The concept of public transportation seems to be an outright foreign one to a majority of LA residents. A city often noted for being quite car-centric, the notion that anyone would transport themselves without using their own vehicle to do so tends to baffle most of our citizens. It’s not as if people are oblivious to the fact public transit exists, the consensus surrounding it continues to be “why bother?”
And, although the majority poses a valid point with this quick dismissal, my one question to them is…
Think for a moment: how many times have you found yourself situated six blocks away from your desired destination with no available parking spot currently in sight?
Recall the countless conversations you’ve had with your friends, family members, and wide-eyed baristas you’ve hopelessly attempted to hit on with small chat about how finding a good parking spot in LA is “impossible”.
All I have to tell you is that you’ve brought it upon yourselves, LA. For there has always been an alternative:
…I can hear the scoffing from the other end of your screens now, you’re thinking “You mean The Bus? ” Am I honestly suggesting you use those two legs you were born with to walk to a bus stop and wait?
You bet your buns I am. LA Metro could be your best friend…if you would just give it a chance. And, as with any new friend, if you don’t play your cards right, LA Metro has the potential to be your worst enemy, too. Below are reasons why the Metro can be your best friend and potentially your worst enemy at times:
4 Reasons Why Metro is Your Best Friend
1.) You Don’t Have to Worry About Finding A Parking Spot:
You don’t have to worry about locating, paying for, or furiously screaming at your poor friend in the passenger seat over not being able to find a parking spot if/when you take The Bus. You merely board The Bus, place your lovely buttox upon a seat, and wait for your destination/next stop to arrive. And that’s it.
2.) You’ll Save Yourself Some Money You’d Normally Spend on Gas
Gone are the days of the $1.07 gallon. All mournful tragedies set aside, these days the general statistic is that the “average American” spends about 2-4,000 dollars per year solely on gas. So, even if you were to infrequently use The Bus as part of your daily commute, you would still be saving yourselves a substantial amount of paper than if you were to consistently traverse this concrete jungle in your car.
3.)You Can Get to Just About Anywhere You Need to Go in LA Without Too Much of a Trek
You may find this to be a bit of an overstatement, but it’s true. As a member of the exclusive Metro Club—which doesn’t exist but, I’m working on it 🙂 —I have gone just about everywhere I can think of, ranging from Inglewood to Silverlake, Long Beach to Beverly Hills, and even places like Santa Anita as well as the dark recesses of The Valley with little-to-no difficulties. It makes sense when there are almost 16,000 bus stops peppered throughout LA.
4.) It Will Introduce You to the Real LA
Whether your eyes have the pleasure of basking in an orange-magenta sunset (serving as a luscious backdrop to an otherwise lackluster freeway ramp) as your driver cruises down Glendale Boulevard to turn onto San Fernando Road, or whether you strike up a conversation about your job with a white woman rocking corn rows who is discretely sipping on tiny bottle-shots of vodka, you’ll have a chance to encounter both the people and the places that truly give this city its pulse.
4 Reasons Why Metro is Your Worst Enemy
1.) It Will Test Your Patience (Or Lack There-Of)
Buses, unlike taxis, do not arrive when you want them to. They run on schedules. Unfortunately, some routes have buses which arrive more infrequently than others, which means that sometimes you’ll have to kill more time waiting than you’d care to.
2.)You Might Get Lost and You Could Possibly Get Stranded
It’s always important to look at the schedule of the bus route(s) you’re riding to make sure your bus A.) Stops at or near your intended destination and B.) Will still be in service at the time you intend to make it back home. Luckily, LA Metro has comprehensive schedules of all their bus routes on their website as well as paper schedules on hand on each of their buses (they do run out sometimes). They have also implemented signs at virtually all of their stops which provide a number you can text to see if/when your bus is scheduled to arrive. Which leads me to our next reason:
3.) You Have to Make Sure to Plan Ahead Before You Ride
Wherever you’re going for the day and whatever you’re doing, if you plan on using public transit it is vital you know which route(s) to take and what streets you’ll be getting off of. Looking up schedules before you go out is key, as well to ensure you won’t arrive at your destination in an untimely manner and it will most definitely ensure your sanity. Thankfully, Metro’s website has a trip planner feature.
4.) It Will Introduce You to the Real LA
Friendly buzzed white women getting day drunk aside, occasionally—depending on the time and where you’re traveling to/from in the city—you might meet some not-so-friendly folks on your ride. But these are the initial implications of desiring a city life, particularly an LA life and, honestly, they’re inescapable anywhere you may tread, not just on the bus. And, based on my own, countless experiences I can assure you these incidents are very few and far between.