Friday, August 14, 2009

Redesign

Thank you to my few loyal readers, but I have decided to take this blog in a different direction. What prompted my decision has mostly to do with an advertisement I saw for a transit blogger for Metro's website. The purpose of this blog was to inform readers of on-goings in the transit world and progress on projects, Measure R money, etc. As I'm now a frequent commuter of multiple bus lines within L.A. County, I thought it might be interesting to report on what I see and hear while on the people's limo.

So let's begin with a review of Montebello Bus lines 41 and 341 (the Express). This line travels down Beverly Blvd beginning at either Norwalk Blvd in Whittier or Montebello Blvd. for the Express. After several trips on this line, I'm very impressed with the bus driver's service, the timeliness, and the cheap fare ($1.10 for regular, $1.30 for Express). The 341 travels on the 60 fwy. to the 101 fwy, exiting 4th Street before it continues Downtown. In total, the Express saves approximately 15 minutes in total trip time.

After I get downtown, I then need to make my way over to Pico Union. This second leg of my trip is unfortunately very tedious. There are 3 options: Metro Line 33 which starts at 7th and Spring and requires a 3 block walk to transfer, Metro Line 333 (limited stops) which begins at Union Station, and the Dash D route to the Dash- Pico Union route.

At first, I rode line 33 because it came the most frequently and dropped me off within 3 blocks of work. The line 333 is faster because of the limited stops, but comes less frequently and drops me off about a 1/2 mile from work. Finally the Dash combo drops me off the closest, but requires an extra transfer (although does save $0.75).

I have finally tried all three combos and believe Metro Line 333 to be the winner. Although it requires the longest walk to work, it saves time with less stops and comes frequently enough to warrant waiting out the extra few minutes in comparison to the Dash. Plus, it's drop-off point is in a safer neighborhood than Metro Line 33.

What I learned today was how inefficiently dispatched many of the Dash routes can be. The entire ride our driver was peppered with requests to spread out so that there was more space between him and the buses before and after him. The lack of specificity by the dispatcher allowed for no one to actually take responsibility for creating the required space and was very ineffective. I tend to believe that this is just how it's always been done at Dash without any ability to prove that it's useful or efficient.

Next up, a review on upcoming projects at Metro and an update on Measure R funding.

1 comment:

The Juice said...

Note: the 341 route changes at the driver's discretion. Because it has no stops between Beverly Bl/Atlantic Bl and Downtown L.A., the driver can choose to take a variety of streets or the freeway depending on his preference or belief that one will be faster.