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Another person who should get blame is Dan Centinello of the Checkmate Company. They hosted the ORCA app.
Portland tried this some time in the late 70's or early 80's. It is cited in Gray and Hoel, which went into detail as to why this didn't work well (lack of fare inspectors and no risk of getting caught, especially on the outer ends). In San Francisco this is less an issue but there are still routes at the outer edges of the system which are desolate. I would prefer for the policy to be implemented throughout, but for operator discretion to be used.
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LACMTA's surveys show 91% non white ridership - http://libraryarchives.metro.net/DPGTL/surveys/2011-surveys-bus-results.pdf - taken as a random survey of people on a bus.
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Right, the 550 was eliminated north of USC during peak hours, and north of Harbor Gateway Transit Center on middays and weekends. San Vicente goes from four buses an hour during the peak period to two. And just ten years ago, both the 305 and 550 had 20 minute peak and 30 minute midday service. So in the span of ten years, MTA has gone to six buses an hour during the peak and four buses an hour during the midday to two buses an hour peak and 1.5 buses an hour off peak. Incidentally, all of these were Bus Riders Union routes which were implemented after the Consent Decree. Most of the BRU routes have now been eliminated - the 577, 603, and 605 are the only ones left.
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The line got 25 passengers an hour, averaged over all trips, including the low ridership night and weekend ones. The constituency was not vocal or politically connected. Although every trip on the 305 can be made with two buses some of the routes, like the Sunset and San Vicente buses, are 30-40 minute service routes and not much better than a 40-60 minute Line 305. Look at the 442, another route that completely duplicates other MTA service, which has been on the cut list by staff for almost a decade now, but saved due to political meddling. It doesn't serve affluent communities - connecting Hawthorne, Inglewood, and South Central to Downtown LA - but it does serve a politically potent demographic of African American government workers who know how to work the system.
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This reminds me of Madison, which is an isthmus where they've funneled many routes onto two streets through the isthmus - no need for cross-isthmus service when it is one mile wide: http://www.cityofmadison.com/metro/schedules/SystemMaps/WeekdayMap.pdf
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It doesn't mean much because the service is running limited in South Central, thus concentrating the ridership. You have to look at real stop by stop ridership data for that.
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Here's the dot map: http://www.metro.net/images/attachment_e_sb_maps.ppt 26 passengers per hour was pretty good. I think that weekend usage may be dubious, but weekday usage was robust and included the both intra-South Central trips and trips to the UCLA/Beverly Hills end.
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I wrote this to The Source, which as an agency blog is obviously trumpeting this post, and repost it here: Steve, the fact that the NYT posted this is more of an indictment of the lack of local media in the areas served than any indication of interest. We are talking about a constituency of riders that has no Patch, no suburban daily or upscale weekly covering them. The LA Times daily coverage of transportation has gone from average to abysmal, with more focus on 405 trivia (today’s eruv story) than daily transportation issues. The NYT is noted for finding interesting stories in interesting places. In the Bay Area, a lot of people prefer the NYT over the local papers, and I can only imagine that it is starting to be the case in LA.
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The 305 got 26 passengers per hour, though, far from the lowest and at about the 30th percentile - not one of the worst lines in the system by any means. In most cities, 26 passengers per hour would be considered average - in any of the municipal operators (other than Santa Monica and Long Beach), above average. Service has been cut severely from the consent decree heyday, as has most fringe-area service. Seven years ago it had 20 minute peak, 30 minute base and weekend service - http://classic-web.archive.org/web/20040725212637/www.metro.net/riding_metro/timetables/images/305.pdf - which made the line much more useful. At 40 minute peak and 60 minute base service, it is not very useful - yet this is the tactic to remove lines that were useful before, but not useful now. Other examples would be the 485 from Pasadena to Cal State LA and Downtown (15 minute peaks and 30 minute base and weekends to 40 minute peak, 60 minute base, and no weekend service), the 209 (20 minute peaks, 30 minute base to 60 minute peak and base), and the 202 (20 minutes peak and 30 minute base to 60 minute peak and no base or weekend service). Many of the riders were old 576 riders - http://www.caitlinliu.com/articles/the_nanny_express.html - when that line was deservedly cancelled (higher fares and a useless freeway section did that bus in). Bypassing Downtown does help, and it provides redundancy in the system - never to be forgotten. Anytime the Blue Line goes down for a significant period of time, MTA waives the "express" surcharge on the Silver Line for that reason. The 485 gets packed when the Gold Line is disrupted by a trespasser. The article is correct in that the grid is NOT perfect - in a true grid, you would always have two ways to get from one point to another. There is no north south bus line intersecting a bus route south of Vernon Avenue (105) from Sepulveda (Culver City 6, separate system, separate fare structure) to La Brea Avenue (212). Indeed, for the ENTIRE 4 mile stretch between UCLA and San Vicente Boulevard (the section on Sunset Boulevard), there is no intersecting north-south bus route AT ALL. It helps to look at a geographically accurate system map - http://www.scribd.com/doc/21859893/MTA-System-Map-0108 is the last one published. Although all of Westside Los Angeles is severely congested, the zone around Wilshire Center and Downtown is even more so. Thus the zigzagging does work when you need to avoid Downtown. Extending the 30 to cover the portion of the 305 that doesn't duplicate anything (San Vicente Boulevard) doesn't make any sense because there is no connection to the Expo Light Rail, which was the alleged reason for the service cut. Incidentally, the service will not end until the next regular service change after Expo Light Rail opens up. Given that the date has slipped from November 15 to a date unknown, the line is likely safe in its emasculated form until June 2012.
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So Starbucks is bringing back treat receipts... for how long?
#2 is easy - Fresno and Clovis transit are city departments. The County chips in its sales tax (TDA) to the closest appropriate agency to service unincorporated areas. There are no other incorporated cities in the urbanized area, and I suspect each city likes their independence. There was no need to form a JPA or special distic, since all transfer arrangements are through reciprocity and not through other revenue sharing.
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Good for those who tip. I do if it's a Traveler or if I hold up the line to do a group order. Otherwise, I just get the grande drip. And no one makes the effort to learn my name or what I like, which is just the same as normal. Maybe in your small town they do, but at my high volume location, they don't. Which is just as well.
Whore is absolutely the right term for this, although it is a bit sexist since Jerry Brown is just as "whored" out to the unions. At least Jerry Brown doesn't hide the fact that most public employee unions support him. But it is very strange why Meg Whitman wanted the support of the police unions - after all, even if Jerry got the union endorsement, many cops are reflexive Republicans and would have voted for Meg anyway.
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I also noticed them on PCH in Torrance. So they are south of the 10, but not where you expect them.
When the parking lot at Atlantic and Pomona is completed, the 25 minutes to Downtown will be roughly comparable to driving during rush hour. The tunnel section more or less makes up the time spent creeping along the elevated section south of Union Station. Outside of rush hour, I can usually make it from Atlantic Boulevard to the East LA interchange on the Pomona Freeway in five minutes. (This is not counting time spent once off the freeway mainline.) You can normally drive to Atlantic Boulevard from Union Station in less than 10. Is it worth parking? It depends on where you are going. I have my secret parking spot that is a five minute walk from Union Station to take transit, when I want to avoid driving through Westside traffic or paying for parking (I would rather pay the MTA than deal with parking lot owners and their odd lot closure times). I'll probably keep parking at Union Station. However, when the Silver Line opens up, I'll probably take that from El Monte instead. The Silver Line covers 12 miles in less than 20 minutes. Of course it is on the freeway and it makes only two stops in between Downtown and Union Station. I currently avoid taking existing bus service because it costs $1.20 in addition to the day pass, but when it is implemented I can board with just a $5 day pass (while still charging the $2.45 express fare). If I lived on that side of town, though, I might park at Atlantic, but I would probably avoid the Union Station transfer and either transfer to surface bus at Little Tokyo or walk to my destination, time permitting.
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Moody's cites LACMTA's hedging of 95% of their CNG fuel needs as a net positive: http://www.metro.net/about_us/finance/images/moodys_propC_2009-A.pdf Here's how the MTA has done: http://www.metro.net/board/Items/2009/07_July/20090715F&BItem18Handout.pdf They just went ahead this spring to extend the hedging program all the way until 2015: http://www.metro.net/board/Items/2009/04_April/20090415F&BItem10.pdf It functions similarly to the Trimet program listed above (swap of funds with a third party bank or insurer) and has improved budget certainty and decreased the pain felt in energy shocks. Hedging is a tool, and is used when agencies value stability more than the alternative. It doesn't work everywhere - for example, LACMTA's bus riders are largely poor and so ridership tends not to fluctuate as wildly due to the economy (and is more sensitive to fare increases, like if the cost of energy spikes). The other issue is that the cost of CNG is generally more stable than oil. Still, that doesn't mean the benefits of hedging should be discarded.
Toggle Commented Nov 7, 2009 on portland: counting by 17 at Human Transit
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