Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Google tells you if your bus is going to be late... Thanks Google

This looks like it could be a pretty useful, cool feature. They need to expand it to more cities, but it is definitely a start! Thank you Google!

from Mashable.

and coverage from Fast Company.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Expo Line Train Test

Metro tested the rails today for the Subway to the Sea. The Train Cowboy cycled over to take a look! (but this video was shot by LA Metro.)

Pretty cool stuff, and progress on the train line that no one thought could be built!

This line will be a welcome addition for many reasons, one of them paradoxical. Anyone who has commuted in LA will tell you that the largest volume of traffic moves from downtown, westward on the 10 freeway, to the westside. This is kind of different from most cities, where the traffic moves INTO downtown... Ahh, Los Angeles has to be different!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

the Super Bowl!

Tomorrow is the Super Bowl! Your Train Cowboy does not always watch football, but his hot girlfriend has invited him to a Super Bowl party, so he will be happily making guacamole and eating bbq tomorrow.

The Super Bowl brings up a major point of discussion, one that has been touched on before in this blog, the need for good public transportation to service large public events.

Here is a good article on the PubTrans situation for the big game tomorrow in Dallas.

I am sad to hear that DART is not actually adding extra trains. The DFW area is not particularly great for public transportation. This brings up the point that most traditional, warm weather Super Bowl locations are not very good public transportation cities.

In 2014 the Super Bowl will head to New York City/New Jersey, to the Meadowlands Stadium. At present that stadium is only served by a shuttle service, but the Train Cowboy really hopes that a full rail stop to the stadium will be added.

Of course the problem for a football stadium, as opposed to baseball and basketball stadiums, is that football stadiums are only used once or twice a week at the most, so building the train lines is a tougher call. To me, the trick is to plan out your train lines so that they go by a stadium, but continue on past, so that others are served by the line as well as the stadium goers.

Alright, this is not normally my area of expertise, but it seems every Super Bowl column must include a "pick"... Packers 35, Steelers 27

Monday, January 10, 2011

Thoughts on the BCS Title Game mass transit options available

So, the BCS title game is going on, and your blogger has one ear on the radio, but I cannot help thinking about something. I've mentioned in past posts how great using mass transit is for big events (sports, concerts, demonstrations... etc). In a way, mass transit is almost made for big events... which brings me to the BCS Title Game.

The BCS Title game is played in rotating warm weather locations (Miami, New Orleans, Phoenix, Los Angeles). While the events are beautiful and well run, they are pathetic from a mass trans standpoint. Perhaps this is a feature of the host cities, which, with the exception of New Orleans, are sprawling extended suburb cities. Don't get me wrong, these are great cities, but they are not particularly great for mass trans.

I would like to see the BCS try having their title game in a city with good mass transportation for once... I bet they would find the people movement of the game a LOT easier! Atlanta, Houston and Seattle all seem like a pretty good (warm weather) option if you ask this Cowboy!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

New Orleans

The Train Cowgirl (who is absurdly hot) and I visited New Orleans last weekend. We had a wonderful time in The Big Easy. I was most impressed by the people we met, but the feel of the city, and the food were both wonderful!
N.O. presents some very interesting mass transit challenges and solutions. Because the city is kind of a swamp, they cannot dig subway tunnels. (In truth it is probably very good that there were not subways when Katrina happened.)
As a result, N.O. has developed a streetcar system. What is really cool is that these are not the tourist trap streetcars of San Francisco, they are certainly used by everyone, including tourists.
We rode the streetcar out to a Christmas Lights Event at City Park. Our car was a wonderfully jolly bunch, singing carols and old tv show tunes (think Flintstones).
At another point, we rode a streetcar late at light and sat with a group of waiters, just off their shift, and a group of sisters and sister in-laws, who had been partying hard.
As a city, I give New Orleans a 10 out of 10. Great people, great food, great architecture.

Trains/Streetcars: 7 out of 10 (gained a point for cool factor, but lost points for coverage.)
Buses: 8 out of ten
Cleanliness/Art: 9 out of 10 Clean enough, wood interiors in remarkably good shape.
Usage: 7 out of 10
Timeliness: 7 out of 10
Crown Jewel: Riding with happy, drunk party people mixed with waiters and musicians just off work. +5
Total: 93% A-

Monday, November 29, 2010


Shanghai is an extraordinary, futuristic city. It feels like the city depicted in Blade Runner.
Everything feels very high tech, and the subway system is no exception. An added bonus is that the mass transit system, specifically the trains, is built into the infrastructure of tourist attractions and malls, making tourist life easier. Regarding the general, daily movement of the residents of the city, it also does a good job. It lacks the coverage of NYC or Tokyo, but is still very good. Points gained for being so clean and organized.

Trains: 9 out of 10
Buses: 9 out of ten
Cleanliness/Art: 8 out of 10 Clean, but not Tokyo.
Usage: 7 out of 10, there are 1.3 Billion people there, and though the trains are crowded, they are not that crowded!
Timeliness: 9 out of 10
Crown Jewel: The views from the Huangpu River Ferry boats. Unbelievable. +3
Total: 95% A

Sunday, August 22, 2010


You guys are crazy.

First, some answers to your questions:
Yes, I do own a car. I tried living in LA without one and found it impossible. Still I ride the trains often and do a good job of walking as much as possible. Over the years, I have always lived in LA locations that have subways stops nearby.

No, I do not think LA should impose a huge car tax. I would simply prefer to see better mass transit options available, and the city is moving in that direction, albeit slowly.

No, I have not seen any major movie stars on the subway or on buses in LA. I have seen a lot of them around, just not on mass transit. I've always said that pro-mass transit celebrities like George Clooney should ride mass transit in LA... that would get people to ride mass transit all the time! 8>)

and finally, thank you to the Asian couple who emailed me a picture of themselves having sex on a subway car. I think they are in Tokyo... there's another reason to advocate for mass transit!