Bueno? Metro Launches Spanish-Language Blog to Connect With Its Largest Ridership Demographic
Latinos represent Metro's largest ridership demographic, and now those customers can keep up-to-date with their transit system in Spanish. El Pasajero is described by Metro as "an interactive website that will post a steady stream of news and features, photos and video about virtually every aspect of mobility that Metro is involved in from running buses and trains to overseeing highway improvements, bicycle and pedestrian programs, goods movement, vanpools, carpools and more."
While Metro is happy to be saying "si se puede" with the new blog's launch, the reaction in the comments section of Metro's English-language blog The Source is a mix of kudos and indignation. Says one commenter:
and this is beacuse we are in Los Angeles, CA …the USA … where the last time I checked the language was English? Understand that a good majority of people in LA speak Spanish and personally studied it for 10+ years in school but English is our language here. Are you going to then offer to translate to the Vietnamese? Koreans? Chinese? Japenese? French?
Metro says they are the first major public transit agency to launch a Spanish blog, so by their own account, they are ahead of the multilingual curve, and acknowledge that their reasoning to have such a mode of communication "underscor[es] the growing influence of Latinos in Los Angeles County," according to a press release. 2010 Census figures show that in California, our Latino population saw the most significant growth since 2000, and now comprise 37.6% of the state's population. In Los Angeles County, 47% of our population is Latino.
Content-wise, El Pasajero ("The Passenger") will have original content and some translated shared content with The Source. They have ambitious goals:
Edited by Jazmin Ortega, a seasoned Spanish-language news reporter, and a team of bloggers, El Pasajero will take an in-depth look at key issues affecting the Latino community including how to do business with Metro, tracking where Metro funding comes from and how it is spent, the changing dynamics of transit in Los Angeles County after the passage of Measure R in 2008, law enforcement and transit, rail safety, dealing with rising gas prices, fun, affordable family destinations via Metro, dining adventures accessible by Metro, the environment, public art, new technology, joint development, high speed rail and other topical issues.