‘Topless’ Tour Van and Tour Buses Are Not Safe and Should Not Be Transporting Passengers

It’s one of the most iconic ways to tour Los Angeles, but the federal government has opened an investigation into the safety of the ‘Topless’ Tour Vans. NBC 4 Los Angeles’ investigation team first called these tour buses on what appeared to be lax safety regulations. Many of the seats on the topless buses had modified seatbelts, or didn’t have seatbelts at all. The team also felt that the custom construction of the buses — the roofs have been removed — did little to protect riders in the event of an accident. The United States Department of Transportation appears to...

Los Angeles’ Most Dangerous Railroad Crossing Gets Overhaul

Officials have long had a solution to improving California’s most dangerous railroad crossing, but only now have they secured the funds to make their plan a reality. They announced that they had received the final $15 million needed for the $137.2 million project: an overpass that will allow drivers to skip over the railroad tracks located at Rosecrans and Marquardt avenues. This railroad crossing sees up to 31,000 cars and up to 130 trains pass through it each day. As the latter number is expected to reach 180 by the end of the decade, it’s perfect timing for a new...

Ford and Baidu Invest $150 Million in California Self-Driving Technology Hotspot

Self-driving technology is taking off, and Ford and Baidu have teamed up to jointly invest $150 million in a Silicon Valley tech company. Velodyne started in 1983 as a manufacturer of high-end audio equipment, but switched gears as times changed; the company has had its hand in LiDAR— light, detection and ranging — technology since 2005. Ford’s investment will help them to ramp up their production of LiDAR sensors of equal or greater quality to the ones they’ve been building on a smaller scale. The investment and increased production will help automakers like Ford to, in turn, increase their own...

LA Metro’s Twitter Account to Find Pokemon in Southern California

Many have lauded Pokemon Go for getting gamers out of their chairs and onto their feet — the virtual game requires them to walk around to find Pokemon, evolve their catches and gather supplies. Of course, many participants have begun to improvise by using their cars to get them from Pokemon A to Pokemon B. In response, the LA Metro has tried to make it easy for public-transit takers to catch Pokemon, too: they’ve started a Twitter to help customers catch ‘em all via bus and train. It all started after Metro customers started tweeting at the public transit service...

Four Dead After Catastrophic Bus Accident in Merced

A charter bus collided with a highway sign in Central California, slicing the bus down the middle and killing four passengers. When first responders arrived on the scene, they found the highway sign still in tact, standing straight up and out of the front of the bus. They noted scattered debris from the inside of the bus all over the highway and shoulder — drinks, seat cushions, personal effects, etc. As for the rescue of passengers, they found several people ejected from the bus, while more remained inside, unable to get out. One rider, Leonardo Sanchez, remembered falling asleep and...

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Sued Over Rail Project Near Little Toyko

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s attempt to build a Regional Connector has been riddled with lawsuits since plans were first approved. Recently, the owners of Japanese Village Plaza have added another to the pile. They claim that the construction plans include a stabilization method called grouting, wherein crews would inject concrete into the ground to make up for the settling that will occur after they tunnel through the ground below. The Japanese Village Plaza owners claim that they were not informed of the concrete injections, which they found out would occur beneath their property without their consent. They filed...