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Old April 3rd, 2015, 08:52 PM   #1621
diablo234
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I always thought that more cities transit systems should adopt a letter/number based system for their rail lines similar to what Denver, NYC, or Buenos Aires use. It's a lot more efficient than using London's system set up (for example the Waterloo Line or Northern Line) which discriminates against anyone who isn't familiar with English.
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Old April 3rd, 2015, 10:45 PM   #1622
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Logical next step, as the system grows, and for the mentioned reasons. A large number of its patrons are Hispanics, this will simplify everything.
So because they're Hispanic, they need things to be simpler?
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Old April 3rd, 2015, 10:51 PM   #1623
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Why not giving all rail based systems a number and all those BRT lines a letter? Probably they don't want to make the difference as clear. Well, whatever. I do think such a change is fairly logical as the system grows.
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Old April 3rd, 2015, 10:53 PM   #1624
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diablo234 View Post
I always thought that more cities transit systems should adopt a letter/number based system for their rail lines similar to what Denver, NYC, or Buenos Aires use. It's a lot more efficient than using London's system set up (for example the Waterloo Line or Northern Line) which discriminates against anyone who isn't familiar with English.
Exactly!

Btw. Where are the letters F and H on this plan?
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Old April 3rd, 2015, 11:07 PM   #1625
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Originally Posted by Woonsocket54 View Post
So because they're Hispanic, they need things to be simpler?
Can't believe I actually have to explain this, but "Purple," "Red," "Gold" and "Blue" are actually English words...
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Old April 3rd, 2015, 11:19 PM   #1626
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Originally Posted by blackcat23 View Post
There actually have been issues with the map for colorblind people, particularly regarding the Expo Line. That's why Metro added the "E," to the symbol about six months after the line opened.
You'll note that the Expo line is absorbed by the Gold line on this map and the light blue Expo line is the only one they have distinguished by anything other than colour...
Quote:
Originally Posted by diablo234 View Post
I always thought that more cities transit systems should adopt a letter/number based system for their rail lines similar to what Denver, NYC, or Buenos Aires use. It's a lot more efficient than using London's system set up (for example the Waterloo Line or Northern Line) which discriminates against anyone who isn't familiar with English.
And yet London is *the* most cosmopolitan and diverse city in the world (you can almost literally meet someone from every country on earth who lives there - someone tried without going out of their way and got all but 4 countries within a year) and is one of the world's most popular tourist destinations. It is the 4th largest French city, with more French people than, say, Lille. Probably similar stats for many other EU countries. English is probably not the first language for at least half its population (I have friends who teach the equivalent of Kindergarten in London and in a class of 25, there are 15 different native tongues and a poor grasp of English in about half the class. And their parents are worse).

Yet it works. London is well aware of its immigrants, and has foreign language tube maps (station and line names are still in English on it). It has never considered something different as tourists and those who don't have English as a mother tongue living there alike can navigate around without too many problems with line names, etc.

Last edited by sotonsi; April 3rd, 2015 at 11:33 PM.
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Old April 3rd, 2015, 11:31 PM   #1627
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Can't believe I actually have to explain this, but "Purple," "Red," "Gold" and "Blue" are actually English words...
Would it make it harder for those who can't speak German to navigate around LA if the lines were called "Lila", "Rot", "Gelb", "Blau", "Grün".

Or if it was "Morado", "Rojo", "Dorado", "Azul", "Verde"?

I doubt it is a real issue, as they are merely names - and as long as they sound distinct and can be made out from the spelling, the line name-colour thing doesn't matter and is merely a bonus feature. A bonus feature that LA wants to get rid of with this pointless change.
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Old April 3rd, 2015, 11:40 PM   #1628
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diablo234 View Post
I always thought that more cities transit systems should adopt a letter/number based system for their rail lines similar to what Denver, NYC, or Buenos Aires use. It's a lot more efficient than using London's system set up (for example the Waterloo Line or Northern Line) which discriminates against anyone who isn't familiar with English.
Tokyo has both - names but also now a letter system for their metro. I quite like that compromise. But do you really believe that it matters to have a name to remember compared to a letter? Despite having a letter and a name in Tokyo, even foreigners refer to the lines by their name. No one says "take line G from station 3 to 16". They say "take the Ginza line from Gaiemmae to Ueno". It's just more intuitive to use names in this case.
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Old April 3rd, 2015, 11:45 PM   #1629
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Really? I always used the letters there. The names are odd.
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Old April 4th, 2015, 12:01 AM   #1630
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sotonsi View Post
Would it make it harder for those who can't speak German to navigate around LA if the lines were called "Lila", "Rot", "Gelb", "Blau", "Grün".

Or if it was "Morado", "Rojo", "Dorado", "Azul", "Verde"?

I doubt it is a real issue, as they are merely names - and as long as they sound distinct and can be made out from the spelling, the line name-colour thing doesn't matter and is merely a bonus feature. A bonus feature that LA wants to get rid of with this pointless change.
Actually, LA Metro did call part of the Gold Line the "la Linea de Oro" in some sort of patronizing maneuver that did not last. The whole thing smacks of childishness, not least because the Purple Line was never given a Korean name.

Or maybe it is true that Spanish speaking people in Los Angeles cannot learn English words for colors.
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Old April 4th, 2015, 12:03 AM   #1631
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Really? I always used the letters there. The names are odd.
If by "odd" you mean "Japanese-sounding", then yes.

I can't believe I have to say this, but Tokyo is a major city in Japan where folks tend to speak Japanese.
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Old April 4th, 2015, 12:17 AM   #1632
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Originally Posted by Woonsocket54 View Post
So because they're Hispanic, they need things to be simpler?
Don't go down that route. I'm Hispanic. Most are older citizens, in greater numbers, young Hispanics usually drive. My mom and older aunt use public transport here, and in any sense migrating to a lettered system is a great move, for visitors and locals. I think we can agree on that.

Last edited by Kenni; April 4th, 2015 at 12:23 AM.
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Old April 4th, 2015, 04:38 AM   #1633
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Naming a red line red is repeating for most people. Whether using letter or name is more like a practice than science. From my experience, a tourist who is not familiar with line names would probably call the line by color in his/her own language.
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Old April 4th, 2015, 06:56 AM   #1634
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Using letters would also allow for some flexibility to differentiate branch/spur lines of the same primary route.
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Old April 4th, 2015, 07:08 AM   #1635
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diablo234 View Post
I always thought that more cities transit systems should adopt a letter/number based system for their rail lines similar to what Denver, NYC, or Buenos Aires use. It's a lot more efficient than using London's system set up (for example the Waterloo Line or Northern Line) which discriminates against anyone who isn't familiar with English.
London discriminates against anyone who isn't a transit geek. I mean, you have to be one to figure out the service patterns on the District Line:

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Old April 4th, 2015, 12:34 PM   #1636
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No you don't.

They improved the map in about 2005 to show the only confusing one (Wimbledon-Edgware Road) as vaguely separate, but then changed it back a couple of years later.

All the platform and in-train maps, and all the announcements make it easy.

I remember having this discussion on the London thread and we found two station-pair for which the standard map would cause problems (Edgware Road or Paddington to/from Hammersmith). But not really, as the best route to take has two lines so recommends itself over the change at Earls Court. Plus Edgware Road (and Paddington?) makes it obvious that you take the H&C/Circle before you reach the platforms.

----

Tokyo (and other Asian cities) use letter-number combos to deal with the alphabet problem.

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Actually, LA Metro did call part of the Gold Line the "la Linea de Oro" in some sort of patronizing maneuver that did not last.
I wasn't making it a sop to Hispanics. My point was that Spanish line names wouldn't cause problems with non-speakers of Spanish, so why would English line names cause problems with non-speakers of English?

My German example was to remove the southern Californian linguistic politics out of the equation.

You are right, however, that it is patronising to think that people can't speak a language can't cope with words as complex as "purple". Line letters won't help with the station names (which are typically long in LA), or the navigation of the network.
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Old April 4th, 2015, 01:32 PM   #1637
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Can't believe I actually have to explain this, but "Purple," "Red," "Gold" and "Blue" are actually English words...
What, really? And where is the problem?
You think residents who may struggle with English are incapable of learning a few 4-6 letter words? Especially as the maps give away the meaning fairly nicely anyway as soon as someone knows that the names are about colours. Additionally, if someone struggles to understand spoken or written English, but has at least been to a few hours of "bloody beginners" classes, he'll know most of these words already and it will be a good practice as well.

I think its not good to underestimate minorities so heavily.
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Old April 4th, 2015, 02:23 PM   #1638
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Originally Posted by Slartibartfas View Post
Why not giving all rail based systems a number and all those BRT lines a letter? Probably they don't want to make the difference as clear. Well, whatever. I do think such a change is fairly logical as the system grows.
It clearly distinguishes between the Rail and Bus lines...
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Old April 4th, 2015, 06:03 PM   #1639
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sotonsi View Post
Would it make it harder for those who can't speak German to navigate around LA if the lines were called "Lila", "Rot", "Gelb", "Blau", "Grün".

Or if it was "Morado", "Rojo", "Dorado", "Azul", "Verde"?

I doubt it is a real issue, as they are merely names - and as long as they sound distinct and can be made out from the spelling, the line name-colour thing doesn't matter and is merely a bonus feature. A bonus feature that LA wants to get rid of with this pointless change.
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What, really? And where is the problem?
You think residents who may struggle with English are incapable of learning a few 4-6 letter words? Especially as the maps give away the meaning fairly nicely anyway as soon as someone knows that the names are about colours. Additionally, if someone struggles to understand spoken or written English, but has at least been to a few hours of "bloody beginners" classes, he'll know most of these words already and it will be a good practice as well.

I think its not good to underestimate minorities so heavily.
Slartibartfas, you're welcome to keep trying to make this about racial insensitivity, but what I'm actually saying is that the letter designations is the simplest system for the largest number of people, from the most backgrounds, in the most situations. Let's remember, there are more languages spoken in Los Angeles than anywhere else in the world.

Obviously, Spanish-speakers who live here have learned the colored line names quickly and with little trouble. I'd expect the same of German-, Italian-, or French-speakers as well. But what about speakers of languages with non-Latin alphabets? "Making it out by the spelling" doesn't work for them. If I showed you ten four-to-six letter words in, Arabic or Greek or Hindi, would you be able to keep them straight in your head as you dashed around the Metro? I know I wouldn't.

But a single letter boils down to a basic and easily distinguishable symbol in a way that full words do not, removing an unnecessary complication. Numbers would be even better, because the arabic numerals are essentially universal now, but of course that would add a layer of confusion with the existing numbered buses.

I think we'd be having a different argument if the existing names actually meant something, like the "Hollywood Line," the "Long Beach Line" and the "Santa Monica Line." But the colors are meaningless, except as a way to visually distinguish them on a map, and almost every system in the world does that anyway, without insisting like a 3rd grader that the colors are actually names.

I would be all for a system that used "A - Long Beach" and "A - Azusa," for instance, and in practice, that's what this will be, as every train rolling into the station will have exactly that lit up on the marquee.
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Old April 5th, 2015, 02:22 AM   #1640
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Obviously, Spanish-speakers who live here have learned the colored line names quickly and with little trouble. I'd expect the same of German-, Italian-, or French-speakers as well. But what about speakers of languages with non-Latin alphabets? "Making it out by the spelling" doesn't work for them. If I showed you ten four-to-six letter words in, Arabic or Greek or Hindi, would you be able to keep them straight in your head as you dashed around the Metro? I know I wouldn't.
I think you went too far with this comparison. Anyone who made it all the way to LA and is now navigating their way through the LA Metro system on their own will find that line names will be least of their worries. Anyone who had made it that far will be able to understand or at least visually discern the line names without a problem. Besides, they'll need to "understand" station names too, right?
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