Why You Ride: SMH, 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: SMH
Occupation: Mac Tech
Location: San Fernando Valley

Your Transit Routine:

How often do you take transit and for what purpose?

Everyday. My job is only 3 stops away on the Rapid line by my house.

Where are you typically traveling from and going to?

Getty Center.

What lines/routes do you take?

Rapid 761.

How long does it typically take?

15-20 minutes, same amount of time as driving.

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?

$100 – $300

Why do you take transit?

It’s cheaper and less stressful also downright more convenient.

Other Transportation:

Do you use any other forms of alternative transportation?

I bike to errands and light duties locally.

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

I drive to the Red Line subway station in my car also to the laundry, the grocery store, and IKEA to pickup furniture. For anything else it’s a waste of gas.

Your Perspective:

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

1) Grade separated Westside rail down the 405 from the Valley to LAX
2) Better service sensitivity to events (Blue/Expo line construction amid a huge draw event in Long Beach is failure).
3) Better Owl service maybe even akin to San Francisco’s Night Owl service.

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

Halt all expansion of L.A. freeways, make the congested freeways into toll roads, use that money for repairing existing roads, and put the savings that would have been spent on road expansion into improved bus/BRT service and heavy/light rail expansion. $1B would go a lot further building a rail line than adding an HOV lane to the most congested freeway given that in most cases more lanes = more traffic.

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

It’s pretty much the same.

How would you encourage Angelenos to use transit?

It has to be a better option than what they already have. The money and environmental cases are solid but the time sensitivity and stigma associated with public transit in L.A. have yet to be tackled seriously. Marketing can only do so much before you have to roll up your sleeves and really delve into getting people out of their cars and onto buses and trains.