‘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:
Occupation: Planner (not Metro)
Your Transit Routine:
How often do you take transit and for what purpose?
Daily commute. Often at lunch time. Also, for entertainment.
Where are you typically traveling from and going to?
Pasadena to downtown (commute). Downtown Dash to various places for lunch. Pasadena to Hollywood area. Occasionally take a Metro bus to Boyle Heights to visit in-laws.
What lines/routes do you take?
Gold Line, Red Line, Dash, various Metro buses, occasionally the Orange Line and Commuter Express 437.
How long does it typically take?
Depends on the route. Usually less than an hour for my morning commute.
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?
$50 – $100
Why do you take transit?
I’m turning into Ed Begley Jr. in terms of avoiding owning or driving a car.
At first it was a cost saving measure, but when I combined bicycling and transit, much of L.A. became completely available without needing a car.
Do you use any other forms of alternative transportation?
Bicycle. If I do drive, it’s with my wife, so there’s no SOV. I work out local trips/errands with a bicycle.
Are you car-free? If so, why? If not, why not?
I do have a car. I have put about 200 miles on it in the past year. My wife needs a car for her work, so I’m not completely car free.
If you could make one change to improve your transit experience, what would it be?
1 – Cheapest thing I can think of: Install bike ramps on stairways at the subway/light rail stations.
2 – Bike racks on the Gold Line trains near the entrances. People cut in front of bicyclists getting on the train, and then bicyclists have to squeeze by them to get to the designated bike area, resulting in dirty tires brushing against nice suit pants etc. Having a vertical rack reduces the space conflict.
Given limited funds, how would you address L.A.’s transportation issues?
More bike lanes will draw more bicyclists (look at Portland and New York City). More safe and secure bike parking. There are tons of low cost or free parking for cars, but not for bicycles. More safe and secure bike parking means bicyclists have somewhere safe and secure to park their bike without it being stolen or stripped.
I read somewhere that there are seven parking spaces in Los Angeles County for every automobile registered in the County. How many bicycle racks are there in Los Angeles County?
Do you think L.A. transit is better or worse since you started riding? What’s changed?
It’s pretty much the same.
How would you encourage Angelenos to use transit?
Charge an additional city or county wide tax on parking and use the proceeds to reduce transit fares (not maintain service, not to pay salaries, but to reduce transit fares).
As an example: if City of L.A. would charge an additional $0.25 tax or fee/day for every parked car, they could have the Downtown DASH service completely free.