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This homepage was developed by a Metro Bus and Rail rider dwelling within the city of Los Angeles. It is NOT the official web site for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. There is no information available here that you cannot already find out from their web site. If you want official information regarding the company, fare, schedule and/or any publicly released information, go to http://www.mta.net/ right now!
Welcome to my Metro Pages
This web page was published to disiminate some of my knowledge regarding one of the largest, most organized, reliable, safe and on time bus and rail transit organizations in the United States of America operating today. Sure, MTA will have problems as seen in countless L.A. Times stories as well as updates heard on such newsradio stations as KNX 10.70 Newsradio. However, any organization that can be on time at least half of the time while driving over 1.1 Million passengers daily (slightly less than one third the entire population of the city of Los Angeles), MTA is better than most give it credit for.
If you'd like to skip to the trivia information I've provided about Metro Busses, go to the Main Menu.
Riding busses is usually not fun. And most people do it out of necessity (unable to afford a car, car undergoing repairs) and not in the spirit of decongesting traffic or reducing the polution that colors our air shades of unique brown. However, there are some reasons why a few people still ride the bus despite owning or having access to an automobile:
And then some. Good examples of all of these in action are going to work, the mall, school, beach or just about anything else NOT involving hauling massive cargo (ie., shopping).
- Read Paper/Nap on the way to Work.
- If you're late to work, let your employer know it was the bus; they will believe you.
- No CHP/Police tickets.
- Saves Gasoline, and other wear and tear on your car.
- Little worry of theft/carjacking.
- No worry of finding inexpensive/available parking or parking tickets.
- Getting lost. (Call Metro information at 213-626-4455 and tell them where you are, where you're going and what time you want to leave and/or get there and they will give you the lines and times of which busses to catch and where.)
- Meet interesting people.
- See parts of L.A. you never knew existed.
However, as I mentioned before, bus riding isn't fun. And here are some of the problems that I and my have encountered:
And so on. Some of these are the unavoidable problems of attempting to operate a public service one of the busiest cities in the world. And others are the fault of mismanagement within the MTA. Operators have striked and threatened to strike on multiple occasions while the Bus Riders union had called for a boycott called, 'No Seat, No Fare' in which passengers will not pay if more than a dozen passengers are standing.
- Crowded busses.
Actually, the story is much worse than this. Typically, there will be ample standing room in the middle and aft sections of a bus and even some seats (though they are somewhat smaller than the average angelino). However, due to the fact that the bus operator cannot even see his or her rear view mirror(s), half of the time, they are unable to instruct the passengers to move completely to the rear of the bus. Usually--this will lead to a bus passing up stops where there are less than one half dozen would-be passengers.
- Vandalized Busses. (At one time, Metro advertised a toll-free hotline to report graffiti called 1-800-STOP-TAG, it has been disconnected and probably recycled for another business now. Bus operators will give you no help in reporting a wise guy carving obscene words into the window so you can't see where you are).
- Graffiti on the seats. (Most of the time, it's dry so your $100 clothes wont be stained with random lines of colors from the rainbow.)
- Passengers with fatally low levels of common sense and/or intelligence. Violence is seldom a problem (especially now that you will be fined $100,000 and could face Jailtime for hitting anyone aboard a bus or train) as are yelling matches; however, you will encounter situations with clearly oversized persons attempting to squeeze between you and someone else just to talk to their friend who is several seats away. Or worse yet, the unnecessary boarding of several (what seem to be thousands) of young, undisiplined children trying to talk louder than the bus engine. (The list goes on...)
- REGULAR disregard of the $250 fine for Eating/Drinking/Smoking onboard a bus. Smoking never occurs onboard a bus in all of the thousands of times I've riden one; however there was one occasion of this happening and was cited.
- Missing/Late Busses. (Not their fault most of the time.)
- Poor driving. (Metro drivers have been falling down on the quality of driving in recent years.)
- Trying to grocery shop with busses. (Use your imagination.)
- Operators that allow passengers aboard a full bus to stand forward of the yellow line and also allow more passengers to board until the only standing room left is the stepwell. That is not only unlawful but highly unsafe. Other than the fact that a bus operator cannot see his or her right rear view mirror to safely perform a right-hand turn when passengers are standing forward of the yellow line on the floor--anyone in the stepwell can receive a serious leg and/or knee injury.
- Operators passing requested bus stops.
- Operators not checking right rear view mirror for passengers running after a bus preparing to depart a bus stop. Especially those lines that run between 30-60 minutes apart used by certain passengers for going to work.
- Lack of bus schedule-maps onboard busses (Culver City Bus regularly keeps their's in stock).
- Wheelchair Lifts Breaking (should have dedicated busses for this and not ordinary transit busses).
- Unhelpful operators. (Don't ask them where they're going even though they've probably driven through the intersection you're asking about hundreds of times in the past week.)
- Failure to announce street names on crowded busses or night trips. (There may be tourists/visitors from outside L.A. riding onboard the bus.)
All these as well as investigations and demands made by the city, state and even federal governments are clear indications that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority seriously needs help. However, it jumped head first into this mess by starting off with funding go-nowhere projects.
The Red Line is perhaps the biggest of all disasters with Hollywood residence and small businesspeople suffering from the non-stop construction in the region. Even from the very start, the day before the Metro Blue line was to open in July, 1990--there was a multi-thousand degree fire during the construction of the Red Line.
However, the worst part of it all is the fact that it is the most expensive transit project the agency has ever embarked on and continues to be the least used service the agency has ever offered. To this day, busses are still, and obviously, the single most used form of public transportation in the city of Los Angeles. And the busses that currently operate in the city are anywhere from a year to over ten years old. Two manufacturers that the, then Rapid Transit District (RTD) bought busses from are actually no longer in business (Flxible and TMC from Rosewell, New Mexico). Both companies have gone belly up so Metro buys loud, ugly and uncomfortable Neoplan busses fueled by CNG.
However, in the Summer of 1996; one of the busses exploded during refueling and all CNG busses were taken off the fleet, causing problems for serving schedules on time. And although no official explanation has ever been provided, it has been said that it was probably caused by debris striking the fuel line or tank and, during re-fueling, it blew a hole in the floor and shattered every window on the $360,000 bus. The German company Neoplan had agreed to provide the transit agency with fuel tank shield liners free of charge due to the incident.
Meanwhile, Denver's RTD has a heart-attack when they don't realize their Neoplan busses had a steering columns that were vulnerable to fracture until they read about it first in a Business Journal.
I have been told Metro is buying low-floor busses from Neoplan. I can only hope they aren't as bad as Santa Monica Municiple 'Big Blue Bus' New Flyer lower-floor busses. The Canadian company New Flyer had nicer CNG busses than Neoplan but Culver City operators are dreading when they receive them in the Summer of 1998. It is their information that they fishtail when it rains. (The act of a bus's rear wheels skidding from side to side during turns.)
Busses were built better the farther back in time you go. The original fishbowl GMC busses constructed in the late 1960s were owned by Metro and Culver City Bus at one time (Santa Monica still seems to operate a number of them) and they have been running perfectly as recently as 1998. However, the new Neoplan busses in MTA's fleet seem to suffer breakdowns from time to time and I doubt we'll ever see the one that exploded again. [end]
Main Menu Trivia, Fun Facts and other information you CANNOT find at Metro's Web Site. Like most passengers, I do not have a problem with the agency nor am I a loyal fan (not even their drivers are too fond of the company so who could be?). Because of this, I have a pretty unbiased view of what goes on and I typically get along with any driver who isn't a complete idiot or a nasty jerk. Most passengers are hardly this impartial and pretty much would be your least reliable source of 'Pretty Accurate' Info.
Metro Bus Lines (L.A. County)
Metro Blue Line (Downtown - Long Beach)
Metro Red Line (Union Station - Wilshire/Western)
Metro Green Line (Redondo Beach - Norwalk)
Questions? Comments? Write to . Bus lines I normally take are: 40, 42, 206, 207/357, 105 and 204/354. This does not include routes beyond my first transfer point. All of these lines are closest to where I begin my outbound trip or end my inbound trip.
Last Updated: August 28, 1998
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