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  1. I was aboard Orange Line bus 9203 near White Oak (no station) the other afternoon when a steaming tube of neon green coolant burst in the front of the bus all over the seats and floor. You can barely see a pool of the stuff coming from the second door. The driver actually asked the passengers if they wanted to go to the next station before she bothered to look back and see that mess! I also attached a pic of 5023 that I saw deadheading north on Sepulveda just past Church Lane in Bel Air. I have no idea where it was going (it passed where it would turn to go down to PCH or south on the 405). I thought at first that it was a replacement for a 761 artic because I saw one being towed ahead of it.
  2. I saw 6740 operating the 183 line (roadcall, I presume) at the Sherman Oaks Galleria on Monday and took a quick pic on my phone. I hadn't actually seen a Neoplan in the Valley in a long time until then!
  3. Does anyone know if D8 ever got a satellite parking lot for the Orange Line buses? It was supposed to be part of the Chatsworth extension project. If it didn't get built, I wonder if this has anything to do with the D15 expansion. Perhaps more local buses will be assigned to D15 on routes that D8 shares and supplies most buses to (like 152, 162/163, 164, 165). It would probably make more sense, though I suppose not so likely, that D15 be assigned some Orange Line runs. I've noticed that D8 has been referred to in internal MTA docs as "remote" (almost every line operates east of it), and D15 could probably handle a lot of the valley runs, but I think sometimes they are assigned to D8 just to equalize division size and make use of all the yard space there.
  4. I would suggest exercising a bit of caution when using the tracker to identify buses in revenue service on a particular line when the results seem unreasonable. I noticed a few weeks ago, for example, that a 9200 series coach was listed as in service on the 165, and I am almost certain that an artic did not operate that line. Sometimes operators exchange coaches, but there is no reason for a 40/45 ft coach to be replaced with a 60 ft coach in the SFV. It's just too easy to replace one 40/45 ft bus for another. I suppose it could have been a random software fluke or a training run (I did seem them training with an artic at the end of the line once). But I think the most likely cause was that the operator was not logged in properly on the ATMS.
  5. I notice that a lot of drivers use the "Express" or "Limited" headsigns on the Rapid routes I see/take.
  6. The Orange Line shuttle was operating with local 45Cs today. In the times I have seen it, I don't think I've ever witnessed a passenger on it (he must be hiding in the back!).
  7. Probably a better idea to run a Neoplan on the 728 than a 40-LFW b/c of the higher seating and standing capacity that comes with a high floor bus of same length. When I take the 761, I always appreciate when Metro uses a 45C or local 60-BRT and not a 40-LFW as a replacement for the red 60 BRTs. Even if they're not technically full, 40-LFWs just seem to feel full really easily.
  8. It's cool to see 45Cs run on the Orange Line, but I wonder if this is just for the opening. During the week all of the buses testing the shuttle service were 60-BRTs. I'll keep an eye out tomorrow morning when I'm at the Canoga Station.
  9. 45Cs should be used on the Orange Line, IMO, at least for the peak hour Chatsworth-Warner Center shuttle which probably won't see huge ridership. It was suggested at the service council meeting, I believe. I'd also like to see some D15 45Cs (from the 794) used on the 761 on weekends instead of the artics to improve frequency, but I realize that won't happen because of the cost of more operators. A few other notes...I noticed that the 734 has not been using 45Cs as of late. I think some former D15 45Cs have shown up at D3. I have not seen any buses operating on the Orange Line that are not in the Metro Liner scheme since the "testing" period began. I also saw the 65-BRT, 9495, this morning (just missed taking it).
  10. The 105 is assigned only to division 2. Here's a link to the current 4-24 report showing a list of entire agency, division, and bus line fleet requirements; which divisions operate which lines; and other stuff: http://libraryarchives.metro.net/DPGTL/4_24_Reports/RPT424_d110626%20v3.xls
  11. The route of Line 222 has never been considered for Rapid implementation. I have long wondered why the Metro Rapid Wikipedia article includes it. One person not affiliated with the MTA at one meeting of the SFV service council suggested it, and that is the article's "source."
  12. Planned service adjustments for December have been suspended.: http://www.metro.net/news/simple_pr/suspen...ments-schedule/
  13. I am seeing rapid buses used a lot more often on local routes. In the first couple of days after the service changes, D8 was running a few (at least the three I saw) 40-LFWs in rapid colors on the 161. The 161 had been a route where one was most likely to encounter the remaining 40Cs, but I haven't seen one on it in awhile. Metro's ongoing affinity for running 40-foot buses on the 161 seems has something to do with lower demand and a few difficult turns in Agoura Hills (though 45Cs are still most common). Also, there was a D15 45C in rapid colors running on the 164 today. I never thought I'd encounter that, especially on a weekday. I think there was at least one rapid colored 45C on each of a couple of SFV local routes last weekend based on what I saw on the Nextbus map, but I didn't see any in person. Let me also say that I welcome the exchange of the 40-LFWs for 45Cs at D15. A number of routes in the SFV had have their headways optimized to the higher capacity of the 45Cs which dominate the sector, but the 45Cs have not always been deployed to those routes.
  14. In a large agency like the MTA, interlining can (and does) help alleviate the layover time problem, allowing for more routes to be on clockface headways. Also, while insufficient layover needs to be avoided at all costs, it should okay for routes to have a bit more layover than is perhaps ideal. In fact, I notice that that the MTA runs many routes, especially in the late evenings, with longer than normal layover to maintain them at clockface headways. There are definitely tradeoffs to be considered when attempting to maximize operational efficiency. The 750 is a good example of what I am thinking of. It runs at 20 minute headways westbound during weekday evenings with one way runtime of 45-50 minutes. Layover at Universal City appears to average about 15-20 minutes; one bus in particular has 25 minutes. Compared to other routes, I think this is a bit excessive. Headways COULD be improved to a nonclockface number, say 17 minutes, without another bus pullout by simply reducing layover a few minutes. But if they were, span of service would be shorter, transfer convenience would be reduced, and passengers would have a difficult time keeping track of when the next bus would arrive.
  15. ^One way that the MTA could make bus-rail transfers more convenient, though, is to adopt headways that are multiples of the rail frequency. If the rail line runs every 12 minutes during the day, routes that are major feeders might be scheduled every 6, 12, 24, 36, 48, or 60 minutes with a couple minutes allowed for transfer. The Orange Line is a good example of a bus that does not interface well with the Red Line it feeds into. During the day, the Orange Line runs every 10 minutes, while the Red Line runs every 12 minutes. A major general criticism I have of the MTA is that it does not plan its headways on lower frequency routes well, especially on weekends. Taking a bus that runs every 34 minutes is extraordinarily inconvenient for transfer when the buses it connects with are running every 20, 30, 40, or 60 minutes (plus, it's also hard to remember). I understand that the agency is trying to match service with demand. But transportation studies I've read have shown that irregular headways drop ridership. Round that 34 to 30 or 40 for the convenience of your passengers!
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