, catches the subway from Downtown L.A. to say, the Valley, well, guess what may happen to the next person who sits on that seat? That's right, he or she may get a staph infection.
Anyhow, this is not to say this bacteria is MTA's fault, for it isn't. But they clearly could care more about the hygiene on their buses and trains. It's quite ugly if it gets to a point wherein regular passengers get infected with a potentially dangerous bacteria, just because the city fails to deal with the homeless problem, and the MTA fail to keep their seats disinfected. That also goes in the face of their glorified ads. It ain't so romantic in reality, yet, a bottle of disinfectant from a dollar store could make a relevant difference on an entire car of staph germs. I can imagine purchasing a bottle of disinfectant; spray all of the seats in one particular car all in a matter of 10-15 minutes. In other words, it would be easy, and could prevent staph infections.
If repelling looking seats would be unreasonable to complain about.
So, could not seats get disinfected, At Least, once a week? As opposed to never?

If you read that laweekly article you're in for some reaffirmation of the neglecting mindset I've been whining over here. It truly exists, and plagues not only the MTA. The difference is, that MTA is a public transit agency utilized by a cross section of the city's population, whereas Skid Row, may be an area that's very extreme, and therefore tough to relate for/care for (which is a disgrace btw). The same could not be said about the MTA, which encompasses everyone of every background. Yet is left to breed staph all the same.

Better do something now, before it's too late.
Either fix the homeless problem immediately, or sanitize the seats until that can get done.
I mean, you don't want to wait for a bus for 40 minutes and get infected with staph on top of it. Because if that's the case, you might as well get ignored by the bus driver.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


It happened again, with Metro Rapid

I was on Wilshire blvd east of La Brea on the Saturday; stood and waited... and waited. Thought I was going to Westwood for a visit. Many others waited in the same area. For darn long.

The crowd incrementally grew in size but no damn bus in sight. For 15 more minutes and no bus in sight. 10 more minutes and no bus in sight. 5 more, no bus. 4 more, no bus.

Then when it came, it was packed, so the driver passed us by to the other side of the adjacent intersection and let off his passengers there, so that he didn't have to deal with more people trying to push themselves aboard.

After that, it took probably 7 minutes for the next Metro Rapid bus to arrive. It was also quite packed, but at least good to stand on.

It was just a hideous wait that virtually killed the instinct to pleasure. And it happens all the freaking time. Don't ride the bus on a Saturday. Wherever you're going, chances are it won't feel worth it.
In this way, the MTA kills quality of life. I don't see how they 'had' to take that long. Wonder if anybody did. This is Regardless of size or budget. Their budget isn't so bad that it can't supply enough buses to avoid these absurd scenarios.

Also, viewing the ads on the bus it makes for a complete oxymoron. You don't reasonably ride MTA when going out for a dining. You just don't, unless you're forced to. For christ sake, AT LEAST LIVE UP TO YOUR ADS! Or at least take them down and stop the provocation!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


More Train/ More Bus V.S More Subway

It should be asked whether the current build plans of the exposition line, along with the recent Orange bus line in the Valley are more bad than good. They're obviously good since any addition to the Los Angeles transportation network is urgently needed. Yet, thinking about the future, what can beat the subway? Why not expand the redline westward instead of building the exposition rail? Why not consolidate money for a subway in place of the orange bus line? Do they even think of that? I know the mayor does, as do a few others. But there still seems to be a short-sighted priority taking place of a long-term solution to traffic congestion and efficient populous mobility in the city. The Metro Red line extension on Wilshire is an example of a loser to those priorities. What could be better for commuters, businesses, tourists, residents than a subway between downtown, through Wilshire blvd, to the beach? That's such a gold-mine being dodged in favor of lesser improvements. But why?
Is it the bus rider union that's forcing the MTA to up the ante rather than delay for something better due to often miserable conditions? Who knows, but it appears that the most frustrating misses in LA's public transit network will not get fixed anytime soon. The Green Line to LAX is already confirmed a loser because someone believed a bus from Downtown L.A was better. Now the Metro Red line's extension is apparently also becoming a loser in favor of the exposition line.
One thing is certain. Los Angeles will become even More dependent on public transportation in the future, and it would make sense to prepare for that now rather than messing around with half-baked projects. Now when there appears to be a momentum for subway expansions they seem to go for lesser alternatives.

Imagine a NYC with the subway veins going along the edges of Manhattan rather than through its center. Well, if NYC public transit was being managed by LA's public transit leaders, that's what might have happened. The damn asses in the MTA clearly never ride the bus or trains themselves. In NYC the mayor rides the subway to work. You couldn't blame him for being out of touch with NYC's transit realities. Here, the fat cats sit with their overfed bellies and smirks while letting people die in hospitals and jails. Is anything considered an urgency to them? My dog could do a better job in his sleep. He'd make sure that people at least got to and from their jobs reliably.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


MTA Won an Award? Next Joke?

Apparently Metro in Los Angeles has been named something like the most "outstanding" public transportation agency in the nation. Wa ha ha hah! Sure, according to whose standards?

By what measurements on earth has MTA in Los Angeles been named something that high?
This is almost as peculiar as MTA's policies and services; it simply doesn't make any sense. You ask 5 out of ten riders and I could bet they would lambast MTA for poor services (without being smug), and if not that, far from naming it the best public transportation agency in the nation. It almost hurts to read about it. What about S.F, NYC, Chicago and other cities' transit agencies? How dare anyone even suggest that L.A has the best one? If anything L.A has the worst one. Hopefully that will change in the future, but as of now, it probably is with respect to amount of people served.

I'd suggest that rather than bragging and showing off, how about putting the money where the mouths are? For example, how about fixing overcrowding, un-timeliness, asynchronous connections, un-clarities, ambiguities, and all the other things that plague MTA, BEFORE start bragging about how great you are?

Is this just another sign of how out of touch they are? Apparently the MTA can't realize when an extra bus is needed. We've talked about it before, how they fail to insure the subway connections work in symmetry. Such no-brainers that sort of make the basis for good public transit services. Yet they fail to clear those basic things before going on to brag about award winning. I couldn't joke about something that rang hollower. MTA's services sucks, ok? There are still many occasions when the bus is too packed, after a crowd of 30-40 has already waited for it for 40 minutes. That alone is a disqualifier.

Award? Best transit system in the nation? That's not even a joke. It's a lie.

Monday, October 02, 2006


A Note Regarding Metro Rapid Display Disparities

Is it true that the electronic displays at Metro Rapid bus stops are more consistent the further west on Wilshire blvd you get, as opposed to further east where most of them appear dysfunctional?

Once, when I used to work in Downtown L.A, I used to sometimes take the Metro Rapid bus to work, and at least one Metro Rapid stop was displaying the same message for about two months, which was something like "Metro Rapid Display is Being Upgraded". Then I noticed that on the Westside of Wilshire blvd, the displays were working and were apparently upgraded much earlier.
I mean, does it take two months, or more, to upgrade an electronic display? I could do it faster than it took to write this blog post. It's a matter of typing a message and hit the 'enter' button. Yet it took at least two months, and frankly, they may still be 'upgrading'.

I find that to be an insult. Why do grown people have to go through this type of nonsense? Of course it sends a message that "we couldn't care less". This is one of the issues that makes it annoying to watch MTA's positive self ads, as you contrast them with the reality on the ground.
But furthermore, this particular neglect appears to affect the economically poorer East side much worse. In other words it's a statement, probably toward minorities, or toward the working class. Either MTA is afraid to miss out on something on the Westside, or, doesn't care for people on the Eastside, or both plus minus. Whichever it is, a pointer is toward the latter; MTA dug up a Chinese cemetery a few months ago while working on the East L.A rail extension. It was taken as a cultural affront. So why not the absurd delay of upgrading the Metro Rapid displays being an affront as well? It is, regardless of the circumstances behind. What is the justification for taking more than 2 months to change some stupid text displays? It's all computerized, and in reality probably takes no more than 5 minutes to complete, provided that the motivation is there, so what the heck is the delay about then?

"I Love Metro Rapid". Suuure. God bless the car!

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