How We Roll, Sept. 8: the non-issue of Expo Line parking (so far)

The next round of Metro Board staff reports will include a survey of Expo Line riders done in June. LAT transpo reporter Laura Nelson shares some findings:

The top tweet doesn’t surprise me much — Westside traffic sucks and obviously there are a lot of people looking for an alternative. It’s not a direct comparison, but in the last Metro customer survey we posted (from last year), 35 percent of Metro Rail riders who responded said they had access to a car. Perhaps it’s not too surprising see that on the Westside that number — at least in June — was higher.

As for the getting to stations results, I’m not really surprised given that there’s only parking at three of the seven new Expo stations. That said, here we are in the supposedly car-centric L.A. area with a popular new rail line in which at least 65 percent of riders are either walking, biking, taking the bus, to get to a train. Progress, perhaps.

From the Dept. of Dodger Stadium Express: 

MLB standings

If I’m reading this right, it looks like the National League post-season teams are almost much set. Assuming the Dodgers win the West (jinx!), they play the Nationals in the Divisional round while the Cubs would play either the Giants, Cards or Mets. That means that a Dodgers-Giants NLCS is possible (double jinx!)

And, yes, the Dodger Stadium Express is here to serve all playoff and World Series games (triple jinx!).*

Things to read whilst transiting: the dumb emojis for each NFL team. For some reason, the Rams are the #MobSquad. That’s stupid. Rams are male sheep and sheep gather in a flock. The Source rejects the NFL’s emoji and will go instead with #FlockOf11 when encouraging fans to Go Metro to games.

Oh, and since we now have an NFL team, Joe Lemon and yours truly now have license to offer up a short podcast with our 2016 NFL predictions. Pro tip: listen to the very end for Joe’s real selections and listen to memory-challenged Steve try in vain to recall the name of Colorado Boulevard. In my defense: I remember that the 81 bus is the 81 bus!

Would you take public transit earlier if you were paid for it? (KPCC)

Citing a new program in S.F. that provides rewards for BART riders to ride outside of the peak of the peak rush hour, KPCC asks local riders if they would do the same.

I clicked on ‘no’ because I don’t like anyone fussing with my schedule. I was in the minority — as of 2:45 p.m., 65 percent of respondents said yes. Interesting. Reporter Meghan McCarty asked Metro if the agency would consider implementing across-the-board peak and off-peak fares. Answer:

Metro has looked into what’s known as “congestion pricing,” or charging a premium to travel during the busiest times — a stick rather than a carrot. But officials said the variable pricing would make payment too complicated for both users and operators and could have a negative effect on lower-income riders who would have to pay the higher fares during peak hours.

Metro also cited concerns about getting employers to agree to a more flexible start time.

Our senior riders likely know that it is cheaper for them to ride off-peak. Seniors pay 75 cents for a single ride during peak hours and 35 cent off-peak (9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 5 a.m.). Transit may not always be quicker than driving or taxis or ride hailing, but 35 cents strikes me as a great deal, especially for those who don’t want to drive or who are on a fixed income or would rather spend their money on non-car things. To learn how to get a senior TAP card (you need to be at least 62), click here.

Sort of related: Five Thirty Eight has a post saying that New Yorkers are willing to pay $56 more in rent each month to live at least one minute closer to the subway. Back in days of yore when lived in Gotham, I had two apartments that were within a half-block of the subway and it was a glorious thing.

Toronto’s advice for New York: give streetcars their own lanes (NYT)

Toronto: College Street

The debate about whether streetcars should share lanes with vehicular traffic continues in Toronto — which has a long history of streetcars — and begins in New York, which plans to build an extensive streetcar line.

From the Dept. of Building Things that People Want to Use: Thom Hogan writes often about photography gear and has a good post that is, in part, about the ongoing and significant decline in sales of high-end cameras. But I think what Thom writes applies more broadly — specifically to any company/agency that is building something. Are we really thinking about what problem we’re trying to solve? As Thom puts it:

This is exactly the problem that we have with cameras now. They really should be fully connected to the modern world and Just Work. Instead, they’re partially connected through wobbly and problematic design choices that solve the problem for the development team’s need to satisfy their bosses, but do almost nothing to solve any problem the user might want solved. Like “immediately share the photo I just took to the service I want.”

And from the Dept. of Geography: 


Looks like I stumped the band, so to speak, when I challenged Source readers and all active mountain transportationists to identify the above Eastern Sierra peak. In fact, the peak lacks a name — on maps it’s known only as peak 12,691, which sits just southeast of Piute Lake on the popular Piute Pass Trail that departs from North Lake. If you haven’t been to the Bishop Canyon area before, it’s well worth a visit and the fall colors up there are usually great.

*Attentive Source readers know this blog has a strong bias toward the Cincinnati Reds, however woeful they may be. 


9 replies

  1. Hi, it was in the news in early 2015 that Metro was planning on renaming its rail and BRT lines with letter designations rather than color or street-based names. Is this still going to happen, and is there any sort of timeframe for it?

    • Last I heard the renaming was put on hold until we get closer to putting the three projects under construction into service. I don’t think anything will be imminent.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  2. Could peak/off peak pricing be rolled into an incentive to use TAP? E.g. The next time Metro has to raise fares, the fare for people riding off-peak WITH A TAP CARD remains at the old, lower fare, or something like that? TAP might be required on Metro Rail, but every time I ride a bus, either Metro or other TAP-accepting provider, I wish more people had TAP cards. This way, you give some incentive to get a TAP card while letting the TAP Card deal with the complication of the off-peak fare.

    • I agree 200% that TAP card use needs to be encouraged more; cash fares really slow up the boarding process on busy lines. Wierdly, many of these cash paying folks use smart phones so they can’t be that tech phobic.

      Besides possibly getting a modest discount by using a TAP card, another option would be to give a credit for purchasing TAP stored value. Buy $10, get $11 of stored value.

  3. For those looking to offset the cost of using the LA metro. I’ve noticed that using the bank of america travel rewards credit card as a means of adding fare value to my tap card any metro transaction is counted as travel, therefore, when i accumulate enough points i can get a credit back for the fare purchases.

  4. going to get technical in defense of the NFL (the only time ive ever said “in defense of the NFL”) regarding the Rams mob vs herd vs flock issue…

    Flocks are tended groups of domestic animals, which isn’t necessarily the vibe the NFL is going for methinks.

    Wild animals are in mobs or herds (elephants, buffalo, etc) but there’s still a bit of docility implied in herd.

    Mob appropriately describes a group of wild aggressive animals…and presumably an NFL fanbase?