Trainer this morning had an uncharacteristically cogent editorial about the
MTA’s very screwed up pass system.
was so good I suspect they’ve got a new intern whose brain hasn’t turned into
mush …. yet:
Simple. Secure.’ That’s the slogan the Metropolitan Transportation Authority
has adopted for its new
system, but at this stage of its development, a more apt description would be
“Dumb. Complicated. Insecure.”
editorial goes on to explain in detail that the pass system appears to have
been designed by a bunch of drunken monkeys.
The poor and the elderly get screwed the worst, of course, which
sometimes seems like an official MTA policy.
But a Green
Sheet story earlier in the week really had Bruno growling:
spending more than $154 million for a system of locking turnstiles and
electronic payment cards for the county transit system, officials are
discovering that at least a third of the money may have been wasted because
they can’t use the new devices as planned.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority placed the locking turnstiles at subway
and light-rail stations to stop fare scofflaws and end what had previously been
an honor-based system.
under a $46 million contract, the turnstiles were predicted to save $13 a
million a year in lost revenue and reduced fare inspector costs.
turnstiles can’t be configured to lock until Metro fully converts to a new
system – and that is proving nearly impossible.”
And I might
think in dog years, but there is some history to this idiocy.
the LAWeekly, detailed the lead up to installing the turnstiles.
thought it was a really bad idea.
board member Richard Katz, who voted against the locking turnstile contract,
felt from the beginning it was not worth the expense.
didn’t think it would pencil out, which appears to still be true,” said
Katz, a former assemblyman for the
“They were trying to solve a problem that may not have existed, or is not
nearly as great as the money spent for the solution.”
that he doubts the system has lost enough money from fare evasions to make the
expense worth it even if the turnstiles were operating.”
has ended up looking pretty smart, was the only board member to vote against
the proposal. The Weekly did a
either a stubborn fool or the smartest guy in the room. He believes the
agency’s long history of bad assumptions is repeating itself. He’s unconvinced
that the tiny percentage of riders who don’t pay fares ever will. They could
count the number of times on one hand that MTA has been right about
construction costs, operating costs — that doesn’t even include technological
costs,” he says. “Any more money spent should go to Sheriff’s [deputies] — more
eyes and ears on the platforms.”
be alone on the MTA board, but he has company in many big cities around the
world, where open rail systems — like L.A.’s — are popular and the low
percentage of scofflaws are considered a small price to pay.”
still on the MTA board – and the boards of Metrolink and The California High
Speed Rail Commission. He’s become quite
a train guy. He is also quarterbacking
the mayor’s 30-10 plan to spend all that Measure R money while most of us are
if he buys the planners a compass so the sea it reaches is the Pacific, not the Atlantic..