25 November 2008

Yay for Holiday DASH!

If I had my choice, I would probably get around Los Angeles strictly by DASH bus. They are quick, comfortable, and only 25 cents. And now through the holidays, they run on Friday and Saturday nights in Downtown LA! How super great is this.


I ganked this map off the DASH web site

OK so admittedly you might need to bring your compass with you to figure out where you're going on this special DASH route, but as reported by blogdowntown, the limited run DASH route will allow people to get between landmark institutions Downtown and public transportation. Now everybody go out and ride it so they keep something like this going after New Year's!

17 November 2008

When NOT to ride your bike

  1. When the air quality is as bad as it is now
  2. When you have to worry about coyotes chasing you
  3. When you can take a biofuel skycar instead
  4. When you can hike instead
I strongly encourage using your bike if you get one of these to go with it though ... just wait for the air quality to improve, please?


view from Downtown LA, November 16, 2008: air quality = poor

10 November 2008

Pennies

Just a friendly reminder to everyone who is as scared sh*tless by the worsening economic climate as I am ... the DASH buses take pennies. 25 previously underused and usually annoying pennies. Thanks to my piggy banks full of these coins, I might actually have a transportation budget for the next week. Yippee?

09 November 2008

What a nightmare

I need to talk for a second about the plight of the carless when it comes to temporary visitors who arrive via LAX. I have some friends who will be flying into LAX this week, staying for an extra-large layover of 9 hours, and then jetting off to Australia. This is great and I will be happy to see them - if I can get there, and if we can leave the airport. You see, I attend USC and would like to leave from school to go there, but the public transportation options for getting from campus to the airport are positively abysmal. My options look like this:
  • Do what the trip planner tells me: take a long bus ride through an unfamiliar neighborhood, transfer to the Green Line, then take a shuttle to the terminals. Estimated time of travel: 60-90 minutes
  • Go north from campus and depart from Union Station, take the ever-awesome LAX Flyaway, meet them there, and then cab it. Estimated time of travel: pre-Flyaway = who knows, post-Flyaway, max 30 minutes
  • Rent a car on campus from my nemesis, ZipCar, drive to LAX, pick them up, drive them around, take them back, take the car back. Estimated time of travel: to LAX = no more than an hour; dignity lost by feeding the ZipCar beast = hard to tell
So to put it bluntly, all of these options SUCK. If the idea of biking through airport traffic didn't scare me so much I might actually consider biking but that's really a non-starter. In the end, with my schedule (and my shrinking bank account) being what it is, I suspect I will not even be able to make it and will need to see them on their return trip. But if this ridiculous decision-making process isn't illuminating as to how sad the state of public transportation is in LA, I don't know what is.

06 November 2008

A Future without Cars?

Well at least someone else is thinking of it besides me! Tomorrow there will be an event in Culver City to discuss "people, bikes, and community in 21st century Los Angeles." Have a look at the flyer below:



I found out about this event on Facebook but as the flyer says, everyone is invited.

Another thing I found out about on Facebook is this blog called Bike Town Beta that seems to be interested in doing a little biking experiment. Unfortunately their first event already happened but maybe there will be another? I'll keep checking....

05 November 2008

A Big Day for Public Transportation in LA

Today in Los Angeles, we have a new transportation landscape in front of us. Not only did Proposition 1A pass, giving us the go-ahead to get high-speed rail in the state, but Measure R passed by its two-thirds required margin - 67.4% - thus approving the half-cent sales tax increase for the next 30 years to pay for mass transit and road improvements.

Those of us who live without a car in Los Angeles are probably very encouraged by this news, and I know I voted for both initiatives to pass. But is it too little, too late? I'm glad that people who live here have finally come to the realization that the city absolutely needs more public transportation to function, but most other American cities grew up with their public transportation systems in place. Granted, LA is not like most other American cities ... it did not follow a traditional development pattern and its footprint dwarfs most other metropolises (metropoli?). So any additional transportation infrastructure is destined to be a development challenge. But I am glad that we have a plan now ... and if we can make it work with the new limitations that this murky economy presents us, then Los Angeles will truly become a city of the 21st century.