Why You Ride: Vijay, L.A. County

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: Vijay
Occupation: Government employee
Location: L.A. County (Unincorporated)

Your Transit Routine:

How often do you take transit and for what purpose?

I ride the Metro bus line Monday through Friday, weekly, to and from work. Unless the bus is too late, then I drive.

Where are you typically traveling from and going to?

Imperial Hwy/Western Ave to Broadway Ave/Pico Blvd and back.

What lines/routes do you take?

Mornings: From Imperial/Western, the 757 or 207, to Western/MLK, then 740 or 40/42A, to Broadway/Pico. The bus line varies depending on the bus driver. Some drivers seem to be later than late, and I catch the buses earlier than I need too. I can’t be late to work. As a result, I drive more than I would like.

Afternoons: From Broadway/Pico, the 745, to the Green Line station. From there I walk 2 miles home because the Imperial bus, #120, takes too long and I can mostly beat it walking to Imperial/Western.

How long does it typically take?

Morning, if drivers arrives at Imperial/Western which is the first stop going North, 40+ minutes, including wait time. Afternoon, since I only catch one bus, 25+ minutes. I walk the rest.

Briefly, how would you describe your typical transit 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

Why do you take transit?

To save money on gas, downtown parking fees, repairs, car insurance and to cut gas emissions on the earth. But, I drive more than I would like to so my savings are not as much as they should be. My stress, I feel, has increased because I believe there is no reason to be up to 2-8 minutes late to the first stop after the bus leaves the Crenshaw Station to Imperial/Western. Driver #9445 is always 2 to 8 minutes late to Imperial/Western (the first stop) going North to the Hollywood Station. It’s sad. America’s Best is a joke. I now take the bus before his to get to work extra early.

Other Transportation:

Do you use any other forms of alternative transportation?

No.

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

I have explained. Read above.

Your Perspective:

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

Bus line #120 needs service.

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

Bus drivers need more supervision on their route. Have secret bus riders who report bus drivers times.

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

It’s pretty much the same. Bus drivers stop at non-stop streets to pick up friends. Now that there is no penalty for being late and only for being early, being late is okay. They see you running and may be at the bus door and they will still pull off. RUDE! Drivers have more attitude now. If this is “America’s Best,” I’m ashamed to be a legal American. But, there are a few drivers who should be cloned and put on every bus line. GOD bless them. To find them is like finding your way out of the dark and into the light.

How would you encourage Angelenos to use transit?

I wouldn’t encourage anyone to ride METRO until the service improves.

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