I'm back in LA for a couple weeks. I still don't have a driver's license! (Though I should be rectifying that in September.) So yesterday, I decided to get from Rick's place (in South Pasadena) to Sean's (Miracle Mile) by public transportation.
This is how it went...
11:06am - Left Rick's apartment
11:08am - Purchased a Metro Day Pass for $5 (I wasn't sure if it would work for both trains and buses, but learned that it does, indeed.)
11:10am - Stood on Mission stop platform on the Gold Line. Signs were funny. There was a sign that said "Platform 1: Pasadena, Platform 2: Los Angeles". Or maybe it was the other way around. It didn't really matter, though, because the platforms themselves weren't numbered. I picked the one that seemed like it was going in the proper direction. I was right - once up there I saw the sign for Los Angeles.
11:14am - Got on train, along with about 10 other passengers. All ages, ethnicities, families, etc. One guy got on his with his bike, which seemed a little easier on these trains than on NY subway trains.
11:28am - Arrived at Union Station. I needed to transfer to the Purple line. I followed lots of people, but didn't see any signs for the Purple Line. Red Line. Amtrak. Etc.
11:32am - I went to a window to ask. The woman told me to follow signs to the Red Line. Oh. Duh. ;)
11:34am - Arrived at track, which the Red and Purple lines share. On the way in, a woman was checking tickets of the people LEAVING the area. This is the only time I saw any sort of ticket checking. There are no turnstiles. No conductors taking tickets on the trains. For the most part, it seems to run on the honor system. My ticket was never checked on the trains. I suppose you'd get hit with a nasty fine if you were checked.
11:41am - Boarded train towards Wilshire/Western. There were signs telling you when the next train would be arriving, which was nice. It was on time. Mostly men on this train. One well-dressed, young businesswoman. Picked up info on the train on how to take the Metro to Dodger Stadium. It was in English and Spanish. "Viaje en Metro a Dodger Stadium." And it has the schedule for the season. I'm gonna go.
11:55am - Arrived Wilshire/Western. Went outside to find a bus. I thought I knew which direction on Wilshire I needed to go. I checked the bus route at the stop and determined that I'd need to take the 20 for about 3 miles.
12:01pm - Boarded 20 bus. It was not super pleasant. There was a smell of old sweat coming from the seats. I considered walking farther than originally planned, but ended up sticking it out.
12:11pm - After following the route with a map on my iPhone, I got off the bus a few blocks from Sean's apartment. Probably could have gone one more stop.
12:17pm - Arrived at Sean's door.
So! The entire trip took 1 hour and 11 minutes. And it wasn't terrible. The Gold line was nice, as it was all outside. I could have done without the bus. And did, actually, on the way back. Sean was kind enough to drive me back to the Metro station.
According to Google maps, driving from Point A to Point B is 13.7 miles and takes approximately 25 minutes to drive. I've done the drive several times, though, and it has never been that quick...
Whenever I set out to use public transportation for the first time in a new city, I get a little nervous about the unknown. Once I get going, though, it always seems pretty simple. New York has trained me well.
For maps and schedules and information on Los Angeles public transportation, go here: