Why You Ride (or Don't) Thursday roundup

Last August we embarked on a little experiment – we decided to open up the blog to our readers and give them the chance to tell us why they ride transit. We didn’t stop there though, we also decided to ask those who don’t ride to tell us why.

The response was overwhelming, we received 325 completed surveys (227 “Why You Ride”, 98 “Why You Don’t Ride”), many of them going into detail about what keeps them on or off transit and what they’d like to see Metro do to improve transit in L.A. County.

We started publishing the results immediately, allowing other readers (including Metro staff) to see how their fellow Angelenos felt about L.A.’s growing transit system. We posted 48 surveys to the blog last year and they often sparked good discussion on the comments board, but some felt the daily postings were becoming a little overwhelming (including Streetsblog L.A., who still awarded us with 2010 Streetsie Award for best news site despite the frequent postings).

This doesn’t mean we’re done publishing the surveys – but to turn down the daily noise we’ll be posting a selection of them in a single post every Thursday from now on.

Also, we’ve closed the survey so that we can collect the data and analyze the results. We’ve actually got some bigger plans once we’ve compiled all the data, so stay tuned.

Here are our selections this week:

Read the surveys, after the jump.

Name: Beth Pineles
Occupation: Grad student
Location: Venice

Your Transit Routine:

How often do you take transit and for what purpose?

Few times a week to go to school or other places I need to go.

Where are you typically traveling from and going to?

Venice – East LA
Venice – Malibu
Venice – Santa Monica
Venice – Redondo Beach

What lines/routes do you take?

Metro 733, 534, 70, 71, 78, 79 & Big Blue Bus 2, 3, 1

How long does it typically take?

1.5 hours for Venice – East LA

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?

Save money, help environment, no other option, reduce stress, drinking alcohol

Other Transportation:

Do you use any other forms of alternative transportation?

Bicycle.

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

No because I can’t be in L.A. – the public transit takes too long, there’s not enough bike racks (often get bumped to next bus because 2 bikes already on racks), buses don’t run often enough so one late or missed bus makes me late, bus stops are not nice (mine smells like urine), buses are often very crowded, bus routes not efficient (i.e. no direct Santa Monica – Union Station express route with no stops in between).

Your Perspective:

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

#1:  More bike racks

More frequent service, cash on TAP cards, knowing when bus will arrive, more express routes with no stops in between for long rides (on express freeway lanes) such as downtown Santa Monica – Union Station, better coordination with municipal lines, and a complete line up and down Route 1 from Santa Monica through to Torrance.

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

More buses, more bus lanes, more bike lanes.  Rail is not as useful as buses, doesn’t go many places, transfers very out-of-the-way and slow given infrequent service.

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?

Make it better and faster.

***

Name: Nicholas
Occupation: Film producer
Location: Studio City

Your Transit Routine:

How often do you take transit and for what purpose?

5 times a week for work.

Where are you typically traveling from and going to?

Studio City to: Downtown L.A, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Culver City, Santa Monica, Venice

What lines/routes do you take?

218, Red Line, 2, 20, 761

How long does it typically take?

Fast as a car

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?

More than $500

Why do you take transit?

Reduce stress, save money, help environment, so I can have dinner with my wife and ride home in the same car as her.

Other Transportation:

Do you use any other forms of alternative transportation?

Bicycle.

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

Partially car free, we’re a one car family

Your Perspective:

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

More frequent service.

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

30/10 and more out of the box thinking like that.

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

It’s gotten better. There are more people using it, more people bicycling, new buses on the 218, MTA is making small (signage, etc.) and large improvements (Orange Line, more rail, more efficient bus service on main lines).

How would you encourage Angelenos to use transit?

Make it cool and build what the voters voted for.

***

Name: Jamie
Occupation: Tech Manager
Location: Santa Monica

Your Transportation Routine:

How often do you drive and for what purpose?

Everyday. For transportation.

Where are you typically traveling from and going to?

Hollywood for work and various other places.

How many vehicles do you or your family have?

I own one motor scooter.

How long does your commute typically take?

40 minutes.

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

I deal with it.

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

Less than $50

Do you use any forms of alternative transportation?

I occasionally take the bus or walk.

Why do you drive?

It’s fast, convenient, and cheaper than public transportation.

Your Perspective:

Why can’t/don’t you take transit?

I don’t take transit because it’s slow and not reliable.

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

I have used public transit for more than 10 years in L.A., but it takes too long to get across town on a bus. A subway system is needed.

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

Build a subway. More frequent buses and real-time data on when buses will arrive.

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?

More subways.

3 thoughts on “Why You Ride (or Don't) Thursday roundup

  1. Don’t know who MTA listens to
    1) more buses
    2) more rail
    or
    3) more buses and rails

    To make LA more public transit friendly, it should be #3. MTA only listens to #2 group. Does MTA have enough money to build ALL rails across LA COUNTY. IF NOT BUILD RAILS ONLY IF YOU HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO IMPROVE LOCAL CONNECTIONS AND YOU DON’T CUT BUSES (AND CALL THAT IMPROVEMENT)

    Don’t create rails that only people who have cars could use

  2. Start using TAP for what it was meant to be for: top-up cash and introduce distance or zone based fares to make more money, ’nuff said.

    Every successful transit agency in the world can implement this, why is LA the only agency still scratching their heads trying to figure out how to make TAP work right?

  3. “Don’t create rails that only people who have cars could use”

    Public transportation shouldn’t be designed simply to serve the poor. Taxpayers should be able to take advantage of a robust, varied transportation network just as much as those on the public dole.

Comments are closed.