‘Why You Ride (or Don’t Ride)‘ is a series where you, our faithful readers, share your transportation routines in L.A. and your thoughts on how to make things better – read more about the concept here.
Who You Are:
Name: Simon Oh
Occupation: Cal State Fullerton Student, OCTA intern
Location: Fullerton (but lived in Koreatown for many years)
Your Transit Routine:
How often do you take transit and for what purpose?
I take transit on a daily basis to get to places I need to go. I take buses and trains to go to school, to meetings, to shop among others.
Where are you typically traveling from and going to?
I typically travel from Orange County to L.A. and back via Metrolink and Amtrak. Whenever I’m in L.A., I always make myself take at least one Metro Rail line when I’m there. I go to L.A. many times each month for TV show tapings, to visit some great restaurants and also to visit some of the fun places I find there.
What lines/routes do you take?
I frequently take the Metro Red/Purple and Gold Lines when I visit L.A. For many of the T.V. show tapings I go to I utilize some of the Metro Local bus lines on the Westside, Hollywood or San Fernando Valley. Everywhere else depends on the location.
How long does it typically take?
Commute times on all the Metro Rail lines are pretty short. I always love to utilize the fastest, most efficient transit mode available. Metro Rapid is the next best alternative. The length of trips on Metro Local lines often depend on the route.
Briefly, how would you describe your typical transit experience? Love it, deal with it, or hate it?
I love it!
On average, what do you spend each month on transportation?
Less than $50
Why do you take transit?
I take transit not only because I don’t drive yet but also because I’ve taken it my entire life and truly appreciate it for what its worth. I’m helping improve the environment, reducing costs on transportation, relieving traffic congestion and putting less stress on myself and others.
Do you use any other forms of alternative transportation?
I do plan on using a bicycle as my other mode of alternative transportation in the future. I also walk a lot!
Are you car-free? If so, why? If not, why not?
I am car-free, mainly because I don’t drive yet. When I do start driving, I still plan on taking transit because I’d like to do my part in helping relieve traffic congestion in southern California by not driving as much as possible. Also I’ll take transit to continue saving money on commuting costs and enjoying the convenience of leaving the driving to others!
If you could make one change to improve your transit experience, what would it be?
I’d like to see a more simplified express fare structure on Metro Express lines. I’m not the type of guy who likes to carry change around so if express fares can be a flat $2 or $3 fare, that would make it so much easier for me. For pass holders, all that should be required is to pay another $1.
Given limited funds, how would you address L.A.’s transportation issues?
I’d definitely love to see Metro Rail stretch to most parts of the region in my lifetime and hopefully sooner if the 30/10 plan is approved. In addition, I’d like to see more Metro Express lines to serve areas where Metro Rail may not be able to go and wherever it will be beneficial. Lastly, add some more Metro bus lines of any type serving Orange County other than just the 460 to complement OCTA bus service.
Do you think L.A. transit is better or worse since you started riding? What’s changed?
I’ve seen significant growth in L.A. transit since I first started taking it as a child in the mid-1990s. I remember all the problems back then involving Metro, but now there appears to be more support among people in Los Angeles pushing for better transportation alternatives. Metro Rail has grown significantly and continues to. Metro Rapid and Express have also helped in the development process and easier, frequent connectivity to buses makes the system so much more attractive to use than most people would think.
How would you encourage Angelenos to use transit?
I’d encourage them to really give it a try! We need to dispel the commonly perpetuated notion that no one takes public transit in L.A. It’s a lot easier and efficient than most people think and I hope more people can get onboard!