Why You Ride: Vicente A., San Fernando Valley

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: Vicente A.
Occupation: Student
Location: San Fernando Valley

Your Transit Routine:

How often do you take transit and for what purpose?

I take transit several times a week-for school, work, or entertainment.

Where are you typically traveling from and going to?

I travel from my apartment to work and back or to school and back home or to go somewhere fun (Hollywood, the beach, Universal Studios, Downtown LA, etc).

What lines/routes do you take?

I commonly use the 168 or the 167 to get to work and the 158 to the 234 to get to school. I use the Red Line several times a month to get to Hollywood or Downtown.

How long does it typically take?

To work it’s as little as 15 minutes and to school about half an hour.

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

I love it!

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

$50 – $100

Why do you take transit?

I take transit for a combination of saving money, saving the environment, maintaining a more active lifestyle (incorporating walking into my commute) and not dealing with parking or traffic.

Other Transportation:

Do you use any other forms of alternative transportation?

I walk as often as possible to places in my neighborhood (library, market, restaurants, movies, etc) and I use my family’s car occasionally to get places that unfortunately don’t have good public transit access (such as the mountains to hike and remote beaches), or if I’m going to be out late it will be difficult to get home via public transit.

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

I’m technically car-free since I don’t own my own car and only use my family’s car occasionally.

Your Perspective:

If you could make one change to improve your transit experience, what would it be?

The most obvious is that service ends to soon/early. I would like to see at least the Red Line and connecting buses be 24-hours since then it would be possible to safely have a night out and not worry about traffic, parking, and drunk driving.

Given limited funds, how would you address L.A.’s transportation issues?

Transit oriented development that isn’t EXPENSIVE would be nice. Most of the people that live in the nice new apartments adjacent to the Metro rail stations don’t use the trains and people who regularly use transit can’t afford to live in those developments. Also more car-sharing programs, carpool lanes and buses on routes to have more frequent service. Rail expansion would be nice.

Do you think L.A. transit is better or worse since you started riding? What’s changed?

It’s gotten better.

I can definitely see how Metro has upgraded its image in the past 7 years that I’ve been riding. The buses are new and nice, the addition of things like a Day Pass and TAP cards, and the little things like the stylized logos/maps/advertising/branding, etc. It’s also become “cool” to be car-free or car-lite. It used to be almost embarrassing to admit that you took the bus everywhere but now it’s something people are proud of.

How would you encourage Angelenos to use transit?

I would encourage Angelenos to plan their commutes or leisure around public transit (for example choosing to go places that have rail or frequent bus access; having the bus or train trip be part of the fun) and take responsibility for their car usage and its effect on the environment.