David Bailey

LA Public Transit Works OK

if only every city had the Paris Metro
if only every city had the Paris Metro

Today I decided to take public transportation from the airport to USC. Although I've been on a bus before in LA, this was my first time alone. Here's how it went.

  1. Before my trip, I checked out metro.net's trip planner and put in my starting and ending point. At first the route it told me to take looked a little awkward, but it was in fact the best way to go.
  2. After getting my bags at the airport, I walked out to wait for the bus to the green line. It came within five minutes. After about 10 minutes of driving, the bus dropped us off at the LAX Transit Center. This is just a place a couple of miles from the airport where all the buses pick people up. But I wanted something else: The Green Line.
  3. I bought my ticket from the machine at the ground level and took the elevator up to the train. This time, I was not so timely as the train was rolling away as I was exiting the elevator. It took about 15 minutes for the next train. The Metro Green Line functions much like any other subway system in America or abroad. Interestingly, you don't have to scan a ticket anywhere; it runs on the honor system. However, this could change soon. The train runs about as fast as cars on the freeway, but it has to make stops.
  4. As directed by the website, I got off at the Vermont Ave. stop. Here is where I make a mistake. There are exits on both sides of the street with elevators and stairs. I got off the wrong side and had to go back around because you can't cross the street on the overpass.
  5. Boarding the bus was easy; I just showed the driver my day pass that I bought for the train and up Vermont we go. The bus runs about as fast as cars in the right lane of traffic. Metro Rapid services works like a subway on the road with stops spaced far away. Metro Local makes many more stops. About 20 minutes later I got off the bus and walked the last 5 minutes home.

In all it was a nice experience. MTA runs a clean and efficient service. The only complaint is how long the whole thing took (over an hour vs. a 20 minute car ride), but this is to be expected with all the stopping. I think I might take the bus more often.


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