How We Roll, Dec. 2: are two Gold Line adjacent buildings in for a rehab?

Art of Transit: 

Monrovia may loan developer $1.5 million to restore historic train depot (Star News)

Photo: Steve Hymon/Metro.

Photo: Steve Hymon/Metro.

The city is considering lending the money to a developer to rehab the old Santa Fe station that has fallen into disrepair. Good to hear given that the depot is just east of the new Gold Line station. No firm plans on what the depot could be — but a possible restaurant is mentioned.

Quasi-related: the Metro Board on Thursday will consider a lease with Groundwork for a coffee shop at the North Hollywood Depot adjacent to the Orange Line and Red Line stations.

TAP cards will soon be sold at certain county libraries (Daily News)

Catching up on this news. The county supervisors — all of whom also serve on the Metro Board of Directors — approved selling TAP cards at libraries in San Fernando, Lancaster, Paramount, El Monte and Carson. One clarification to the story: the libraries will not have full-blown TAP vending machines.

Other locations that sell TAP cards can be found here. You can also buy a card online or at TAP vending machines located at all Metro Rail and Orange Line stations.

Three ways that mobile payments are changing the way that we move in cities (Planetizen) 

The writer pushes for more transit agencies to allow fare payment by phone — something Metro and others are looking into. It’s hard to argue that some people will find this more convenient than having something like a TAP card.

But would having such systems really encourage a lot more people to ride transit? On that, I’m not so sure. As I’ve said in the past, I think the big reasons that people will take transit involve frequency, speed and convenience of buses and trains, as well as feeling they are safe to take.

Some potential uses for Southwest Museum (Curbed LA)

Credit: Wikimedia

Credit: Wikimedia

I had no idea that the Museum on the flanks of Mt. Washington — easily reached via the Gold Line’s “Southwest Museum” station — had reopened for limited hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays).

The post involves a new study done asking residents and museum professionals what should be done with the facility, which is owned by the Autry Museum and was shuttered in 2002, the year before the Gold Line opened.

The museum has traditionally served as home to Native American artifacts although some feel that new exhibits and/or amenities will be needed to make a full reopening viable financially. I think a restaurant and/or coffee shop would be a great idea, given that the Museum is only a 12-minute train ride from Union Station.

Google patent reveals how its self-driving cars may communicate with pedestrians (Washington Post)

Among the possibilities are electronic signs on the cars and/or speakers that tell pedestrians that it’s safe to cross.

Related observation: As someone who is a frequent user of crosswalks, I’m at the point I’d rather take my chances with a self-driving car.

Recent HWRs:

Dec. 1: what can you do about climate change?

Nov. 30: Does too much cheap or free parking in L.A. County doom transit? And a futurist looks back at L.A.’s transpo past.

Nov. 25: How to talk about traffic with your family, transit chief resigns in Phoenix amid allegations of inflated travel expenses.

Nov. 24: California has work to do as world environmental leader, shifting money from trains to water

Nov. 23: Will the LAX people mover be up and running by 2023?

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4 replies

  1. “But would having such systems really encourage a lot more people to ride transit? On that, I’m not so sure. As I’ve said in the past, I think the big reasons that people will take transit involve frequency, speed and convenience of buses and trains, as well as feeling they are safe to take.”

    The likelihood of an average Angeleno owning a smartphone is greater than owning a TAP card.

    Think about it this way: if someone’s car broke down and has no ride for about a week or two until he/she gets his/her car fixed, what’s more easier for that person? Trying to learn how to ride Metro with confusing fares, passes and transfer rules, deciphering where to get a TAP card, deciphering how and where to load cash value, or just whip out something he/she already has, a smartphone, and just use Uber for the time being?

    And most smartphones out on the market today for the past 4-5 years have NFC included in them to allow for Apple Pay, Android Pay or Samsung Pay. And unlike a TAP card, you can actually buy other things with a NFC enabled smartphone than just being transit cash. It is already the norm in other countries for at least a decade to tap their cell phones to ride their transit services. There is no reason to say that something that Japan or South Korea has been doing for over 10 years can’t be done here.

  2. A restaurant and/or coffee shop would be great for the Southwest Museum. Along with the Native American artifacts they should add some artifacts and historical stuff from when Mexico controlled the land.

  3. Santa Clarita currently sells TAP cards at their libraries. They have the person at the circulation desk, who usually checks out books and collect fines, collect money and load passes and stored value to a TAP card. I would imagine this would be similar, since vending machines can be expensive because they have to be vandal proof. The disadvantage is that for those who have commuter benefit cards, they will not be able to load with their credit at a library as they can at a vending machine.

  4. Although I’ve never used one, I’d think the advantage of a smartphone payment system over the current one would be if users can instantly add fares, rather than waiting for a period after using the TAP website or phone number. It would be useful for people who need to take last minute bus trips and don’t have exact change on them.

    Looks like you might be getting another transit accessible coffee shop to add to yesterday’s list. Groundwork has a few locations in Santa Monica and Venice, and they’re one of my favorites for buying beans.