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.