Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Blue Line Seat Comfort Poll

And now, the results of the Blue Line seat comfort poll.

Are the (LA County) Blue Line's seats comfortable?

Choices (5 votes):
Very Comfortable - 0
Comfortable - 1 (20%)
Somewhat Uncomfortable - 4 (80%)
Uncomfortable - 0

Okay. I know there were only five votes, and this is only representative of what people who read this think. However, I think this is deeply troubling.

It's easy to get wrapped up in grand visions of what LA transit will be in 30 years, once all the lines funded by Measure R are built out. But you know what? Details matter. The comfort of seats may seem trivial in the grand scheme of things, but for the people who ride these lines all the time, like me, the interface between back/ass and seat has a profound impact on quality of life.

Transit seats do not have to be uncomfortable. Look at what Metro has done with its Rapid Buses. Look at what Metro has done with the Red Line. Look at what the City of LA has done with its DASH fleet. Look at what Long Beach Transit has done. Look at what LAX has done with the FlyAway. There is absolutely no excuse for mediocrity. Metro, if you want to attract more riders you need to invest in better seats for your signature light rail line. You can start by replacing the padding more often. You can follow that up by re-evaluating your contractor, the Otaco Seating Co. Ltd., of Orillia, Canada, which doesn't even seem to have it together enough to have its own website (every Blue Line seat is stamped with the name).

I've written The Source with the results of this poll, urging them to do their own poll to explore the matter further. I hope they show a willingness to accept critique. That's how you grow stronger. And ultimately, that's what we all want.

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