A Little Metro Story

IMG_4431.JPG by Here in Van Nuys
IMG_4431.JPG, a photo by Here in Van Nuys on Flickr.

More and more I have been leaving Van Nuys, going downtown, to Hollywood, and Silver Lake and riding the Orange Line Bus to the Red Line Train.

When I first started doing this, in 2005, you would purchase a day pass that allowed you to take that paper ticket, get on the bus and walk into the train and do the same thing in reverse.

Now there is the TAP system where you load funds onto a plastic card which you “tap” every time you enter a station.

No longer are there any humans in the Red Line North Hollywood station, so I assumed that one tap before I got onto the bus was all I needed for a one-way trip. I was wrong.

You must tap when you get on the bus and then you must tap when you get on the train. So two taps each direction.

Each tap deducts $1.50 from my card. No signs advise a rider about how to use the card. You are expected to know.

On the train, things have changed since 2005.

There are people drinking beer, people smoking on the platform, people playing radios inside trains.

I never once have seen a law enforcement person riding a train or standing on the platform. Maybe my timing is just poor.

I wonder how they know who taps their card, who is eating or drinking on the train or the platform.

Metro is not a bad system. I think it is pretty clean. It is certainly expanding and getting bigger. Pretty soon you will be able to ride a train from downtown to Santa Monica.

But it needs to be watched and monitored. Because this is Los Angeles. There is a need, by some segments of the population, to destroy anything clean and worthwhile. They will mark it up and make it dirty. They will scream and run wild and do whatever they want to.

And then nobody will want to ride the train or the bus.

And that will be a shame.

2 thoughts on “A Little Metro Story

  1. LA’s Metro has been a generally pleasant surprise for me. While it certainly has its limits, it accesses much more of the city than I expected it to and is cleaner and more reliable than a lot o the transit systems I’ve used over the years. That said, as ridership increases, there will necessarily have to be a stronger police presence in the system (I suspect there probably already is a substantial one on the blue line) and fair-beating is going to have to be addressed in a more organized way, not the catch-as-catch-can method they’re currently employing.


  2. You can still buy a day pass with a tap card. $5 and you just tap every time you transfer or get on the bus. Even before TAP and the turnstiles at the Red Line stations you had to have separate tickets for the Orange line and Red Line.

    Since when where there humans at the Red LIne stations? They have always been unstaffed. I see LASD all the time checking tickets on the orange line…I know a lot of people who have gotten tickets for not paying so they are out there for sure. The sheriffs have little scanners that they use to check the tap cards.

    Its public transportation in LA, crazies are everywhere. I saw a dude smoking a blunt on the expo line once, I saw a dude rolling one in the hollywood/vine station, still I think its better than BART.

    Metro likes trying to re-invent the wheel but we are living in a golden age of transport in LA.


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