Welcome to Off Peak!
celebrates the true tales and secret stories that happen between Point A and Point B in Southern California and beyond. Challenging the traditional car-centric narrative of Los Angeles, Off Peak explores the rich history and future of rail, bus, cycling, walking and all manner of getting around in LA.
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Subscribe to the podcast or listen to individual episodes below.
Episode 6: First Woman Everything
We interview Leilia Bailey-Leahy the first woman hired as an RTD bus operator after World War II. Ms. Bailey-Leahy was the first woman Division Dispatcher and the first woman Division Manager, and later the first woman Director of Transportation at RTD. In fact she was the first woman to do so many things in Los Angeles transit that the plaque dedicated to her at Metro HQ can barely fit in all the firsts. We hear her amazing life story from the segregated South to the highest rungs of transportation.
Episode 5: Bus Roadeo
Once a year, the best of the best Metro bus operators compete in an annual Bus Roadeo. Set at Santa Anita Racetrack, there’s an obstacle course, a test on how well the operators know their buses and an ADA challenge. The winner goes on to represent LA at the International Bus Roadeo in the spring. We report from this year’s nail biter!
Why Are We Doing This? - Bonus Episode
During this first season of Off Peak we've received great feedback and interest. We've also heard one question come up over and over: “Why are you doing this?” In this bonus micro-episode, Joshua Schank, Chief Innovation Officer of Metro, takes on the big why.
Episode 4: The Pink Line
Only in the 1970s could two teenagers start their very own bus line. With a hippie Vietnam Vet bus driver and a shade of pink never seen before or since on a bus, we're reminded that transportation was once any entrepreneur's game.
Episode 3: Night Owl
We ride Los Angeles’ century-old, yet hardly publicized, 24-hour bus service. Started in 1906, the Owl service is a lifeline for those on the night shift. Off Peak gets to know the Angelenos who depend on the Owl while everyone else is asleep.
Episode 2: Roads Were Not Built for Cars
Tracing the evolution of American roads from ancient paths for mastodons to smoothly paved roads designed for bicyclists; how we got to the car-covered roads of today is a tangle of coincidences and conspiracies that no one would have predicted.
Episode 1: True Tales from Bus Drivers
Get a front-row seat to the twists and turns of maneuvering a bus full of passengers through Los Angeles. From nerve-wracking first days, getting lost en route, sexism, homelessness and the riders that make it all worth it, Metro bus drivers are the modern Zen masters of the streets.