|It seems that most buses provide bus racks|
|Metro Bus in Los Angeles|
Our stop was just north of Colorado and then I had to cross the street to catch the next bus going east. It finally dawned on me that I might be able to use my Metro Train card. I could. The driver explained to me, after I put in my fare, that it was just like getting on the train, you "tap" the card and depending, subtracts money from the card. Here I worried about having enough dollars, quarters and dimes to pay the fare. At least with your Metro card its just a tap away!
Amazingly I got there on time, a 75 minute journey including a 5 minute walk.
|The Inter-Pacific Red Car|
Public transportation in Los Angeles at the beginning of the 20th Century was one of the finest in the world. Long before LA was a 100 mile wide megapolis, you could go from the beach in Santa Monica to the desert in San Bernardino, a land of nearly limitless orchards, Long Beach to Mt. Low, high up in the San Gabriel Mountains. With the introduction of the automobile came freeways and freeways replaced trains until the last line to Long Beach ended around 1962. Disney's amazing film, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" chronicles the destruction of public transit that occured. Ironically when after six failed voting attempts to get Angelenos to pony up the billions required to create train lines, with finally government help, the old Long Beach, now called the Blue Line, was the first to go back online. However, it is not an easy connection. You have to get on the Red Line, then exit and get on the Blue Line to head south.
After a few days using subways in New York City and New Jersey Transit, you realize how convoluted we made riding anything Metro touches. While it's easy to blame Metro executives, the fractured city-states of Los Angeles are also partly to blame as well. Places like Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and Westwood fought tooth and nail to stop Metro from "polluting" their neighborhoods. Only when revenues started to fall, the public began to avoid the congestion of getting there were discussions suddenly back on the burner.
|LA Surpasses NYC with worst traffic in U.S.|
You might question, who rides the bus, who rides the train? Well, poor people who simply cannot afford to own a car but many others who just don't want the hassle of driving on congested freeways and paying increasing car parking lot fees. It is indeed a unique mix of the rich and poor. However, fares are not cheap. I mean they had to pay for the huge Metro Skyscraper that looms over Union Station. Projects that should take a year or two take decades. China built an 800 mile high speed train track from Beijing to Shanghai in two years. The link from the Sierra Madre Station in Pasadena needed 6 months of "testing" to go as far as Arcadia, maybe a distance of 7 - 8 miles. It took them years to even construct the line. They already had the right of way even.
Until getting on a bus or train with lines that make sense, well signed, are on time and meet the needs of the public, not the needs of the powers that be, even congested freeways are not enough to get them to switch. Like I said I knew how to get from point A to point B, just not on a bus.
Thank you for reading my blog! I urge to you please read some of the earlier postings. They all refer to how we have designed our lives.