Why You Don’t Ride: Jorge Iribe Llamas, Bellflower

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: Jorge Iribe Llamas
Occupation: Job Seeker / Ex-Accountant
Location: Bellflower

Your Transportation Routine:

How often do you drive and for what purpose?

I drive everyday. I drive when: I run errands, go to the beach, go out on the weekends, and when I go to interviews.

Where are you typically traveling from and going to?

I usually travel to grocery store, to the library, to the gym, and to the bank. I also used to travel to work.

How many vehicles do you or your family have?

I have one vehicle.

How long does your commute typically take?

When I use to commute to Woodland Hills my commute would usually take an hour to an hour and a half. When I commuted to Long Beach my commute would take about a half-hour.

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

I hate it. There has to be a better way.

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

$100 – $300

Do you use any forms of alternative transportation?

Yes, I occasionally take the Metro light rail and Metro buses.

Why do you drive?

I drive because it is convenient. Although it is slow, in many cases it is still the best way to get around LA county.

Your Perspective:

Why can’t/don’t you take transit?

I don’t take the transit because it takes too long to get around L.A. County on public transportation.

Have you tried to use transit before? What was your experience?

I have used the transit before and for the most part my experience using Metro buses and light rail was pleasant. However, I would like to point out that riding the Blue Line is frustrating. It is slow compared to the Green Line and Red Line.

What could local transit agencies do to encourage you to take transit more often?

For one, lower the daily fares on weekends. Although the Metro website provides interesting weekend destinations, I feel discouraged from using public transportation to attend these events. It is usually cheaper for me to drive to my destination when I go out on my weekly family outing. At $6 a ticket I can pay for a half a tank of gasoline and parking at my destination when I go out with my two sisters and my mother. I feel that I need to purchase the Day Pass because I am not sufficiently acquainted with the Metro system and fear that I may get lost while going to my destination.

I would advise that Metro consider implementing lower weekend rate even if this can only be done for a limited time. I believe that a lower weekend rate would encourage non-Metro users to use public transportation and get themselves acquainted with the transportation system. I feel that new riders who have familiarized themselves with the Metro system will be more prone to using the system on weekdays, thus helping Metro recover revenue they lost on the weekends. I also believe that lowering weekend rates could cause riders to associate riding the Metro with their fun weekend trips. Having riders hold positive sentiment toward the Metro could help the agency raise support for new projects and funding.

How do you feel about buses?

I’d ride a bus if there was a route that served my needs.

How do you feel about rail?

I’d ride rail if it there was a route that served my needs.

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

I’ve lived in Boston and can not emphasize how much I love subways. However, I heard that every mile of subway construction costs $1,500,00. One way to create a path that, like a subway tunnel, is free of obstructions is to allow buses to use the shoulder of highways as a bus only lane. This tactic has already been used implemented in the Twin Cities and has helped buses avoid traffic.

If I was on the 405 during rush hour and saw a bus zoom past me I’d be on that bus the very next day.

I drive four or five days a week to downtown Los Angeles for work, typically arriving by 7am and leaving at about 4pm. Sometimes I run an errand after work; however, only about once a week. An example is to pick-up dry-cleaning on the way home. I reserve my weekends for grocery shopping or for trips to places like Home Depot or Best Buy.

4 replies

  1. If only subways were $1500 per mile! I’d sponsor mile 7 thru Hollywood to Beverly Hills! I find a bicycle to work really well for my commute, 9 miles one way from Hollywood to Downtown. I get exercise & time to think/meditate. It takes 15 minutes longer on some days and 15 minutes less on other days than driving a car. I always know when I’ll arrive at work, unlike driving a private vehicle or riding a bus in traffic.

  2. Haha, I’m sure he meant $1.5m….and if they only cost that! Subways are expensive (though I think a great use of dollars), and $1.5m is still a fraction of a mile worth.

  3. Increase the frequency of the bus/rail service in the weekend will encourage people to ride

    Don’t know if there are better bus options in Bell Flower, Correct if I am wrong. Bell Flower is like middle of no where for the bus rider

    1.5 m per miles maybe cheaper compare with highway only if people are willing to pay. The immediate problem is increase the freq service

  4. I always find it funny that he says his cost for his car is only $100-$300 a month. His daily round trip is 100 miles to Woodland Hills, assuming 2000 miles for 20 workdays, that would be $150 dollars for gas alone in a fuel efficient car. So his car is free? Car repairs are free? Tires are free? Of course the numbers don’t add up.