Today’s Headlines

"Another reason to ride your bike in Santa Monica"

  • A Second Review of Bikeside Speaks (Bikeside)
  • Why Do Metro and LADOT Keep Hiring Imports? (Soap Box)
  • Crack Down on Dirty Trucks at Port of L.A. (Neon Tommy)
  • Metro Answers Questions About TAP (The Source)
  • City of Glendale’s freeway offramp vs. river walk and bike paths (Creek Freak)
  • City Wins Bing in Court Fight Against Billboards (LAist)
  • When Riding a Bike Is More Than Riding a Bike (Soap Box)
  • Ventura D.A. Won’t Charge Heather Locklear with Hit and Run, Even though It Was Her Car (People)

(It’s a travel day for Damien.  That means all headlines had to be online by last night)

  • Spokker

    “Why Do Metro and LADOT Keep Hiring Imports? (Soap Box)”

    These good-for-nothing legal immigrants are ruining this state.

  • “Metro Answers Questions About TAP (The Source)” should be required reading for anyone who has misgivings about TAP, turnstiles, fare gates and electronic media.

    Very logical and sensible answers, hopefully enough to satisfy the TAP technophobes…

  • Spokker

    Don’t be too hasty to characterize TAP critics as technophobes. The fact of the matter is that its roll out was a colossal failure, and I am someone who is looking for smart card technology to be implemented on transit.

  • Okay, so technophobe is the wrong word. But I’m not sure what is the right word to describe how people have reacted to TAP.

    I will admit that the TAP rollout has been far from perfect. However, to be perfectly frank, it hasn’t deserved the extreme cynical thrashing that it has received from transit advocates.

    People have conflated TAP with all number of semi-related and unrelated issues, including: fare increases, turnstiles/fare gates, security measures and just plain old paranoia about tracking movement.

    My fear is that people’s opinions have gotten so hardened that when the MTA eventually does introduce all of the measures it will take to make the TAP an Oyster, the card will still be rejected.

  • “I will admit that the TAP rollout has been far from perfect. However, to be perfectly frank, it hasn’t deserved the extreme cynical thrashing that it has received from transit advocates.”

    James, I’m sorry, but I do think it deserves trashing given the huge amount of money, long period of development and the hubris shown by the TAPucrats who are now exposed as having been talking thru their hats with all their talk of how well things were going. Things should never have gotten this dire before the agency finally is trying to fix this mess. I am well aware of what is in the pipeline, which likely will repair most of what should have been done right in the first place but I see no reason to excuse the incompetence that made the situation occur.

    If customers reject TAP it will be because it isn’t working. I sincerely doubt most have even an inkling of the grumbling among advocates. Your concern I think is ill founded — if the cards worked people would embrace them.

  • Eric B

    “If the cards worked people would embrace them.”

    Dana hit the nail straight on the head. I came back from DC with a SmartTrip card which I could use on any bus or rail in the Metro area. I loaded it up every couple weeks and never thought twice about it, just tapped every time I used transit.

    With its failed deployment, both policy-wise and technical, Metro has the dubious distinction of taking a clunky analog system and applying technology to actually make it worse.

    I usually use transit in short bursts–one day I’ll take it all over, the next day I’ll ride my bike. The only functional way to do this is get a day pass. Metro Rail still doesn’t cover my area, so I use the bus. (Expo coming soon!) When Metro phased out paper day passes, they entirely ignored my demographic, making it downright difficult to use their system now. I have to carry around an empty plastic card in my wallet in the off-chance that I may want to possibly buy a day pass, and the exact change to do it.

    For my more regular commute, which is one bus, I have no alternative but to pay in cash with exact change every time. A great deal of stress is required to count my week’s worth of quarters and dollar bills. I don’t use the system enough to get a monthly pass, and Metro still has not enabled the cash purse, despite the fact that that is the only real advantage of a smart card system. (Yes, there are system advantages, for for the customer a pass loaded on a TAP card is not any more convenient than paper.)

    So, despite The Source taking a much-needed look into the implementation issues, it is Metro’s POLICIES that completely screwed up TAP. As with fare structures, a simple look at best practices from other agencies would have saved everyone a lot of trouble.