Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Why Angelenos Will Never Embrace The Bus, Part 2

I am angry, a very angry bus rider that was stiffed by a bus I needed to take today to get to Pasadena.
Montebello Bus Lines
I sat over 50 minutes waiting for a bus that never came. In this case it was to ride a Montebello Bus Line, line 30, that in my experience is never on time. I sat across the street from my doctors office, where I get daily radiation, needing this bus to get up to Huntington Drive, about a 45 minute walk, about a 10 minute bus ride. Yes, if I had known.... Then I connect to a Metro Bus that heads to Altadena just north of Pasadena.

The Metro Line of buses and trains are more or less on time but they are down far more than I feel they would be in Chicago, New York and even Atlanta. I can't even begin to recount my embarrassment as I called and told the person I was meeting that I couldn't get there. There was no bus. Even if it showed up late I would never have gotten the connecting bus I needed. So there it is ... why only the poor or those that have the time, use the bus.

I am convinced if the middle and upper classes used and depended on mass transit like those in New Jersey, Philadephia and New York City suburbs that here in Los Angeles you would see a change probably almost overnight. We are so married to our cars that you see long lines of cars on every freeway at rush hour with one person in them as you whiz by them on a huge Metro Link train or the small Metro lines ... the Blue Line, the Gold Line, the Red Line and the Purple Line with more to come maybe if we are lucky by the 22nd Century.

However, unlike China, that could build an 800 mile long high speed train from Beijing to Shanghai in two years, its taken more than three years for the Gold Line to go from the Sierra Madre Station in Pasadena to Arcadia, CA a distance of maybe 10 miles. As far as I know, that new extension isn't open yet. Again ... get the middle and upper classes to use them and they will not stand for this kind of behavior.

Metro built themselves a huge multi story building that looms over Union Station and all the Amtrak, Metro Link and rail service lines in Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Orange County. Maybe its time to empty that building and force every employee in them to attempt to use what they manage and have designed. There probably would be many changes especially if you said there will be no parking anywhere around so, well, take the train or bus to work. I would suggest that every bus line in the county make the same requirement of their employees as well. Let them see what we have to put up with in an up close and personal manner. Again, if they had no place to park, there would be so many changes and done so fast that it would literally make the public's heads spin. THAT IS CHANGE!

The fares continue to go up and services are changed and dropped each and every year. It seems that the idea that people just gave up is beyond their ability to comprehend.

I like taking the Train and with an app that gets me around on buses because even when you get anywhere in LA, the cost to park your car would be the same as taking and paying for 5 or 6 of your closest friends. Yet, the bus has to arrive in a timely manner. They don't.

Much of the blame has to be with the city and country planners. Streets that are already burdened with traffic are seeing even more buildings rise. Wilshire Blvd. and Santa Monica Blvd. are truly Dante's seven circles of hell. It can take an hour, AN HOUR, to go three or four miles at rush hour. I have seen people walk faster than the traffic. Its not just Los Angeles either. Many cities in their rush to get that property tax have done the same thing. The quality of life plummets. This cavalier attitude has got to change. With streets and freeways crumbling, the time has come to make big changes. Make it easy and timely to get mass transit. Maybe rather than getting even bigger, our mass transit systems may need to get smaller with more of them. Should they compete? I don't know. They rarely do. Maybe its time to completely re-think what needs to be done. We are all tired of the same pat old answers. Maybe its time to truly think it through "out of the box."

Thank you for reading my blog. This Blog discusses a wide range of design issues. While painting is important we endure design, good and bad,  each and every day in the things we do and use. They are not always to our advantage. Please check out some of the other blogs!

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