Why You Don’t Ride: RFQ, Downey

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: RFQ
Occupation: Not employed
Location: Downey

Your Transportation Routine:

How often do you drive and for what purpose?

Three to five times a week to take sibling to doctor appointments and mother to grocery store.  Two or three times a month to Fullerton Amtrak Station to watch trains.

Where are you typically traveling from and going to?

Home to USC University Hospital.   Less than a mile to grocery store. Downey to Fullerton Amtrak Station.

How many vehicles do you or your family have?


How long does your commute typically take?

No commute.   12 miles to USC Hospital.

Briefly, how would you describe your typical driving experience? Love it, deal with it, or hate it?

I love it!

On average, what do you spend each month on transportation?

$100 – $300

Do you use any forms of alternative transportation?


Why do you drive?

Time saving. Convenient.  There are three things that I think are finite:  Time, Money and Petroleum.  The time saved and the ease of use makes it inevitable. If you go grocery shopping with someone over 80 years old once a week, do you really think you can walk or take a bus?

Your Perspective:

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

I lived in Portland, OR for about 25 years.  I would use it if I could but mostly I couldn’t because it would stop running before I got off work. I used it only when my car was unavailable.  I worked right next to the Tri-Met headquarters and could not use it because only one line served the area and it stopped way too early at night.

I’ve used a day pass five times since late May this year to go all over the system, sometimes with my father.

Unless someone’s commute endpoints – home and work – are close to transit that can get them between the two points relatively quickly,  people won’t use it.  How much time can you ‘afford’ to spend commuting?  If people choose their work and home locations with transit in mind, they will probably not be able to realistically use it.

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

The decline of lines on the 12-minute map is unfortunate.  The “choice riders” (those who can choose whether or not to ride) will be less inclined to use the system.

The better the “system/network” is, the more likely people will be able to use it.  As gas prices rise more people will want the option,  but will they be able to?

Also easier connections between Metro and the municipal systems would help in that regard. A day pass that works on all systems would be nice.  I am okay with TAP – you just need to give the cards away instead of charging.

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?

30/10 (or 30/12, 30/15, 30/20, 30/whenever) is a good idea.  Some of the proposed lines should be dragged out unless a really good reason can be made for prioritizing them – a ballot measure to not build them is okay with me.  The Santa Ana corridor does not make any sense to me – you need to have a really good reason to do it.  Don’t do a “Green Line to LAX” unless it will be significantly better than what now exists.  If not, it could be a waste of billions of limited dollars for something that might not be much better than what exists now.  I’ve taken it to the airport and I’ve dropped my parents off at the Lakewood Green Line station to go to the airport.  It works as it is and getting rail to go around the terminals is just crazy.

The Wilshire subway and the Regional Connector need to be first priority. What comes next?  Another sales tax ballot measure using the infrastructure bank that will get Measure R financed.  Purple Line to Santa Monica.  Pink Line extension that has track connections to the ends of the Red and Purple line.  Hopefully this can happen so that the construction of the Purple line will be continuous to Santa Monica.  No other transit rail leaps to mind.  Time to concentrate on growing bus lines – BRT (ugh!), Rapid, and whatever Local ‘thing’ will meet the needs of the masses of riders that will need better connectivity in the future.