@Metrolosangeles Twitter Tuesday, the 17th of December edition

You know the drill: To get our attention, tweet us at @MetroLosAngeles tag to your tweets and subscribe to our feed if you haven’t already. For specific complaints and customer service, please use the Customer Comment Form on metro.net.

December Metro Service Council meetings preview

Metro Service Council agendas are set for December, including one special meeting in a different location. Service Council meetings kick off today (Wednesday, December 4), in the San Fernando Valley at the Marvin BraudeCenter in Van Nuys.

The San Gabriel Valley Service Council will be conducting their December meeting at an alternate location – The Alhambra, located at 1000 South Freemont (northeast corner of Freemont and W Mission Rd) in Building A2, on the lower floor, room 2051. This meeting will include a special workshop to discuss options to improve service on Metro Line 485, which serves the communities of Alhambra, South Pasadena, Pasadena and Altadena. The Council is hoping the public will participate and share their ideas about improving service on the line. The meeting starts at5 pm, on Monday, December 9. Next month the San Gabriel Valley Service Council will return to their regular meeting location in El Monte.

All of the other Metro Service Councils will conduct their meetings on their regular schedules, as indicated below. Please note that some of the presentations listed below are tentative at the time of this posting. All meetings will include a report from Metro Service Council Director Jon Hillmer, who will provide statistics on October ridership, performance and other measures of Metro service. Other agenda items at Council meetings include:

San Fernando Valley (6:30 pm, Wednesday, 12/4)  – Presentation on proposed June 2014 service changes and approval of public hearing date, time and location; Discussion on the approval of rescheduling or cancellation of the Council’s January meeting (which is scheduled for January 1); Presentation on the New Bus Purchases Distribution Plan; Update on the Lassen Bridge closure.

Continue reading

Twitter Tuesday is back: Dec. 3 edition

With some computer issues solved — at least for now — I thought we’d give Twitter Tuesday another go.

You know the drill: To get our attention, tweet us at @MetroLosAngeles tag to your tweets and subscribe to our feed if you haven’t already. For specific complaints and customer service, please use the Customer Comment Form on metro.net.

Self-driving cars versus transit: will they compete? Take our poll

Although I’m normally allergic to panel discussions, I actually attended one last month at the Mobility 21 conference on self-driving cars that rose to the level of mighty interesting.

The gist of the conversation: virtually ever major car company is pursuing self-driving cars, the technology is sound, the cars could reduce accidents (in other words, not like human drivers are all that safe) and lawmakers better start getting super serious as to how to regulate them as a lot of them could be on the road within a decade.

And this–the really interesting part: the big marketing push and the big source of demand will likely come from those who can’t or don’t want to drive (seniors, teens, disabled, etc.) but need the mobility a self-driving car could supply. In fact, one of the panelists even proposed that self-driving cars could save government money by negating the need to supply transit in areas where transit is inefficient.

This is already how Google is framing the self-driving car issue:

Not discussed by the panel is another issue I find interesting: if there is a proliferation of self-driving cars, what does that do to transit?

On the one hand, roads will continue to have only a finite amount of space. Yes, perhaps self-driving cars may squeeze some extra capacity from roads by driving more efficiently — but you can only pack so many cars in so much space, presumably.

On the other hand, cars often enjoy the door-to-door convenience factor not afforded by transit. At present, one of the major draws to transit is that it’s a chance for people to relax and/or get some work done.

What happens if you can get that work done in your own car that is driving itself to work? Would sitting in traffic be more tolerable if you didn’t actually have to be the one tapping the brakes and accelerator? Or would traffic still make you go bonkety-bonkers?

Take the poll and comment please.


Customer survey results for 2013

Click above to see larger.

Click above to see larger.

Metro’s Research and Development team has been gathering and analyzing data on Metro bus/rail users since 2003. The annual customer satisfaction survey was implemented to help inform transit planners and division managers of overall customer satisfaction, on-time performance, cleanliness, safety, as well as track demographic shifts in Metro ridership.

This year’s survey showed positive trends with regard to customer views on bus on-time performance, cleanliness of stations, median income of riders and an increase in bike usage as a means of getting to a stop/station.

One statistic of interest is the continued increase in cell phone, specifically smartphone, access (see the charts below). Services such as Metro.net, the Go Metro App, and Google Maps are able to provide more transit users up to the minute information regarding Metro services. If you are one of the 47 percent of Metro users without a smartphone and/or you speak another language, don’t worry — Metro will continue to provide information in the traditional way.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

orangline Satisfied orangeline PROUD

RELATED POSTS: Compare this year’s results to last year’s survey.


Why You Ride: Bicycle Edition – doing serious advocacy work with serious style

During Bike Week LA, we collected nominations for the Golden Pedal Awards, Metro’s annual competition for great stories about bicycling. We’re featuring these stories in a Why You Ride series – because for many Angelenos, every week is Bike Week!

Maria Sipin was nominated by her sister Andrea for maintaining an impeccable standard of style on her 10-mile bicycle commute to and from the Metrolink station every day — “Not only does she ride in her chambray dress and ballet flats with ease, but she makes helmet hair disappear instantly,” Andrea told us.

We’ve always been impressed by Maria’s ability to integrate her passion for bicycling — she is a certified League Cycling Instructor and a bicycle advocate with the Pomona Valley Bicycle Coalition — with her work as a disease prevention specialist at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), where she encourages youth to bicycle for health and independence.

Name: Maria Sipin
Start: Walnut
End: Hollywood
Distance: 5 miles bicycling +  Metrolink + Metro (one way)
Time: 1 hour (including time on the train)

Maria poses with her bike at Venice Beach.

Maria and her hybrid city bicycle at CicLAvia to the Sea in April.

Maria tells us more about her bike advocacy (and shares some fashion tips with us — we can always use those at Metro) after the jump. Continue reading