Why You Ride: John Y., San Gabriel Valley

Why You Ride (or Don't)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.

Want to share your story? Take the survey here if you ride transit regularly, or take this one if you don’t ride.

Who You Are:

Name: John Y.
Occupation: Law Clerk
Location: San Gabriel Valley

Your Transit Routine:

How often do you take transit and for what purpose?

Monday through Friday to get to work and back.

Where are you typically traveling from and going to?

I board at El Monte Station and travel to the Civic Center in downtown Los Angeles.

What lines/routes do you take?

I take the Metro Silver Line.

How long does it typically take?

Excluding time spent waiting for the bus, it takes between 15 minutes (on good days) to 25 minutes to reach my destination.

Briefly, how would you describe your typical transit experience? Love it, deal with it, or hate it?

I deal with it.

On average, what do you spend each month on transportation?

$100 – $300

Why do you take transit?

It cuts down on gas use (helps the environment and our nation’s trade imbalance) and reduces the stress of sitting through rush hour traffic. Plus, if I do manage to grab a seat, I can read for the duration of my commute.

Other Transportation:

Do you use any other forms of alternative transportation?


Are you car-free? If so, why? If not, why not?

No, because weekend Metro service is spotty, and because the summer heat makes biking during daylight hours unpleasant.

Your Perspective:

If you could make one change to improve your transit experience, what would it be?

Allow riders to know the EXACT time when a bus is arriving/departing, perhaps through a phone app linked with Google maps, etc. For Metro Rail, allow for distance-related fares like the BART and allow for free Metro Rail transfers between lines.

Given limited funds, how would you address L.A.’s transportation issues?

More light rail, preferably subways. Although I live in the San Gabriel Valley, a subway to the sea is sorely needed. I miss my friends who live on the Westside.

Do you think L.A. transit is better or worse since you started riding? What’s changed?

Slightly better. There’s a sense that we’ve reached critical mass in terms of our public transit needs. Light rail expansion would not have generated as much discussion 15 years ago.

How would you encourage Angelenos to use transit?

Build more light rail/subways. A huge drawback of public transit is the uncertainty of where a line is going and when it will get there. Light rail gives riders assurance that they can depart at a specific time and be at their intended destination at a specific time. Every major metropolis in the world has a great subway/rail system. It’s a travesty that the city planners of Los Angeles chose not to incorporate a comprehensive one.

Categories: Feedback, Metro Lifestyle, Surveys

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2 replies

  1. I like the distance fare comment. For instance I live near the Blue Line Pico Station. If I hop on that and go one stop to red/purple line and take one of them one stop I now had to pay for a day pass even though I only went two stops.

    London has zone charges so you can use multiple lines within a zone.

    Also that Tap card is annoying and useless unless you are doing a monthly thing. You should be able to charge it with money and it should know how much to deduct according to where you are going. Try looking at the Oyster Card in London. It’s a great system.

    Another 2 cents 🙂