Rail LA volunteer video blogs her first Metro Rail experience

Whitney Lynn (aka @catahstrophic) is a Rail LA volunteer who decided the best way to get to the Rail LA booth at Sunday’s CicLAvia was to hop on the Red Line – for the first time ever.

Check out this video she tweeted us to see what she thought of Metro Rail and if she made it to CicLAvia in one piece.

11 thoughts on “Rail LA volunteer video blogs her first Metro Rail experience

  1. No idea what the story is behind skipping a station, but in such circumstances, is it really required to buy another ticket to get back to your intended stop? That seems a little ridiculous.

  2. Good and all..but I would expect more from a RailLA person like taking all forms of Metro on a more consistent basis. Using a bus or train is not bad…

  3. This video made me cringe. I wonder how many people she ran over while filming herself driving. Someone at Metro needs to find out if the train did indeed skip Civic Center. Otherwise her “vlog” could convince others not to take the subway for fear of getting stranded.

  4. Cut her some slack. She seems like a nice enough young woman who, from the Twitter link, seems to be out of state and may be clueless about rail transit (like most of America who lives away from the big city).

    • We were all newbies to L.A. transit at some point. I always consider rail a “gateway drug” for those new to transit – a few hits of rail and you’re bound to move on to the bus, even if only to find out if you can handle it or not.

      Fred Camino
      Contributor, The Source

  5. Regarding driving to the Metro Red Line, particularly in the San Fernando Valley; it seems that most novice riders looking to try Metro would not bother with buses or the Orange Line. This is what I observed from my Thai friends who aren’t regular Metro riders, but they took the Red Line to the Songkran festival in East Hollywood from North Hollywood station by driving to the station first.

    I believe she mentioned that her brother is with RailLA but she is volunteering with him. She didn’t mention her originating Red Line station, but judging by the view outside of her car, she was driving south on Lankershim past the Honda dealership so she most likely boarded at NoHo.

  6. The subway trains are basically on automatic operations, even though they do have conductors. There’s no way it just skipped a stop.

    I hope the LA Times doesn’t catch wind of this and write another “White girl takes public transportation and learns a little about herself” piece.

  7. It’s pretty simple about why many people choose to drive to the station than take the bus. The train station could only be seven blocks away, but I’m sure as not going to pay $1.50 for a bus for only seven blocks. Taking the bus $1.50 to the train station in each direction adds up to $3.00; it’s cheaper to drive seven blocks to the station.

    $1.50 to get from Hollywood to Downtown LA? Now that’s a good price worth paying for.

    This is why we need distance based fares.

  8. Here’s how I see it:

    This is an unfiltered experience of a single person who tried Metro rail.

    Twitter Tuesday, featuring customer complaints and allowing comments are all examples of how we feel that unfiltered feedback is the best. Obviously this woman’s experience involved a bit of confusion and a lack of education – but I’d say that fully represents the average Angeleno when it comes to transit. We have to assume a blank slate. I give her props for knowing that L.A. has a subway, there’s many people I’ve met who’ve lived here for years and are still unaware of that fact.

    So the question is – where did the confusion about the skipped stop arrive from? Perhaps she was expecting a light-up map like some trains in NYC? Perhaps the P.A. system announcing stops was broken or unintelligible? Perhaps the signage is not clear enough at the stations for a complete newbie?

    And the idea that you have to drive to rail stations is a common misconception, one echoed by some commenters on this very blog. Remember: many people, especially “discretionary riders” immediately write off the bus.

    Bottom line: I think the reactions of first time riders – good or bad – is important to take into account. Transplants, tourists and life-long Angelenos riding for the first time are a critical population to impress if the goal is to get people out of their cars and on to Metro.

    Fred Camino
    Contributor, The Source

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