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Los Angeles Transportation Scene?  
User currently offline747400sp From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3301 posts, RR: 2
Posted (1 year 12 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2241 times:

Being a transportation fan, and growing up in the Los Angeles Area, was a real treat! I grew real close to LAX RW 24 flight path, which was a better treat. I live not far from BNSF harbor sub division and I rode and saw many Crown Supercoach school buses and a few Gillig Phantom School Buses (yes, in California, there are Gillig Phantom version of school buses, but they do not have the slant drivers windshields). For my 6 grade graduation trip to Magic Mountain, we rode an Mark IV tandem axle ( ten wheels) Crown Supercoach, and for my 8 grade grad trip to Disneyland, we was on a 40 foot Ryder Student Transportation, Gillig Phantom school bus. Before I moved from California, I saw at lot of change in transportation, and I wonder, could somebody give me the scoop on the transportation scene in Los Angeles? I know the BNSF harbor subdivision is closed, but I seen videos of UP Los Angeles sub division, and thought it would be a great place to go train spotting. Also, who are the big tour bus or motorcoach companies in Los Angeles and do LAUSD, still operates a large Crown Supercoach and Gillig Phantom fleet, or is it mostly Blue Birds All Americans, Thomas Saf-T-Liners and IC 3000 RE? I only get to visit LA once or twice a year now, and I do miss the transportation there.

22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offline747400sp From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3301 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (1 year 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 2101 times:

I guess I talk too much about this.   

User currently offlineBOStonsox From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 1972 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 11 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 1990 times:

I guess if you're talking transportation in general, LA is not bad. But public transportation? That's not very good at all (I have never been there, but it's not as extensive as other cities).


2013 World Series Champions!
User currently offlinestasisLAX From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 3280 posts, RR: 6
Reply 3, posted (1 year 11 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 1980 times:

Well, having lived in the South Gate area of Los Angeles for several years, the mass transit situation is rather pathetic. The local Metro surface (bus) system is barely adequate, and the Commuter Rail system is grossly undersized for a metro area as big as Los Angeles.


"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!" B.Franklin
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24310 posts, RR: 47
Reply 4, posted (1 year 11 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 1973 times:

Quoting BOStonsox (Reply 2):
(I have never been there, but it's not as extensive as other cities).

You'd be surprised to know then that the Los Angeles County MTA run the national largest surface mass transit system, and third largest system overall when subways is counted.

Also LA MTA was selected as America "Outstanding Transportation System" by the US Public Transportation Association, out of 1,400 member organizations.

At the end of the day an average 1.5mil people utilize the MTA on daily basis. Not bad for a city that does not have mass transit....

http://www.metro.net/riding_metro/maps/images/system_Map.gif

=



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineBOStonsox From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 1972 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 11 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 1929 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 4):
You'd be surprised to know then that the Los Angeles County MTA run the national largest surface mass transit system, and third largest system overall when subways is counted.

Okay, I stand corrected. I wasn't thinking about busses. Here in Boston, most, or certainly a lot of us, don't even think about them unless we are traveling between South Station or the Blue Line and the airport. But as far as light rail and subways are concerned, LA doesn't come close to the likes of New York, Chicago, or even Boston. I should've said that. Heavy rail and light rail combined, LA's is only the 7th busiest in the country. The number of stations is fewer than many systems also, including Boston's. Los Angeles is a lot bigger than Boston is in both population and size.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 4):
Not bad for a city that does not have mass transit....

I didn't say that, I said the heavy/light/commuter rail wasn't as extensive as other cities.



2013 World Series Champions!
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24310 posts, RR: 47
Reply 6, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 1901 times:

Don't worry, most Angelenos don't know either what is out on their streets.

The system is primarily utilized by a rather economically disadvantaged populace unlike many cities were public transit is routine part of mainstream life. Here the bulk of Angelenos can probably live from birth to death and never set foot on a bus or train.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlinemax999 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 993 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 1868 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 6):
The system is primarily utilized by a rather economically disadvantaged populace unlike many cities were public transit is routine part of mainstream life. Here the bulk of Angelenos can probably live from birth to death and never set foot on a bus or train.

I guess there's definitely quite a bit of snobbery against public transit built into the LA car culture.

I remember a conversation I had with a high school friend who went to college at USC. My friend wanted to go to Venice Beach, but lamented that he had no ride to get him there. I asked, "why not take the bus or train?" His retort - "only rapists and criminals ride it."

He didn't make to Venice Beach that day.

[Edited 2012-04-23 16:41:51]


All the things I really like to do are either immoral, illegal, or fattening.
User currently offlinesccutler From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 5391 posts, RR: 26
Reply 8, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 1835 times:

Los Angeles had an amazing rail transit infrastructure, in the Pacific Electric and the LA Railway, but all was decommissioned in favor of buses (!). Amusing irony that a lot of old PE right of way had to be repurchased for MetroRail.

Incredible wealth of photos at: http://www.pacificelectric.org/

See, also, the Orange Empire Railway Museum, an amazing facility founded on LA trolley history, and sited at Perris. Well worth a visit. Www.oerm.org



...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24310 posts, RR: 47
Reply 9, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 1792 times:

Quoting max999 (Reply 7):

I guess there's definitely quite a bit of snobbery against public transit built into the LA car culture.

I would not really call it snobbery, but more maybe a practicality, or desire of freedom. For many, you simply cannot beat the convenience and freedom a car affords. You go where you want, when you want, and how you want to get there, no strings attached.

As someone that grew up and lived mostly in Europe and as such was one of the millions of daily sheep in the mass transit systems, I immediately took a love to the car culture here in LA. The mobility, its ease and relative low cost was very refreshing.

Quoting max999 (Reply 7):
I remember a conversation I had with a high school friend who went to college at USC. My friend wanted to go to Venice Beach, but lamented that he had no ride to get him there. I asked, "why not take the bus or train?" His retort - "only rapists and criminals ride it."

Well in fairness, things like crime rates are a higher in LA's MTA then Boston's transit system for example. Also with the bulk of folks utilizing transit here in LA are in the lower economic echelons, so much of the service is focused on less desirable parts of town.
I guess for many, unless you have a reason to be there, it might be prudent to avoid passing through those parts of town for most folks which makes the option of taking mess transit ever less attractive.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 6626 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 1770 times:

Quoting sccutler (Reply 8):
Los Angeles had an amazing rail transit infrastructure, in the Pacific Electric and the LA Railway, but all was decommissioned in favor of buses (!). Amusing irony that a lot of old PE right of way had to be repurchased for MetroRail.

Wow that was a massive network, the idiots who kicked it into touch in favor of car based transport deserve to be strung up by their balls, they did a massive disservice to the people of LA.


User currently offlinealoges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8615 posts, RR: 43
Reply 11, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 1767 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 9):
You go where you want

...if you know your way or have a decent satnav/GPS.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 9):
when you want

...if you don't hit traffic.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 9):
how you want

...what if "how you want" is not by car?

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 9):
no strings attached

...apart from parking fees, traffic, accidents and so on  



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlinemax999 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 993 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 1766 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 9):
I would not really call it snobbery, but more maybe a practicality, or desire of freedom. For many, you simply cannot beat the convenience and freedom a car affords. You go where you want, when you want, and how you want to get there, no strings attached.

That's definitely true to a certain degree. Living in NYC, there are places that I need to rent a Zipcar to go to; it doesn't happen often, but I need it occassionally.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 9):
As someone that grew up and lived mostly in Europe and as such was one of the millions of daily sheep in the mass transit systems, I immediately took a love to the car culture here in LA. The mobility, its ease and relative low cost was very refreshing.

I could say that being stuck in traffic on LA freeways is just as much being a sheep as being on a train!  
Quoting LAXintl (Reply 9):
Well in fairness, things like crime rates are a higher in LA's MTA then Boston's transit system for example. Also with the bulk of folks utilizing transit here in LA are in the lower economic echelons, so much of the service is focused on less desirable parts of town.
I guess for many, unless you have a reason to be there, it might be prudent to avoid passing through those parts of town for most folks which makes the option of taking mess transit ever less attractive.

I have to ask why hasn't LA made an effort to make mass transit useful to people who live in areas other than lower class neighborhoods?



All the things I really like to do are either immoral, illegal, or fattening.
User currently offlineAirport From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 1754 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 9):
no strings attached.

I would say this:



Is a string attached.


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24310 posts, RR: 47
Reply 14, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 1738 times:

Quoting aloges (Reply 11):
...if you know your way or have a decent satnav/GPS.

I have a brain for that. LA has to be one of the easiest cities to get around as virtually everything is set up on a square grid.
Know your North (towards San Francisco), South (Mexico), West (ocean), East (desert) and you can easily navigate around.


Quoting aloges (Reply 11):
...if you don't hit traffic.

I rarely every experience times when traffic seems bad. Anyhow it would be the same on a bus, taxi etc..

Quoting aloges (Reply 11):
...what if "how you want" is not by car?

Then walk, ride your bike or whatever you wish.

But to access a metro area that is 4,800+ square miles you really need a car.

Quoting aloges (Reply 11):
...apart from parking fees, traffic, accidents and so on

Parking is free virtually everywhere unless you are in the busiest downtown or commercial areas, accidents happen with mass transit as well... Few weeks back saw results of MTA bus run into the back of a truck.

Quoting max999 (Reply 12):
I have to ask why hasn't LA made an effort to make mass transit useful to people who live in areas other than lower class neighborhoods?

Well they want to spend a few billion on a metro subway expansion - but even that will really continue to serve primarily that same demographic of bringing people from lower class areas to their jobs and back.

Quoting Airport (Reply 13):
I would say this:

And the air in Los Angeles has not been cleaner in the last 50-years.

Every year pollution levels are dropping -- Yes we get more cars and industrial activity but the skies are clearing up.

As reference there are measurements of pollution levels. Something called a "stage one" level (emissions of nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons air particles per million) used to be reached an average of 118 days in 1975, 83 in 1985, 42 in 1990, and today zero. Matter of fact the last stage one day was in 2001.

http://www.arb.ca.gov/html/brochure/history.htm

All this while the population has tripled.


Pretty damm good place to live (and enjoy the 3 cars in the family)   



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlinealoges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8615 posts, RR: 43
Reply 15, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 1727 times:

Well, I'm glad you like it - it's not for me, though. When I was there I got out of it as much as possible... in a rental car, of course.


Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently onlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26196 posts, RR: 76
Reply 16, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 1719 times:

Its getting better, but we have a long way to go.

Quoting max999 (Reply 12):
I could say that being stuck in traffic on LA freeways is just as much being a sheep as being on a train!

More like a hamster on a wheel.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlinelewis From Greece, joined Jul 1999, 3592 posts, RR: 5
Reply 17, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 1713 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 9):
would not really call it snobbery, but more maybe a practicality

  

Quoting aloges (Reply 11):
...if you know your way or have a decent satnav/GPS.

It is not that hard to navigate around LA with all the freeways and the grid-like layout. It didn't take me too long to adapt.

Quoting aloges (Reply 11):
...if you don't hit traffic.

Traffic is a part of life here. Also, buses get stuck in traffic too, and they cannot change their route to avoid it, unlike cars.

Quoting aloges (Reply 11):
...what if "how you want" is not by car?

If "what you want" is train, then you limit yourself to very few areas. If it is the bus, I have been there and done that (when I didn't have a car or when it was in the shop). Standing in a bus for >1hr is not very pleasant. Same goes for the unavoidable stink of some people that cannot be avoided throughout the bus or the weird guy who will be brushing his teeth/masturbating/[insert weird behaviour here] right next to you.

Quoting aloges (Reply 11):
...apart from parking fees, traffic, accidents and so on

That is the only minus for the car here, it is a big expense overall. But with fuel prices still low here (compared to Europe), it is much more manageable.


User currently offlineglid4500 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 587 posts, RR: 8
Reply 18, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 1689 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 4):
You'd be surprised to know then that the Los Angeles County MTA run the national largest surface mass transit system, and third largest system overall when subways is counted.

LA Metro is currently # 2

The only thing LA Metro holds the title for is having the largest alternative fueled bus fleet. Only 67 out of 2300 buses in the fleet are diesel. The rest are compressed natural gas or CNG. LA Metro is slowly, but surely becoming a rail town again...with the extension of the Gold Line from Pasadena along the 210 frwy to Asuza and eventually east towards Claremont....and the opening of the Expo Line this Cweekend to West LA/ Culver City and eventually to Santa Monica...not to mention work underway to extend the Green Line to LAX.



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User currently offlineBOStonsox From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 1972 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 1689 times:

Quoting max999 (Reply 7):
I guess there's definitely quite a bit of snobbery against public transit built into the LA car culture.

I remember a conversation I had with a high school friend who went to college at USC. My friend wanted to go to Venice Beach, but lamented that he had no ride to get him there. I asked, "why not take the bus or train?" His retort - "only rapists and criminals ride it."

He didn't make to Venice Beach that day.

My personal attitude towards busses is not so much snobbery, but that they are quite difficult to use. There are maybe 100 bus routes and I don't know where they all go, and most maps don't even show them. Also, I don't know their schedules and know that they are less reliable due to traffic and number of stops made. If there is a place I am going to that requires the use of a bus, I have to look up which bus route I am going to take. There is a bus that runs out to my town and I take it if I have a long wait between commuter rail trains, but otherwise I stick to the trains even if it can be out of my way.

Subways are much easier. While it's true that the subways here have your more affluent crowd (mostly tourists and middle-class commuters), there are only four (five if you count the Silver Line "Bus Rapid Transit") lines, headways are usually less than 10 minutes, and I know where they all go. They are also more reliable. I don't know how it is elsewhere.



2013 World Series Champions!
User currently offline747400sp From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3301 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 1513 times:

I found out about an old bus company, that I believe was based in Los Angeles, off of Vernon. The company was called Associated, and I believed, they operated mostly Crowns, Eagles and a Carpenter RE.
From the photos I saw, I believe Associated, was around in the 60's and 70's, and they operated one of the only two Crown Supercoaches, with tandem axle, ( 10 wheeler, 40 foot long ) with a skyview roof.


User currently offlinebabybus From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 1492 times:

Quoting lewis (Reply 17):
Same goes for the unavoidable stink of some people that cannot be avoided throughout the bus or the weird guy who will be brushing his teeth/masturbating/[insert weird behaviour here] right next to you.

That's LA off my to do list.

I don't like driving on holiday as I do it all the the time at work. If I can't use public transport it's not worth going as I presume the local taxis are just as bad.


User currently offlineFlyKev From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2006, 1376 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 1462 times:
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Quoting babybus (Reply 21):

That's LA off my to do list.

I spent 10 days last summer in LA and granted (with the exception of Burbank) my trip was focused on the more touristy areas I found the transport to be more than satisfactory.
Sure, buses sometimes didn't turn up and yes there was the occasional traffic jam; but overall it wasn't that bad - I dreaded it before going but had no problems once there.

The subway (what there is of it) is very good though it shuts down way to early. If they ever get round to those proposed expansions it will be even better.

I will add that I did see a rather interesting cross section of life traveling by bus and not once did I feel unsafe.

Kev.



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