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Metro.net readers have spoken and Noah Mucci is winner of the 2011 Transit Flicks video contest for “Dollar-FiftyCity,” a first-person piece celebrating his experiences traveling L.A. County on Metro.
This is the second year for the contest, which attracted dozens of video entries. Finalists were selected by transit officials and top contenders were posted on Metro’s website metro.net so everyone could vote for their favorite and select the winner.
Mucci was grand prize winner and for his efforts will receive a free EZ transit pass for a year. He said the prize will change his life in a subtle but significant way.
“The prize will add another element to the experience of riding Metro and make it that much more enjoyable,” he said. “Beyond the economic reasons, I won’t have to constantly calculate if I have to buy a day pass or whatever. That’ll be cool. I’ll just get on.”
Mucci, who is 24, said he was “raised green” in suburban New York and has “always tried to be mindful of the environment.” So when he moved to Los Angeles four years ago he decided to forgo a car, both for financial and sustainability reasons. He has been crisscrossing L.A. County using only Metro, a skateboard and an occasional ride from friends. He works for a film company in downtown Los Angelesas as a director/producer and takes the Purple Line from very near his apartment in Koreatown that he chose specifically because of its proximity to the Red and Purple lines.
From that transit-friendly location he said he finds getting around not always easy, but workable and with benefits. “I do think there are a lot of ideas that people associate with public transit that aren’t necessarily correct,” he said. “There’s value that’s not on the surface, as well as apparent value, like the money savings. There are things like quality of life issues that matter.”
What triggered the idea for this video? Did you have other ideas?
Movies are my thing. They are what brought me to LA and how I view the world around me. When I saw the flyer for the competition I knew this was an opportunity to tell a story about something I had honest opinions and thoughts about.
Why are you car free in car crazy LA?
Cars are expensive to live with. I’ll need to get one one day but that doesn’t mean I need to use it every day.
In your entry you said, “There’s a lot of thinking space to be had in a Metro ride.” What do you mean by that?
My day is pretty nonstop. Metro rides give me a space between things to do something personal, whether that be reading, writing or just a good old headspace adventure. I like to people watch and imagine where they are coming from and where they are going. Metro is full of stories if you are open to the idea that everyone there is in the middle of a moment in their own life.
What do you think of the Metro system — things you like, things you would like to see added or improved?
I would like the Purple Line trains to be painted purple. I end up in NoHo a lot when I don’t mean to be there.
You can check out Mucci’s winning entry, as well as runners-up and honorable mentions at metro.net.