Crenshaw/LAX Line from above, transit etiquette, solar eclipse: How We Roll, Aug. 21

Art of Transit: 

A couple of views below of construction of the cut-and-cover section of the Crenshaw/LAX Line that will run from Crenshaw Boulevard and 59th Street to just west of the intersection of Crenshaw and 67th.

This section — known as “UG3” is not as deep underground as the one-mile rail tunnels on the northern section of the line below Crenshaw between Exposition Boulevard and Vernon Avenue.

Construction continues to go well. In other project news, the wood framing has been completely removed for the bridge over the 405 freeway.

Photos by Joe Lemon/Metro.

Art of Transit 2: 

2017 Total Solar Eclipse - ISS Transit (NHQ201708210305)

From NASA’s Flickr page: The International Space Station, with a crew of six onboard, is seen in silhouette as it transits the Sun at roughly five miles per second during a partial solar eclipse, Monday, Aug. 21, 2017 from Ross Lake, Northern Cascades National Park, Washington. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

There is a total solar eclipse coming April 8, 2024 but not in these parts. Lucky for me: one of my best buddies lives outside Indianapolis and I’ve already secured an invitation to the Big Show!

Credit: Eclipse Predictions by Fred Espenak, NASA’s GSFC.

And this…

Art of Transit 3:

Guess where? Leave comment or email me at First to guess correctly will be publicly declared Best Transit Rider of All Time for the Day of the 2017 Solar Eclipse. Photo courtesy Steve Hymon.

Crackdowns begin on seat-hoggers, loud talkers and manspreading on buses and trains (SGV Tribune)

Expect to see more law enforcement on Metro buses and trains this coming year — similar to the recent “surge” on the Blue Line in the spring. Excerpt:

During a five-week enforcement surge from March 20 to April 21 on the Blue Line from downtown L.A. to Long Beach, sheriff’s deputies and Metro security warned 3,280 people, cited 55 and ejected 2,064.

There were 681 incidents of riders taking up excessive space, second only to people eating and drinking, at 745. Other infractions included: sleeping on a bench, 554; playing loud music, 275; offensive behavior, 116 and other, 572.

With ridership down at transit agencies across the Southland, the concern is that safety concerns and uncomfortable rides will drive riders back to cars or other ways of getting around.

The issue I probably encounter more often than others: playing music, video games or videos out loud instead of using headphones. Which is the exact reason last year I invested in noise-canceling headphones. Which I Highly Recommend.

As County Prepares to Gut Public Buses and Trains, Angry Commuters Plan Protests (Miami New Times)

In the Miami area, significant cuts to bus and rail service will be implemented this fall with ridership down and officials pointing to the fact that many riders seem to prefer taking Uber, Lyft and other cheap taxis.

But one transit activist says that’s a big pile of smelly baloney. Excerpt:

“However, Viciedo says there’s a chicken-and-egg question in that assumption. The influx of Uber and Lyft hasn’t resulted in lower public transit ridership, she believes; rather, the poor quality of public transit has forced commuters to resort to ridesharing services.

“There’s just no data to support the county’s belief that Uber and Lyft are taking away transit riders,” she argues. “It’s more that they simply haven’t provided a service that people can confidently use to get around.”

I mostly concur. I think the fact that Uber, Lyft, etc., are willing to lose bundles of money to keep their cheap taxis cheap isn’t helping transit ridership. Also, they offer door-to-door convenience with short wait times because a lot of drivers are willing to work for cheap and drive their cars into the ground.

That said, there’s no doubt transit agencies could focus on faster, frequent service that will mostly be cheaper than the cheap taxis. As for how long the cheap taxis remain cheap, stay tuned. History suggests that even money trees wither and fall at some point.

It’s years away but 70-story downtown tower could change L.A. skyline and ‘relationship with vertical living’ (LAT)

Credit: ODA.

More about the skyscraper proposed at 11th and Olive in DTLA. Real estate reporter Roger Vincent says it’s part of a new trend of residential skyscrapers in So Cal; in the past, skyscrapers have mostly been the domain of offices. Excerpt:

Downtown has about 500,000 daily workers and 70,000 residents, suggesting more potential housing demand among people tired of commuting, said Lall, president of the Central City Assn.

Plus, DTLA continues to get interesting with more of the amenities you would have previously found outside DTLA (you know, grocery stores, etc). Still no Apple store in DTLA. Not that I think you need one to survive, but I think Apple Stores are a kind of economic indicator species.

There are rumors that Apple is on its way to Broadway.

One other note: the skyscraper is supposed to have 794 residential units and “Parking for 888 vehicles and 886 bicycles would be provided.” That’s a ratio not seen so often in the past.

Things to read whilst transiting: In the New Yorker, reporter Elizabeth Kolbert asks “who owns the internet?” Facebook, Google and Amazon have managed to grab a huge chunk of all online revenue by relying largely on content created by others. How long will that last? Somewhat disturbing article good for long bus and train rides.

Dept. of Local Media: 





18 replies

  1. I look at eating the same way as public shows of affection, it’s awkward and has no place in front of strangers.

  2. In Honolulu, riders with an excessive amount of luggage or other personal belongings are not allowed to board the city buses. If a similar law existed in Los Angeles, I believe this would make things far more pleasant for bus riders.

  3. So, Metro is in cahoots with the police for the criminalization of homelessness now? For shame.

    All to try and win some new/returning riders?

    Yes, we have a problem with homelessness in LA County.

    No, handing out citations to those folks on the train that have nowhere else to go shouldn’t be part of the solution.

    • Hi Barry;

      They are warnings that are being handed out in many cases, not citations.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  4. I sat next to a woman drinking coffee from a travel mug and I noticed she kept dozing off. As I watched her hand tilt towards me I moved to the edge of the seat. As predicted, she dropped the mug and spilled coffee all over herself and the bus. She just missed me and my purse by an inch or two. I kept thinking about what would I do if she spilled coffee on my purse. I would have made her follow me to my shoe repair guy and pay to have my purse cleaned.

    She half-heartedly apologized and went back to sleep with the mug in her hand! So, no food or liquids (other than water) should be allowed on the bus or train.

    • Im sure more coffee gets consumed than spilled on the lines, and if she was falling asleep, what kind of coffee was she drinking?

      Also, why not be polite and get her attention? “Miss, careful, you’re about to spill.” Instead of letting it happen? Again; etiquette.

  5. Bagels make crumbs; coffee spills. Even if there’s only a 5% chance that a particular cup will spill, if everyone brought coffee then by the end of the day you’d be guaranteed to have the floor covered with coffee.

    I would allow drinking water from bottles, though.

    • New Yorks system isn’t very crumby and eating is allowed. Obviously not three course meals, but you can scarf down a quick breakfast. Lets not forget, being tidy also falls under proper etiquette. In fact, citations could be written for the less skilled at landing food in their mouths maybe. You’d just have to catch em, and in fact if one knew they’d get a citation for making a mess, they’d probably be more inclined to eat when they absolutely needed to, or would be sure keep a neat space. These are just ideas, ideas that have a more optimistic outlook and give riders more credit instead of assuming riders are just untidy and would lead to major messes.

      To be honest, its not as if it is enforced 100 percent today anyway, and out system is decent and pretty clean most of the time (We have one of the cleanest system in the world by the way). But for me personally, I don’t like the feeling that I could be cited for eating a continental breakfast on my ride. Who does?

      In my opinion, food or not, the trains should be cleaned at every terminus during layovers, but I know this could cramp out system. For fear of going off topic, I wont go in on that subject.

      Thank the stars YOU would allow water bottles. What would we do if YOU didn’t great master? I like your statistics and data (5% spill rate leading to a covered floor if 100% of people got coffee), I don’t know where you got it from, but it sounded great!

      • Ehh, if you ask me to take Metro or BBB to Santa Monica (or Vice Versa), I would go with BBB almost every time. Sorry, but the majority of Metro buses, at least in the middle of the day, have been dirty in my experience. BBBuses have been clean almost every time. I’ll spare the Expo Line for the being as it is still not only a fairly new line, but the rail cars are new as well.

        But I will agree with you, I’ve seen people eat small meals like pretzels all the day and take their trash as they are exiting the train. So I guess that may be why the trains are more clean than the buses.

  6. With regard to etiquette, I think its good to make people aware, but metro can go deeper.. A big one are escalators during rush hour. People should learn to stand to one side and let others pass. If you are riding the entire line, take a window seat please. If your getting off in a few stops, forfeit sitting, please. On the bus, move to the back, trust me, there are seats there; unless youre getting off in a few stops, then make room while you ride. I cant stress enough how stress free it can be when people are more courteous and considerate on the lines.

    This doesnt’ mean hold the doors to the train or elevator however. The name of the game is getting from point a to point b as quickly as possible. The more fluid movement, the less it feels like bumper cars (although practicing my juke skills can be fun on fridays).

    With respects to eating and drinking, im not for that rule. I mean, theres no reason to eat steak and lobster on metro, but I should be able to have my bagel and coffee and pretend its steak and lobster.

    • Yes! We need signs like those on the London Underground reminding people to stand to the right on the escalators!

  7. While the sheriffs and metro security are at it, could they please enforce the hogging of the senior/disabled seats by high school kids and others that are clearly none of the above?

  8. Anymore discussion about a spur off the main Crenshaw/LAX line to the Forum and new Rams stadium? Was curious if the Rams or Metro have any real interest in something like that or not.

  9. Cut and cover: what will be the cover? More traffic lanes, or a pedestrianized boulevard? I’d vote for the latter 🙂

    • Hi Ron;

      Traffic will be able to continue above the tracks as it did before construction. I’m not sure exactly how the street will be configured here, but will try to find a graphic.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  10. Excellent photos by Joe Lemon. Drone or helicopter or Joe just jumping high?

    • LOL. Yeah, we’re trying to recruit him for the agency hoops team! From a drone. Good way to show folks progress on the projects.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

    • Hi Charlie,

      It is a little known fact that our resident Metro colleague Joe Lemon is, actually, 250 feet tall. He just looks small from a distance. 😀

      Anna Chen
      Writer, The Source