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!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy National Train Day!

Today is National Train Day!


The Train Cowboy will be celebrating!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Driving all day today

despite some excellent options for getting downtown for a party tonight, The Train King will be avoiding trains today... April Fools!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sleeping on the Train

So... The Train Cowboy really likes to sleep... he recently ranked it has his second favorite activity... his favorite activity is not the subject of this blog, but you are welcome imagine... but we digress! Sleep is wonderful. In Tokyo, commuters literally learn to sleep standing up, while riding the trains. There are several favored technigues. One is to grab a handle or bar above your head, make an 'L' with your arm, and tuck your face into your arm.
If the train is particularly crowded, then you can literally sleep in the crowd, at least between stops. The other people kind of support you, in fact, many of them are often sleeping as well!
Many people also sleep in seats, if they have managed to get one.
On the whole, The Train Cowboy salutes Japan for having a country where it is safe to sleep on trains. TTC does not think one should sleep on trains in many of the world's cities, for fear of waking up without your watch, shoes and belt... or worse...
alright that's enough blog for tonight... time to go to sleep (in The Train King bed 8>)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Transit Forum

Heads up Angelinos, here is a Transit Forum on Subways to the West Side where you can speak your mind!

The Westside Subway Extension project is hosting a lunchtime open house on Tuesday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 2029 Century Park East in the Concourse Level Conference Center.


Friday, January 29, 2010

Transit Forum for SoCal

This is a full day forum, very cool. I have to work, but highly recommend attendance if you can!


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The 101, The Worst...

The Train Cowboy lives in Hollywood, close to the 101... and he might have been able to guess this, but here is evidential proof...

here is one quote with stats:
"Research has found that the freeway has 686 hours of weekly bottleneck congestion with the worst bottleneck found at Vermont Avenue in southbound lanes (we agree!). That bottleneck tends to be .64 miles with the speed of 14 mph."


We raced down the 101 for My Way or The Highway and Joe the Car Guy was definitely slowed to a snail's pace on the 101 at Vermont... while the Train Cowboy cruised along on the LA Metro, playing Sudoku and listening to Mozart! 8>)