Sometimes it's easy to focus on Metro and overlook all of the other transit agencies that operate in this corner of California.
That's too bad, because sometimes these agencies have good ideas, like signs you can read. Long Beach Transit recently changed the metal signs that sit atop the poles at its bus stops. Before they just featured the agency's logo. Now they have shrunk the logo and are dominated by a large black number, the route number. It's big enough so that you can see it from afar. Click this link for a picture.
This is a subtle change, but a good one. It makes it easier to see which routes go where, to transfer, and to be aware that there are actually some damn buses in the city.
I should also be clear that Long Beach Transit is far from perfect. Many routes lack frequent service and the fares have been raised twice recently from $.90 to $1.10 to $1.25. Then again, many parts of Long Beach don't exactly have transit-supporting urban form, and the recession has taken its bite into local tax revenues. Still, these signs seem to be a little thing that is achievable in tough budgetary times.
As far as getting better bus service frequency, that's a matter of us riding more, being willing to chip in more through taxes, adding some population density along key routes that lack frequent service, or reforming our parking policies to get cars off of welfare.