Why You Ride (or Don’t) Thursday roundup

Here are our selections this week:

Read the surveys, after the jump.

Name: Chase
Occupation: Freelance entertainment professional
Location: Highland Park/Eagle Rock

Your Transit Routine:

How often do you take transit and for what purpose?

Every day.  I don’t own a car so I rely very heavily on Metro.

Where are you typically traveling from and going to?

To Silverlake for work or downtown.

What lines/routes do you take?

The 81 bus everyday.  Whether I’m taking it downtown to connect to another bus or to the Gold Line, I’m on it usually twice a day.  I also frequently use the 2 and 4, as well as the Red Line.

How long does it typically take?

My biggest gripe is that it takes me an hour to get to work in Silverlake without traffic when I’m less than 10 miles away.

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?

I don’t own a car!  It’s my only option.

Other Transportation:

Do you use any other forms of alternative transportation?

[No answer given.]

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

Yes.  I came from Chicago where it was extremely easy to be car free.  I hope to buy a car in the next few months to save time and to be able to experience everything L.A. has to offer that I can’t do on public transit.

Your Perspective:

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

I think there needs to be a line that goes from the Eagle Rock/Highland Park area that goes down Fletcher into Silverlake/Echo Park area.  Even just a short line would save me a ton of money and time.  I have to take a bus into downtown and then down Sunset currently – which is a huge waste of time.  And with the ludicrous fact that Metro doesn’t offer free or discounted transfers, I end up paying $6 to get to and from work everyday, which really starts to add up.

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

Increased frequencies of transit in the evening.  I work late and sometimes end up having to wait for an hour for a bus to come which is annoying and dangerous depending on where I am waiting.  When I lived downtown, I hated cutting my evenings in Hollywood short because of the limited late night Red Line times.

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?

It’s impossible to.  There is such a negative stigma toward L.A.’s public transit because of the invisibility of the rail system.  Most people I know are shocked that I survive without a car and many weren’t even aware that L.A. had a rail system.  I think that too much damage has been done to really be able promote it.  I think the only hope is to make it an easy, clean and cheap experience and pray for word of mouth from good experiences created by riders.

***

Name: Franky Hernandez
Occupation: Student
Location: Los Angeles

Your Transit Routine:

How often do you take transit and for what purpose?

I take transit every day during the weekdays in order to go to school.

Where are you typically traveling from and going to?

I travel from the South L.A. area to the Westside and sometimes to downtown L.A.

What lines/routes do you take?

Metro Rapid 705

How long does it typically take?

30-40 minutes everyday back and forth to school.

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?

Less than $50

Why do you take transit?

Save money.

Other Transportation:

Do you use any other forms of alternative transportation?

Rideshare.

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

I am car free because I don’t own a car yet.

Your Perspective:

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

More frequent service on Rapid lines, real time arrival info and better bus drivers who can actually meet arrival times and making sure that nobody is left out of the bus because I have witnessed that drivers sometimes don’t look at their camera monitors or mirrors to make sure someone is going after the bus.

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

More rail and bus lanes, and more lanes on the 405 between the 105 and 605, and on the 105 between the 110 and 710

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

It’s gotten worse. The Metro Rapid lines serving the Westside and South Bay cities now run every half hour during non-peak hours as opposed to 18-20 minutes when I first started riding

How would you encourage Angelenos to use transit?

Get out of your cars and try the bus or carpool with people.

***

Name: Daisy
Occupation: Lawyer
Location: Studio City

Your Transportation Routine:

How often do you drive and for what purpose?

Five days a week for work.

Where are you typically traveling from and going to?

Studio City to downtown L.A.

How many vehicles do you or your family have?

1

How long does your commute typically take?

90 min. each way

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?

More than $500

Do you use any forms of alternative transportation?

Local buses on the weekends and I HATE it!!!

Why do you drive?

Convenient.

Your Perspective:

Why can’t/don’t you take transit?

Too many homeless people with their stinking plastic garbage bags filled with recyclable beer cans.  Too many vendors carrying humongous poles with balloons, cotton candy and stuffed animals attached.  On the bus!  I see it every time I ride, and I hate getting bonked in the head with their stupid junk.  Also, people with those plastic garbage bags filled with recyclable beer cans and bottles think its okay to put those damp stinking bags on the seats.  You have to feel the seat before you sit down to make sure it isn’t wet, or the moisture gets on your clothes.  Yuck.

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

Yes.  See above.  We take the bus on the weekends as a family.  Trying to do the responsible thing by not always using the car.  Love the subway.  Hate the buses.  For the reasons described above.

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

Limit the size of bags and junk people are allowed to drag onto the bus.  I often see blind and elderly folks getting caught up in the huge foldable shopping carts riders bring on the bus and don’t unfold.  Someone is going to get hurt.

Also, I’m getting tired of yelling at younger people (and I’m only 30) who refuse to move out of those very front seats when a blind person gets on the bus with a cane or a guide dog.

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?

Forget about the subway to the sea.  Make the existing buses safer and cleaner and more pleasant for riders.

5 replies

  1. Hey Chase, $6 to travel is a lot living car free? Try gas (going to be over $4 a gallon soon, parking in DTLA, insurance, and extra’s). Just ride your bus, like it, and enjoy the ride. You are getting a steal compared to the rest of us…

  2. @Daisy
    You should try taking the Red Line since the north Hollywood and universal stations are right near studio city and since you go downtown, it seems that it would be pretty convenient. I ride it most of the time whenever going downtown and its a pretty easy ride and has stops within walking distance of most major destinations in downtown. Sure as hell beats the stress traffic and driving on the 101 or 5. I wish my 405 commute to SMC had a rail line instead of the freeway widening fiasco that’s going on now…

  3. Chase, can you get a TAP card pass? It’s $75 a month and I use it on both rail and bus. I know we can’t use it in Long Beach, but I assumed (perhaps incorrectly?) that throughout LA’s many mini towns, it worked.

  4. Thank you all for your comments on public transit in LA- very helpful. My husband and I are moving there this summer, and are looking into the possibilities of taking the subway/light rail(?). I’m from Chicago so I can relate to driving in absurd traffic! Any suggestions regarding commuting from Passadena to downtown would be helpful as well!