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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!

Eh, I don't quite buy the whole classism argument about the displays being off. I get the feeling that it's more laziness. I take the Orange Line to the Red Line in from the 'affluent' west Valley on my daily commute and no matter what station I am at the displays are just useless. I mean, I now know (intimately) that there is no eating, drinking or smoking on the platforms and that the elevators at the Hollywood / Vine Red Line station are out of service, but when is the next bus or train coming? Your guess is as good as mine. Just this morning I was watching the display read "8 minutes" until the next Orange Line, I looked away and back and somewhow time had reversed itself and it was now 15 minutes until the next bus.... 4 minutes later the bus shows up, and the Orange Line busses even have sensor on them! Anyway, woo hoo Metro!
I think you nailed it.
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