Steven's blog

For Orange County transit riders, doomsday comes later this year: 59 bus routes and all UC Irvine routes may be cut

Click for image of possible route eliminationsThe financial "doomsday scenario" now has a deadline: June 2010.

OCTA just posted a dedicated section of their site outlining their cuts and explaining the budget situation. They have a list of 59 routes that they say they may curtail service on or are considering for outright elimination. Let me break it down for you. I modified their system map with these cuts (click on the image to the left; 400 kb PNG file). A summary of potential cuts:

  • 59 bus routes may be cut, along with...
  • All 24-hour service
  • All "community bus" service
  • Nearly all community shuttles
  • Nearly all intra- and inter-county express buses

Santa Ana, for example, will find a lot of their bus service cut, leaving behind a skeleton of local service for the transit-dependent.

It's now impossible to get to the airport:

But I think, worst of all, it's now impossible to get to and from UC Irvine. OCTA may eliminate lines 59, 79, 175, 178 (along with 213 and 473), stranding students, faculty, employees, and, well, making the UC Irvine U-pass useless.

Of course, that's my interpretation of what OCTA posted. I've pasted the summary from OCTA's page. Got any thoughts? Make sure you send your comments to them! read more→

We just opened a Free Clinic in Orange County

And it's accessible by bus (see below for the bus pass deal)!

It was a little over a month ago that my friends and I held our Grand Opening with the Chancellor of UC Irvine, along with many special guests. The UC Irvine Outreach Clinics serves the growing uninsured population in Orange County, those who can't afford basic primary care services. Our clinic has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Southern California Public Radio KPCC, and on the front page of UC Irvine's main website.

  read more→

My progress in losing weight: 20 pounds gone!

I'm very happy with a personal goal I set out for myself this year: to lose weight, despite the crushing workload of med school!

Although I definitely don't have, like, big muscles, I've noticed I fit comfortably in medium-sized shirts. My clothes have gotten considerably baggier. I'm also surprised I've been able to commit at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. Before 2009, I wouldn't have lifted a weight to save my life.

My body fat has been decreasing, too. I've been using different methods of estimating the body fat with different formulas, so my chart below (the screenshot of My Personal Diet on my phone) zig-zags quite a bit. But I definitely feel thinner: my clothes have gotten baggier and my belts are all too long. read more→

Three new Bravo! rapid bus lines to open 2010, with a possible link to UC Irvine

During last Wednesday's OCTA customer roundtable, the unofficial word from staff members was that rapid bus service couldn't begin this year because implementing it means dipping from the same financial pot as local service. They're hoping to launch both the Westminster Line and the Harbor Line at the same time in June 2010, and then the Brea-Irvine rapid bus later in 2010. read more→

Losing 15 lbs requires the right structures

Over New Year's, I decided to challenge myself: lose as much body fat as I can and build up muscle.

This idea started years ago when I realized I must be one of the few boyfriends who couldn't carry his girlfriend. The idea came to fruition when three things happened over the winter break: read more→

Delivering 378 medical students' signatures to Sacramento to save public transit in California

I collected 378 letters from my fellow classmates (63 letters for 6 legislators) concerned about the severe cuts to California's public transit systems, the odd routing of OCTA's rapid bus system, and the disproportionate amount of funding OCTA's American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan is dedicating to freeways over transit. I'll be hand-delivering them to Sacramento on Monday while I'm there lobbying for universal healthcare with about 500 other medical students. read more→

Gift ideas for transit riders

Don't know what to get your transit-riding friends for the holidays? Want to convince folks at work that riding transit can be cool? Get them some transit-related gifts!

OCTA has a lot of corporate-logo merchandise such as beanies, visors, water bottles, canteens, squishy stress buses, and even cute teddy bears. I've found most of this merchandise for cheaper than even general stores — the water bottle in my pic came to about around $4. You won't be able to buy these items online; you'll have to stop by OCTA's main headquarters at the OCTA Store, 550 S Main St, Orange, CA during weekdays. I'm sure they have plenty of items in stock.

Los Angeles Metro store has much more trendy apparel, Christmas ornaments, and large toy replicas of their buses. Metro sells posters with beautiful artwork that makes the thought of riding transit pleasant. However, their higher quality products translate to a higher price. The Los Angeles Times even featured the Metro Store a few years back: "Wearing a Los Angeles Metro T-shirt is 'completely counterculture, ... Because L.A. is car culture.'... Enthusiasts say part of what makes transit systems interesting in London, Berlin, Paris and New York – and why people want to buy merchandise from those places – is that they were marvels of their time when they were built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries."

New York MTA's Transit Museum Store sells cool station signs, toys, drinkware, and more. If you happen to visit New York, stop by their museum!

Happy shopping! read more→

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