How We Roll, Feb. 12: will taking transit ever be a form of peacocking?

Things to listen to whilst transiting: Our latest podcast features an interview with Joshua Schank, Metro’s new Chief Innovation Officer.

Things to read whilst transiting 1: two local eateries — the Portos in Burbank and the Morrison in Atwater Village — make the top 10 of Yelp’s top-rated places to eat in the U.S. list. Impressive. The Morrison is steps from the Metro Local 181 and Rapid 780 bus and Portos is similarly close to the 183 and 222 Metro Bus lines.

Things to read whilst transiting 2: might the Saudi oil industry be winning its war against the American oil industry? There are some stats that suggest that’s the case, says this article at Five Thirty Eight.

Love on the bus: Can carless be sexy in a changing L.A.? (KPCC)

Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

Can you use a bus or train as a form of peacocking? Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

Put that TAP card back in your wallet, guys. Dating in L.A. without a car can be a bear, reports KPCC — leading to long, lonely bus rides and extra heaps of rejection. Excerpt:

“Cars serve as a form of peacocking — in the same way the peacock uses its tail to impress the hens, cars are used as signals of social status,” said Gad Saad, a professor and expert on evolutionary psychology at Concordia University in Montreal.

She wants to see your TAP card, card, card. Your TAP card, card, card.

Katy Perry is like the sheriff deputies: she wants to see your TAP card, card, card. Your TAP card, card, card.

He points to research that has demonstrated how strongly women correlate male attractiveness with cars. In one study, women rated the same man differently on attractiveness based on the car he was pictured with. The automobiles had no effect on men’s perception of women.

The article goes on to suggest that being green can be sorta sexy. Or, if nothing else, that car-less people may consider dating other car-less people. In other words, when Katy Perry sings “I wanna see your peacock,” she’s really talking about your Prius plug-in hybrid. Ah.

No acknowledgment in the article on the various social media devoted to dudes who take trains. Like this one. Or this one.

And, of course, it’s hard to do this on a freeway:

Extremely well played, Ethan Hawke! I might be a loser but spending time with me will make you feel better about your future husband. 

Related: here’s a podcast we did last year in which several Metro riders talked about meeting their sweetie on a bus or train.

Related: It’s great to meet people while riding public transport. It’s not great when you cross the line and it’s harassment. Don’t do that. Ever.

Opinion: Mayor Eric Garcetti on the death of Olympic piggyback yard plan and how it helps L.A. transit (LAT)

Mariel Garza interviews Garcetti, who is also a Metro Board Member, about the decision to place housing for the 2024 Olympics at UCLA. A previous long-shot plan involved purchasing the Union Pacific freight yards in DTLA, removing the tracks and building a new neighborhood.

As for UCLA, Garcetti is cautiously optimistic that the Purple Line Extension can be accelerated to reach Westwood by 2024 with or without the Olympics. The first segment of the project to Wilshire/La Cienega is under construction now and the second segment to Century City is in the pre-construction phase. The mayor hopes that creative financing can be used to build all three segments simultaneously, instead of finishing one and then starting the next (the original plan under Measure R).

We’ll see. On a related front, Garcetti was one of the speakers at yesterday’s Industry Forum, an event held by Metro to tell the business and finance community that the agency is seeking innovating ways to finance and build transpo projects. More about that in this separate post. Related to that post: a light rail project in Edmonton just secured private sector financing.

Metrolink trains to operate at full speed on 91/Perris Valley Line (Metrolink) 

Testing continues on the new 24-mile Metrolink extension between Riverside and South Perris. That’s a long way from DTLA and the project shows how transit is reaching deeper into the sprawling ‘burbs of So Cal.

Tying Paris back together (The Atlantic)

A rendering of one of the new stations planned for the Paris Metro.

A rendering of one of the new stations planned for the Paris Metro.

Tunneling is underway on a $25-billion expansion of the Paris Metro. When “completed in 2030, the system will have gained four lines, 68 stations, and more than 120 miles of track.”

As famous as the Paris Metro is, here’s why the expansion into the Paris suburbs is happening:

Those suburbs don’t look much like their American equivalents. Europe’s largest business district (La Défense) lies outside Paris, as do the world’s largest fresh-produce market, a handful of universities, most of the region’s public housing, and several small cities with population densities higher than that of Paris itself. Not even one in five of the region’s residents live inside the French capital’s boundaries—a lower ratio of core population to suburban population than in London, Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin, Hamburg, Milan, or Rome.

I mention that because a recurring criticism of building rail transit in L.A. over the years has been that our region — and particularly its jobs — are too sprawling to effectively be served by fixed rail lines. I don’t happen to agree: I think a reasonable goal is to link the larger job centers by rail transit, something that is routinely done in other big, sprawling cities.

Will the above project fix Paris’ infamous traffic? Probably not — at least not without other policies in place to discourage driving. But at least there will be a good alternative to sitting on the road.

Recent How We Rolls: 

Feb. 10: is the future the Hyperloop, self-driving cars and faster/cheaper transit?

Feb. 9: subway lawsuit, parking fees and Americans heart their cars

Feb. 8: ExpressLanes tolls and what went wrong with our Super Bowl pick.

Feb. 5: can personal virtue ever drive up transit ridership?

Feb. 4: would the Expo Line have won KPCC’s bike-car-bus race between DTLA and DTSM?






1 reply

  1. Of course, if she’s a railfan (and especially if she’s into traction), then yes, taking her on a date by trolley, subway, or el would certainly qualify as peacocking. (And for the record, while model railroading and railfanning have long been regarded as male pursuits, it has become increasingly common for women have articles published in Model Railroader, and several women have achieved Master Model Railroader status with the National Model Railroad Association. For that matter, the NMRA now has a woman as the editor of its member magazine.)

    “‘How I long,’ she sighed, ‘for a trolley ride, just to show my brand new gown'” — “Wait ‘Till the Sun Shines, Nellie,” Von Tilzer and Sterling, 1905.

    Of course, the phrase, “into traction,” reminds me of a gag cartoon of many years ago. A doctor and a nurse are in a hospital room, where the patient is looking over a stack of model trolley car kits, and the doctor is saying, “This is NOT what I meant when I said, ‘Get the patient into traction’!”