Name: Andres F. Di Zitti
Position: Administrative Intern for the San Fernando Vally/North County Area Planning Team
How often do you take transit?
Five to six times a week.
My daily work commute takes place on the Orange Line from my home in the Western San Fernando Valley to the Red Line that leaves me just feet from Metro headquarters. When I’m in a hurry or don’t feel like sitting 1.5 hours I will take the Metrolink from the Chatsworth Station.
Are you car-free? If so, why? If not, why not?
I try to be as much as possible. The nearest bus stop from my house is about 1.5 miles away and to get to the Orange Line I’m about another 5 miles away, or 2 connecting buses. Currently my commute takes me an hour and a half each way to get to work so to spend more time out of my day isn’t desirable.
Do you use any other alternative transportation (bicycle, rideshare, etc)?
I have a bike but use is mostly for recreation. I also used to carpool to the Canoga Orange Line Station with another intern that used to work in our building but unfortunately he no longer does.
Do you think being a regular Metro rider is important to your job?
I think it is absolutely essential, especially for us planners. It’s easy to sit in a cubicle and draw lines on a map but the reality is that the best planners know what they are planning both inside and out. Does it make sense to have a vegetarian butcher or an illiterate teacher? Not so much – so why should our agency be any different? Especially when you consider that Metro headquarters at One Gateway Plaza is probably the most transit accessible building in L.A. County where nearly every line terminates.
Why do you love transit?
I love passing cars stuck in traffic on Victory Blvd while I’m on the Orange Line. I love riding the Gold Line over the stalled 101 freeway. I love making it from NoHo to downtown L.A. in about 25 minutes on the Red Line. And I love all of the great stories I get to tell my friends about my commute.
Is there anything else you’d like to add (anecdote, advice, etc)?
Using public transit isn’t as bad as people think. It’s just about kicking a “door-to-door car-habit”. All it takes is a bit of planning and patience to use mass transit efficiently.