NABI 40-LFW 7051
Location: 1st Street at Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA
Operator of Vehicle: Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA)
Date of Photo: July 14, 2014
Los Angeles has far more public transit than one might expect for a city with such a car-centric reputation. In fact, it has the second largest bus fleet in the entire United States, with almost 2,500 buses! Los Angeles is also the inspiration for at least one other city’s current paint scheme. Since June 24, 000, LACMTA has been operating the “Metro Rapid” brand. Metro Rapid service is limited bus service that runs in the same corridors as standard “Metro Local” routes, with some of the components found on full fledged bus rapid transit (BRT) lines. One of the BRT features incorporated in to Metro Rapid is a special paint scheme for the limited stop buses. In the photo above, the Metro Rapid bus is painted maroon, while the Metro Local bus is in the “standard” orange LACMTA livery. I’m pretty sure that WMATA’s relatively new “MetroLocal” and “MetroExtra” schemes are inspired by Los Angeles’s schemes. This theory is bolstered by the fact that the general manager of WMATA at the time those schemes were adopted was John Catoe, who spent much of his career at LACMTA.
Personally, I’m not a fan of branded buses unless the operating agency can ensure that the proper bus is almost always assigned to the proper line. Otherwise, the branding is diluted. However, from what I could tell during my stay there, Metro Rapid buses seem to stick to the Metro Rapid routes and the same goes for the various other paint schemes that LACMTA has employed. What do you think of branded buses like those featured in the photo of the month this month? Leave a comment with your opinion!
For more photos of LACMTA’s buses and their various paint schemes, please click here.