Why You Don't Ride: Alison K, Santa Monica

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: Alison K
Occupation: Planner
Location: Santa Monica

Your Transportation Routine:

How often do you drive and for what purpose?

I drive rarely – just to go to the grocery store, drive carpool to the high school or go to meetings out of Santa Monica.

Where are you typically traveling from and going to?

I bike all over Santa Monica, day and night, weekend and weekday, for fun and for work.  When I need to go further, I usually drive to USC, Downtown L.A., LAX or Malibu.

How many vehicles do you or your family have?

Two cars for four drivers.

How long does your commute typically take?

I work from a home office.

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

I hate it. There has to be a better way.

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

Less than $50

Do you use any forms of alternative transportation?

Bicycle to meetings, library, movies, church. Carpool to school, meetings in Downtown L.A. or further. Walk to doctor, stores, park, friends.

Why do you drive?

To take two to four people more than five miles, going out at night, to buy groceries or other bulky items.  We drive very short distances and only a few times a week.

Your Perspective:

Why can’t/don’t you take transit?

Two members of our family go to USC twice a week or more, but transferring buses from Wilshire to get to USC is a pain.  They usually bike and sometimes drive.  We look forward to Expo extension to Santa Monica. It’s very frustrating that we can’t use Big Blue Bus passes on Metro, since both run very close to home and Metro buses are more frequent, but much more expensive.

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

I’ve taken buses to meetings along Wilshire and Downtown L.A.  Colleagues treated me like a street person. Trip took a long time.  Recently sent three teenagers to the Getty by bus and was dismayed to find that it now cost them $3 each way with the transfer.

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

I promote bus use for our local high school students, but am dismayed at recent fare increases by Big Blue Bus which eliminated completely any discount for school students, and by Metro’s transfer elimination which doubles cost for those not living along a single bus line.  Also dislike being hassled while waiting for bus – a problem at Santa Monica High and many Metro stops.

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?

Much more bus service, with low fares and discounted passes which encourage everyone to buy passes and then ride frequently.  Expand light rail where ridership justifies the investment, but not at expense of buses.

Pay attention to customers, and address security concerns and keep stops and buses clean and safe.

Freeways and more cheap parking just compounds the problems L.A. faces.

2 replies

  1. Thank you

    I like this statement

    “Expand light rail where ridership justifies the investment, but not at expense of buses”

  2. allison k
    did you know about the EZ pass?
    its good on both Santa monica and Metro
    (its also vaild on most all other transit companies in los angeles county
    like culver city, LADOT, torrance etc