Sunday, February 15, 2009

Bounce on the Bus Goes Up and Down

While riding the 704 Rapid on Santa Monica Blvd in LA two weeks ago, I took a video. There were a number of times where I almost fell down and many more times where I became unbalanced trying to keep my suitcase upright and my body off the floor. I tried to keep the camera level. But here's the result of a 40 second stretch.


Jay Heikes said...

I hear ya. Chapel Hill Transit uses the same type of bus on its NS route (which might as well be considered rapid bus). If I don't get a seat I have to hang on for dear life. One day the driver took a corner too fast and my phone fell out of my pocket and slid the entire length of the bus. Its ridiculous

Anonymous said...

The NS is NOT a rapid bus, lame attempts by some in Chapel hill to suggest otherwise.

The NS stops SEVENTEEN times in 4.27 miles from Eubanks to the corner of Franklin/Columbia. The average stop spacing is 1/4 mile apart.

There is no signal priority for the buses, there is no bus-only lane, and the NS is mixed into traffic with local buses and cars at all times.

The continual efforts in the transit community to dumb down the meaning of BRT to a few nice shelters, freshly painted buses, and a bunch of rhetoric is the greatest threat to the long term quality of transit in the US.

Matt Fisher said...

I agree with the anonymous poster. This is dumbing down to think that "any bus can be rapid transit". The traditional definition of "rapid transit" DOES NOT INCLUDE BUSES!!! It traditionally has meant something on rails!

This so-called "rapid bus" is just another bus painted in a different colour. I still favour some of the aforementioned improvements, but to call it "rail on rubber tires" is fraudulent advertising. So is the claim that it is, of course, "just like rail, but cheaper". And so is calling it a "surface subway" like in Curitiba.

Matt! said...

I rode that Rapid line on a visit to LA, and it was like Keanu Reeves was driving to keep the bus from exploding. Never before had I ever held on so tightly to the grab bars.

Jay Heikes said...

I wasn't trying to say it was a rapid bus service, I was saying it might as well be (or at least as close as CHT will get). Also please note the difference between rapid bus and bus rapid transit. Neither of which are a substitute for rail. I was basing it on the fact that during peak times the buses run roughly every 5-10 minutes and they do use the 60 foot articulated busses. My point was that despite how nice the bus is, its still a bumpy, jerky bus. fyi there is a bus only lane along Columbia St. in front of the medical school albeit it is only about 1/2 a mile long.

Wenda said...

Oh god, the dreaded 704... I ride that one at least once a week, and couldn't agree more. You would think those brand new articulated buses would have shocks installed. Guess not... Also, Metro assigns the craziest drivers to the Rapid routes. I was on route 780 one time from Glendale to Hollywood, and the driver took the corner so recklessly she actually went up the curb onto the sidewalk.