Why I Ride: Timothy Porter, Gold Line Maintenance Supervisor

Why I Ride

Why I Ride‘ is a series where Metro employees share their transit routines – read more about the concept here.

Name: Timothy Porter
Position: Gold Line Maintenance Supervisor

How often do you take transit?

Tuesday through Saturday.

What lines/routes?

I ride Metrolink from Rialto to Union Station and ride a Gold Line train from Union Station to the Gold Line rail yard along the L.A. river, just east of Chinatown.

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

I drive a GMC Yukon back and forth from my home in Bloomington to the Rialto Metrolink station (about 3.5 miles). Unfortunately, if one of my tenants has a problem, they won’t let me take my ladder and tools on the bus.

What is your job at Metro?

I work 3rd shift as the maintenance supervisor at the Metro Gold Line

Do you think being a regular Metro rider is important to your job?

Riding the Metro trains gives me the opportunity to talk to the operators, get feedback on how well we are serving their needs, and it gives me the chance to see how our riding patrons are enjoying the ride. I can also feel the ride quality, see if we are meeting goals for cleanliness, and develop action plans for correcting or improving our performance.

Why do you love transit?

The up side is that riding the train in to and out of L.A. takes all the stress out of the commute. The only down side is that on Saturday and Sunday mornings, I’m stuck in L.A. until the first Metrolink train rolls out, Saturday at 7am and Sunday at 9am. Despite the small disadvantage, it still beats driving.

Is there anything else you’d like to add (anecdote, advice, etc)?

I met a really interesting fellow on the morning Metrolink train. He is a special-needs patron and he is a walking, talking transit schedule library. Whenever another patron has a question about how to get somewhere using transit, he can tell the person at which station to debark, which line to take and at what time it arrives, where to transfer, if applicable, and so on. He innately knows the schedules for Metro, Omni, Torrance, Montebello and Foothill. He himself is car-free by necessity, but he copes by riding his bicycle everywhere, or taking his bike on whatever transit will permit it.