Why You Don't Ride: Cathy Cole, Van Nuys

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: Cathy Cole
Occupation: Census field rep
Location: Van Nuys

Your Transportation Routine:

How often do you drive and for what purpose?

I need to drive to call on the people that I survey for my job 10 days each month. I also drive to do grocery shopping, etc.

Where are you typically traveling from and going to?

From West Van Nuys all over the San Fernando Valley.

How many vehicles do you or your family have?


How long does your commute typically take?

10 to 30 minutes.

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?

$50 – $100

Do you use any forms of alternative transportation?

I ride the bus and subways sometimes.

Why do you drive?

I need a car for my job. The buses don’t run often enough to get where I need to be.

Your Perspective:

Why can’t/don’t you take transit?

I think that the public transit needs to me more subsidized and made more convenient and the fares need to be lowered. Waiting at a hot or rainy bus stop for a late bus with no shade or bench makes it torture. The Orange Line needs to be light rail because the buses can’t hold the many people that ride it.

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

In general once I get on a bus it’s fine. In certain parts of town such as East Hollywood and near USC it’s too crowded on the bus and is very unpleasant. The connections are horrible. Too many late buses means it takes way too long to get around Los Angeles.

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

More buses, lower fares and nicer places to wait for the bus.

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?

We can never widen enough freeways to keep everyone moving in cars. We need more of the money put in mass transit. I like light rail and more buses on the street.