Next month I’ll be attending the Los Angeles International Auto Show media preview at the LA Convention Center, which is located just south of LA’s downtown financial district. And while this is a car show, I won’t be taking a car to get there. Instead, I’ll be taking three rail lines of LA’s burgeoning Metro system to get from my suburban paradise to the convention center’s front door. The whole trip, including the drive from my house to the closest station with free parking, usually takes almost exactly an hour.
Why you might ask would I take public transportation? Well, one of the main reasons is that rush hour traffic on LA roads is something akin to stuffing sausage, only with cars. The other is that LA’s Metro trains – whether the subway or the many light rail options – are generally clean, safe, and fast, and in the case of the convention center, it takes me where I want to go. I wish I could say the same for the Metro Buses, but sadly, they are a whole ‘nother ball game, and usually one that smells of pee by the third inning.
That’s not to say that busses don’t have their place in the mass transit scheme of things, it’s just been my experience that the trains are a better way to go. Of course the trains don’t go to all those many places and the big benefit of busses is that they can change routes as needed, while trains are pretty much wedded to their predetermined paths. Have you had much experience with public transportation? If so, which have you found to be the best to get you from point A to point B? Have trains proven acceptable in their routing choices? Or do the busses do a better job? If you can’t drive, what’s the best mass transit alternative in your book?