Why You Don't Ride: NRH, Westlake

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: NRH
Occupation: Administrative Assistant
Location: Westlake

Your Transportation Routine:

How often do you drive and for what purpose?

During the week I drive 0.6 miles to work and back and on the weekends I commute to Whittier. I often take spur of the moment trips to the valley or Long Beach to meet friends.

Where are you typically traveling from and going to?

Traveling to work, to see my mother, or to meet up with friends.

How many vehicles do you or your family have?

1

How long does your commute typically take?

7 minutes.

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?

Sometimes I walk to work.

Why do you drive?

I drive because it’s convenient, despite having a gas-hog, high-maintenance old minivan. I can choose when I want to travel, where I want to travel, and with a smartphone to map my way, I don’t need to plan ahead.

Your Perspective:

Why can’t/don’t you take transit?

I can take transit. I live off Wilshire Boulevard, the same street my work is on, and a street populated with buses. But often working late, and having to walk a couple blocks through Westlake, I do not feel safe. As a small, young woman, I feel particularly vulnerable, despite knowing self-defense techniques.

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

When I’ve wanted to use transit, I’ve found that rail stops have not been quite close enough to where I’ve wanted to go (West Valley, UCLA, east Long Beach) and it’s inconvenient to negotiate bus and rail maps when I decide last-minute that I want to go somewhere.

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

Ensure the safety of buses and rail late at night, as well as the areas surrounding transit stops.

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?

Provide internet and smartphone users a way to quickly map routes and make it clear which lines are running at what times (this would appeal to younger transit users who stay out later and often travel relatively far to late-night hotspots like Hollywood, Downtown, Silverlake, Long Beach, etc.)

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