Taking Time to Tell a Bus Story

This weekend the Times profiled one of Los Angeles’ many bus riders, focusing on a young woman who chooses the bus over the car to commute from the Westside to Beverly Hills.  The rider, Jacquelyn Carr, authors her own blog about her riding experiences at Snob on a Bus, and both the blog and the Times article tell a charming story of a woman who first takes the bus because she feels she has to and ends up integrating herself into the culture on the Westside part of the Metro 720.

While the Times piece is hardly groundbreaking stuff for someone that reads transit blogs or rides the bus; it is great to see Los Angeles’ paper of record delve in to transportation culture beyond the culture of the car.  As someone who has been critical of much of the Times’ coverage in recent months, especially Ari Bloomekatz who wrote this piece, it’s great to read a piece that reads as though it were part of SF Streetsblog’s "Muni Rider Profile," or a Fred Camino piece at The Source than a Times story.

Consider these couple of paragraphs, that describe riding the bus as a fun place to be:

They agreed to leave for home at 1:30 a.m. Carr had never taken the bus
that late and was not sure what to expect. Stumbling but rushing, the
group got to the bus stop just before the coach pulled away.

They piled into the front seats and started talking with the driver.
Before long, the bus was echoing with alcohol-fueled hoots and
laughter. The driver seemed to take great pleasure in playfully
needling the group, at one point calling them "idiots" for being so
boisterous. The group called her Patty, even though Carr can’t remember
whether that was her real name.

The group told "Patty" she deserved an award for best late-night bus
driver. And the ride home ended up being the most memorable part of the
evening.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Metro Did the Right Thing By Not Over-Parking Expo Line Phase 2

|
Metro’s Expo Line Phase 2 opens this Friday. Though there is a lot of excitement and praise for the line, the Expo extension from Culver City to Downtown Santa Monica has also received some criticism. Note that Expo Phase 1 weathered its own criticism, and exceeded expectations. Some critics are suggesting the line could be “doomed” […]

Brentwood Community Leaders Wants Out of Bus-Only Lanes

|
It’s official, many Westside neighborhood leaders really don’t want bus-only lanes. After reading a letter from the Brentwood Community Council, which can be read after the jump, exhorting residents to protest the inclusion of Wilshire Bus-Only lanes in the area “West of the 405,” I made the above map.  It contains all of the areas […]

Metro Piloting Fast, Convenient All-Door Boarding on Wilshire Rapid Bus

|
Metro is in its third week of an all-door boarding pilot at two stops on the 720 Wilshire Rapid Bus line. Riders can take advantage of all-door boarding mornings westbound at Wilshire/Vermont and afternoons eastbound at Wilshire/Westwood. Streetsblog checked out how it was working this morning, and it looks great! Here’s how Metro’s trial works: Signage […]

Times, ABC7, and Metro Parking Stories Are Wrong and Misleading

|
Yesterday, the L.A. Times ran Lack of Parking Drives Many Away from Mass Transit, an article by Laura Nelson. The Times starts with the example of a San Fernando Valley Metro Red Line commuter nearly missing grabbing a parking space. This leads to assertions of “parking shortages” on “L.A.’s light-rail system [sic – Red Line is […]