Why You Don’t Ride: Peter, Los Angeles

Why You Ride (or Don't)Why You Ride (or Don’t Ride)‘ is a series where you, our faithful readers, share your transportation routines in L.A. and your thoughts on how to make things better – read more about the concept here.

Want to share your story? Take the survey here if you ride transit regularly, or take this one if you don’t ride.

Who You Are:

Name: Peter
Occupation: Physician
Location: Los Angeles

Your Transportation Routine:

How often do you drive and for what purpose?

Daily commute to work.

Where are you typically traveling from and going to?

Upper Sunset Plaza to Mid-City LA.

How many vehicles do you or your family have?


How long does your commute typically take?

30 minutes to go six miles.

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?


Why do you drive?

No other viable options.

Your Perspective:

Why can’t/don’t you take transit?

I live in the middle of the city, yet the closest bus stop (corner of Lookout Mountain and Laurel Canyon, the 218 route) to my house is a 1.3 mile walk, with a 500 foot elevation loss.

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

Yes, when I was living closer to a bus stop.  The drunk/homeless/crazy people on the bus are a given, a reality of urban life and I’m okay with them.

What bothered me the most was the time wasted waiting for a bus.  The published schedules are not reality-based.

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

Create a bus route closer to where I live.  (Not gonna happen.)

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?

How about equipping each bus with a GPS receiver that can, in REAL TIME, upload its location to a mapping app for an iPad or cell phone (less time wasted waiting for a bus). I know other cities do this (e.g. Portland) – why can’t Los Angeles?  It would be much less expensive than, say, extending the Purple Line to Santa Monica.