Why You Don't Ride: Devin, Woodland Hills

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: Devin
Occupation: Film Editor
Location: Woodland Hills

Your Transportation Routine:

How often do you drive and for what purpose?

I drive to and from work, plus any meetings I have to take during the course of a day.  On the weekends I drive to entertainment, friends, family, etc.

Where are you typically traveling from and going to?

I’m usually driving between Woodland Hills and Studio City.  Usually I take Vanowen to Lankershim as it is more predictable in the morning.  I take the 101 in the evening.

How many vehicles do you or your family have?

We have a Toyota Prius and a Honda Civic GX (the CNG powered version).  The Prius will be replaced by a Nissan Leaf at the end of the year when deliveries are scheduled.

How long does your commute typically take?

Between 40 and 60 minutes each way.

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?

$300 – $500

Do you use any forms of alternative transportation?

I use Metro whenever possible.  I can walk to the nearby Orange Line station and sometimes I work on projects that are at or around the Universal City station on the Red Line.

Why do you drive?

Driving gives me the flexibility that my job requires.  Sometimes I also have to take meetings at other locations during the day which can be relatively inaccessible by transit.

Your Perspective:

Why can’t/don’t you take transit?

Unfortunately on many projects my schedule doesn’t permit me use public transportation as I don’t always know when I am coming or going, and sometimes I won’t be able to go home until after the trains/buses stop running.

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

I use transit to go Downtown, and on weekends and evenings.  Sometimes I can use transit to commute to and from work, and when I have I’ve always found it to be a great experience.  It gives me the opportunity to catch up on reading and enjoy a more relaxed commute.  If I’m not able to commute on Metro then I usually don’t get much time to read, so I try to take it whenever possible.

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

24 hour service (even with somewhat reduced frequency) on the major busways and train lines.  Even if I lived farther from my Orange Line stop, I would still park and ride if only the Orange and Red Line ran 24 hours a day.

How do you feel about buses?

I’d ride a bus, but only if it has a dedicated lane.

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?

Convert the Orange line to rail.  Link the Valley to the Westside with a rail link in the middle of the 405.  Stop expanding freeways, start putting rail lines in the center of them and design smart feeder bus routes to get people to and from these lines.  People will see the train passing them while they sit in stalled traffic and will want to get on that train.  It markets itself.