Why You Don't Ride: RDM, Long Beach

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: RDM
Occupation: Scientist
Location: Long Beach

Your Transportation Routine:

How often do you drive and for what purpose?

Daily commuting.

Where are you typically traveling from and going to?

To work in Costa Mesa from Long Beach.

How many vehicles do you or your family have?


How long does your commute typically take?

1 hour.

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?

None of these are feasible for regular use on my commute.

Why do you drive?

Inter-county travel is extremely poor in southern California. If I relied on public transit (LB Transit plus OCTA), it would probably take 2 hours each way to get to work. This assumes that transfers work perfectly. If I miss a transfer (not unlikely), it could easily add an hour each way.

Your Perspective:

Why can’t/don’t you take transit?

Buses are too infrequent.
Inter-agency transfers are too difficult.

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

Yes, for short trips. It’s great for getting to the Long Beach Airport, or to Downtown LA.

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

More frequent buses (departures every 15 minutes, rather than every hour).
More express travel for long distances.
Simpler inter-agency transfers.
More regional planning — why do you assume that all transit riders only stick to one county every day?

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?

I would ensure that nobody has to wait more than 30 minutes during normal business hours for the next bus or train.

A park-and-ride that allowed me to take an OCTA bus from Long Beach would be really fantastic.

6 replies

  1. I think it is wrong to assume that it would take an hour more taking public transportation, it may take the same time or less from my own experiences. (Keep your car just us public transportation more)

  2. I live in City of Commerce and work in Burbank right next to Bob Hope airport. I took public transportation and will take me two hours both ways work/home. Driving only takes me in the morning about 35 minutes to get to work – is just coming home is the worst – an hour – 5 south is terrible. If only more buses will run more frequently and or public transportation will be practical maybe more people will use it.

  3. @dsong

    My fiancee lives in Long Beach and works in Costa Mesa. It is very expensive to move into the OC from Long Beach, so your response is a bit harsh.

    @Chris B

    You’re right about the vendors. I’m considering driving more often if I keep getting harrassed on the train by all these people selling everything from m&m’s to dvd’s.

  4. I have been taking the metro blueline for over 9 years commuting to work. The cuts in service are making it hard to get to work. Also Metro needs to do something about all the vendors on the train. After a long day at work, I dont want to be asked 19 times from 7th/Metro to Anaheim Station if I want M&M’s and bootleg movies. The Sheriffs department really needs to do more to cut down in the problems on the metro system. Everyday I consider driving cause the problems are getting out of control.

  5. I agree 15 minute or less freq buses will encourage a lot more people to take buses. Many people argue that rail is more reliable. That is right. I like rail. However, how many freq bus service do we have to sacrifice to build one rail.
    Also, why it is so difficult to travel between LA and OC especially so many people commute between those two couties