Metro to launch nation's first major public transit agency Spanish language blog

It goes without saying that I think this is a very positive development; the more people that government can explain itself to, the better.

With nearly 10 million people, Los Angeles County is a diverse place and about 47 percent of the population here is of Latino or Hispanic origin, according to the Census Bureau. Latinos and Hispanics are now 16 percent of the U.S. population.

How will this impact The Source? In good ways. While both The Source and El Pasajero will have unique content, we’ll also be sharing some content (after, of course, careful translation is done). So that means more unique content on the Metro website and, hopefully, more information on the transportation scene in the Southland.

Here’s the news release issued by Metro today:

Metro on Friday, April 8, will become the first major public transit agency in the nation to launch a Spanish language blog, underscoring the growing influence of Latinos in Los Angeles County.

El Pasajero is an interactive website that will post a steady stream of news and features, photos and video about virtually every aspect of mobility that Metro is involved in from running buses and trains to overseeing highway improvements, bicycle and pedestrian programs, goods movement, vanpools, carpools and more. Timely service alerts and breaking news about transportation will be highlighted.

The spotlight will be on Latinos who represent the largest percentage of Metro customers and Metro employees as well as the county’s population in general.

Edited by Jazmin Ortega, a seasoned Spanish-language news reporter, and a team of bloggers, El Pasajero will take an in-depth look at key issues affecting the Latino community including how to do business with Metro, tracking where Metro funding comes from and how it is spent, the changing dynamics of transit in Los Angeles County after the passage of Measure R in 2008, law enforcement and transit, rail safety, dealing with rising gas prices, fun, affordable family destinations via Metro, dining adventures accessible by Metro, the environment, public art, new technology, joint development, high speed rail and other topical issues.

The daily blog also will offer person on the street video interviews, reader feedback, polls, contests and other interactive features.

“El Pasajero is a must-read for anyone who cares about mobility in Southern California,” Ortega said. “We want to bring a greater understanding of what Metro does and how it’s spending our money to improve transit for everyone, whether we drive on the freeway, ride the bus or rail or bicycle to get where we need to go.”

Input wanted: readers, give us your best TAP questions

It’s been almost a year since our last open call for questions relating to TAP, and since then a few significant milestones have been reached.

  • The most frequently asked question last year was, “Why isn’t there a cash purse available?” As regular readers know, cash purse – officially referred to as stored value – is now available and value can be added at all Metro ticket vending machines as well as online at taptogo.net.
  • Another big question from last year, “What’s the easiest way to get a day pass on a TAP card?” now has a better answer. TAP cards are now available for direct purchase at 22 ticket vending machines across the Metro system. Simply indicate you’d like to purchase a TAP card, choose an amount of value to add or a pass type, swipe your credit card or insert cash and voilà, a shiny new TAP card is spit out of the machine.

With these achievements have come a new set of questions that have popped up in various comment threads and on Twitter. We’d like to use this post to gather your questions so that we can present them to TAP staff and get a new set of answers.

With that in mind, leave your question as a comment to this post or, if you’re old school, send you question to sourcemetro@gmail.com.

@MetroLosAngeles Twitter Tuesday

Welcome to Twitter Tuesday, a weekly feature here at The Source in which we’ll round up the latest Metro related tweets in the Twitterverse. To follow Metro on Twitter just search for @MetroLosAngeles. We recommend adding the #MetroLosAngeles tag to your tweets to get our attention.

And when it comes to complaints, the best way to get them addressed is to use theCustomer Comment Form on Metro.net. There you can provide all the detail needed so that customer service reps may best address your problems.

#fail

RobertMoranLA #metrolosangeles transition to the new TAP card has been frustrating for me. I use the EZ transit pass and not every provider uses TAP yet.

mrgilpin It took me 6 weeks to get my student TAP card and it expires before the end of the school year? This is ridiculous. @metrolosangeles

adamlarue Just waited 40 minutes for a @metrolosangeles blue line train with @grantquick. Measure R funds should be used for new #blueline trains.

CoasterMatt Hey @metrolosangeles – do you really think it’s safe for your buses to run so overcrowded that people can’t get to the exit at stops?

Kythera Eastbound 108 No. 5166 so crowded people had to board via rear doors. #metrolosangeles

metrofied84 Rush hour is crush hour on metro #33 @metrolosangeles

#win

cecetravels I’m really loving @metrolosangeles’s new marketing campaign….

hnjohnso @tbreisacher Considering the @metrolosangeles rail is only 20 years old, I’m pretty impressed. Plus we don’t have rats like NYC.

myles111us @metrolosangeles – I look forward to each step Metro makes in the transportation infrastructure. Nice work, keep it up!

myles111us @metrolosangeles – just taking a moment to say that I think you folks perform a great service and your expansion is always welcome.

hnjohnso I love @metrolosangeles gold line. http://twitpic.com/4harf5

thatwordgrrl @metrolosangeles About time LA public trans. entered 21st cent.!!

There are more tweets after the jump…. Continue reading


@MetroLosAngeles Twitter Tuesday

Welcome to Twitter Tuesday, a weekly feature here at The Source in which we’ll round up the latest Metro related tweets in the Twitterverse. To follow Metro on Twitter just search for @MetroLosAngeles. We recommend adding the #MetroLosAngeles tag to your tweets to get our attention.

And when it comes to complaints, the best way to get them addressed is to use theCustomer Comment Form on Metro.net. There you can provide all the detail needed so that customer service reps may best address your problems.

#fail

MaryKnabben@Metrolosangeles I REALLY APPRECIATE to wait another half hour in the cold & the pouring rain!! THANKS for that PLEASURE!!!

supermonkeymag took doomed 757 to crenshaw greenline missed @metrolosangeles train by 1 min #fail

phillipkent Thanks @metrolosangeles for giving me a day old transfer, thus preventing me from getting on my next bus.

sheepdawg666 @metrolosangeles Stop selling exploitative financial products to vulnerable customers! Your transit VISA charges $4.95 a month! Obscene.

_thedudeabides_ MTA OKs deep cuts to service-there went my bus line. Thanks @metrolosangeles you guys sure no how to make a city great http://lat.ms/fmAe0y

raiderdawg71 @metrolosangeles When the staff is done cutting bus routes this time we will wish it was 1990

mandiesurja Bus sometimes comes late amd sometimes comes faster… NEVER COMES AT THE RIGHT TIME!!! @metrolosangeles

GraphikDeziner Hey @metrolosangeles can you please crack down on ppl selling on the blue line? In 40 mins 3ppl with various food & jewelry.

Note to @supermonkeymag: Rapid 757 is not totally doomed, weekday service will continue as we reported here.

#win

sheepdawg666 nextbus.com is 2 for 2 for me in la. Go metro go. Now, can you also stop cutting bus lines? #metrolosangeles@metrolosangeles

christashima Nice. Wetzel’s, Subway & Starbucks (WiFi!!!) now by Red Line in Union Station @metrolosangeles. See’s Candy coming.

There are more tweets after the jump…. Continue reading


@MetroLosAngeles Twitter Tuesday

Welcome to Twitter Tuesday, a weekly feature here at The Source in which we’ll round up the latest Metro related tweets in the Twitterverse. To follow Metro on Twitter just search for @MetroLosAngeles. We recommend adding the #MetroLosAngeles tag to your tweets to get our attention.

And when it comes to complaints, the best way to get them addressed is to use theCustomer Comment Form on Metro.net. There you can provide all the detail needed so that customer service reps may best address your problems.

#fail

Kythera GAH! Does this driver know how to brake *without* rattling the teeth of everyone on board??#metrolosangeles

jasonburns Monday dumb: @metrolosangeles is considering an underground busway on Van Nuys Blvd. Isn’t that a subway? http://bit.ly/ex38Mx #bangheadwall

pxxxjxxx Hey @metrolosangeles can we try not being over 30 minutes late? School and work are kinda important. 239 has been increasingly late everyday

justridingalong On a @metrolosangeles Green Line train that is way overcrowded. These night trains still need 2 cars. No idea why they go to 1 at 8pm.

anahr @metrolosangeles what’s with this? no benefit for anyone http://twitpic.com/4aixwr

#win

mcgeesorg Received a classy response from @metrolosangeles in response to my complaint: http://j.mp/ggInxn

LAwithoutacar @metrolosangeles was very nice on phone with help cause Burbank blvd closed between Fulton and Coldwater

KevinFerguson @metrolosangeles just saved us from a long walk in the rain after the car died.

ccjao Taking the @metrolosangeles orange subway that’s really a bus today! great view of balboa park. #in #fb

silusesMac thanks @metrolosangeles , that new nextbus GPS tracking on the iphone really does help me to know when i should leave to go to the bus stop

kristencreag@metrolosangeles Nextbus is amazing.

There are more tweets after the jump…. Continue reading


Why You Ride (or Don't) Thursday roundup

Here are our selections this week:

Read the surveys, after the jump. Continue reading

@MetroLosAngeles Twitter Tuesday

Welcome to Twitter Tuesday, a weekly feature here at The Source in which we’ll round up the latest Metro related tweets in the Twitterverse. To follow Metro on Twitter just search for @MetroLosAngeles. We recommend adding the #MetroLosAngeles tag to your tweets to get our attention.

And when it comes to complaints, the best way to get them addressed is to use the Customer Comment Form on Metro.net. There you can provide all the detail needed so that customer service reps may best address your problems.

#fail

lukeodom When 720 finally gets here he drops a dozen people across intersection then blows stop where only 5 of us are waiting. #metrolosangeles

paulhfischer Second time in a week the bus broken down. Thanks a lot @metrolosangeles

BlueMonarch Trying to do the right thing by taking the train in to work instead of driving. This ride has not been stellar. @metrolosangeles

SimonOh @metrolosangeles Gold Line train door blocked by the yellow safety barriers. How unfortunate! http://twitpic.com/496a33

Waltarrrrr Always embarrassed as an Angelno when seeing tourists at the beat-down @MetroLosAngeles Green Line / Blue Line station on their way to LAX.

peard33 @expoline @metrolosangeles wasn’t planning to bring my car next semester, but a nov. 15 opening date is going to screw over that plan.

iSexpionage Good morning everyone. On the #Blueline trying to get to work, yet @MetroLosAngeles trains r not working & drivers r not communicating.

feellikealocal @metrolosangeles according to ur trip planner, I should’ve been on reseda/saticoy by 9:59 from the orange line. #fail I’m still @ the orange

#win

meowser8 I gave up driving to work for Lent and I’m enjoying being back on the train @metrolosangeles

jhvu GPS tracking for @metrolosangeles buses works well so far on iPhone http://nextbus.com

JeffersHollywd @metrolosangeles – it is SO great living on the Metro Line!!!

ayogist leave it to me and my bike to go from santa monica to hollywood and back… via burbank! yay for going multimodal w/ @metrolosangeles !

ashleycarey @metrolosangeles thanks for #NextBus. You might have saved my job.

Kythera Spreading the word of #nextrip to other passengers waiting for a 108 that shoulda been here 20 minutes ago. Praise GPS! #metrolosangeles

ellymbishop Another beautiful morning headed to work in Pasadena on the Gold Line. @metrolosangeles

There are more tweets after the jump…. Continue reading