Tales from the Transit System

Tales of Future Past v2
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It is a strange irony that even as USC has become more selective, even as it has become harder to get into the university, it has become so much easier to get to the university. Three years ago, a morning commuter could arrive at the transit plaza at Union Station — a major connecting point to Metrolink and Metro lines — and choose from 10 nonstop departures to the University Park campus before 9 a. For the record, USC remains committed to accommodating all commuters, regardless of how they get to campus. The university also provides 21 employee vanpools servicing such far-flung locations as Laguna Hills, Palmdale and Moreno Valley.

But it would be hard to find another mass transit system that has responded as quickly and efficiently to exploding demand. USC Transportation now operates daily weekday runs to or from Union Station and between the two main campuses. The fare? In addition, the hour campus tram service covers six routes in and around UPC. A similar system on HSC shuttles patients and staff around the clinics and between campus and a Metro busway station. Regular shuttles serve satellite campuses downtown and in Marina del Rey.


Departing every 30 minutes starting Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons, the university-operated shuttle makes the 2. For students who prefer not to walk at night, 26 Campus Cruiser vans including five fuel-saving hybrids provide fast, free and efficient point-to-point rides. Campus shuttles only. Need an after-dark courtesy shuttle at Duke University? Pasadena, population around ,, has the same number of buses in its ARTS system. Some slide open the window and wave their arm up and down, lending their tram the look of a whale attempting flight.

The Arm is one of the few touchy subjects in the TrojanTransportation corps, with certain drivers disapproving sternly. Everyone agrees that the typical driver of a car on the freeway is absent to the point of coma. This is a feat of intimidation hard to duplicate with a car. It takes one time on the receiving end to learn that the experience of Mahler crashing down on your head is best saved for the concert hall. When USC Transportation director Tony Mazza came to USC in fall , gas prices were high and getting higher, politicians were starting to take global warming seriously, and the USC tram fleet was still burning diesel.

Once that switch was complete in March , Mazza started looking at even cleaner options. The cleanest fossil fuel — compressed natural gas — seemed a great alternative, except that the closest refueling station was several miles from campus, on Alameda in the downtown core. A company run by a USC alum would have been willing to build a natural gas station close to campus, but no land was available. That left an underrated option: propane, better known as barbecue gas. It has 10 to 15 percent lower carbon dioxide emissions per mile than gasoline or diesel, produces almost none of the fine particulate matter linked to asthma and other respiratory illnesses, and emits far less carbon monoxide and acid rain-causing nitrous oxides.

But at just one-third the cost of diesel, the fuel sold itself. By early , Mazza and his team had decided to make the switch, and had installed a large propane refueling tank right in the tram yard, just south of the Parking Center.

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All the way back in the opposite direction, I arrived just in time for the airport shuttle driver to slam the door in my face. Now […]. Implementing just seven miles of bus lanes can speed trips for nearly a fifth of the city's bus riders. The bus, possibly held together by elastics, could barely make its way up steep mountain hills, while rusted springs stuck through the vinyl seats and poked in my butt think marshmallows on a sharp twig. Buy As Gift. Instead of focusing on her specific adventure, she and Sean discuss the end of the line in general, in this case, Flushing, Queens and …. Notify me of new posts via email.

One of the new Union Station buses runs on propane, along with two smaller campus shuttles. Early in , Mazza learned that Chevrolet would close the only plant making large buses capable of propane conversion. Ford makes propane-convertible buses, but only in smaller sizes.

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It was the right thing to do, he believes. Well over half of all passengers will ride on propane power, since the new buses are all for the busy Union Station route. And nearly every time the same vehicle is in his rear view mirror when he finally enters the freeway. What driver enjoys the company of 60 antsy back-seat drivers as the tram sits in a traffic jam?


Two stories set in a future universe where planets are connected through a wormhole-powered Transit System, and a third unrelated story about the destructive. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Tales from the Transit System at rapyzure.tk Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users.

But he has learned to stay out of the clogged rightmost lane. German Bolanos, a nine-year veteran of the route, relies on the drivers ahead of him for a traffic report on the north. The music issues, however, are a constant. A few years back, in a classic case of a few people spoiling it for everyone, some drivers on the late-night Parking Center route overdid the volume on certain hard-core stations.

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If you found it boring to start with, wait until the 50th iteration. Help is on the way, and his name is Derrick Filer. His intercampus shuttle leaves UPC at p.

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Like all the drivers, Filer had plenty of experience driving buses before coming to USC Transportation. That job made him extra sensitive to safety, which is why he makes a special plea to USC students. As for tram safety, Filer, Stanton and other drivers hold to the same principle: patience before speed. But there are other reasons to feel good about riding a tram.

Fight traffic long enough, and someone eventually will blow a horn at you.

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The ensuing mix of emotions is never pleasant. The aging New York City Subway still has some magic left.

On the right track In addition to being one of the oldest, the New York City Subway also is one of the longest, busiest and most confusing metro systems in the world. His replies are so accurate and quick that even the MTA has taken notice.

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For the past year, a self-proclaimed wizard has been granting wishes on the New York subway. About the Author Matthews has been chronicling the unexpectedly humorous side of transportation news since Related Articles.


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